AN OVERVIEW OF HAMILTON WEST
EXPLORE OUR CITY
Hamilton West, as designated by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) is bounded to the West/South-West by Main and Osler, on the North by Hamilton Harbour and Bayfront Park, on the East by James Street, and on the South by the Niagara Escarpment. The reader should note that these boundaries are different from say the boundaries of Ward 1 (which end at Queen Street, not James Street), but as we will be supplying the reader with numerous statistics on the real estate market of the area, we will be using the boundaries determined by RAHB. For population and income data, we are using census-tract level data from the 2011 Census.
Hamilton West is divided into several neighbourhoods, the most noteable being Ainslie Wood, Cootes Paradise, Westdale, Kirkendall, Strathcona, Central, Durand, and North End West (hereafter known as Bay Front West). Before we get into a discussion on the history and notable landmarks of the area, we’re going to begin with some brief neighbourhood stats. As mentioned above, these figures originate from the 2011 Canadian Census, meaning of course that these stats are five or six years out of date. Unlike the real estate market, such a timeframe is unlikely to have a consequential effect on demographics.
HAMILTON WEST NEIGHBOURHOODS
AINSLIE WOOD & CHEDOKE
De facto established in 1838 when George Howett Ainslie moved onto a sixty-acre farm in the area. It became a popular destination for inhabitants of the city, eventually becoming known as Ainslie Wood and covering the whole of the area between Ancaster and Central Hamilton. Today, it is bordered by Main Street in the north, Dundas and Ancaster to the west, and to the south and east by the 403 and Niagara Escarpment. Awash with greenspace, this neighbourhood comprises a substantial portion of the route of Hamilton’s Escarpment Rail Trail, suitable for hikers and cyclists of all kinds and skill levels. Near to Ainslie Wood lies Chedoke Golf Course, which hikers pass next to when hiking another of Hamilton’s trails, the Chedoke Radial Trail.
Kirkendall, holding Locke Street South within its boundaries, remains one of Hamilton’s largest tourist attractions. With a rustic vibe and a small town feel, Kirkendall and its many unique shops and historic homes and neighbourhoods offer its residents and visitors an enjoyable adventure. Home to such Hamilton landmarks as Locke Street, the Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association (HAAA) Grounds, Ryerson Middle School, and McMaster Innovation Park, Kirkendall stands as one of Hamilton’s most varied, sustainable, and inclusive neighbourhoods.
STRATHCONA & DUNDURN
Home to one of Hamilton’s largest urban greenspaces, Victoria Park, Strathcona is a primarily residential neighbourhood, popular to new and first-time buyers for its historical homes (some of which date back to the 19th century) and close proximity to the city’s downtown core and its waterfront. In this neighbourhood you’ll also find Dundurn Castle, a historic neoclassical mansion that was purchased by the City in 1900 and now operates as public attraction and museum.
Established in the 1920’s as Canada’s first planned community, Westdale is known for its unique eateries, quaint boutiques, and diverse integration with the McMaster University student population. With a high number of students residing within its boundaries, Westdale remains quite lively year round, with restaurants, an art deco movie theatre, artistic coffee shops, and more
One of Hamilton’s most populated areas for residents, tourists, and general attractions, Central Hamilton has a lot to offer. With everything from concert venues, to City Hall, world renowned hotels, shopping centres, historical buildings, museums and more, Central is the major hub of activity in the city. Within its borders you’ll find the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Hamilton Convention Centre, the First Ontario Centre, and the McMaster satellite David Braley Health Sciences Centre.
Established in 1972, Durand is home to roughly 12,000 Hamiltonians. Filled with rich history, architecturally astounding buildings and the close by escarpment, Durand is definitely a neighbourhood you must visit. Within its borders lies Hamilton City Hall as well as some of Hamilton’s most desirable and historic homes.
Officially known as North End West, this portion of the Hamilton Bayfront is home to some of Hamilton’s most frequented landmarks, such as Pier 4 and Bayfront Park, the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club and Hutch’s Harbourfront Eatery, home to some of the best fish and chips you can find in the city.
Owned and managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens, Cootes Paradise Marsh is the smallest wetland at the western edge of Lake Ontario. It is a popular destination for Hamiltonians and citizens of the surrounding municipalities, well known for its hikes, animal watching, and fishing.
TOP 10 LIST
|CITY HALL||CANADIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME|
|CADBURY FACTORY||HAMILTON CONSERVATORY FOR THE ARTS|
|DUNDURN CASTLE||HAMILTON CONVENTION & FIRSONTERIO CENTRE|
|COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE||THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR|
Originally in Toronto in 1887, McMaster University is ranked 4th amongst Canadian universities and 83rd in the world according to 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities. With a student population of over 20,000 students, some of those being Rhodes Scholars and Nobel laureates, and a wide variety of degree programs, McMaster stands to be one of the biggest attraction to bringing in both local and international affairs to Hamilton. With breathtaking nature reserves, Gothic Architecture, and a bustling student population, it’s no wonder McMaster is so well known and world renowned.
MCMASTER CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 1200 MAIN STREET WEST
Founded in 1988, McMaster Children’s Hospital remains one of the world’s highest ranked pediatric institutions. By providing highly specialized services, people not only across the country, but across the world come to use their health care services.
MCMASTER INNOVATION PARK 175 LONGWOOD ROAD SOUTH
This award winning research and innovation park is a space to generate, transform, and produce ideas, research, and businesses. Used alongside McMaster University, located only minutes away, McMaster Innovation Park is used as an innovative hub to support startups, businesses, research, and anyone else who might need it.
MCMASTER AUTOMOTIVE RESOURCE CENTRE (MARC) 200 LONGWOOD ROAD SOUTH
The McMaster Automotive Resource Centre is located only feet from the McMaster Innovation Park. This 92,000 square foot space is used for students, researchers, and industry professionals in the automotive industry. MARC focuses on generating new ideas that can help the technological world around. MARC also houses the McMaster and Mohawk College Bachelor of Technology Program within.
MCMASTER AUTOMOTIVE RESOURCE CENTRE (MARC) 1 JAMES STREET NORTH
McMaster Centre for Continuing Education was established in 1931 and Canada’s largest and leading institution for continuing education. CCE helps students and individuals continue their education through night, weekend, and online courses. Located in Jackson Square on James Street, this is an ideal location and central to everything within the city.
163 JACKSON STREET WEST
71 MAIN STREET WEST
CANADIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
58 JACKSON STREET WEST
CADBURY TREBOR ALLAN FACTORY
45 EWEN ROAD
Conservatory for the arts
126 JAMES STREET SOUTH
610 YORK BOULEVARD
hamilton Convention & firstontario centre
1 SUMMERS LANE & 101 YORK BOULEVARD
Columbia international College
1003 MAIN STREET WEST
The Hamilton spectator
44 FRID STREET
|MEZCAL TACOS & TEQUILA/UNO MAS||MAPLELEAF PANCAKE HOUSE|
|NAROMA PIZZA BAR||GOWN & GAVEL|
|ABERDEEN TAVERN||MATTSON & CO.|
|SNOOTY FOX PUB||THE STAIRCASE|
|EARTH TO TABLE BREAD BAR||WEST TOWN BAR & GRILL|
Mezcal Tacos & Tequila and Uno Mas Bar
150 JAMES STREET SOUTH
Mezcal, the Mexican-inspired restaurant, is located in the heart of Hamilton on James Street South. Not only are their authentic ingredients imported from South America, but they are also locally grown. With their warm and rustic interior feel, you’ll be eating there every night of the week. Located directly below it’s brother Mezcal, Uno Mas offers Mexican tradition through drinks, cuisine, good times, and more.
SUNDAY – THURSDAY: 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM FRIDAY – SATURDAY: 11:30 AM – 2:00 AM
mapleleaf pancake house
1520 MAIN STREET WEST
Naroma pizza bar
215 LOCKE STREET SOUTH
Gown & Gavel
24 HESS STREET SOUTH
432 ABERDEEN AVENUE
Mattson & Co.
225 LOCKE STREET SOUTH
1011 KING STREET WEST
27 DUNDURN STREET NORTH
earth to table Bread Bar
258 LOCKE STREET SOUTH
214 LOCKE STREET SOUTH
|GILBERTS BIG & TALL||COMIC CONNECTION|
|WALKER’S CHOCOLATE||CASUAL GOURMET|
|DAKOTA MAE||WEIL’S BAKERY|
|BITTEN CUPCAKES||WESTDALE JEWELLERS|
|WHITE ELEPHANT||LOCKE STREET ANTIQUES|
Gilbert’s big & tall
439 KING STREET WEST
895 KING STREET WEST
1050 KING STREET WEST
1027 KING STREET WEST
981 KING STREET WEST
219 LOCKE STREET SOUTH
2 NEWTON AVENUE
1032 KING STREET WEST
Locke street antiques
200 LOCKE STREET SOUTH
|WEST FEST||ART ALLEY|
|WINTER WANDER||LIGHTS OF LOCKE STREET|
|LOCKE STREET FESTIVAL||CANADA DAY FIREWORKS|
|LOCKE STREET FARMERS MARKET||HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA|
|HAMILTON FARMERS MARKET||HAMILTON BULLDOGS HOCKEY GAMES|
WESTDALE – KING STREET WEST
KIRKENDALL – LOCKE STREET
WESTDALE – KING STREET WEST
lights of locke street
KIRKENDALL – LOCKE STREET
Locke street festival
KIRKENDALL – LOCKE STREET
canada day fireworks
BAYFRONT PIER 8 – 47 DISCOVERY DRIVE
Locke street farmers market
KIRKENDALL – LOCKE STREET
Hamilton philharmonic orchestra
HAMILTON CONVENTION CENTRE – 1 SUMMERS LANE
Hamilton farmers market
JACKSON SQUARE – 35 YORK BOULEVARD
FIRSTONTARIO CENTRE – 101 YORK BOULEVARD
STORIES FROM HAMILTON WEST
Throughout our features, we will be interviewing prominent business owners, politicians, citizens, and individuals in order to get a deeper and more personal view of what Hamilton represents.
For Hamilton West, we have Mark John Stewart (Associate Director, Advancement [Development and Outreach] – DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University), Aidan Johnson (Ward 1 Counsellor), and Brandon Stanicak (Local Restauranteur).
HAMILTON WEST BY THE NUMBERS
Holding a population of nearly 50,000, Hamilton West has just under 10% of the 2011 Hamilton population of 520,000. At the time of the 2011 Census, 16% of the area’s population were over the age of 65. With a growing population of elderly, this is one figure that is likely to have increased between the 2011 and 2016 censuses. For the purposes of comparison, the whole of Hamilton has a percent of population over the age of 65 of 15.7%, meaning Hamilton West sits just above the City average in that regard.
In terms of other statistics, Hamilton West is younger and somewhat less affluent than the rest of the city, as well as also living in a fewer number of single-detached homes. There are also more dwellings in need of repair than the rest of the city. These findings run contrary to the notion that Hamilton West is older and more wealthy than the rest of the city. In reality, the area is only older in the sense that it has more old buildings that have fallen into disrepair. Many of these buildings have since been repaired and repurposed, now housing many of the most interesting businesses in the area. In terms of income, several individual neighbourhoods within the Hamilton West area, such as Westdale and Coote Paradise, those around McMaster University, boast higher incomes than the city average (approx. $67,000). The same can also be said for the Kirkendall South neighbourhood, south of Aberdeen Ave, which has an average income of just over $100,000. The point of this discussion is to demonstrate the size and variety of the Hamilton West area. Each neighbourhood has its own demographics, characteristics, and qualities that make them unique.
THE HAMILTON West REAL ESTATE MARKET
As we’ve noticed through our look at the above neighbourhoods, Hamilton West covers a large and varied area, with numerous landmarks, businesses, and institutions, all with their own history. Turning now to our overview of the real estate market, we’re going to examine how each area has grown in the last few years.
Below, you will find summary tables of the change in average sale price for each of the three districts that make up the Hamilton West area. Each will be briefly discussed but the intention is that the tables speak for themselves.
Comprised of neighbourhoods North End West, Strathcona, and Central, this district covers some of the core neighbourhoods that make up the downtown of the city. As is evident from the above chart, this district is currently in the midst of substantial growth, faster than both the average of the district (12.4%) and the city as a whole (15%).. Traditionally somewhat undesirable areas, these neighbourhoods are garnering increased demand due to their relative affordability and core-based location and therefore way of life.
things to remember
- Central, downtown area
- Substantial growth here, faster than city and district average
- Growth can be largely attributed to many choosing to live more centrally and buy where prices are more accessible
Hamilton West District 11 covers all of Ainslie Wood, including Ainslie Wood North, East, West, and Middle, Westdale North and South, and Cootes Paradise. The growth here has been more moderate than that currently being experienced by District 10, but is still quite healthy, boasting historically upscale prices. Many of the houses in the Ainslie Wood neighbourhoods have been converted from single-family homes to income-generating student houses, due to the neighbourhoods’ proximity to McMaster University. In Westdale, this is the case as well, but to a lesser degree. There, the ratio of single family homes to student houses remains balanced. In almost their entirety, neighbourhoods in this district are primarily comprised of historical and heritage homes, with some dating back to the early 1900s.
things to remember
- More moderate growth here, but still healthy
- Historical, heritage neighbourhood with much character
- Growth a little slower here because of already-healthy prices
- Escalation in purchase and sale of income-generating student houses