Hamilton, also known as the Ambitious City, is a port city in Ontario. It has over 530,000 residents, and the metropolitan area, which includes Burlington and Grimsby, has a population of 770,000. Hamilton is 58 km southwest of Toronto and is a part of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Hamilton is the 10th most populated city in Canada and the 5th most populated city in Ontario. Consistent with many cities in Ontario, Hamilton is experiencing growth primarily due to newcomers moving to the region.
Hamilton is home to the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Bruce Trail, McMaster University, Redeemer University College and Mohawk College.
Hamilton’s McMaster University was named Canada’s most innovative ‘medical doctoral’ university eight times in the last 11 years in Maclean’s annual ranking of universities. The university’s student-centred, problem-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning has been adopted by many universities worldwide. Established in 1887, the university offers health care, engineering, business, social sciences, science, and humanities research and education programs. In 2000, St. Catharines’ Brock University opened a satellite Teachers College in Hamilton. The on-campus Faculty of Education encompasses a pre-service department, graduate studies in education and continuing education. Hamilton also has many private colleges where residents can learn a new trade or skill to better prepare to enter the workforce. These include Trios College, CDI College, National Academy of Health & Business, and Academy of Learning College.
Central Hamilton is made up of several neighbourhoods, each with particular characteristics. The downtown core consists mostly of businesses and corporate buildings, with some new condominium buildings. Radiating out from this business district, residential neighbourhoods of early 20th-century family homes offer a charming neighbourhood atmosphere while remaining conveniently located. Hamilton boasts a robust ‘Public school’ system – Public schools in Hamilton and the surrounding area fall under the purview of the Hamilton and Wentworth District School Board, whose 104 schools in Hamilton and the surrounding area educate almost 50,000 K-12 students. The Hamilton and Wentworth District Catholic School Board runs 55 elementary and high schools with a Catholic-focused curriculum.
Hamilton is well known for producing steel for other kinds of heavy manufacturing–has earned the nickname “Steeltown.” The Hamilton area is the most industrialized section of Canada. It is known as the steel capital of the country for a reason. Hamilton produces 60% of Canada’s steel through two prominent companies – Stelco and Dofasco. Traditionally, the local economy has been led by the steel and heavy manufacturing industries. Although, there has been a shift towards other sectors such as health and sciences in the last decade.
Hamilton’s major industries include manufacturing, chemical engineering, construction, bioscience and medicine.
Fun Fact: The first Tim Hortons opened in Hamilton! The Canadian restaurant chain, Tim Hortons, is known for its coffee, doughnuts and connection to Canada’s national identity. It was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, at 65 Ottawa Street North. Today, it’s not just a corporation – it’s a cultural icon!
Residents and visitors alike can agree that Hamilton is a city for drivers. While the public transit system (quaintly named the “Hamilton Street Railway”, or HSR, in reference to the good old days of streetcars) covers a broad swathe of the city, its ridership is low, and locals resoundingly find cars more convenient. There are a couple of car-sharing initiatives in Hamilton. Taxi alternatives Uber and Lyft also operate in Hamilton and the surrounding area.
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport has grown to become one of Canada’s largest domestic air-cargo distribution and commercial airports. VIA Rail has a stop in Hamilton – which connects Windsor to Quebec.
The regional GO transit system runs buses and trains to several stops in the Hamilton area, making the journey to Toronto in about an hour depending on where in Hamilton you start from. The Lakeshore West train line services Hamilton, and the network also expands further up into Ontario, going as far as Barrie in the north, Oshawa in the east, and Kitchener in the west.
However, getting a bike in Hamilton might still be a good idea as there are miles of trails aimed at bikers. Biking is extremely popular as a leisure and fitness pursuit in the area but less common as a way to get from A to B.
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