Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hamilton, population 505,000 + 2

Toronto to HAMILTON”? said the guy installing our phone line this week.

True, it’s not a typical move, as a Toronto friend who went to McMaster told me recently. Young professional people from Toronto (pop. 2.5 million) apparently don’t just up and move to Hamilton (pop. 505,000) en masse. But that’s exactly what we’ve just done. My husband and I, both in our early 30s, have left the big smoke for Steeltown.

I know for most people, Toronto is the end goal. Believe me, I’ve been there, having grown up in the suburbs. But staying in Toronto was never really in the cards for us. I mean, unless you’re a banker, doctor or some other highly-paid professional, what the hell can you afford to buy? For us, me: freelance journalist and him: environmental professional, all we could really afford was either 1) a teeny house badly in need of renos or 2)a 400sq foot box in the sky…and after living and working in such a space for the last five years, we’re officially over it.

Something donned on us last summer when we were driving back from a weekend in Niagara on the backroads. The houses were lovely. The fruit stands were tasty. The wineries were nearby. We thought, these people have it figured out. Later, looking up houses on the internet, we were blown away by how reasonable everything was. The plan was originally to look into moving to St. Catharines or the Niagara Region.

Won’t bore you with the details, but here we are, half a year later – hubby has a new job in Hamilton and we’ve just braved a winter move to relocate to the slightly smaller smoke.

I hope you’ll follow me as we explore all that Hamilton has to offer – from a former Torontonian’s point of view. I’m almost certain there are others in The Hammer just like us – can’t wait to hear your experiences and advice as we find our way here.


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