True COST OF LIVING in Hamilton Ontario

Matthew Kelly | eXp Realty
Sep 17, 2022

If you're considering a move to Hamilton, Ontario, one of the first things that likely comes to mind is the cost of living.

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You might wonder whether it’s more affordable or expensive than where you currently reside and what living expenses look like in Hamilton. 

Well, in today’s blog, we’ll give you an in-depth look at the true cost of living in Hamilton. We’ll cover everything from groceries to utilities and transportation, so you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your move. So, let’s get started!

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As you embark on the exciting journey of searching for your next home in Hamilton, make sure to arm yourself with the right tools. You want to avoid making a costly mistake by purchasing a money-pit home with endless problems. Our FREE Essential Hamilton Home Buyers Starter Kit is a must-have resource that will guide you through the process and help you steer clear of costly mistakes. Download it for FREE today and take the first step towards finding your perfect home in one of the ideal neighbourhoods in Hamilton.

Understanding the Cost of Living in Hamilton

The first thing you should know is that overall, Hamilton is about 16% more expensive to live in when compared to the Ontario average. The biggest and least affordable expense in Hamilton is housing. 

Overview of cost of living in Hamilton

While housing isn’t the most affordable in Hamilton compared to the provincial average, when you compare it to the regional average or zoom into how Hamilton compares to neighbouring cities like Burlington, Oakville, Grimsby, and Milton, you can see that Hamilton is now looking a lot more affordable. 

median sale price per city for all detached homes
median sale price per city for all townhomes
median sale price per city for all condos

If you’re interested in learning where the most affordable areas to buy real estate are in Hamilton, make sure you read until the end.

Food Costs

So, let’s dive into the first category — food — and what you should expect to pay when living here.

A recent study comparing the prices of groceries and restaurants in Toronto to Hamilton found that the average monthly cost of food in Hamilton is approximately 20% cheaper, allowing your dollar to go a bit further. Of course, this is only one study, and the results will vary based on the type and volume of food you eat.

Grocery Costs
When it comes to groceries, the average person in Hamilton can expect to spend between $75 and $125 per week. This estimate can vary depending on your dietary preferences and where you shop. Some popular grocery stores in Hamilton include Fortinos, Walmart, Whole Foods and Metro.

Eating Out
Hamilton offers a diverse selection of restaurants, cafes, and pubs. Here are some estimated costs for eating out in Hamilton:

  • Breakfast: A nice breakfast will cost around $20 to $30 per person. Many popular breakfast spots exist in Hamilton, including Jet Cafe Dinner and Gage Park Diner.
  • Lunch: A quick lunch usually costs $10 to $20 per person. For example, you can try authentic Mexican cuisine at Mexican Kitchen inside Hamilton’s Farmers Market or soup or sandwich combo from The Burnt Tongue.
  • Dinner: If you’re looking for a three-course meal with an appetizer, two entrees, and two desserts, you can typically expect to pay between $75 and $100. Some popular restaurants in Hamilton include Bon Temps and Victoria’s Steak & Seafood.
  • Drinks: If you want to add any drinks to your meal, expect to pay around $8 for a beer and around $10 to $12 for a mixed cocktail.

Overall, the food costs in Hamilton are reasonable, and plenty of options are available for different budgets. By shopping at affordable grocery stores and choosing the right places to eat out, you can save money while enjoying delicious food in this vibrant city.

Transportation Cost

When you live in Hamilton, transportation will be one of your major expenses. This cost will vary depending on whether you own a car or not.

If you own a car, you can expect to pay $125 to $200 monthly for car insurance, depending on your driving record.

Gas prices also fluctuate but always hover around the Ontario average. As of recording, the gas is about $1.60 per litre. You can calculate the cost of gas by multiplying 1.60 by the size of your gas tank.

If you’re looking for parking downtown, you can find reasonably priced rates, with hourly prices typically around $1.25 to $2 and a daily maximum of $10 in most Hamilton parking lots. However, prices may increase to $20 per day during special events.

If you don’t own a car and will rely solely on public transportation, there are a few things you should know.

  • First, you must sign up for a PRESTO card, a little green card that allows you to load money onto it. When you board a bus or a train, you just tap the card to pay for your fare. Often, this comes with discounts for every ride.
  • If you don’t have a PRESTO card, the average cost for a single adult bus ride ticket is about $3.25 to board the Hamilton Street rail car. If you’re planning to take the bus every day, it’s recommended that you get the monthly pass, which costs approximately $115.

If you plan to travel from city to city, the Hamilton bus is great within the city, but if you want to go further, you’ll need to use the GO train or buses. You can find a wide variety of different GO bus stops throughout Hamilton. For example, if you’re taking a GO bus from McMaster to Square One, a single round trip for an adult costs about $12, whereas taking the GO train from Aldershot to Union Station will cost you about $14 for that single trip.

Don’t know where to start your search for your perfect home in Hamilton?

Let us help you! Our Hamilton Home Buyers Starter Kit includes a FREE custom video that matches your search criteria, along with a Custom Market Analysis that provides a personalized overview of the available options in your desired location. We’ll also give you expert recommendations on the best neighbourhoods for your family. Claim your FREE Hamilton Home  Buyers Starter Kit now and discover your dream home in Hamilton!

Basic Living Expenses

Before we jump into housing, you should consider some other basic living expenses when living in Hamilton.

  • Phone billTypically, you can get unlimited calling and about 10 gigs of data for between $50 and $70 a month.
  • Childcare: If you have young children, you definitely don’t want to forget to budget for childcare. Most full-time daycares will cost between $50 and $70 per day per child, and if you’re looking for before and after-school care, that will typically cost between $15 and $20 per day per child.
  • Fitness: If you’re like me and love working out, you have a wide variety of options to choose from at different price points. The cheapest option is Fit4Less, which is only $15 monthly. Then, you have the middle tier, like GoodLife, which charges between $50 and $80 monthly, depending on your package. Finally, if you’re looking for more specialized gyms, such as Hot Yoga or CrossFit, you can expect to pay between $120 and $200 monthly.

Other Expenses

If you are considering buying and renting, there are other expenses to consider, such as your household expenses.

On average, the typical hydro bill in Hamilton is about $95 per month. However, this can increase as you use more electricity, particularly during the hot months of July and August when your AC blasts outside and the temperature is around 30 degrees.

Additionally, a typical gas bill costs about $45 to $50 per month, which is primarily used for heating your home and cooking.

 The average water bill in Hamilton is around $65 per month. These general estimates will vary depending on where you live and your usage.

Housing Costs

Now let’s discuss the most significant expense you’ll have with your household: the cost of buying the house. This price will vary depending on what you’re looking for and where you’re looking for it.

For example, if you’re looking for a detached home in Hamilton, the median price for all of 2022 is $920,000. However, most detached homes sell between $700,000 and $1.25 million, as shown in the graph below of all the sales that have taken place in Hamilton for the year.

Median Price of Detached Homes in Hamilton

Median Price of Detached Homes in Hamilton

If you’re interested in a townhome, the median price for all of 2022 is $810,000. The graph below shows the total number of townhomes sold throughout Hamilton. Still, if you break it down and separate it into condo townhomes and freehold townhomes, you’ll see that condo townhomes are slightly more affordable, with the majority selling between $600,000 and $900,000.The majority of freehold townhomes sell between $700,000 and $1 million.

Median Price of Condo Townhomes in Hamilton

Median Price of Condo Townhomes in Hamilton

Median Price of Freehold Townhomes in Hamilton

Median Price of Freehold Townhomes in Hamilton

As for condos, the median price for all of 2022 is $570,000, and most condo sales are between $400,000 and $700,000.

Median Price of Condominiums in Hamilton

Median Price of Condominiums in Hamilton

Are you ready to make the move to Hamilton, Ontario?

With its diverse array of new homes and communities, this city is a great place to live, work, and play. From the beautiful waterfront to the lively downtown core, there’s something for everyone in Hamilton.

But with so many options to choose from, finding the perfect home and community can be overwhelming. That’s why we recommend downloading our FREE Essential Hamilton Home Buyers Starter Kit. This comprehensive resource provides valuable insights and guidance to help you confidently navigate the home-buying process.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make Hamilton your home. Download our starter kit today and take the first step towards finding your dream home in this wonderful city.



✅ Buying vs Renting.. What’s Different?
✅ First Steps To Stress-Free Home Buying
✅ Top Home-Buying Mistakes to Avoid
✅ Understand What to Look For In a Home
✅ Discover The Hidden Closing Cost & How Much?
✅ Complete Moving Checklist


✅ Understand Pros & Cons of Hamilton
✅ Discover Best & Worst Neighbourhoods
✅ What & Where the Top Schools Are
✅ Cost of Living in Hamilton
✅  Learn About Top 10 Parks in Hamilton
✅  & More About the Surrounding Cities 

Moving to Hamilton

MADE EASY AS 1, 2, 3!

Start simplifying your home buying journey with Matthew today…

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Step 1: Hamilton Starter Kit

Read the Hamilton Home Buyers Handbook and Watch the Living in Hamilton Vault to start to prepare for your move.

Real Estate Strategy Call

Step 2: One on One Call

Schedule a call with me to answer any questions and create a custom step-by-step plan to move to Hamilton

Real Estate Goals

Step 3: Find Your Home

Get help searching both online and in person for homes that fit your family’s lifestyle 


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