What are the Pros & Cons of Moving to Hamilton's Mountain?

Matthew Kelly | eXp Realty 
July 8, 2023

Moving to Hamilton Ontario's Mountain Pros and Cons

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Introduction

As you consider the possibility of relocating to Hamilton’s Mountain, perched atop the picturesque Hamilton Escarpment, it’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this sought-after area. Catering to a diverse range of buyers, from first-timers and families to downsizers, the Mountain offers a range of housing and amenities that appeal to various preferences. Let’s delve into the pros and cons that will help you make an informed decision about living on Hamilton’s Mountain.

Pros of Living on Hamilton's Mountain:

Parks and Recreation:

  • Hamilton’s Mountain is a haven for nature enthusiasts, with a variety of parks catering to outdoor activities. Mohawk Sports Park boasts numerous sports fields, providing ample space for sports lovers to play and enjoy. King Forest Park, home to gems like Butter Milk Falls and Albion Falls, offers stunning natural scenery and hiking trails. Sam Lawernce Park is another green oasis, perfect for leisurely strolls and relaxation.
  • In addition to larger parks, the area is dotted with neighborhood parks, ensuring that each community has access to green spaces within walking distance. The Mountain also hosts multiple community centers, including Westmount Community Centre and the YMCA, offering fitness, classes, and recreational programs.

Shopping and Local Businesses:

  • If shopping is your passion, Hamilton’s Mountain won’t disappoint. The Upper James Shopping Plazas and Lime Ridge Mall provide a variety of retail options. However, it’s the charming Concession Street that stands out, featuring an array of local gems. From mouthwatering eateries like Cowabunga Pizza and The Dirty South to the delectable Lady Glaze Donuts and cozy Speedy Subs, Concession Street is a culinary delight.
  • Depending on where you reside on the Mountain, you’ll have access to different shopping hubs. The west side grants access to the Ancaster Shopping Centre, housing well-known stores like Costco, Winners, and Home Depot, while the east side connects to the Stoney Creek Mountains Shopping Centre, with its own range of shopping plazas.

Health Care Facilities:

  • The Mountain is well-served by various health care institutions, offering residents easy access to medical services. Notable facilities include Juravinski Hospital, St. Joseph’s Healthcare with its two campuses, and the renowned McMaster Sick Kids Hospital.
  • This proximity to health care services ensures that residents have access to quality medical care when needed, contributing to the overall well-being of the community.

Public Transit:

  • While public transit options are available on the Mountain, it’s worth acknowledging their limitations. The Mountain’s public transit network, while decent for short-distance travel, may require more intricate route planning for longer journeys or transfers.
  • The Go Train and Bus network offers an alternative for commuting, but it’s important to note that using these services might add an additional 20 minutes to reach the nearest Go station. Traveling to downtown Hamilton or other areas with multiple connections can sometimes be less straightforward due to the absence of centralized transit hubs.

Education and Community:

  • Families considering the Mountain will find a range of education options for their children. The area boasts some top-rated elementary schools, particularly on the west side of the Mountain.
  • Mohawk College, located on the Mountain, is an excellent institution for those pursuing post-secondary education or skill development.

Real Estate:

  • The real estate landscape on Hamilton’s Mountain is diverse, catering to various housing preferences. Detached homes dominate the market at 79%, followed by townhomes at 18%, and condos at 3%.
  • As a rule of thumb, the east side of the Mountain is generally more affordable than the west side. The north end features older homes from the 1920s, while newer homes are found as you head south.
  • Sales data indicates that around 67% of total real estate sales in the last 12 months fell within the $600,000 to $900,000 range.

Property Taxes:

  • A consideration for prospective homeowners is property taxes, which tend to be higher in Hamilton compared to neighboring cities and the provincial average. However, it’s worth noting that the overall savings from a home purchase can often offset this aspect.

Cons of Living on Hamilton's Mountain:

Traffic and Accessibility:

  • The Mountain boasts convenient transportation routes that help alleviate traffic congestion on neighborhood streets. The Lincoln Alexander Parkway and Red Hill Valley are key routes that connect different parts of the Mountain to the city.
  • Multiple access points allow for easy travel up and down the escarpment. Notably, the Sherman Access facilitates two-way traffic for most of the day, with a one-way system in place during morning and afternoon rush hours, providing flexibility for daily commuters.

Employment Opportunities:

  • While Hamilton’s Mountain is predominantly a residential area, employment options are available. Many residents, if not working from home, commute to nearby cities such as downtown Hamilton, Burlington, or even Toronto for work.
  • It’s important to note that the residential nature of the Mountain contributes to traffic bottlenecks, especially during rush hours, as many individuals travel outside the area for work.

Limited Downtown Accessibility:

  • Living on the Mountain means you’ll be a bit farther from downtown Hamilton’s social activities and events. This could be a consideration for those who enjoy a vibrant urban lifestyle.

Less Activities and Events:

  • Although the Mountain has its share of community events, you may need to travel to downtown Hamilton for certain activities and larger events that are held in the heart of the city.

Higher Property Taxes:

  • The higher property tax rates in Hamilton compared to neighboring cities can impact monthly expenses and affordability, potentially requiring homeowners to budget more for these expenses.

In conclusion, deciding to move to Hamilton’s Mountain involves a balance of the advantages and disadvantages specific to your lifestyle and preferences. Evaluating the extensive range of parks, shopping, education, and real estate options against factors like weather, traffic, and accessibility will guide your decision-making process. By considering both the pros and cons, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and aspirations.

Whether you’re ready to explore the possibilities of living on Hamilton’s Mountain or you have further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to assist you in your home-buying journey, ensuring that you find the perfect place to call home in this unique and vibrant community.

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