Urban beauty, wonderful architecture, tree-lined streets, very friendly people and lower costs for real estate.
Global debt and economic uncertainty dominate contemporary discussions yet in Hamilton, much of that uncertainty has been mitigated by the overall sense of Hamilton’s positive character, years of efforts to renew and revitalize broadly, and in doing so improve the quality of life for all residents. It’s also what has been attracting investors and new residents to Hamilton. Ralph Benmergui, is an award winning broadcaster and journalist, husband and the father of four boys, and currently works as the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships at Sheridan College while training to become a Spiritual Director. It’s this quality of life that first attracted him to Hamilton but what he wasn’t expecting was the deep sense of community shared by his neighbours.
“My job is now with Sheridan in Oakville and the commute is less than half from Toronto. It’s more than that though. I was born and lived most of my life in Toronto but I was finding it harder to live there and it was making me feel like I had a smaller life than I wanted for my family. It felt like we were sitting on a piece of equity rather than a home,” says Benmergui.“When I bought the house in Hamilton the seller invited me over to their new home and we spent an hour talking about the house and neighbourhood. It was nice to have that initiation because it’s been lost in Toronto.”
Once settled,“a neighbour came over with a card, contact numbers, and a gift card to the local food co-op, another neighbour invited our family to visit their pool.”
So what sets Hamilton apart?
Physically defined by unique geographical features like the Niagara Escarpment and Hamilton Harbour, the municipality is industrious and culturally diverse with a wide range of museums, libraries, entertainment venues, recreational facilities, parks and conservations areas. Hamilton is a city of many communities, built on community spirit.
Hamilton is a city of innovators, from its historic steel and textile producers to its current prominence in the health, technology, and engineering sectors where its post-secondary institutions are leaders in the innovation field. Hamilton is home to McMaster University, one of Canada’s leading research institutions for health sciences and engineering, hosting McMaster Innovation Park (MIP), the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (XCEEi), and the Don Pether Incubation Centre amongst others. Hamilton is also one of Ontario’s most concentrated centres for healthcare research.
For over 100 years Hamilton has had a vibrant and dynamic creative industries cluster that is in the midst of yet another boom period. Hamilton offers an excellent quality of life, affordable living options, and easy access to major markets within a 100 km radius including Toronto and the northern U.S.A., as well as a well developed and growing local scene.
An example of this creativity is the Hamilton Bike Share system or SoBi Hamilton, after the nonprofit local operator.With 110 hub locations across Hamilton provided by New York based Social Bicycles the system has 750 bicycles available 24 hours a day.The program is funded through membership fees, sponsorship, and in kind services provided by community partners.
Hamilton’s 13 Business Improvement Areas help to improve, beautify, and maintain public lands and buildings within the BIA, and promote the area as a business and shopping area.They also create benefits such as improved atmosphere and ambiance as well as promotional activities while contributing to the unique lifestyle and communities within Greater Hamilton.
“I love the idea of a mid-sized city. There’s a humanity because you can afford to be nice,” says Benmergui. “In terms of where we came from, I wanted livability, affordability, and civility and Hamilton offers that. Hamilton is a place that you can still wrap your arms around.”
For more information on Hamilton’s Quality of Life, Creative and Cultural Industries visit www.investinhamilton.ca.
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*this article is courtesy of creBlurb