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Living in Hamilton

Scholarly activities are only part of the experience of being a graduate student. Discover the city of Hamilton, Ontario.

Our City

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Ideally located in the heart of Canada's most popular destinations, the City of Hamilton lies halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls, less than an hours drive from each. With a total population of 536,917, Hamilton is the ninth largest city in Canada, fourth largest in Ontario.

Rich in culture and surrounded by spectacular nature, Hamilton is a city like no other. Unique for it's distinctive urban feel and vibrant arts and culture. Hamilton is surrounded by the shores of Lake Ontario and the beautiful hiking trails if the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere reserve. Hamilton offers incredible access to conservation and recreation lands and amazing waterfalls.


Toronto International Airport is a 40-minute drive from our campus.

Flight Times from Toronto
Dubai 13h 35m Istanbul 10h 40m
Delhi 14h 25m Shanghai 13h 50m
Hong Kong 15h 05m Lagos 17h 15m
New York 1h 29m Rome 9h 23m
London 7h 35m Mexico City 4h 35m


The Hamilton Airport is a 17-minute drive from our campus.

Flight Times from Hamilton
Phoenix 4h 14m Ottawa 1h 00m
Los Angeles 4h 48m Montreal 1h 12m
Orlando 2h 23m Vancouver 4h 40m
Seattle 4h 37m Halifax 1h 59m

New to Hamilton

New to Hamilton? The School of Graduate Studies has a great list of resources to help you find services for your self and your family such as:

  • Child care 
  • Local schools
  • Housing
  • Medical services, family doctor
  • Airport transportation
  • & more!

Life in #HamOnt

Where to Live

Our graduate students tend to prefer living in the communities of Kirkendall, Durand, and Corktown or to the west in the town of Dundas. These neighbourhoods are far enough from campus that you get to experience the city but are still a close commute.
These are vibrant, historic, walkable communities with a wide variety of amenities and attractions.

McMaster Off-Campus Resource Center

A Nature-lover’s Dream

Newcomers to Hamilton are often surprised by the impressive natural beauty.
The Niagara escarpment runs through the city creating an ‘Upper’ and ‘Lower’ Hamilton. There are breathtaking views to be had when travelling the escarpment.
Hamilton is outdoors-person's dream. It has more than 100 waterfalls and cascades, and numerous biking and hiking trails. 

Discover Hamilton's Waterfalls

Getting Around

Getting around town is easy. Hamilton has a public bike share network which is very popular.
Every graduate student gets a city bus pass. The city's bus system is called Hamilton Street Rail (HSR).
Some students prefer to pay to park on campus, but, more often, they choose to ride on GO Transit,. Go Transit is a network of trains and buses servicing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Students that don’t keep a personal vehicle may also want to consider using Community Car Share for occasional trips.  Cars are located in the downtown core and at McMaster.

Top 10 Things to do in Hamilton

  1. Supercrawl
    A yearly celebration of Hamilton's arts community, draws more than 130,000 visitors.

  2. Festival of Friends
    Canada’s largest annual free music event.

  3. Hamilton Farmers’ Market
    The market dates back to 1837. Enjoy foods and flavours from all over the world.

  4. Museums
    Hamilton is home to a number of museums including the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, The Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, and the Hamilton Children's Museum.

  5. Explore a Navy Ship
    The legendary HMCS Haida is a Tribal class destroyer that was used in the Second World War, the Korean War and the Cold War. It is the Canadian Navy’s most famous ship and can be seen at Pier 9 on the waterfront.

  6. Visit the Art Gallery of Hamilton
    A magnificent gallery that has a collection of over 10,000 works of art, making it the third largest gallery in the country.

  7. Explore James Street North
    Hamilton is home to one of the most exciting arts and culture scenes in the country. The downtown area surrounding James Street North is home to shops, galleries, collectives, and award winning restaurants.
  8. Catch a Play
    Hamilton is rapidly becoming a hot spot for theatre. Some of the local venues include Theatre AquariusHamilton Theatre Inc. and the Staircase Theatre.

  9. Stroll the Boulevard
    The Boulevard runs along Hamilton's waterfront and includes a number of landmarks such as the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge, a lighthouse and some pretty amazing public artworks.

  10. Indulge your Tastebuds
    Hamilton's culinary scene is second to none. The food scene in Hamilton draws visitors from Toronto, Niagara, and beyond.