Study in Hamilton
Have you ever heard the saying that good things come in small packages? Well, Hamilton is a small city with a lot to offer. With a population of approximately 322,000, it has a convenient location, natural attractions, safety, affordability, educational opportunities, and a diversity of culture, entertainment, business and industry.
Hamilton is located at the heart of the ‘Golden Horseshoe’, a configuration of three cities - Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Falls - which wrap around the southwestern tip of Lake Ontario. Hamilton is only 50 minutes by bus or car from Toronto and Niagara Falls. This means you could experience the excitement of big city life in cosmopolitan Toronto one weekend, and visit one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, Niagara Falls, the next. Moreover, Hamilton is one hour from the US border and Buffalo, NY, and an hour by air from New York City.
Boasting four seasons, Hamilton is an ideal destination for students who love the outdoors. There are 20 conservation areas and thousands of hectares of parkland in the Hamilton Region. Hamilton occupies two levels: the lower city with the downtown core and ‘the Mountain’, the local name for the land formation known as the Niagara Escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment is one of Canada’s most scenic land formations and was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1990. This rocky ridge winds 725 km from Queenston near Niagara Falls to Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. It is the source of the area’s rivers and streams, and one of Ontario’s principal outdoor recreation areas.
Whether you like camping or just going out for the day, you can see a vast array of plants, birds and animals while hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding or simply enjoying a picnic in a park. Some of the nearby sights include Spencer Gorge Wilderness area, a favorite spot for photographers, bird watchers, and nature lovers. Within an 18-kilometre radius of downtown Hamilton, there are nine unique waterfalls, such as Webster Falls and the majestic Tews Falls, only a few metres shy in height of Niagara Falls.
Hamilton is situated on a protected bay perfect for sailing. The bayfront area has a picturesque park ideal for taking photographs, in-line skating, or relaxing and enjoying the scenery with friends. The bay opens out onto Lake Ontario making the conditions for windsurfing ideal. In east Hamilton, Confederation Park has a waterfront promenade along Lake Ontario, and activities in the park include miniature golf, go-carting and camping. Fishing, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking are other popular water sports in the area. From April to October, you can also golf at Chedoke Golf and Country Club which is located only five minutes from the downtown district. For a memorable winter experience, you can cross-country ski in Dundas Valley, or ice-skate and toboggan in the wildlife sanctuary called ‘Cootes Paradise’.
Modern Educational Facilities
Hamilton offers educational opportunities for all age groups. If you would like to study English as a Second Language, private and public institutions offer a variety of ESL programs. These include study tour programs and academic courses for short and long-term students and for all levels of proficiency. Teenagers can enroll in a number of public secondary schools or private high schools. At the post-secondary level, Hamilton is home to McMaster University, one of the leading post-secondary institutions in Canada, and Mohawk College, one of Canada’s largest community colleges.
Safety and Affordability
Hamilton has an excellent transportation system, modern conveniences and safe surroundings. Because Hamilton is a smaller centre, the cost of living is more affordable than in larger cities. For example, a comfortable one-bedroom downtown apartment can be rented for $425.00 CDN per month, utilities included. A bus ticket is $1.50 or $58.00 for a monthly pass, and a ticket to a movie theatre can cost as little as $2 on a Tuesday evening. You can enjoy a cup of coffee for a dollar.
Culture and Entertainment
For a bit of history, you can visit Dundurn Castle where costumed staff bring Victorian traditions to life in the restored home of Sir Allan McNab, one of Canada’s first premiers. For a glimpse of the Edwardian era, Whitehern has the original furniture, art, books, toys and china of an important Hamilton family, the McQuestens. Both Dundurn Castle and Whitehern are national historic sites.
Other places of historical interest are The Military Museum, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and Westfield Heritage Centre in Rockton where thirty-five historical buildings from across Ontario have been restored and arranged into a village setting.
For those interested in the arts, there are art galleries, theatre groups, and a wide variety of festivals celebrating local and international culture.
Not only does Hamilton have many attractions of its own, but it can also serve as a good home-base to access some of the other outstanding attractions in southern Ontario. You can enjoy the Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, visit the Memnonite area of St. Jacobs and Elmira, see Kleinburg’s outstanding Canadiana art collection, enjoy wine-tasting in the Niagara Peninsula, have fun at Canada’s Wonderful amusement park, take a dinner cruise down the Grand River, experience native Indian culture by visiting Crawford Lake which has a reconstructed Indian village. In July, the Grand River Pow Wow hosts First Nations people from across North America who compete in singing, drumming and dancing in a colourful display of traditional outfits.
Hamilton is a city of contrasts. Because it is the location of Canada’s principal steel-producing companies, Dofasco and Stelco, it is known as the ‘Steel City’. However, it is also the home of the 1,000-hectare Royal Botanical Gardens which has 50 km of nature trails connecting some of the most magnificent gardens in North America. With a great location, natural beauty, top-quality schools, and a wide assortment of activities, Hamilton is a wonderful place to study. We hope to see you here soon!