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Oakville vs. Hamilton: which city is right for you?

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A woman thinking whether she should live in Oakville vs. Hamilton

When considering a move to a new place, understanding its location, population, and demographics can play a vital role in making an informed decision. Oakville and Hamilton, two prominent cities in Ontario, are both a great choice of destination to settle in. However, while they are located not too far away from each other, they offer completely different lifestyles. So, as one of the best moving companies Ontario, we’re here to help you decide between Oakville vs. Hamilton and move to your new home with ease!

Oakville vs. Hamilton – things to know about both cities before you make a decision

If you ask local movers Ontario about the most popular places to live in this province, both Oakville and Hamilton will be high on that list. The two places are both located along the shores of Lake Ontario, with only about 30 kilometers between them. However, while Hamilton is a big port city with more than half a million residents, Oakville is the largest town in the province, with about 230,000 inhabitants. As such, Oakville has a more suburban, family-friendly atmosphere, while Hamilton’s diverse neighborhoods cater to a range of interests and age groups.

A happy family after making a choice between Oakville vs. Hamilton
Most families choose to settle in Oakville, while younger professionals prefer living in Hamilton

But that’s not the only thing that distinguishes Oakville from Hamilton. Namely, Oakville is famous for its affluent community and upscale living, as well as well-maintained neighborhoods. The town has a strong education system, including top-rated schools and educational institutions, making it attractive to families. Meanwhile, Hamilton is known for its industrial heritage, great job opportunities, and vibrant arts scene.

Differences in the housing market and cost of living between Oakville and Hamilton

When you’re choosing a place to live in, its affordability is one of the first things you should consider. The cost of living in Oakville reflects the town’s affluent nature, with higher average housing prices and living expenses. For instance, the average cost of a single-family home in Oakville can surpass the regional average due to its premium location and desirable amenities. So, if you wish to purchase a home after moving here, you might need to pay as much as $1,504,898, which was the average house price in Oakville.

Residential area shot from above
When making the decision between Oakville vs. Hamilton, consider the average home price in both places

On the other hand, the cost of living in Hamilton is lower in comparison, making the city more budget-friendly. The average house price here is around $814,000, almost 50% cheaper than in Oakville. Hamilton also offers a more diverse range of housing options that cater to various budgets. Therefore, make sure to choose the city that aligns with your financial expectations and lifestyle preferences so that you can embark on your new chapter with confidence and financial clarity.

Job opportunities you can expect in both places after you move there

If you’re moving to Ontario as a young professional, you likely want to know which city will help you advance in your career. Therefore, keep in mind that Oakville boasts a thriving economy with a strong focus on industries such as finance, technology, and healthcare. Its proximity to Toronto provides additional employment opportunities within commuting distance.

People at work
Choose a city to live in according to your professional needs

Meanwhile, Hamilton has a more diverse job market, encompassing sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, and creative industries. The city’s revitalization efforts have attracted innovative companies, contributing to job growth. Healthcare professionals might find opportunities in Hamilton’s renowned medical institutions, and the creative sector is bolstered by the city’s thriving arts community. Salaries in both cities vary based on industry, experience, and job role. While salaries in Oakville are often higher, Hamilton’s cost of living advantage might mean a more comfortable standard of living with a relatively lower income.

Lifestyle considerations to keep in mind when you’re deciding between Oakville vs. Hamilton

The choice between cities is not merely about practical considerations—it’s also about the lifestyle and experiences each place offers. Oakville stands out for its blend of suburban tranquility and urban sophistication. Residents enjoy a serene lakeside setting, offering opportunities for outdoor activities, lakeside walks, and recreational water sports. If it weren’t for the price, Oakville would also be on the list of great places for buying a vacation home in Ontario. Moreover, the town’s cultural scene includes art galleries, theaters, and community events that create a sense of community engagement. So, for those who appreciate a balance between natural beauty and cosmopolitan amenities, Oakville provides an ideal retreat.

A woman painting the mural
Hamilton is a favorite amongh artists and creative people

In contrast, Hamilton has a historically industrious spirit that’s recently become culturally diversified. Nowadays, the city is famous for its galleries, music venues, and theaters, attracting artists from all over Canada. The thriving arts community is complemented by its diverse neighborhoods, each with its own character and attractions. Locke Street, for instance, is a magnet for those who love independent boutiques, cafes, and a lively street atmosphere. Hamilton’s revitalized downtown core also offers a dynamic environment that appeals to urban enthusiasts.

Things to see and do in Oakville

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or someone who enjoys cultural experiences, Oakville has a diverse range of attractions and activities to offer. Exploring these local gems allows you to make the most of your time there and see if you could live in Oakville. So, if you have some time to spend in Oakville before you decide to relocate there, make sure to check out the following:

  • Oakville Museum: If you’re a history buff eager to learn more about Oakville’s past, the Oakville Museum is a place to be. Housed in a historic home, the museum showcases artifacts and exhibits that offer insights into the city’s heritage and evolution.
  • Downtown Oakville: The downtown area is a hub of activity with its charming boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a perfect place to spend an afternoon browsing unique shops or enjoying a delicious meal at one of the local eateries.
  • Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts: Culture enthusiasts can check out the famous Oakville Centre, which hosts a variety of events, including theater productions, concerts, and dance performances.
  • Bronte Harbour: Bronte Village, one of the most popular Oakville neighborhoods, is known for its picturesque harbor with a marina, waterfront restaurants, and boutique shops. It’s a lovely spot to take a walk, enjoy a meal with a view, or simply watch the boats go by.

Other activities to explore in Oakville

With its proximity to Lake Ontario, Oakville offers opportunities for water activities such as sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. For those who prefer spending time on land, Oakville’s beautiful waterfront also has beautiful parks and walking trails to explore. Gairloch Gardens, for example, is one of the most popular green areas in Oakville, drawing the attention of visitors and residents alike with its stunning gardens and art installations.

BOtanical garden in Oakville
Enjoy the lovely Gairloch Gardens in Oakville to see if you can envision yourself living in this town

If you decide to move here, you won’t be short of fun events to attend and entertainment options to choose from. The Oakville Waterfront Festival and the Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival are just a couple of examples of the vibrant events that contribute to the city’s lively atmosphere.

Things to see and do in Hamilton

Now that you’ve explored Oakville, you should do the same with Hamilton to be sure of your decision to relocate there. If you need advice on things to see here, best movers in Hamilton Ontario advise you to pay a visit to:

  • Royal Botanical Gardens: If you wish to spend some time in nature, you can’t miss Royal Botanical Gardens! With serene gardens, hiking trails, and seasonal blooms, this destination provides a serene escape from the urban hustle.
  • Art Gallery of Hamilton: Art lovers will appreciate the visit to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, where they can admire an impressive collection of Canadian and international art. Rotating exhibitions ensure there’s always something new to discover!
  • Dundurn Castle: History buffs can step back in time at Dundurn Castle, a stunning 19th-century mansion. Guided tours offer insights into the lives of the people who once inhabited this grand estate.
  • James Street North: The arts and culture hub of Hamilton, James Street North, is a thriving district known for its art galleries, boutiques, cafes, and vibrant street art. The monthly Art Crawl event transforms the area into a bustling artistic showcase.
  • Waterfalls and hiking trails: Hamilton is famously referred to as the “City of Waterfalls.” The city is home to numerous waterfalls, including the iconic Webster’s Falls and Albion Falls. Hiking trails that lead to these natural wonders provide an opportunity to explore the region’s scenic beauty!
  • Supercrawl: One of Hamilton’s most anticipated events is Supercrawl, an annual arts and music festival that takes over the streets of downtown. If you wish to hear great live music, try delicious food, and see art installations and street performances, make sure to attend it!

You’ve made your choice of a location to settle in – what are the next steps?

After carefully considering the benefits of living in Oakville vs. Hamilton, it’s time to take concrete steps toward moving to your new home. First of all, you should delve deeper into the neighborhoods of your future city to narrow down the best area for your needs. Research factors like safety, amenities, and proximity to your new workplace, and make sure to begin your housing search early. Whether you’re buying or renting, explore the available options and consider working with a local real estate agent to find a home that suits your preferences.

Packed boxes in the living room
After you decide on your new home, it’s time to pack!

While you can probably relocate on your own, partnering with professional Oakville movers can significantly reduce your moving stress. After all, moving companies offer services ranging from packing and transportation to unloading and even storage solutions. By entrusting your belongings to their care, you can focus on other important aspects of your move, such as settling into your new city. Talking about settling in, you should be quick to familiarize yourself with essential services in your new city, such as healthcare providers, grocery stores, and public transportation. Then, you can start thinking about connecting with local community groups, social clubs, and online forums in your new city. This can help you establish connections, make friends, and get acquainted with the local scene.

Oakville vs. Hamilton – what is better?

As you can see, both Oakville and Hamilton attract many new residents, and for different reasons. If you’re looking forward to living in an elegant neighborhood by the lake, Oakville might be your ideal choice. If you’re excited by a dynamic arts scene, diverse neighborhoods, and an industrious spirit, Hamilton could be the perfect fit. Remember, both cities offer robust job markets, educational opportunities, and a variety of amenities to enrich your daily life. Ultimately, though, your choice between Oakville and Hamilton should align with your preferences, goals, and priorities. Consider what matters most to you—whether it’s the cost of living, career prospects, cultural experiences, or outdoor activities. By weighing these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision that leads to a fulfilling and exciting chapter in your life!