Living in Hamilton

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We have lots more information to add here! Send us information and links if you have ideas about showcasing Hamilton for newcomers.

Finding Housing

There are several resources for locating housing online. Here is the link to

If it is an option, it is suggested that you visit Hamilton to look at areas that you would like to live in. Your best resource for housing options will often be talking to current graduate students.


Hamilton has an extensive public transit network. It is also very easy to travel to Toronto and surrounding cities via public transit. When you pay your student fees, you will receive a 12-month bus pass for the Hamilton Street Rail bus network (HSR).

Hamilton has a great bike share program called SoBi (Social Bicycles), with bike stations located on campus and throughout Hamilton neighbourhoods:

Neighbourhoods around the city

  • Westdale is a quaint area near McMaster University that is always bustling with restaurants, cafes and bars. There are even grocery stores and bakeries in the area. Visit the Westdale Village website for ideas of where to go and what to do.
  • The Emerson/Ainslie Wood neighbourhoods are an excellent way to get to know the area around McMaster. With bars, nature trails, and grocery stores it is a great way to spend some time.
  • Downtown Hamilton is a must visit for local restaurants, artistic lounges, and independent stores. There's always something to do for just takes a little exploring! The following two websites are excellent resources to help find a nice restaurant or activity in the heart of Hamilton:
* Tourism Hamilton
* Downtown Hamilton
  • Dundas is a quaint and beautiful nearby destination to McMaster. With just one bus ride away, you can find yourself in gorgeous nature trails or exploring family owned businesses. Check out the Downtown Dundas website for ideas of places to visit!
  • Strathcona/Kirkendale are also great locations to find local shops and restaurants. Visits here for more information.

Grocery Stores =

Living in Hamilton gets better when you know where to shop. Many grocery stores near McMaster offer student discounts on particular days. We've copied below some stores and their discounts but be sure to ask around in case we missed any!

  • Food Basics offers a 10% Discount for students on Tuesdays
  • Fortinos (at 1579 Main St W) offers a 10% Discount for students on Tuesdays
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (Across from McMaster) offers a 20% Discount for students on Thursdays


Hamilton is filled with beautiful nature trails and waterfalls to explore.


There's always something happening in Hamilton for anyone to enjoy. With the large art and music scenes, entertainment is just around the corner! If you're looking to find something near you to visit then check out the Hamilton Rising Website for ideas!