Who are you?
My name is Joe Amero, I’m a Social Worker, (still presently commuting to Toronto but looking in town to nail down a position at a local agency and looking forward to serving the community where I live) an artist (illustrator), writer (comedy) and a comedian (current improv student of the Second City Training Centre). I recently moved to Hamilton from Toronto with my young family; it’s my beautiful wife, our amazing daughter and myself.
We were looking to buy a house after a life time of renting. We discovered that not only is Hamilton affordable but it is also an old city with history and soul. This was important to us when choosing a place to lay down some roots and we could never do that in some cold suburb. We also could not afford to buy in our own hometown since it became a condo factory.
Where do you live?
We chose a nice quiet neighbourhood on the mountain. It’s close enough to downtown but just out of the way to allow for the peace and quiet we wanted for our family.
What resources were helpful to you in making your decision to move here?
We looked online a lot at the different sites but our biggest help was my sister-in-law Kim Osborne who is an amazing real estate agent who did all the work and set up showings around our busy schedules. Word of mouth was also helpful in making our decision when we began to hear our friends’ high praise for the city.
What resources do you WISH you’d had access to that would have helped?
Some more information and insight from community members from the different neighbourhoods would have been helpful in the decision process.
What things surprised you the most about Hamilton? Good & Bad
The first thing that grabbed my attention when we moved into our neighbourhood was when an old lady said hello to us. Coming from Toronto, I wasn’t expecting or used to any friendly attention, especially from an old lady! We have since made friendly with several of our neighbours and everybody is so warm and kind, it’s great. I was also shocked to find foot long submarine sandwiches going for $3/4 bucks! One thing I noticed downtown is there seems to be an excess of “gangs” of e-bike riders hanging out in Tim Horton’s parking lots, is this something I should be concerned about?
What advice do you have for anyone considering a move to Hamilton?
Spend some time hanging out in the different hoods to help pick the area right for the speed of your lifestyle. If we didn’t have a baby we might have chosen something downtown in the action over the sleepy bungalow bedroom community on the hill. Hamilton really does have it all and you’ll discover there is something for everyone.
What are your favourite places and things to do around the city?
There are soooo many! 1. Chicago’s Pizza –amazing authentic Chicago style deep dish pizza. You know a pizza joint is serious about their pie when they don’t even have to sell wings. 2. The Zoetic Theatre –A completely renovated old school revue cinema house with small town charm and hospitality. They ran out of popcorn when we went to see the Shining last Halloween, gave us a colour coded glow stick and came and found us in the show when it was ready! 3. Hamilton Theatre Inc – We don’t get out for too much night life with the baby but we did manage to see our friend perform in the Hamilton Theatre Inc’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. We were floored by the quality of the show and the charm of the small historical theatre.
Of all the things going on Hamilton these days – what are you most excited about?
The future! Hamilton has accepted us and we can’t wait to see what develops. This is a classic Canadian city and a world class one in the making. On a personal level I’m looking forward to watching our child grow up here and going to school. Also I’m excited to break into the comedy/improv scene, watch for me at open mic night soon! (I’m also excited for my next $3/4 sub!)