Who are you?
My name is Mark Accardi, and I am a real estate investor and entrepreneur in Hamilton. My brother and I started to invest in the city about 6 years ago, attracted by the beautiful buildings, proximity to Toronto and the attractive prices. After a short while, my brother decided to move to the city and I followed him a few years after once I left my job in Toronto. I have been here for two years now.
My main motivation for moving to Hamilton was the opportunity to be part of the significant change that the city is going through at the moment. It is very exciting and inspiring to be a part of it and it also leads to great investment opportunities and new friendships and partnerships.
Where do you live?
I currently live in the heart of downtown Hamilton. I am attracted to city living, as I enjoy being able to walk everywhere and to be close to lots of great shops and restaurants.
I was also surprised by how easy it was to find like-minded people who were interested in partnering in business opportunities together.
What resources were helpful to you in making your decision to move here?
While investing in the city, I met lots of real estate agents, landlords and business owners that were helpful to learn about different areas and neighbourhoods as well as the history of different places. I also was a member of the Young Entrepreneurs & Professionals group (YEP) through the Chamber of Commerce which was a great way to learn about the city and to network with like-minded people, both from the city and from other new transplants.
What resources do you WISH you’d had access to that would have helped?
Having access to information on different neighbourhoods would have been helpful, to get an understanding of what each had to offer and what would be most suitable based on my lifestyle. A compilation of downtown condos would also be helpful to help choose between buildings.
What things surprised you the most about Hamilton? Good & Bad
Coming from such a competitive city like Toronto, I was surprised by how willing people were to collaborate and help out, even if they were in a competing line of business. I was also surprised by how easy it was to find like-minded people who were interested in partnering in business opportunities together. On a negative note, I was surprised by how careless some people were when it came to their city, often seeing people throw their garbage on the ground. Also, it seems like the concentration of smokers is higher than any place I’ve ever been to.
What advice do you have for anyone considering a move to Hamilton?
Go for it! It is a very unique and exciting opportunity to be part of the positive change going on in the city right now, from supporting local businesses, to hearing about new developments, etc. It can also be a wise financial move for some, especially if moving from a place like Toronto.
What are your favourite places and things to do around the city?
I love strolling through Gage Park, rollerblading or biking along the path at Bayfront Park and eating out at all the amazing restaurants in and around the downtown core (La Luna, Bronzies, Mex I Can, August 8, B&T, Eh Panini, Greek Palace, Thai Memory, Curry Palace and so many others…sorry, it’s impossible to pick just one!)
Of all the things going on Hamilton these days – what are you most excited about?
Seeing all the new real estate developments and business being built and opened in the downtown core which will help return the city to its glory days and to take full advantage of the beautiful bones this city has.