Why Hamilton & what prompted the move from where you were?
I was born in Toronto, and my husband, Andrew, was born in Etobicoke. We both lived in various parts of Toronto. Our last home, before moving to ‘The Hammer’ was a funky loft space, in the old Wrigley gum factory, in Toronto. It was only 1,000 square feet and had no warmth but it was cool enough. We were renting at the time. It was quite expensive, and we kept wondering why we were paying someone else our hard earned money to live somewhere that didn’t even check all the boxes. What’s more, there were no trees to look at and we were on a busy Toronto street in Leslieville. When we decided we needed a change, after much research, Hamilton spoke to us. We visited it and were drawn in by the culture, arts scene, young families, and abundance of greenery in some of the residential areas we were considering. Kirkendall was the particular neighbourhood that caught our attention — not just for the overall look of the homes, and the land, but because of the vibe and proximity to schools. We were buying at a time when the market was really hot and it wasn’t as easy as we initially anticipated to find exactly what we wanted but Jeannie kept supporting, working hard for, and guiding us to get where we wanted to go. Eventually, we ended up exactly where we were always supposed to be. We love where we live now and the change from Toronto to Hamilton was probably the smartest thing we’ve ever done.
What area of Hamilton do you currently live in?
Kirkendall (WHAT! WHAT!) Kirkendall is a ‘hood that has character and charm. It borders the Bruce Trail, so we have this incredibly scenic and mind blowing trail on one side of our home, and it’s also super close to major highways (but far away enough you don’t see or hear it) AND Locke Street is RIGHT THERE. We can walk to get coffees, chat with friendly neighbours, run on a path that feels like you’re miles away from any city, and sit in our garden sipping a cocktail in the summer and feel like we’re up at a cottage. And if we ever need to commute, the highway is a stone’s throw away. I’m sorry to brag, but really we have the best of both worlds in this neighbourhood. I’m so grateful to live here and may be biased, but think it’s the coolest hood in all of the Hammer.
What resources were helpful to you in making your decision to move here?
Specifically, the most helpful resource for us was Jeannie Crawford. Jeannie knows everything about Hamilton and offers a direct, approachable, and informed approach — so that you can make an informed decision that’s exactly right for you. Along the way, we actually feel that Jeannie became a friend too. She’s truly impossible not to like. She represented us in our bidding war with the owner of the home we now own too, and she obviously ruled…
I love the trees the most. I love that I wake up to greenery and can’t hear cars where I live. I’m so excited that this city has tried to strike a balance and it seems to be doing well at it.
What things have surprised you the most about Hamilton?
The most surprising thing about Hamilton is how quiet it can feel. I knew I was moving to another city, but I wasn’t prepared for the crickets I feel I can hear sometimes out here. But really, this is also the things I’m most grateful for. The city grit is still there, if you look for it. If you find a community, like ours, that’s super scenic and sprinkled with trees everywhere, then you should count yourself lucky. That quiet is something that’s really hard to find this day and age. I’m actually impressed that Hamilton has committed to maintaining a balance between city grit and that Wonder Year’s feel. The lack of bright lights, high-rise buildings, and heavy traffic, in residential areas, is attributed to smart city planning and so rare. Yes, sometimes that can be deafening. But more often than not, it’s something to behold.
What advice do you have for anyone considering a move to Hamilton?
Don’t overthink it. Take a leap of faith. Write down what’s important to you in your life and long term. If you have a kid(s) or a partner, write down what’s most important for your family. If you don’t think you can get it where you are, and have been thinking about Hamilton, then let me tell you: you can get it here. Hamilton is what you make of it and there’s so much to offer here. We really think moving here is the smartest thing we’ve ever done.
I wish I had my driver’s license before I moved here because I was so used to the TTC and there isn’t really too much major transportation — other than buses. Luckily, it makes me walk though. Because walking is good for you. Everyone stop judging me….What are your favourite places and things to do around the city?
Of all the things going on Hamilton these days – what are you most excited about?
I love the trees the most. I love that I wake up to greenery and can’t hear cars where I live. I’m so excited that this city has tried to strike a balance and it seems to be doing well at it. I’m excited or my kid to grow up with that. It’s rare these days. I’m also excited by all the entrepreneurs building awesome sh*t everywhere.