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toronto or hamilton

Comparing Toronto and Hamilton: High Park or Gage Park?


Loyalty to a neighbourhood can run deep.  Everyone believes that the other guys live on the ‘wrong side of the tracks,’ and that their own ‘hood’ is the place to be.

But what makes the perfect neighbourhood? Is it schools? Conveniences? People?  It depends who you ask!

For home buyers  who are looking to relocate to Hamilton from an ideal Toronto neighbourhood, the standards are high.  Toronto is a vibrant, world-class city that has something for everyone.

We have strong confidence that, although you will make time to visit after you move, you will feel at home here in ‘The Hammer’ much more quickly than you expect!

Today, we will focus on a much-loved neighbourhood in Toronto:  High Park.  If High Park is your favourite area of Ontario’s capital city, where might you hang your hat in Hamilton?


Much to Love About High Park

To state the obvious, High Park – the actual park – is the jewel of the area.  Dog walkers, solo walkers, joggers, bikers, anyone else on wheels, and nature lovers of all kinds spend time taking in the tranquility of High Park.  This is Toronto’s answer to NYC’s Central Park.  Sprawling over 400 acres of purely preserved nature right in the middle of  the city’s concrete-themed urban living, High Park offers hiking trails, water features, a playground, towering trees, even tennis courts and a museum.

Famously every spring, in late April or early May, the Sakura trees put on a show as the cherry blossoms bloom.

Besides the park itself, though, the sense of community in High Park is important to residents.  Residents include young families, well-heeled professionals, and renters who pay a premium for small suites in the densely populated neighbourhood.

Streets are lined with character homes, many of them beautifully updated, some subdivided into apartments.  Mature trees enhance the area.

This is urban living outside the downtown core, with easy access to transportation, amenities, and conveniences.  A one-bedroom apartment in Toronto in 2019 rented for around $2250.  (A major shift in the economy has shown a 20% drop- the average rental costs $1800 as of November 2020.)

To own real estate, though, is different.  The median price in High Park North for October, 2020, you would have needed a budget of $1,266,000!


What Hamilton Offers: Gage Park

We believe that, if you are at home in High Park, you will fall in love with Hamilton’s Gage Park.

Though much smaller than High Park at 71 acres, Gage Park encompasses many similar natural features: tranquil walking trails, massive trees and sprawling green spaces, two playgrounds, a splashpad, and a museum (on the site of the original homestead – just like High Park’s Colborne Lodge).

The focal point of the park is its water feature: the 300-foot long watercourse and fountain that provides a place for quiet relaxation as well as a backdrop for stunning photos.


The Rosedale Tennis Club at the park offers multiple playing surfaces and year round indoor courts.

Gage Park is also home to a perfectly manicured rose garden that blooms at summer’s peak, and a 14,000 square-foot (1,300 square metre) tropical greenhouse.  Admission is free, and a walk through the greenhouse is almost as good as a vacation!

The George R. Robinson Bandshell is the location for open air concerts, most notably the annual Festival of Friends.

The newest installation in the Park is the Pump Track, a BMX-style track where kids, young and old, can work on their skills!  Initiated by local Crown Point Youth Council, the track is popular with riders of all skill levels.

On a daily basis, area residents walk, jog, and bike the trails – with or without dogs – enjoying the breath of fresh air provided by the green space nestled in the city.


Gage Park Area Neighbourhoods

The houses east and west of the park are predominantly character and century homes.  There is variety among them in size and style, including legal, non-conforming duplexes with second-storey auxiliary units.  Most of the buildings display the timeless beauty of the red brick that was once baked locally at Hamilton’s Century Brick on Lawrence Road.

Transit is easily accessible along the main arteries around the park.  Though not heavily commercial, there are convenience and grocery stores scattered throughout the area.  Ottawa St. N., with its shopping district and abundant dining options is just a stone’s throw away.

The area’s demographic mirrors High Park also in that it includes a mix of higher-earning professionals and low-rise renters who may be just starting out.  Families with young children have flocked to the area in recent years, many of these choosing to restore and renovate beautiful old homes.

These neighbourhoods, together, have created a sort of urban living with a suburban feel in Hamilton’s east-central district.  And although property values have risen quickly over the last few years, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that it takes much less that $1,266,000 to own a fully renovated character home here!

Check out some recent sales below. When you’re ready to find your dream home at a fraction of what you would pay in Toronto, we’ll be here to help 🙂

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