Artist’s Notebook – Hamilton’s Red Hot Housing Market

Artist’s Notebook – The red hot housing market

North-West Hamilton, Ont.
North-West Hamilton, Ont.


With prices skyrocketing in Toronto, more and more people are following the lead of artists and heading to Hamilton.  Everywhere you look, old 19th century housing is being gutted and modernized.

Hamilton (Ont).
Hamilton (Ont).


Recently, I explored the urban landscape of North-West Hamilton, between York Blvd and Barton. On every street, people were fixing up homes.  The area is ideal for commuters with easy access to the 403 via King Street, York Blvd, and out east via Burlington Street and the Skyway Bridge.

Hamilton (Ont).
Hamilton (Ont).


Most of the large was once part of Allan MacNab’s estate or part of his railway empire of the 1850s and 1860s.  The land north of Barton was part of his vast railway yards, repairs shops, and shipping docks.

19th century Worker Housing, Hamilton (Ont).
19th century Worker Housing, Hamilton (Ont).

Given the need for hundreds of workers, MacNab sold the land to his workers for housing that was only a short walk from work.

My hope with all the commuters is that they will see the hidden value in Hamilton’s former industrial landscape.  The signs are encouraging if you look at all the renovations going on in the city.

Published by Chris Erskine

Inspired by architecture and landscapes, my art explores our relationship to place, memory and identity. As a mid career artist, my art practice includes: painting, murals, short films, and sound art.

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