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Mississauga, Oakville, or Hamilton?

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Hi All,


I've searched the threads for Mississauga and Oakville, and read most posts regarding commuting from the GTA to Hamilton, parking, etc. From my understanding, commute isn't all too bad, roughly 30-45 mins, and generally you would be going against traffic. And parking on campus is also manageable with the shuttle buses.


My question is in regards to the "liveability" of each city and how they compare to each other. I'm from Ottawa, and will be moving with my fiance, and we don't know much about Mississauga, Oakville, or Hamilton.


From an every day point of view (outside of med school), where would you rather live? I'm looking for somewhere with good entertainment, restaurants, clean, quiet, and safe for my girlfriend. I don't want to have to worry about her while I'm late at school or on rotations, etc.


Also, generally speaking, is the cost of rent higher in Mississauga or Oakville (of course there's some variability within each city, but generally speaking).


Thanks in advance! :)

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Well I've lived in Mississauga, and Hamilton and visited Oakville often...overall, I would choose Mississauga. It has all the amenities of the other two cities and doesn't have aging infrastucture. However, without a car Mississauga is a tough city to live in (unless you're in the Square 1 area, transit is frequent there). Mississauga is a good place to raise children as well, lots of good schools to choose from. It also has less crime than Hamilton, not sure about Oakville.


I think the answer really depends on what you're looking for in a city...but in my opinion, core Hamilton is not a desirable place to live...and west hamilton is an aging version of Mississauga....however, housing is probably cheaper in Hamilton.

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I would hold your horses on choosing Mississauga so fast.


What's your price point? Certainly you can do better for less in Hamilton than in Mississauga. Don't forget Hamilton's distance from TO and the name deflate the costs of living in an area of similar affluence. If you get a place in Dundas, West Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Waterdown or Ancaster (all in Hamilton), you can find a safe area, short distance to both chain (which is most of what you get in missy) and good non-chain restaurants. In fact the way Mississauga is getting worse, and the way Hamilton is improving, in a few years I doubt that except for the worst areas there would be any difference is crime.


Don't listen to Hamilton people, we are generally REALLY down on our city, far more than we should be. Try just walking around a few areas of the city. Don't do the north end, because except for the Hamilton General you'll never go down there, try out Downtown though and see if it is REALLY as bad as some claim (it isn't and there are many projects underway or plannned), and try out a few of the areas I suggested for places to live.


PS. Oakville, if you can afford anything there, is far nicer than either of your other options. There is a reason why the biggest luxury car dealerships in the region are in Oakville. Nuff said.

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Plus, Hamilton is cheaper than the GTA. Personally, I really like Dundas. It's close to Mac.


Good luck!


Dundas and Ancaster are both very nice.....

Same with a lot of areas on top of the mountain.... you just have to know where to go which I'm sure you'll learn quickly.


Hamilton's downtown may not be pretty but that's no reason go to Mississauga....


Oakville is beautiful too.... but tends to have property prices for those long established in a high paying medical specialty rather than those for a medical student.


Several days on the QEW and 403 no matter which way you're going will convince you that it's a silly move to commute if you don't have to....

When you consider a commute even if it's 60 minutes total (30 minutes each way).... at 200 days a year (very conservative I would say) for 3 years.... You're losing 600 hours of your life (almost a whole month). When you have little time, it's my philosophy not to waste it driving lol.


My father used to live in Niagara and commute to Etobicoke.... lets just say that didn't last long.

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I've never lived in any of the three, although I was on the Etobicoke/Mississauga border for a little while and I've been to Hamilton enough times as that is where my girlfriend lives. I would suggest to you to stay closer to Hamilton. Primarily, time and cost will be issues.


The QEW is highly unpredictable. Expect 1 1/2hr drives from Oakville if there is an accident in Burlington. Even if you think you are going against the flow, I've seen it many times where the QEW is clogged through Oakville in both directions at rush hour. Actually, sometimes it doesn't matter what time of day and the QEW is clogged. Check out http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/trip/map.shtml?ll=43.40405,-79.604149&z=10 and click "traffic flow" at different times of the day and you will gauge the actual movement.


Another thing to consider is that Oakville housing is expensive, but Mississauga is priced alright. On top of that, running your car into the ground in a few years commuting is expensive. Add frequent oil changes, maintenance and gas fill ups with rising prices (analysts predict $2/L soon) and you're in a nightmare. Car insurance rates will vary from city to city too which could lead you to a higher rate. Don't forget the time lost on the road!


My gf lives near Copps Coliseum and to me, the area doesn't seem that unsafe. Just look for advice from people here as to where safe neighbourhoods are (like somebody suggested NOT around Hamilton General). The cost of housing is definitely cheaper in Hamilton. Why not maybe consider Burlington?


If you are not going to look into living in Hamilton, I would strongly encourage you to look into GO Transit and find a home near a line (best would probs be the 407 line). The service is great, affordable, and leaves you with more time to maybe do some work/sleep while you commute. If you have questions, feel free to PM.

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If you live by the oakville/ mississauga border you can find some semi-detached houses to rent ($1200/ month), the GO bus stop is about 5 min away (but no transit to the stop available). The commute right to McMaster Uni is about 35min from there.


I agree Hamilton would be a lot cheaper prospect. Rent is usually around $300-400/month for one room in a house of 5 people. You can find housing within a 5 min walk of campus.


If you're just looking for short term accomodation for Med School, then I'd recommend staying in Hamilton.

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Thanks everyone. I will be living with my fiance/wife, so we are looking to rent a place with our own kitchen/living area. If I was going by myself, I would have no problem renting a room in a shared house with other students, it would really cut down on living expenses. But being newlyweds, we will most likely opt for the privacy/quiet of our own place.


We're going to head down this upcoming weekend and compare places near the oakville/mississauga border (because she is most likely to get a work transfer to the Mississauga/GTA area), as well as the surrounding area in Hamilton west (Ancaster, Dundas, Westdale).


Thanks everyone for the help, if you have further advice, please add on!

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