Choosing where to buy was a monstrous house hunt challenge for us. We ruled out Toronto due to the cost. I really wanted to live in Oakville. This is where I had lived for the past 10 years, my friends and family are there and I know where everything is. Then the idea of Hamilton came up, mostly due to the super cheap housing prices. The one mental obstacle to get over was the commute. I have always worked in Toronto and likely will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We put a lot of time into the decision and came up with the conclusion that the commute would be manageable.
We live a few minute drive from the Hamilton Go Station where I take the 7:02am train in the morning and I am at my desk by 8:20am. On the way home I either take the 4:30pm train from Toronto (gets me at home by 5:50pm)or the 5:02pm train from Toronto (gets me at home by 6:20pm). It is not the best commuting situation but it is also not the worst. This type of commute would never work for me if I had to drive. After taking the GO Train for the past 13 years I like taking the train and the reliability of the train just can't be beat with any other mode of transportation. I usually either grab a nap, read, catch up on e-mails, do a Sudoku and before I know it I am at my destination. Some people extend their list of things to do on the train much beyond my scope to include personal grooming (makeup, hair combing, nail clipping) and eating…the GO Train offers an interesting culture that is entertaining to watch. The train is clean and comfortable all for a reasonable price which is tax deductible. The same group of regulars takes the train so for the social type it seems like a fun group to chat with. Being on the Lakeshore line is awesome since the train provides all day service. The other fantastic perk is in the morning the trains are waiting at the Hamilton Station so there is no need to wait on the platform for the train to pull up and I always get a seat. There is also the VIA train option which goes from Aldershot station to Toronto in about 34 minutes, definitely something I would like to try at some point and an awesome way to commute if you can afford the extra cost. If one had to take a cab from Toronto to Hamilton (which I have had to do on two occasions from work functions) that seems to run around $120.
Who knows how long this will remain our home base (we will touch on our long-term goals in future posts) but for now the Hamilton to Toronto commute is working out just as planned.