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Neighbourhood Watch: Hamilton

Hamilton is the tech city of the future

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Hamilton is the tech city of the future

Hamilton may be best known as a steel city – a moniker it may never shake, given the industry is still alive and well here. But here’s a more modern nickname for you – tech town.

Yes, really.

The city of 536,917, located at the west end of Lake Ontario in the Niagara Peninsula and along the Niagara Escarpment, was recently ranked as one of the top tech cities in North America for “opportunity.”

Commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE rated Hamilton number two, citing a tech scene that has grown by 52 per cent over the last five years. This, in addition to naming it Canada’s fastest growing mid-sized city for tech talent in 2018.

“Hamilton’s tech scene is growing rapidly and new spaces, ideas, and collaborations are putting ‘Innovation to Work’ each day,” says Judy Lam, the City’s acting director of economic development. “Requests for brick and beam office space are flooding in to our office and we are working to attract and retain this creative class in Hamilton – which a ranking such as this one will greatly assist in such an endeavour.”

This reputation may be slightly unfamiliar to some, but homebuyers have known the city has been transitioning for years.

City on the highrise

Indeed, a quest for single-detached housing at affordable prices has sent throngs of buyers from the Toronto area to Hamilton over the past decade, ReMax Canada confirmed in a recent report.

While more affordable lowrise homes may have encouraged GTA buyers to head west, it may be the stellar performance of the highrise sector that keeps them here. See, for example, how healthy the price growth in Hamilton is for condos, as compared to that for all housing types.

Developers, meanwhile, are catering to the growing demand for highrise housing in the city. Rosehaven Homes’ KiWi Condos is among the signature projects underway in the city. More are to come, particularly as nearby Burlington is putting the brakes on such development in its downtown area.

It’s not just about homebuying opportunity in Hamilton, however. From educational institutions such as McMaster University and Mohawk College, to exhibits such as the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, to historical landmarks such as Dundurn Castle, there’s plenty to enjoy in and around the city.

City favourites

For sports fans, there’s the city favourite Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, who play out of the new Tim Hortons Field, as well as the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League, playing out of FirstOntario Centre, formerly Copps Coliseum.

Hamilton is also benefiting nicely from the billions being spent on transit and highway infrastructure improvements in the province, allowing residents to live there and easily get around the city or travel into surrounding areas.

All of this further positions Hamilton and its residents to enjoy its rising stature as a tech town, and a place to be now and in the future.

Location, location, location

Located in the Golden Horseshoe at the west end of Lake Ontario; population of 536,917; 68 kms from Toronto, 73 kms to Niagara Falls.

Key landmarks

• Canadian Football Hall of Fame

• Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

• Dundurn Castle

• FirstOntario Centre

• Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology

• Tim Hortons Field

Select condo developments

98 James St. Condos by Hue Developments

98 James St. Condos by LCH Developments

• CoMo Condos by Homes By DeSantis

Harbour Condos On The Bay by Canlight Group

KiWi Condos by Rosehaven Homes

Odyssey Condos & Towns by Rosehaven Homes

Soho Central Park by Losani Homes


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Neighbourhood Watch: Niagara

In Niagara, the Falls are just part of the appeal

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In Niagara, the Falls are just part of the appeal

When people think Niagara, they often think only of the Falls themselves, those natural wonders to which a visit never seems to grow old.

But beyond the awe-inspiring beauty and power of the Falls and the Niagara River, Niagara Region offers a lot more that’s worthy of just a weekend getaway.

Encompassing towns such as Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland, the Niagara Region is blessed with a great natural location. It occupies most of the Niagara Peninsula, bounded by the U.S. to the south and on the north by Lake Ontario, and of course the Niagara Escarpment – all of which offers strong potential for business and lifestyle choices.

These natural landscapes and climate make the Niagara Region perfect for agri-business such as winemaking – a key economic sector. The Niagara Wine Route, connecting dozens of wineries, is a growing tourism draw to complement cultural events such as the Shaw Festival.

Indeed, a visit to the area can involve a stop at the Falls, winery tours, the quaint town of Niagara-on-the- Lake, the Botanical Gardens with its Floral Clock and Butterfly Conservatory, several championship golf course and a growing casino industry in downtown Niagara Falls.

But this is all for play. To live and work in the region is another matter.

Economic growth

Again, a blessing of location, Niagara is within 800 km of two provinces, nine states and 130 million people on both sides of the border. This means opportunities for business. The trade that flows across Niagara’s borders totals more than $100 billion annually, and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across Canada and the U.S. The infrastructure network to support this trade activity comprises five international bridges, multiple railways and the Welland Canal, linking Lake Erie into the St. Lawrence Seaway system.

All of this is conducive to growth potential for the region’s manufacturing and transportation and logistics sectors, to complement the historical strength in agriculture and tourism.

Niagara’s economy has shown steady growth in a number of areas, particularly in job creation and new investment, but still lags slightly behind Ontario averages. The Niagara economic development department confirms the area still has challenges in higher unemployment, lower participation rate and lower household income per capita.

But that’s changing. In 2018 alone, Niagara had $1.7 billion in construction investment. From 2015 to 2018, such investment grew by 56 per cent in Niagara, compared to 19 per cent for Ontario overall.

New home development

As the economy grows and affords people more opportunity to live and work in Niagara – or close by – new-home development is following.

Much of the housing growth is in the lowrise category, as buyers from the GTA find the lot sizes and price points far more appealing and affordable.

According to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey, aggregate home prices in St. Catharines-Niagara were $418,673 in the second quarter of 2019. This is up 3.2 per cent per cent from the same period last year.

Given the popularity of condominiums as a lifestyle choice, growth in this category is on its way. Homes by DeSantis, for example, has condo projects underway in both Grimsby and Stoney Creek. And Urbane Communities is building Marbella Condominium in Niagara Falls.

Location, location, location

A regional municipality in Southern Ontario comprising 12 municipalities such as Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland; 130 kms from Toronto; 86 kms from Hamilton.

Key landmarks

  • Botanical Gardens
  • Casino Niagara
  • Clifton Hill
  • Niagara Falls
  • The Niagara Wine Route
  • Welland Canal

Select condo developments

Marbella Condominium by Urbane Communities

• Utopia Condominiums by New Horizon Development Group

AquaZul by Homes By DeSantis

• Como Condos by Homes By DeSantis


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CoMo Condos

Homes by DeSantis creating a unique midrise condo along Lake Ontario shoreline in Stoney Creek

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Homes by DeSantis creating a unique midrise condo along Lake Ontario shoreline in Stoney Creek

Homes By DeSantis invites you to turn the page on the next chapter of your adventure with a space that suits your style at CoMo. What is CoMo? It’s a unique midrise condominium with west coast design and aesthetics creating a coastal modern vibe along the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Stoney Creek this spring.

Rising at Fruitland Road and Lakeview Drive, CoMo is at the centre of a picturesque lakeside community of unique shops and scenic escapes. And with nearby QEW and GO transit access, you’ll never miss a beat with quick trips to everything Hamilton has to offer. There’s no fear of missing out on life when you live at CoMo because #NoFoMoCoMo is the CoMo M.O. – just in case you didn’t know.

CoMo will offer 140 Smart Suite’s from one-, one plus den, to two-bedrooms, featuring a distinct flavour of inspired architecture crafted by KNYMH with interiors designed by Tomas Pearce Interior Designers. This “dream team” was responsible for the nearby AquaBlu and AquaZul condominiums, multi award-winners that have been honoured by local, provincial and national home building associations.

“We firmly believe that condo living is about the experience beyond the four walls of your residence. Incorporating art, enhancing the natural environment through thoughtful landscaping and carefully planned exterior elevations have become our trademark. Extending the living spaces into the public spaces, allowing our homeowners to feel truly at home in every corner of CoMo,” says DeSantis President Gabriel DeSantis.

The area surrounding CoMo offers vibrant vistas, including parks, trails, conservation areas and stunning waterfalls to both explore and keep your Insta followers envious. The eight-km Hamilton Beach Trail starts just outside your door at CoMo and joins the 7.5-km Hamilton Waterfront Trail, offering a paved six-metre-wide biking, rollerblading and walking trail along the lake all the way to Hamilton and Burlington and opening to even larger waterfront paths.

Living just minutes from Hamilton means that escaping the sprawl won’t make you late for bi-weekly art crawls in the thriving #HamOnt arts and entertainment scene. Define your style at the many one-of-a-kind boutiques, spoil your inner foodie with famous Hamilton eats, and catch live shows and weekly events with incredible local talent and visiting performers. Urban explorers will find quick access to a #shoplocal culture that has everyone in the know heading to The Hammer. “A lot of attention has been paid to what’s going on in Hamilton,” says DeSantis. “With downtown restoration projects, waterfront trail investments and an enhanced GO transit infrastructure, the future or our city is incredibly bright; owning in this city on the rise is a smart investment.”

The CoMo M.O. encourages residents to enjoy endless new discoveries with instant access to the GTHA and Niagara region via the QEW and new Confederation GO Station coming this year. CoMo also ensures that residents can fully recharge, relaxing with friends and neighbours at the Social Lounge and taking in spectacular views from the Coast Patio rooftop terrace. And whether your doggo is a fresh faced pupper or a loyal woofer, CoMo offers the means to pamper your best friend with a Puppy Wash and a specially designed Bark Park.

The casual west coast atmosphere of the area is captured in the stone and wood accents of the exterior elevation and accentuated further in the architectural and interior design of CoMo. The unique Smart Suite Design puts the focus on subtle tones and sleek, streamlined spaces to make the most of your new home, while open concept floorplans and wide expanses of glass offer greater views alongside the picturesque shoreline.

Embrace the coastal modern spirit and start your adventure by registering online today at comocondos.com and learn just how easy it is to say #NoFoMoCoMo.


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BUILDER PROFILE: Homes by DeSantis

BUILDER PROFILE: Homes by DeSantis

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BUILDER PROFILE: Homes by DeSantis

by Catherine Daley
Photography, courtesy of Homes by DeSantis

Specialized home building in coveted locations

When a company specializes in a particular product or service, the customer ultimately benefits, as they can be assured that the most advanced research, testing and implementation of said commodity has been performed. The same school of thought is behind Homes by DeSantis. Not only have they perfected their craft in terms of home building, but they have focused on particular areas in which to develop, and, as a result, the home buyer benefits from this intimate knowledge.

Ocean model at AquaBlu
Ocean model at AquaBlu

For close to 60 years Homes by DeSantis has been building and developing properties from Hamilton to Niagara. Started by Peter DeSantis in 1959, the company is now run by his son, Gabriel. With more than 12,000 homes to their credit, this family-based organization works extremely hard to promote Canadian home ownership. “Our focus is geared to more compact, smart and affordable living,” says DeSantis. “Homes with less maintenance – that are more lifestyle oriented.”

Calais model at On the Ridge
Calais model at On the Ridge


DeSantis currently has four sites under construction and new releases scheduled. The waterfront condominiums of AquaZul feature resort-like amenities, including a fitness centre, and a pool with cabanas and a barbecue area.

The final release at Centreville in Beamsville features new designs. Located in the heart of town, this all-encompassing community includes 44 smart townhouses and six commercial spaces.

Cannes model at On the Ridge
Cannes model at On the Ridge

Myst is an exquisite collection of urban towns located on the shores of Lake Ontario in Stoney Creek. It’s positioning affords residents easy access to transit and major arteries.

Coming this fall is the third phase of On The Ridge. Situated high on the Niagara Escarpment, residents of this community will enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities.

Century Condos in downtown Grimsby is a mid-rise building that will feature commercial space on the main level. “Century condos is the perfect reward for those who aspire to an elevated living experience,” says DeSantis.

Team DeSantis accepts the award for Community of the Year for Lincoln Square from the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders' Association.
Team DeSantis accepts the award for Community of the Year for Lincoln Square from the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association.


Gabriel DeSantis has been immersed in the home building industry for most of his life. In 1996 he was president of the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association – one of the largest in Ontario. He served as a director on the board for the Ontario Home Builders’ Association from 1995 to 1997, dedicating much of his time to the New Home Warranty Program (Tarion).

In 2012, DeSantis became the first home builder in the region to build a home, along with their suppliers and contractors, for Habitat for Humanity. DeSantis also contributes to many charitable organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton, as well as the Princess Margaret and St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundations.

AquaZul & AquaBlu
AquaZul & AquaBlu


Homes by DeSantis are now seeing the children, and the grandchildren, of those who purchased from the company more than 50 years ago, buying their first home. “We’re now getting third generation buyers,” says DeSantis. “It’s very humbling. But it also means that we’re doing something right.”

DeSantis goes on to say that it’s important to always think ahead of the curve. With the constant changes in government policies, interest rates and market fluctuations, they have to deliver what their customers are looking for. Not only do they appeal to first-time buyers, but they are also cognizant of the perquisites, and the necessities, that empty nesters desire. “Those who are looking to downsize are usually quite happy to sell their big home and settle into a smart space with everything within walking distance,” says DeSantis. “People are enjoying life that much more, and condo ownership gives them the freedom to do other things.”



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AQUAZUL Waterfront Condos

AQUAZUL Waterfront Condos

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AQUAZUL Waterfront Condos

Homes By DeSantis announces final release

Gorgeous lakeside views was one of the main reasons that new home buyers flocked to the AQUAZUL waterfront condominium project. Spacious suites and deluxe finishes helped to seal the deal. Homes By DeSantis announces the final release of residences with their Elite Series at this popular Lake Ontario development.

A variety of popular floorplans were released in each of the two condo buildings. These intimate, six- and 10-storey structures include remaining suites that range from 609 to 1,335 square feet – many with lake views.


Purchasers who are looking for a larger suite will be enamoured with the Surfside. This impressive, 1,335-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite, also includes an oversized 645-square-foot terrace, with stunning views of Lake Ontario. The gracious 1,127-square-foot Bayside suite features two bedrooms, plus a den, and two bathrooms. And the 982-square-foot Bayfront suite also includes two bedrooms and two baths.

Sumptuous finishes include a choice of quartz or granite counter tops in the kitchen, as well as extended-height upper cabinets, six appliances, wide-plank laminate flooring and soaring ceilings up to 10 feet.

The features and amenities at AQUAZUL are not only luxurious, but they heighten the resort-like feeling. The third floor club room includes a theatre, a gym and a billiards room, as well as a sprawling balcony perched atop a dramatic two-storey loggia. This elevated outdoor space provides views of the courtyard, pool, cabanas and outdoor grill areas, and, of course, Lake Ontario.


Situated in the town of Grimsby, this Niagara region location is experiencing incredible waterfront growth. The municipality is investing $5 million into a waterfront park that will include promenades and lakeside trails to newly constructed beaches and outdoor pavilions.

Grimsby serves up a full complement of shops and services. AQUAZUL is extremely close to the proposed GO Station that is scheduled to arrive in 2021 at Casablanca Boulevard and the QEW. “We’ve become very good at staying ahead of the curve. People want to live at the lake, they want luxury and easy access to major centres – all at an affordable price,” says Gabriel Desantis, president. “AQUAZUL will be an icon on the Grimsby waterfront, both from an architectural perspective and an amenity perspective.”

DeSantis is pleased to report that AQUAZUL was recently named the mid-rise condominium project of the year by the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association.

With construction well underway, the first residents are scheduled to settle into their new homes in 2019. Only nine residences remain in the final phase of the Elite Series at AQUAZUL.


The Sales Office is located at 10 Concord Place in Grimsby




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Editor's Choice: Homes by DeSantis

EDITOR’S CHOICE: Homes by DeSantis

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EDITOR’S CHOICE: Homes by DeSantis

MYST Towns offer exceptional living along the lake in Stoney Creek

Just across from the shore of Lake Ontario, MYST Towns feature a collection of Garden, Terrace and Village Towns located on a parcel of land between the North Service Road and Lakeview Drive, just off Fruitland Road.

There is a total 136 townhomes including Garden town bungalow units with finished basements and two-storey Terrace towns, as well as the Village Townhomes, which are three-storey back-to-backs.

The recently introduced two- and three-storey Luxury Towns have three bedroom and three baths, ranging from 1,690 to 1,960 square feet. With prices starting from the mid 400,000s, floorplans are shared on the Homes by DeSantis website, where you can also find registration information.

Homes by DeSantis designed MYST to feature modern straight edge brick, ledge stone and wood grain vinyl in order to encompass a coastal aesthetic. The urban townhomes are designed with the benefits of condo living in mind, yet offer homeowners the space they desire.

A few of the interior features and finishes at MYST will include nine-foot ceilings, open-concept floorplans, gourmet kitchens with islands and breakfast bars, as well as expansive windows.

Lakefront property has always been a sought after commodity and living by the water has been proven to induce relaxation and pleasant feelings, so it’s no wonder MYST has gained such popularity within the community.

“We believe in the tremendous value this location has to offer,” says Gabriel DeSantis, president. “Homes by DeSantis is very good at staying ahead of the curve. People want to live at the lake, they want luxury and easy access to major centres all at an affordable price and we deliver this in abundance at MYST.”

MYST is surrounded by a wealth of area amenities including shopping centres, restaurants, waterfront attractions, parks, schools and grocery stores. With quick access to the QEW, getting to neighbouring cities like Grimsby, Niagara Falls and the GTA is easy.

“A lot of attention has been paid to what’s going on in the GTA, but the Stoney Creek and Hamilton Region is going through a tremendous revitalization all its own,” says DeSantis. “This region may not get the same level of attention as the GTA, but with the GO train extension and long-term demographic opportunities here, we are equally strong.”

Not only is highway access in close proximity, but the planned GO train expansion in the neighbouring areas will be exceptionally beneficial. The new GO station — Stoney Creek Confederation — will be opening in 2019 and is conveniently located just minutes away from MYST at the Centennial Parkway. As well, Grimsby’s new GO Transit train station — Grimsby Casablanca — is opening in 2021. GO stations are built in conjunction to growth within an area, therefore investing in MYST is a smart opportunity to get in on Stoney Creek’s waterfront expansion. Closings are scheduled for 2019-2020, perfect timing considering the new stations will also be completed within that time frame.

Final release of the remaining MYST Towns is available now. Interested parties can come with their initial deposit of $10,000 and a pre-approval for financing to secure their desired unit.

MYST Towns

Located at 461 Green Road, Unit 12, Stoney Creek, the Sales Centre is open Monday to Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m., Friday by appointment, and Saturday, Sunday and holidays from noon to 5 p.m.



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