Transit is arguably the greatest value booster a property can have, and Hamilton’s West Harbour neighbourhood has gotten just that.
West Harbour GO, which until last week only offered an express train to Toronto’s Union Station during rush hour, is getting all-day service, and according to the founder and CEO of the Sandy MacKay Realty Network, West Harbour is Hamilton’s next hot spot.
“I’ve always looked at West Harbour as a place with so much potential because it’s right by the water, it has Bay Front Park, a yacht club and all sorts of outdoorsy activities. It has a new brewery that’s been very successful and restaurants are gradually coming in,” said Sandy MacKay. “Being within a kilometre of major transportation hubs like GO Trains or highways will add a significant boost in value too, and that’s what West Harbour properties are getting. It’s exciting for people who own properties there or are looking to buy properties there. There will be increases in rental rates, because whether you rent or own, you want to live around transportation.”
MacKay anticipates that rents in West Harbour, which is located in Hamilton’s north end, will grow 10-20% higher than surrounding areas because of its all-day GO Train access, and that will make working in, or otherwise commuting to, Toronto simple. Gone are the days when West Harbour residents had to travel to Hamilton’s south end to catch a connection to downtown Toronto, says MacKay.
In the coming years, the neighbourhood will also be home to new residential development, including Waterfront Shores, a condominium development that promises waterfront views and proximity to McMaster University.
“There is a lot happening in West Harbour, including new commercial units, and while it’s a neighbourhood that’s been underutilized for years, a lot of money is beginning to flow into the area,” said MacKay. “Investors are creating new housing or updating what’s there with renovations. It’s a fairly older community but there are a lot of new uses coming in that are reinvigorating the place. Nicer houses are being built there and the neighbourhood profile is changing with the addition of a more outdoorsy crowd to enliven the streets.”
West Habour’s best days are ahead of it and MacKay says that investors would be wise to get in now. Although all-day GO Train service is a major boon for property values, he says nearby James St. N. is already making West Harbour popular among locals.
“It tacks on to James St. N., which has been a great area for nightlife and restaurants,” said MacKay. “It’s located on the south side of West Harbour and the GO Train separates the two neighbourhoods.”