The residents of Durand wake up every day to the sight of classic Victorian architecture from their windows, and they surely also enjoy the convenience of a central location. It’s a picturesque neighbourhood fit for a movie set or a photo-spread in a magazine. Always toeing that fine line between encouraging modern developments and holding on to historic charm, Durand has found a perfect middle ground that’s sure to please a wide range of home seekers. With no shortage of interesting activities, mature gardens and amenities, this classic community is a popular choice for people from all walks of life and, without question, is one of Hamilton’s most desirable areas to live in.
Walking down the street through Durand is truly a unique experience. Not many Canadian cities are so lucky as to have such a beautiful, diverse neighbourhood. Look to your left and you might find ornate, detailed, Victorian architecture, then look across the street and you might see a high-rise apartment building. The streets are lined with tall, mature trees that cast imposing shadows. Despite being bordered by major roadways, including James Street, Main Street East and Queen Street South, it’s quite tranquil, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were in a rather remote neighbourhood. However, Durand boasts quick access to major transit stations and healthcare facilities. If you stop and write down all the things you imagine in your ideal community, chances are that Durand checks many of the boxes on that list. Words can only go so far to describe this unique neighbourhood: As clichéd as it may sound, this is one of those places you have to see to believe.
Durand is in fact much more than just beautiful homes and tree-lined streets – there’s also plenty of entertainment here for its residents to enjoy. For example, the Art Gallery of Hamilton sits on the northern border of the community. With regularly changing exhibits to see and experience, the art gallery is likely to be a place you’ll visit several times a year. For a wider variety of entertainment, look no further than FirstOntario Centre. This multi-purpose facility, located on the north side of Main Street, is the home of the Hamilton Bulldogs (the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate). If professional hockey doesn’t catch your interest, you can enjoy concerts from popular artists, as well as a variety of other events including monster truck shows, basketball, figure skating, and more. And if you consider yourself to be a bit of a foodie, there are restaurants in the area that serve delicious cuisine from around the world. Try Modern India, One Duke Restaurant and Oyster Lounge, Wass Ethiopian Restaurant, or enjoy Italian food at Bronzie’s Place.
If this neighbourhood is starting to sound like one where you might want to put down roots, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a variety of housing options in Durand to meet the needs of anyone at any stage of life. The most eye-catching homes in the area are the beautifully designed single-family houses featuring classic Victorian styling. The size and price of these homes can vary widely. You’ll want to see several listings to compare the available options and determine which one best suites your needs and your budget.
For those who want to enjoy living in Durand but don’t need a spacious single-family home, or who are operating on a smaller budget, there are also plenty of apartments and condos available here. There are two distinct types of apartments in the neighbourhood. Some of the buildings are comparatively new, and they will have a considerably more modern feel than much of the community. These would be perfect for young professionals who want modern styling while enjoying living in one of Hamilton’s most historic neighbourhoods. The other option for apartments or condos will be older, mid-rise buildings that tend to fit better with the historic ambiance of the area. Most of these buildings have seen some amount of renovation, with varying degrees of modernization. Shop around and see what best suits your own personal taste. With plenty of options, you’re sure to find something you love.
Durand is regarded as a very clean, well-maintained community. Being in the same region as Toronto, one of the only pollution concerns anyone needs to worry about is smog. Stay up to date on the latest advisories, educate yourself about air quality in this region, and take the necessary precautions.
According to the Hamilton Community Foundation, property crime has been steadily dropping since the 80’s and the crime rate in Hamilton is below the national average. Crime should not be a major factor when choosing to live in any area of the city.
There are three schools in the area, serving students of all ages, and parents of young, school-aged children will be happy to know that classes are not far away. Central Elementary School is located near the middle of Durand. Middle school students attend Ryerson Middle School, which is located just to the west of Queen Street South. While they do have to travel outside of Durand to get to school, the distance is very short – no more than a block beyond the neighbourhood’s western periphery. And just a few blocks north of Main Street is Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School, again only a short distance away from home for the older students in the area.
Residents in Durand have great access to transport, connecting them with the rest of the city, as well as to other towns in the region. The Hamilton GO Centre is a major station on the eastern edge of the community, offering a convenient location from which residents can catch both trains and buses. The GO Transit system allows access to the rest of Hamilton as well as to other cities including Toronto. Living close to the Hamilton GO Centre is useful for those who are planning on making their commute as simple and stress-free as possible.
With schools just blocks away, a wealth of entertainment options, and fine architecture literally steps away from your front door, it’s hard to imagine many communities that can compete with the unique lifestyle offered by Durand. From sports fans, to culinary experts, to historians, to those who just appreciate a scenic walk, this is a fantastic place to call home.