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Your offer was accepted, and the movers are booked. You are taking the plunge and moving to a new city. Now what?

Whether you are leaving the GTA and moving to Hamilton or just across town, getting to know your new city can feel daunting – especially if kids, pets, and a new job are in the mix. We know you have a “Pre-Move To Do” list that keeps growing (and growing and growing…), but we have one more item to add: get to know your new city before moving day.  

From cruising social media to exploring the city after your purchaser visits to forcing yourself to get out in the first few days, you’ll feel more at home once you discover your go-to spots. 

Where to Eat (Right Now)

Finding a few trusted, family-friendly food spots before you move will set you up for success and maybe even lead to less whining about being “huuuuuuungry” (bonus points if they deliver!). You have enough to worry about on a moving day without immediately unpacking your kitchen to get dinner on the table covered in boxes. 

Instagram and TikTok are great resources for finding local food bloggers who can give you the inside scoop on what’s cooking in your new city. Kellye, our resident Hamiltonian, takes it one step further and sends a list of her favourite take-out spots to her buyer clients who are new to Hamilton. Spoiler alert: her list of favourites includes Mimi’s Asian GourmetMiss Lyn’s Wings, and Made Pho You

Where to Play 

Little kiddos and big kids alike will need to burn off some of that “we’ve arrived!’ energy (and you’ll need them to get out of the house). The little ones will want to see the local parks, playgrounds, and splash pads. Not sure where to start? Use Google Maps to point you in the right direction. It’s even better if you can head over on foot. You never know who you’ll meet along the way. 

Your older kids will likely appreciate nearby trails, rinks, basketball courts, and pools. Check out your city’s municipal recreation site to get started. Families moving to Hamilton can check out the City of Hamilton’s Things to Do page for resources on parks, trails, and events.  

Where to Get What You Need 

Here is a short list of the boring places you will want to find well before you need them: 

  • A decent grocery store 
  • Your bank’s nearest branch
  • A nearby Service Ontario location (don’t forget to change the address on your driver’s license!)
  • A pharmacy, especially if you have active prescriptions that need to be transferred
  • A gas station 
  • A post office 
  • The closest Emergency Room (we hope you don’t need it, but you won’t want to waste time if you do)
  • A vet and a pet store

Nature and Your New Environment 

Get up and get out. You won’t finish unpacking today anyway. Grab the kids and the dog for a walk to find the stuff you can’t see on Google. There may be some very cool things tucked into your new neighbourhood that will get your kids excited about the natural world. Chat with your new neighbours and discover what they love about the area. Create a scavenger hunt to help motivate the less enthusiastic members of your family. Let your kid bring home some rocks or acorns but don’t forget to tell them about the rock law that applies to new houses (i.e. all rocks live outside). You’re not being mean. It’s the law*.   

*it’s not the law. 

Hidden Gems

These are the best things on this list. These things make you feel like you made the right decision when you moved here. Unfortunately, you have to wait until you move in, and you might have to meet some more neighbours to get the inside scoop. There will be the best coffee shops, hole-in-the-wall diners with the best pancakes, camps that all the kids love, the house that goes all out for Halloween, and more.


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