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Westdale & Ainslie Wood

Westdale and Ainslie Wood are neighbourhoods adjacent to McMaster University’s main campus. Housing options in these neighbourhoods are within walking distance of the main campus and offer easy access to public transportation (via city buses) to and from campus as well as into the heart of Hamilton’s downtown. There are many student-friendly amenities nearby, including grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and pharmacies. The majority of housing options in these two neighbourhoods are referred to as “rooms in a student house” – shared accommodations with other students, each with their own bedroom but with shared spaces (washroom, kitchen, common areas).


Students that are concerned about travelling home after dark can take advantage of the Student Walk Home Attendant Team (SWHAT), a free service that will walk students home after dark. For more information, please visit their Instagram page.

map of westdale area

Downtown Hamilton

The downtown neighbourhoods – closest to the David Braley Health Sciences campus and the McMaster Centre for Continuing Education – offer many amenities and bus access to the main campus as well. The downtown shopping centre, Jackson Square, houses a grocery store that offers a variety of multi-cultural foods—Nations Fresh Foods (http://nationsfreshfoods.ca/). You will find a variety of housing options from larger and smaller apartment buildings to houses.

downtown hamilton map


The Town of Dundas—a part of the Greater Hamilton Area—is an area west of the main campus. Access to the main campus is convenient—a short bus ride or even a quick cycle away. This is a safe, family-friendly area. There are a variety of restaurants, grocery stores, and other amenities in this area. You will typically find smaller apartment buildings and rooms in landlord accommodations in this area.

map of dundas area

Looking elsewhere

While there are other areas of Hamilton to find housing accommodations, the above are the closest and most convenient to the main campus and provide ample housing accommodations from which to choose. If you choose to live in other neighbourhoods, be sure to check how long it will take you to get to campus. If you are taking public transportation into campus as it can take 90 minutes or more from some areas, especially if there are multiple transfers required along the way.

map of hamilton area