The City of Hamilton (Figure 1) is located at the westernmost point of Lake Ontario and is an amalgamation of 6 communities: Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Stoney Creek, and the community of Hamilton (Fraser, 2009).
In 2015, the City of Hamilton had a population of 512,000, which is estimated to increase by 20% by the year 2036 (Population & Diversity, 2015). Approximately 18.1% of the population is living under the poverty line, with 50% of that number coming from recent immigrants (White, 2012; Incomes and Poverty, 2009). With such high poverty levels, increasing low-income housing availability is a viable strategy to facilitate a decrease in poverty levels (Mulherin, 2000). Unfortunately, Hamilton has a major shortage of affordable housing as the current wait list is 5,700 units (Craggs, 2016). This is double that of the list in 2000 and with a growing population, and is expected to grow even larger (Craggs, 2016).
The study area is characterized by a very dense urban core in the community of Hamilton, where over 10% of the total population resides (Mayo, 2012). This high population density has led to the increase of available amenities in the area, relative to those outside of the downtown core, and has decreased the relative proximity residents must travel in order to access these amenities.
Figure 1: Map of the City of Hamilton, Ontario