In May of 2008, the city of Hamilton held an economic summit, in which the city's most powerful economic groups and individuals voiced their desire and commitment to making Hamilton one of Canada's top economic cities. Mapping out a plan that would drastically change the economic face of the city, the summit proved that Hamilton is quickly becoming one of the most exciting business cities in the country.
At its core, Hamilton is a manufacturing city. Sitting at the center of what was dubbed Canada's "Golden Horseshoe" back in 1954, the city is one of this country's strongest industrial centers, and a vital part of its economic stability. Known as the "Steel Capital of Canada", Hamilton is responsible for sixty percent of our steel manufacturing, making the city and its 57,000 manufacturing sector employees a strong part of our industrial backbone. Without question, the technician sweating away using the sheet metal bender in Hamilton is the epitome of the Canadian working spirit. This spirit is what will launch this city to success far past the next decade.
One of Hamilton's strongest assets is its thriving real estate market. The city has showed remarkable stability in these trying economic times; the price of a Hamilton condominium averaged out at $193,735, only the fraction of the cost when compared to the starting price of a condo in Toronto sitting at $600,000... affordable for a lawyer, perhaps, but not the average Joe. This, among other factors, earned Hamilton the honor of being ranked the number five city in Ontario to invest in real estate, ahead of both Ottawa and Toronto. Commercial real estate has shown steady growth over the last five years, a good sign for those hoping to see Hamilton reach its economic potential.
Another strong employer for the city and field of steady economic growth is Health Sciences. Employing nearly 10,000 people, this sector has a strong union of five hospitals and a strong affiliation to McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences. Together, employ of 16,000 people in Hamilton, and McMaster houses another 27,000 students, many of which are from outside Hamilton, making both cornerstones of the cities economic stability. In 2010, the city will finish construction of the David Braley Cardiac, Vascular and Stroke Research Institute, providing the city with another 250 jobs, with the aid of a government loan, similar to a SRED Scientific Research and Experimental Development loan. Moving forward, Health Sciences and Education should continue to be the building blocks of Hamilton's future economic prosperity.
Moving into an uncertain future, a sound plan and strong conviction are what will set apart the stagnant and the strong. Hamilton's economic community understands this, and has looked to the future, making them an interesting community to watch going forward.