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Driving in Hamilton can be challenging for many drivers. Mountains from the Niagara Escarpment run through the city, dividing much of the core into upper and lower Hamilton. Many drivers also use Ontario highways, like the 403 and the QEW, to commute to Toronto or Niagara for work.

With much of the city's economy still based in manufacturing at the steel plants Dofasco and US Steel, thousands of drivers regularly commute to the waterfront where the plants are located. But no matter where Hamiltonians work, they can find affordable car insurance rates at

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Driving in Hamilton.

Most popular cars in Hamilton

Hamilton drivers encounter thousands of different cars on the road during their daily commutes. Most drivers choose cars provided by big name brands, which influences how they shop for their car insurance.

Popular Brands

  1. Honda
  2. Ford
  3. Mazda
  4. Chevrolet
  5. Dodge

Who shops for auto insurance in Hamilton?

According to the latest Stats Canada census data, the metro population of Hamilton is 721,053 people. This means drivers can expect thousands of cars on the roads inside the city as well as on the highways coming into Hamilton.

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Your questions about driving in Hamilton, answered.

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Facts and myths about driving in Hamilton


  • Upper Hamilton is filled with busy two-way streets, whereas the lower city is dotted with many one-way streets.
  • The downtown core near Jackson Square Mall at Gore Park is very pedestrian friendly even though that area is an important driving route in the centre of town.
  • Hamilton drivers frequently travel on the expressways or on the 403 highway, so they can avoid driving through the roads in town.


  • Hamilton drivers are less likely to get into accidents or get tickets than Toronto drivers. False. Long commutes to and from Hamilton mean drivers are actually more likely to end up in trouble.
  • Navigating Hamilton roads is a nightmare. False. If you understand where one-way streets run parallel to two-ways, cruising through Hamilton is safe and easy.
  • Hamilton doesn’t use red light cameras. False. Hamilton has 13 red light cameras that are used to improve road safety and increase driver awareness.

Hamilton driving tips

  1. Watch for one-way streets. Downtown Hamilton is notorious for a high number of one-way streets, which can make navigating the core of the city difficult for inexperienced drivers. Use Google Maps to plan your trips and identify which one-way streets might complicate your travels in the lower city.
  2. Use the expressways. The Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway and the Red Hill Valley Parkway allow drivers to move across the city without using in-town streets. The Linc. runs along the upper city and connects with the Red Hill Valley, which drivers can use to reach the QEW near the lower city by Hamilton Harbour.
  3. Be extra cautious on Burlington Street. Driving along Burlington Street, which runs parallel to Hamilton Harbour, can be challenging. The street was named one of the 10 worst maintained roads in all of Ontario, and it's a common road for accidents. Avoid driving along the waterfront if possible.

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