Some areas of Hamilton are nice like Westdale and McMaster University, Hess Street, Dundas and the Dundas Valley, and Ancaster. However, the north end of Hamilton is vile and horrific.
The north end is home to two of Canada's largest steel works (Stelco and Dofasco). The revolting brown, crumbling mass of factories, slag heaps, and smog turns the image of Hamilton into a city that is a shithole that isn't fit for human habitation.
Hamiltonians also have an inferiority complex next to its larger neighbour, Toronto. However, Hamitonians know that by risking higher rates of cancer, deformed children, and the awful eggy-smell due to the steel works, the rent and quality of life is great.
Criminals from Toronto are exiled to Hamilton.
Motorist passing on the QEW: "speed up, this place stinks like eggy farts."
Fuck you, I'm from Hamilton and I think it's great you bloody snob.
The city boasts some amazing natural beauty including Cootes Paradise, over 100 waterfalls, and the Niagara escarpment. The people of Hamilton are among the friendliest and most down to earth in Ontario. Part of this has to do with the fact that the average income for Hamilton is low compared to other nearby cities in Ontario, and therefore it's citizens aren't snobbish like those upper middle-class Torontonians who drive their beamers ruthlessly. Hamilton is also a very diverse city, actually the third most diverse in Canada.
Most people who visit Hamilton from elsewhere in the GTA will want to gtfo as quickly as possible, but others will appreciate it's subtle sophistication and culture. Hamilton is a great city, but it takes a good person to appreciate it's awesomeness.
Hamilton, Ontario once was Canada's manufacturing capital, but circumstances beyond their control (ie. Chinese child labor is more efficient) led to it being somewhat of a hollow grotesque dark spot on Canada. In many ways similar to Detroit, but without the black people.
This makes Hamilton perhaps one of the best examples of a Cinderella story gone wrong, with many of the city's most horrid problems being easily fixable (such as getting rid of unions that demand 1 hour work days and perhaps lowering property taxes that make Manhattan look viable for actual human settlement).
Just a visual look at Hamilton makes a Marxist professor giddily with passion. The fact that the lower class is literally living below the mountain, while sane rich people live on the top provides an example of what would seem like a quasi-Brazilian ghetto bordering million dollar condo's.
Of course that passion usually dies down when one finds out that most of the people living on the mountain are also poor, and only in Ancaster does one find the tiny pocket of prosperous bible-loving Dutch-German-WASP's. Most outsiders also aren't surprised to find out this is the only part of the city that votes conservative.