Congratulations on your new appointment, and welcome to McMaster University!
McMaster’s large, attractive campus, the interior of which is open only to pedestrians and cyclists, is at the western end of Lake Ontario. Nearby attractions include Cootes Paradise, the Bruce Trail, the Niagara Escarpment, the Waterfront Trail, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
The University is minutes from downtown Hamilton and the activities that a major city has to offer. Buses from the region’s public transit system make frequent stops on campus, facilitating travel between McMaster, Hamilton, and the surrounding area. In the fall of 2010 we expanded our campus to the City of Burlington with the establishment of the Ron Joyce Centre, which houses our MBA program as well as executive education opportunities for business professionals. More information about McMaster University can be found on our McMaster Fast Facts website.
Our goal is to make your transition to McMaster as smooth as possible. In order to assist you in this regard, we have compiled a summary of useful resources that can be accessed using the tabs above.
As major players in Canada’s financial industry, the banks serve millions of customers. They include individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, large corporations, governments, institutional investors and non-profit organizations.
The major domestic banks offer a full range of banking, investment and financial services. They have extensive, nation-wide distribution networks and also are active in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and other parts of the world. Close to half of their earnings are generated outside of Canada.
Many large international banks have a presence here — through a subsidiary, representative office or branch of the parent bank. Most specialize in corporate and investment banking (e.g., niche financing) and have only one or two offices/branches. A notable exception is HSBC Bank Canada, which has a strong retail presence with branches across Canada. For more information on banking in Canada, please visit the Canadian Bankers Association website.
The largest banks in Canada are:
- BMO Bank of Montreal
- HSBC Bank Canada
- MBNA Canada
- National Bank of Canada
- RBC Royal Bank
- TD Bank Financial Group
Credit Unions offer an alternative to traditional banking. Like banks, credit unions offer the convenience of a full range of financial products and services. For more information, or to locate a local credit union, please visit the Credit Unions website.
Your existing driver’s licence from another province or country will remain valid for 60 days after your relocation to Ontario. You must apply for an Ontario driver’s licence within your first 60 days if you want to continue driving in Ontario. For information on how to obtain an Ontario driver’s licence, including important information on required identification and supporting documentation, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Please note that if your licence is in a language other than English or French, you will be required to provide a written English translation from a qualified translator.
Most vehicles on Ontario roads must be registered with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, insured and maintained to meet certain basic standards. It is your responsibility to make sure that your vehicle meets these requirements. New Ontario residents have 30 days before they have to register their vehicles and get Ontario licence plates and vehicle permit. Your vehicle permit must accurately describe your vehicle.
If you are relocating to Ontario from another province within Canada, the Ministry of Transportation provides a comprehensive “To Do” Checklist that details the various steps and documentation involved in registering your vehicle in Ontario.
If you are importing a branded vehicle from the United States or another country, please go to the Branding Vehicles webpage for more information. Call the Registrar of Imported Vehicles at 1-888-848-8240 or email at email@example.com to determine admissibility, fees required, and get information on how to proceed. For information on which vehicles may be imported, you can also contact Transport Canada – Vehicle Importation at 1-800-333-0371 or (613) 998-8616.
When you bring a vehicle into Canada you will, in most cases have to pay duty and taxes. For information on federal taxes, please contact the Canada Border Services Agency. Please note that the imported vehicles must meet all federal government requirements prior to registration. You may also be required to pay provincial portion of the HST when the vehicle is registered in Ontario.
If you need to purchase a vehicle upon your relocation to Ontario, you may be entitled to a discount on eligible new GM vehicles. More information about this discount can be found on the McMaster Business Management Services website.
Ontario has compulsory automobile insurance. Before you can attach plates to a vehicle or renew your registration the vehicle must be insured. In Ontario, private companies provide insurance coverage.
All vehicles must be insured for third party liability for at least $200,000. This covers you in the event that you injure or kill someone or damage someone’s property. Collision insurance to cover damage to your own vehicle is a good idea but not required by law.
As an employee of McMaster University, you are eligible for preferred group rates on your home and automobile insurance through TD Insurance. For information, please visit the TD Insurance page for McMaster Unviersity Faculty, Staff and Retirees.
Hamilton’s public school system is overseen by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB). The HWDSB is comprised of 114 elementary and secondary schools and over 50,000 students.
In addition to the traditional programs offered in the neighbourhood schools, the Hamilton-Wentwork District School Board offers alternative programs such as French Immersion and Programs of Choice.
For more information about the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, or to find the public school nearest to you, please visit the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board website.
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) oversees the separate school system in Hamilton, and includes 56 schools and over 29,000 students.
The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board offers a variety of programs including full-day kindergarten, French Immersion, Adult Education, and The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP).
Further information can be found by visiting the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board website.
Child Care and Early Childhood Education
McMaster University is proud to offer on-campus daycare services. McMaster Children’s Centre is a licensed, non-profit, self supporting corporation that is administered by a director and Board of Directors. McMaster opened its doors in 1975, and has continued to serve the community to this day. They are currently licensed for 63 children, ranging in ages from 18 months to 5 years.
The Co-ordinated Access for Childcare is a City of Hamilton supported initiative that was completed in 2009 to improve access to child-care related information. This initiative offers a variety of information about local child-care facilities.
The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board offers accessible child care and early childhood education at 40 schools in the area by a number of commnity partners. These programs are licenced with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. More information on these programs can be found in the Early Learning and Childcare section of the HWDSB website.
A list of better-known local childcare providers can be found on the McMaster Off-Campus Resource Centre website.
Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
A resident of Ontario must have a health card to show that he or she is entitled to health care services paid for by OHIP. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care pays for a wide range of services, however, it does not pay for services that are not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery.
Ontario residents are eligible for provincially funded health coverage (OHIP). Generally, to be eligible for Ontario health coverage you must:
- be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or among one of the newcomer to Canada groups who are eligible for OHIP as set out in Ontario’s Health Insurance Act; and
- be physically present in Ontario for 153 days in any 12-month period; and
- be physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days of the first 183 days immediately after establishing residency in the province; and
- make your primary place of residence in Ontario.
OHIP coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency in Ontario.
The Hamilton OHIP office is located at:
119 King Street West, 10th Floor
Further information can be found on the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) website.
University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) was created in 1994 to provide affordable insurance to pay the cost of the hospital and medical services that students or employees at participating universities and colleges in Ontario and their families might need to maintain their health while in Canada. The Plan provides coverage comparable to that of OHIP for Ontario residents.
For all individuals entering Ontario for the first time and for those who are returning and whose OHIP coverage has lapsed, the University Health Insurance Plan will provide for basic health care coverage during the first three months. Enrollment in this program is mandatory for those who do not have OHIP coverage.
If you are coming from another province, your existing medical coverage may cover the three month waiting period until your OHIP coverage begins. If a spouse or dependent(s) are travelling with you, they will also need to apply for coverage under OHIP / UHIP.
The cost of UHIP is the responsibility of the recruit. Coverage begins the first day of your appointment.
For further information, please visit the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) website.
Hamilton Walk In Clinics
A list of local walk-in clinics can be found on the Working at McMaster website.
City of Hamilton
Hamilton is considered a community of communities. Located in the Golden Horseshoe of Ontario, it boasts high quality public transportation and excellent health and environmental resources. Hamilton also has world-class conservation areas, cycling routes, Royal Botanical Gardens, and the largest number of waterfalls of any city in North America. Hamilton’s size is ideal for anyone looking for the advantages and conveniences of a big city along with the pace and lifestyle of a small town.
Situated at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment, Hamilton is centrally located between Toronto and Niagara Falls, less than an hour trip by car, train or bus.
For more information about the city of Hamilton, please visit the official City of Hamilton website. The Tourism Hamilton website provides detailed information about many of the various recreational activities and cultural events occuring in Hamilton.
Moving to Hamilton
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency, providing mortgage loan insurance, mortgage-backed securities, housing policy and programs, and housing research. The CMHC website is an excellent tool for those interested in buying or renting a home, including brochures for those new to Canada. These downloadable brochures are available in eight languages and are free of charge.
The Real Estate Board of Hamilton-Burlington website provides a variety of information about real estate in the Hamilton area, and provides a listing of all registered real estate Salespersons, Brokers of Record, and Associate Brokers.
To look at the properties available for sale or rent in the Hamilton area you can visit The Canadian Realtor Association website. This site has a search tool to narrow your search using many different variables, including price, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. There is also tool to help you in your search for a local Realtor.
Additionally, the McMaster Off-Campus Resource website offers a classified section that may assist you in your search for short-term or long-term housing rentals.
Moving Your Pets
Under the National Animal Health Program, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establishes import requirements for all animals and animal products entering Canada-including domestic pets. The CFIA guidelines on importing pets can be found on the CFIA website.
Please note that the province of Ontario does not permit pit bulls to enter the province. For information on Ontario’s pit bull ban, visit the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General website.
Please review the McMaster Policy on Recruitment and Relocation Expenses for Academic Appointments, which details the allowable moving expenses, travel expenses, and immigration fees that may be claimed by relocating faculty members.
McMaster’s preferred movers can be found: