Slinger considered the price of real estate, return on investment, walkability, even crime statistics. "Hamilton ranked really low as far as violent crime statistics," Gordon says.

The couple live in 60 square metres exactly what they craved.

The pair, both 42, are transplants from Calgary. How they ended up in Hamilton is fascinating.

"I don't have a stressful daily commute to work. I don't have the extra work of maintaining a large home, and I am not servicing a large mortgage," Gordon says.

They bought a house in the Stinson neighbourhood, and invested in a six unit apartment building in Ward 3. It was more house than the couple needed Women Canada Goose Palliser Coat Berry Outlet Australia so when Slinger saw a commercial listing at 314 King St. E. for $140,000, Gordon said "go for it."

Julie Gordon and husband Cory Slinger's lifestyle in Hamilton is the real deal. They live in an apartment in the International Village on King Street. Gordon Books, and Slinger walks four blocks to his job managing conservation projects at Horizon Utilities on John Street.

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For their $60,000 makeover, they did the demolition work, and installed the kitchen and bathroom, and Slinger did the framing.

Two big windows in the living room overlook life on King Street. A sectional from Ikea, accessories from EQ3 and paintings from local artists, including Julia Veenstra, enliven the space. A bedroom and bath are on the third floor.

Their simplified life is rich in experience. They love the diversity of the neighbourhood, friendships with shop owners, and walking to restaurants, galleries and trails.

The paper trail on the city was positive, but they needed to see it. Their impression of Hamilton as a steel town changed when they saw the old gracious homes in Corktown, the Stinson neighbourhood and the harbour.

A simple life rich in experience

"We drove in along York Boulevard and thought that was gorgeous. Then we discovered the waterfront trail. That pretty much cemented it."

The main floor of the apartment is open concept with an L shaped Ikea kitchen fitted neatly into the back half. Open shelving runs along the wall contributing to the airy feel. Butcher block countertops and a tin backsplash capture the spirit of a commercial kitchen.