There's a real confusion with the fractal dimension of major world urban centers: say you live in Williamstown, Victoria. If you're talking to someone who is also there in that major urban area, of course you would not say "I live in Melbourne". You'd distinguish.

But if talking to someone from Japan, you'd just say "Well I'm from Melbourne!" ("Mate!") It would be absurdist to mention "Williamstown".

So, New Jersey and Brooklyn and Connecticut don't exist to 99.999% of the world, they're just part of "New York".

Is the FirstOntario Centre in Toronto?

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If you live in Toronto, do you "go to concerts at the FirstOntario Centre"?

If I'm going to a concert at the FirstOntario Centre, should I fly "to Toronto"? Should I "stay at a Toronto hotel"?

Is this FirstOntario Centre thing emotionally and urban-center wise a feature of Toronto? Or it really more of a separate thing - like Dallas / Fort Worth, say? Or is it "actually" part of somewhere else? (Buffalo? Chicago?)

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    I don’t know anyone who thinks CT or NJ is just part of New York. Brooklyn on the other hand can be accurately described that way. Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 18:50
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    Of what practical use is this question?..
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 22:03
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    @cjdennis yes but why care about the exact terminology in this case? If you want to go there, book a hotel nearby, regardless of what the area is called.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 23:25
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    @CJDennis whether or not taxi drivers would drive there is indeed a practical question, but it has no relation to naming conventions.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 23:57
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because whether or not the residents of Toronto consider this place to be "in Toronto" is of no relevance to travellers. Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 11:13

3 Answers 3


The FirstOntario Centre is in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, not Toronto. I've never lived in Hamilton, so I don't know how people talk about it there. It used to be called the Copps Coliseum, and was originally built to try to attract an NHL team to Hamilton. Hamilton is a city about 70km west of Toronto.

As for your other questions, depending on where you are coming from, you would not necessarily want to fly in to Toronto to go to a concert at the FirstOntarioCentre, (Buffalo might be cheaper, for example) and you would most likely want to stay in Hamilton at least for the day/night of the concert itself.

Wikipedia has more information about it here: FirstOntario Centre.

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    @Fattie Yes I am (although I don't live there now).
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 16:00
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    My friend in Hamilton will never say that he is from Toronto, (Toronto area, yes, Toronto, no.) It is an hour by car if you do not get stuck in traffic. I would certainly go for a hotel in Hamilton, if you have a concert in the evening.
    – Willeke
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 18:32
  • If nothing else the Hamilton hotel will probably be cheaper. Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 18:57

No, Hamilton is not considered part of "Toronto". It is not even part of the Greater Toronto Area, which I would use as the limit of areas that are not Toronto but that people might refer to as Toronto nonetheless. If I lived in Hamilton and wanted to explain it to someone in Japan, I might say that I lived "near Toronto".

I live in Toronto and did not even know there was a FirstOntario Centre, let alone where it is.

Hamilton has its own airport with several commercial passenger carriers. The main Toronto airport is relatively close, but Niagara Falls Airport, Buffalo, and London, ON airports are close enough that you might consider them. (Which you probably wouldn't from Toronto.)

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    people do occasionally refer to the "GTHA" (Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area) (but your answer is perfectly correct). (I live in Hamilton.)
    – Ben Bolker
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 23:13
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    Yes, to me the fact that there is a GTHA which is distinct from the GTA makes it even clearer that Hamilton is not in "Greater Toronto". Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 0:39
  • Great information.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 3:07

I live in Hamilton. I usually tell people "I live in Hamilton, that's near Toronto".

Assuming you're coming from outside of North America (Australia?), I would recommend flying into Pearson Airport in Toronto (YYZ). It's a global airport with lots of flights. Public transportation to downtown Hamilton is cheap and fairly easy (coach, travel time about 1 hour, about $13 CAD one-way, runs hourly for most of the day [e.g. maybe not between 3 and 6 AM]).

Other options:

  • Buffalo Airport (BUF) may indeed be cheaper (although not necessarily from outside North America), but travel time is about 1.5 hour [plus a US/Canada land border crossing, which could add significant time if you're unlucky], and last time I checked there weren't good public transport/shuttle options.
  • The Hamilton airport (YHM) is unlikely to be a good option from outside Canada; they handle mostly domestic flights, and taxi to downtown might cost more than the bus from Toronto.
  • Billy Bishop airport (YTZ) is a small airport in Toronto that serves North American routes only.
  • I've never heard of anyone flying into the London (Ontario) airport to get to Hamilton (I've flown out of or into all of YYZ/YHM/YTZ/BUF in the last 8 years). I'd be surprised if they had any flights from outside North America.

If you were coming for a longer visit and wanted to sightsee etc. in Toronto, it wouldn't be insane to stay in Toronto and travel back and forth to Hamilton (about 1 hour by bus or train, although as others have commented it would probably be more expensive). You could take taxis back and forth from Hamilton to Toronto but it would be very expensive (certainly more than $50 CAD).

  • Fantastic information.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 3:08

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