Thank you kindly, rabbit73. "Northeast Hamilton" is about as precise as I'm willing to say on the public internet in 2016. It's not the same as it once was...
Ahem. I'm expecting even the cheapeast garbage around to do pretty well with the Toronto stations. Even with just a loose cable connected down here, I can get a slightly-unstable CBC. I don't expect CBLFT or TVO to pose a challenge, and Global probably isn't a stretch either. Not having WNED isn't a total deal breaker, but it would sure be nice to have if possible within reason. (Darn mountain!) But, BOUVAL seems sure I'll be disappointed.
You've both mentioned using outdoor antennas indoors, well, if it's safe and they can be freestanding, and might get WNED, I'm willing to give it a shot! As long as I buy from a good store I can always return anything that doesn't work out, right?
I believe the only VHF station I stand to get is CTV, right? Yeah, I don't care about that channel in the least, so I can probably ignore VHF entirely.
On the subject of cabling, there used to be cable upstairs. The cable was removed to wire the basement, (and as such the CATV wiring is... messy) but the holes for that seem to remain. It's in the back of a closet buried under a lot of heavy junk, but might be possible.
Windows... ah, I'm pretty screwed again, aren't I? On top floor, only south window is in my mom's bedroom. No way she'll ever let me put an antenna there. One floor down, and there's the back door and kitchen window. I don't think she'd let me put one there either. That only leaves one last possibility, there's a south-facing window in the laundry room. In the basement. Maybe that'd be better than top floor north? Doubt it!
Well, I was slightly joking on running the cable downstairs. I don't think I have something long enough for that (ooh, more buying!) and I'm not sure how much the signal loss would be vs. just having it downstairs. If I have success with Toronto and a cheap antenna (in basement!) I'll probably try to get a USB tuner, then I could experiment on my laptop upstairs.