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LOCAL FOCUS: Niagara Region

LOCAL FOCUS: Niagara Region

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LOCAL FOCUS: Niagara Region

by Gale Beeby

Including the communities of Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln, Wainfleet, Pelham, Port Colborne, St. Catharines, Thorold, Welland, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie.

HOUSING OPTIONS

The region’s housing is comprised predominantly of single-family dwellings – from historical homes dating back 200 years, to new master-planned communities – although condos are making their inevitable appearance.

There’s something in Niagara for everyone at every price point and every style, from luxury estate homes to modest semis and townhomes, with many new projects springing up throughout the region. Click here for a full list of homes for sale.

LEISURE PURSUITS

There is a lot to do in the Niagara Region! Too many to list here, but some highlights include a visit to the famous Niagara Falls, a stroll through the quaint village of Niagara-on-the-Lake, a jet-boat ride on the Niagara River rapids, taking in a play at the world-renowned Shaw Festival, a drive along the Niagara Wine Trail, a picnic along the Niagara Parkway, watching the world-class Royal Canadian Henley Regatta (rowing), a night at one of the casinos, or a round of golf on one of the region’s fabulous golf courses, which includes Canada’s oldest course, Niagara-on-the-Lake, which held its first international tournament in 1895.

PARKS & REC

The Niagara Region has hundreds of kilometres of trails and paths, as well as a multitude of parks. In Niagara Falls, Queen Victoria Park features manicured gardens, platforms with views of the American, Horseshoe and Bridal Veil Falls as well as underground walkways behind the falls.

The Niagara River Recreational Trails runs 56 kilometres from Fort Erie to Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake and includes many historical sites from the War of 1812. The Greater Niagara Circle Route Trail System is 140 kilometres of mostly off-road paved trails for walking, cycling or rollerblading. It passes through urban centres, the Niagara Escarpment, waterfronts and agricultural areas.

Also in the area is the Bruce Trail, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the Merritt Trail, which passes through many of the old sections of the Welland Canal, the Waterfront Trail, and the Welland Canals Parkway.

RETAIL THERAPY

A stroll down the main street of any of the towns in the region will be a delight with a number of boutiques, cafés, art galleries, craft stores and fine dining establishments. Niagara-on-the-Lake, in particular, is a great place to spend the day popping into one unique store after another. There are also a number of outlet malls in Niagara offering brand-name shopping at lower-than-retail prices.

EASY ACCESS

Welland, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines each have airports and the area is served by a number of expressways, including Highways 405, 406, 420 and the QEW. Niagara Region Transit moves riders between Welland, Fort Erie, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. Niagara Falls Transit and the St. Catharines Transit Commission provide local bus service in the two largest communities in the region. GO Transit and VIA Rail provide train and bus service to Niagara Region from the GTA.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 447,900

Known as: The Honeymoon Capital of the World

Walk scores:

St. Catharines: 52

Welland: 47

Niagara Falls: 43

Port Colborne: 38

Lincoln: 32

Grimsby: 31

Fort Erie: 31

Thorold: 36

Niagara-on-the-Lake: 25

Pelham: 22

NiagaraRegion.ca


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Destination Ontario: Bloomin’ Gorgeous

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Destination Ontario: Bloomin’ Gorgeous

Springtime in Niagara

Some 12,000 years ago, the falls at Niagara were defined when melting glaciers formed the Great Lakes. The rushing waters that ran downhill from one lake (Lake Erie) to another (Lake Ontario) carved out a river, and at one point passed over a steep, cliff -like formation – the Niagara escarpment. As the water began to wear its way back up the river, the deeply cut path that was left behind is now known as the Niagara Gorge.

The southern end of the Golden Horseshoe, Niagara Region encompasses the cities of St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland, as well as the charming towns of Niagara-on-the- Lake, Grimsby and Fort Erie. The City of Niagara Falls is a vibrant community that affords residents with a plethora of opportunities in the areas of recreation, arts and culture. While urban amenities are in abundance, there’s still a relaxed stillness that comes with living in this beautiful area.

EXPLOSIVE BEAUTY
Come spring, it’s a visual flower feast. A drive through the Niagara region is an annual ritual for many, as the orchards are bursting with delicate blossoms on fruit-bearing trees. The Japanese flowering cherry trees, found at the Botanical Gardens, Queenston Heights Park and Kingsbridge Park are expected to bloom by mid-May.

Located along the scenic Niagara Parkway is the Floral Clock, which was constructed in 1950. The clock’s face, complete with working mechanisms, is planted two times per year with 15,000 to 20,000 carpet plants arranged in beautiful designs. It is the second most photographed highlight in the region.

Floral clock

Created in 1967 to commemorate Canada’s Centennial Year, the fragrant Lilac Garden is located north of the Floral Clock and features 200 different lilac varieties in a range of colours.

The Botanical Gardens is located just north of Niagara Falls on the Niagara Parkway. For more than 80 years, visitors have found solace while strolling the beautiful gardens. Also located here is the Butterfly Conservatory, and the world-famous rose garden that features more than 2,400 varieties.

Butterfly Conservatory

The first fireworks’ display took place on September 14th, 1860. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the annual Falls Fireworks Series, Niagara Parks has expanded their schedule to include 111 fireworks daily displays throughout the summer. Special holiday shows are scheduled for the Memorial Day long weekend (May 25 to 28).

DAY TRIPPING
View the falls from the water, the air or the ground. No matter your vantage point, it’s an awe-inspiring experience – no matter the time of year.

Less than a half hour drive from the Falls, at the mouth of the Niagara River, is the quaint 18th century town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, often referred to as Ontario’s loveliest town. Home to the renowned Shaw Festival, the town is an eclectic dining, shopping and sightseeing experience.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Old Fort Erie, Fort George, Brock’s Monument and Laura Secord’s homestead are just a few of the landmarks that will delight history buffs. The area was also an important stop on the legendary 1800s Underground Railroad.

In addition to slots and gaming tables, Fallsview Casino Resort showcases international performers.

Niagara boasts close to 100 parks and several championship courses, including Legends on the Niagara, Oak Hall Par 3 and the Whirlpool Golf Course, which was designed by golf architect Stanley Thompson and is rated as one of Canada’s most highly rated public golf courses.

CLIMATE CONTROLLED

Because of the two large bodies of water, Niagara Region is considered to be a moderate climate zone. Southern Ontario is roughly at the same latitude as southern France (Provence). The area’s temperatures make it ideal for growing tender fruit, and the conditions are ideal for ripening many varieties of grapes.

The Niagara Peninsula is one of four recognized viticultural areas by the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) in the Ontario Wine Industry. The European-style vineyards and wineries attract visitors from around the world. Many offer full tours of their facilities, and some have onsite dining, which feature sumptuous menus paired with their own VQA vintages.

The extended warm-weather season is also popular with boating, golf, hiking and biking enthusiasts.

Photography, courtesy of Niagara Falls Tourism

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Editor's Choice: Silvergate Homes

Editor’s Choice: Silvergate Homes

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Editor’s Choice: Silvergate Homes

Amuse by the Lake in Fort Erie is ‘built for your lifestyle’

The amusement park at Erie Beach entertained generations and was the destination for fun in the days of wooden rollercoasters, big band ballroom dancing and Lake Erie steamers. The next chapter now awaits with Amuse by the Lake in Fort Erie, an exclusive collection of new homes conceived by award-winning Silvergate Homes.

The community’s unique heritage inspires its scenic surroundings. One still morning, you may even catch yourself humming to Duke Ellington’s timeless swing rhythms while strolling along the neighbourhood’s tree-lined trails, the gentle lake breeze in your hair.

Passionately designed, the homes of Amuse by the Lake fuse striking exteriors, unique lines and exceptional spaces. The homes are a testament to the superior craftsmanship and luxury living that has made Silvergate Homes Niagara’s premier builder.

Amuse by the Lake is a small single-family development of seven units on Lakeshore Road featuring two- to four-bedroom homes with finished basements starting from the $900,000s located at 735 Lakeshore Road in Fort Erie.

Silvergate Homes makes dreams a reality with their award-winning customized approach to building and renovating homes. As a Tarion Warranty builder and a member of RenoMark, Silvergate Homes customizes each home to the specifications of their homebuyers.

Silvergate Homes was started over 30 years ago by Vito Passero, who at 79 is still the president. All three of Passero’s children — John, Michael and Susan — work in the business. When you work with Silvergate, it means you are a part of the Passero family.

Silvergate Homes believes your home should suit your ideal lifestyle. Its one-on-one philosophy ensures that no item on your wish list goes unexplored and its customer-focused approach has resulted in the creation of hundreds of dream homes in Niagara and throughout the Golden Horseshoe.

The expertise and dedication of the Silvergate team comes together with each and every new home. You can be confident that your home is built with materials of the finest quality, to the highest standards of construction and by industry professionals and skilled tradespeople who take pride in their work.

Silvergate’s homes are consistently built to exceed the Ontario Building Code and is dedicated to building green new homes in Niagara, thanks to its award-winning, eco-friendly practices and green building technologies.

Silvergate Homes was the first Niagara builder to apply the Energy Star environmental standard to an entire community of homes. Silvergate’s environmental leadership was recognized by its peers, winning the Niagara Home Builders’ Association’s very first Excellence in Green Construction/Renovation Award in 2011/2012 and again the next year.

Silvergate Homes offers a custom building approach in several distinctive new home communities: Canal View Heights in Welland, Meadowvale Estates in St. Catharines, Village on the Twelve in St. Catharines, German Village in Niagara Falls and Victoria Woods in Niagara Falls.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or renovating your existing one, Silvergate Homes will work closely with you to exceed your highest expectations. No wonder its motto is “We build for your lifestyle.”

SILVERGATE HOMES
Amuse by the Lake

Located at 735 Lakeshore Road, Lot #1, Fort Erie, the Sales Centre is open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., or by appointment.

(905) 680-6000
SilvergateHomes.com



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Editor's Choice: Silvergate Homes

Editor’s Choice: Silvergate Homes

Latest News


Editor’s Choice: Silvergate Homes

Amuse by the lake in Fort Erie is ‘built for your lifestyle’

The amusement park at Erie Beach entertained generations and was the destination for fun in the days of wooden roller-coasters, big band ballroom dancing and Lake Erie steamers. The next chapter now awaits with Amuse by the Lake in Fort Erie, an exclusive collection of new homes conceived by award-winning Silvergate Homes.

The community’s unique heritage inspires its scenic surroundings. One still morning, you may even catch yourself humming to Duke Ellington’s timeless swing rhythms while strolling along the neighbourhood’s tree-lined trails, the gentle lake breeze in your hair.

Passionately designed, the homes of Amuse by the Lake fuse striking exteriors, unique lines and exceptional spaces. The homes are a testament to the superior craftsmanship and luxury living that has made Silvergate Homes Niagara’s premier builder.

Amuse by the Lake is a small single-family development of seven units on Lakeshore Road featuring two- to four-bedroom homes with finished basements starting from the $900,000s located at 735 Lakeshore Road in Fort Erie.

Silvergate Homes makes dreams a reality with their award-winning customized approach to building and renovating homes. As a Tarion Warranty builder and a member of RenoMark, Silvergate Homes customizes each home to the specifications of their homebuyers.

Silvergate Homes was started over 30 years ago by Vito Passero, who at 79 is still the president. All three of Passero’s children — John, Michael and Susan — work in the business. When you work with Silvergate, it means you are a part of the Passero family.

Silvergate Homes believes your home should suit your ideal lifestyle. Its one-on-one philosophy ensures that no item on your wish list goes unexplored and its customer-focused approach has resulted in the creation of hundreds of dream homes in Niagara and throughout the Golden Horseshoe.

The expertise and dedication of the Silvergate team comes together with each and every new home. You can be confident that your home is built with materials of the finest quality, to the highest standards of construction and by industry professionals and skilled tradespeople who take pride in their work.

Silvergate’s homes are consistently built to exceed the Ontario Building Code and is dedicated to building green new homes in Niagara, thanks to its award-winning, eco-friendly practices and green building technologies.

Silvergate Homes was the first Niagara builder to apply the Energy Star environmental standard to an entire community of homes. Silvergate’s environmental leadership was recognized by its peers, winning the Niagara Home Builders’ Association’s very first Excellence in Green Construction/Renovation Award in 2011/2012 and again the next year.

Silvergate Homes offers a custom building approach in several distinctive new home communities: Canal View Heights in Welland, Meadowvale Estates in St. Catharines, Village on the Twelve in St. Catharines, German Village in Niagara Falls and Victoria Woods in Niagara Falls.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or renovating your existing one, Silvergate Homes will work closely with you to exceed your highest expectations. No wonder its motto is “We build for your lifestyle.”

SILVERGATE HOMES
Amuse by the Lake

Located at 735 Lakeshore Road, Lot #1, Fort Erie, the Sales Centre is open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., or by appointment.

905.680.6000
SilvergateHomes.com



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Destinantion Ontario: Falling For Niagara

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Destinantion Ontario: Falling For Niagara

By Cece Scott www.cecescott.com

Photography, Niagara Falls Tourism

In the early 1800s, it was the French who popularized Niagara Falls as the honeymoon capital of the world. Since then, thousands have chosen the Falls as their honeymoon retreat. Two centuries later, Niagara Falls is still a popular destination for those who are celebrating their union, and newlyweds receive an official, signed-by-the-mayor honeymoon certificate. The grandeur of the Falls is impossible to duplicate, which is why the movie Niagara, starring Marilyn Monroe, was shot here. Other famous people who have visited the Falls include King George VI (the reigning queen’s father), as well as Princess Diana with Princes William and Harry.

A visit to the Niagara region, located between the south shore of Lake Ontario and the north shore of Lake Erie, encompasses the cities of St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland, as well as the charming towns of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Grimsby and Fort Erie. A short hop from Toronto on the QEW and you can help yourself to a smorgasbord of experiences, including historical landmarks, wine tours, live entertainment, golf, sightseeing, slots and shopping.

SEE IT ALL

Seeing the Falls by boat has been a must-do tour since 1846. Hornblower Niagara Cruises’ 700-passenger catamaran offers thrilling, close-up tours of the Falls, as well as fully licensed night time Falls’ illumination cruises and Falls’ fireworks cruises.

Cruising the Falls on Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Helicopter flights over the Falls are the ultimate experience for adventure enthusiasts and rainbow lovers. Niagara Helicopters was awarded a position in the Top 50 Signature Winter Experiences in Canada (FlightNetwork 2016). Helicopter tours are offered throughout the year, including a stunning helicopter wine and Falls’ tour.

A visit to the Botanical Gardens offers guided walking tours around its lush gardens, which includes its world-famous garden of 2,400 roses. The gardens are also home to the Butterfly Conservatory, with more than 2,000 colourful butterflies.

Butterfly Conservatory

Located along the scenic Niagara Parkway is the Floral Clock. The clock’s face, complete with working mechanisms, is planted twice yearly with 15,000 to 20,000 carpet plants, arranged in beautiful designs. Built in 1950, the clock is 40 feet in diametre, and is second only to the Falls as the region’s most photographed highlight.

Floral clock

Old Fort Erie, Fort George, Brock’s Monument and Laura Secord’s homestead are just a few of the landmarks that will delight history buffs. The area was also an important stop on the legendary 1800’s Underground Railroad.

SURE BETS

In addition to slots and gaming tables, Fallsview Casino Resort presents more than 250 shows each year, featuring stars like Kelly Clarkson, Steven Tyler and Tim McGraw.

Niagara boasts several championship courses, including Legends on the Niagara, Oak Hall Par 3 and the Whirlpool Golf Course, which was designed by golf architect Stanley Thompson and is rated as one of Canada’s most highly rated public golf courses.

The first fireworks’ display took place on September 14th, 1860. The Niagara Falls Fireworks Committee is lighting up the skies with free firework performances from June 12th to September 4th, Monday to Friday at 10 p.m. Each of the 60 shows will last up to six minutes in length.

Fireworks light up the sky from June to September.

NATURAL WONDERS

Less than a half hour drive from the Falls, at the mouth of the Niagara River, is the quaint 18th century town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, often referred to as Ontario’s loveliest town. Home to the renowned world class Shaw Festival, which runs from April through October, the town is an eclectic dining, shopping and sightseeing experience.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

For a scenic wine tasting experience, try one of Niagara’s bicycle wine tours. Great Escape Wine Tours offers a variety of options including the Lunch and Winery Bicycle Tour, as well as a Private Bachelorette and Birthday Bike tour.

With all that the Niagara region has to offer, it’s no wonder that there’s a local movement afoot (#Claimthe8th) to declare Niagara Falls the eighth wonder of the world.

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