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Neighbourhood Watch: Niagara

In Niagara, the Falls are just part of the appeal

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In Niagara, the Falls are just part of the appeal

When people think Niagara, they often think only of the Falls themselves, those natural wonders to which a visit never seems to grow old.

But beyond the awe-inspiring beauty and power of the Falls and the Niagara River, Niagara Region offers a lot more that’s worthy of just a weekend getaway.

Encompassing towns such as Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland, the Niagara Region is blessed with a great natural location. It occupies most of the Niagara Peninsula, bounded by the U.S. to the south and on the north by Lake Ontario, and of course the Niagara Escarpment – all of which offers strong potential for business and lifestyle choices.

These natural landscapes and climate make the Niagara Region perfect for agri-business such as winemaking – a key economic sector. The Niagara Wine Route, connecting dozens of wineries, is a growing tourism draw to complement cultural events such as the Shaw Festival.

Indeed, a visit to the area can involve a stop at the Falls, winery tours, the quaint town of Niagara-on-the- Lake, the Botanical Gardens with its Floral Clock and Butterfly Conservatory, several championship golf course and a growing casino industry in downtown Niagara Falls.

But this is all for play. To live and work in the region is another matter.

Economic growth

Again, a blessing of location, Niagara is within 800 km of two provinces, nine states and 130 million people on both sides of the border. This means opportunities for business. The trade that flows across Niagara’s borders totals more than $100 billion annually, and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across Canada and the U.S. The infrastructure network to support this trade activity comprises five international bridges, multiple railways and the Welland Canal, linking Lake Erie into the St. Lawrence Seaway system.

All of this is conducive to growth potential for the region’s manufacturing and transportation and logistics sectors, to complement the historical strength in agriculture and tourism.

Niagara’s economy has shown steady growth in a number of areas, particularly in job creation and new investment, but still lags slightly behind Ontario averages. The Niagara economic development department confirms the area still has challenges in higher unemployment, lower participation rate and lower household income per capita.

But that’s changing. In 2018 alone, Niagara had $1.7 billion in construction investment. From 2015 to 2018, such investment grew by 56 per cent in Niagara, compared to 19 per cent for Ontario overall.

New home development

As the economy grows and affords people more opportunity to live and work in Niagara – or close by – new-home development is following.

Much of the housing growth is in the lowrise category, as buyers from the GTA find the lot sizes and price points far more appealing and affordable.

According to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey, aggregate home prices in St. Catharines-Niagara were $418,673 in the second quarter of 2019. This is up 3.2 per cent per cent from the same period last year.

Given the popularity of condominiums as a lifestyle choice, growth in this category is on its way. Homes by DeSantis, for example, has condo projects underway in both Grimsby and Stoney Creek. And Urbane Communities is building Marbella Condominium in Niagara Falls.

Location, location, location

A regional municipality in Southern Ontario comprising 12 municipalities such as Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland; 130 kms from Toronto; 86 kms from Hamilton.

Key landmarks

  • Botanical Gardens
  • Casino Niagara
  • Clifton Hill
  • Niagara Falls
  • The Niagara Wine Route
  • Welland Canal

Select condo developments

Marbella Condominium by Urbane Communities

Utopia Condominiums by New Horizon Development Group

AquaZul by Homes By DeSantis

Como Condos by Homes By DeSantis


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Empire Communities

Empire Communities has 4 new model homes in Thorold to inspire homeowners

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Empire Communities has 4 new model homes in Thorold to inspire homeowners

After much anticipation, Empire Communities, one of Canada’s largest homebuilders, has unveiled four brand new model homes in the Legacy community in Thorold. Empire is thrilled to have partnered with renowned Toronto-based interior design firm, figure 3, to bring the vision for these model homes to life, and create unique spaces that will inspire.

Legacy
Legacy

With the help of figure 3, Empire selected four unique design styles to appeal to the diverse needs and tastes of its homeowners – Shabby Chic, Industrial Ranch, Modern Scandi and Manor Estate. Each of these spaces offers a great deal of inspiration and skillfully display four distinct home plans available at Legacy.

“Empire has worked with figure 3 in the past, and we have always been delighted with the end result. There was no question that partnering with them on these model homes at Legacy would result in four very unique, yet beautiful spaces,” says Sue MacKay, vice-president of marketing at Empire Communities. “We can’t wait for the public to view our brand new models and we hope they get inspired to bring these decor styles into their own homes.”

Shabby Chic
Shabby Chic

The Shabby Chic is a 2,306-sq.-ft., four-bedroom Vibrant Corner home featuring an eclectic mix of antique decor accents, intricate light fixtures, distressed woods and woven fabrics.

Industrial Ranch
Industrial Ranch

Inside the 2,606-sq.-ft., four-bedroom Enchant model lives the Industrial Ranch style. This home is furnished with elegant brown leather sofas and modern farm-inspired furniture and accessories.

Modern Scandi
Modern Scandi

Mixed with light hardwood floors, furniture and natural materials, the interior of the 1,908-sq.-ft., four-bedroom Tranquil model is true to Modern Scandi style as it is bright, airy and minimalistic.

Manor Estate
Manor Estate

The Manor Estate home was designed with a sophisticated homeowner in mind, featuring elegant furniture in muted tones, a calming gray paint scheme and plenty of bling throughout the 3,483-sq.-ft., four-bedroom Gloucester plan.

Once completed, the Legacy community will be home to more than 1,000 new families. Construction is now well underway on townhomes and detached homes as the area comes to life and prepares for its first residents.

Prospective homeowners and community members are invited to visit Empire Legacy in Thorold at 1161 Kottmeier Rd. to explore the new model homes and check out the ongoing construction progress within the community.

Empire Communities is a residential builder/developer involved in all sectors of the new homebuilding industry, including both lowrise and highrise built forms. Celebrating 25 years of building inspiring new places to live, Empire has an established tradition of creating prestigious award-winning new homes, communities and amenities and has earned a reputation for outstanding attention to detail and customer service.


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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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al_mj18_dest_ont1_fi

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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Local Focus: Niagara Region

Local Focus: Niagara Region

Latest News


Local Focus: Niagara Region

by Gale Beeby

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

HOUSING OPTIONS

There’s something in Niagara for everyone at every price point and every style, from luxury estate homes to modest semis and townhomes, with over 70 new projects springing up throughout the region.

Too many to list here, but a comprehensive list can be found here.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

THE WORKPLACE

The biggest employer is the tourism industry and the single top employer is Brock University with over 4,500 people in its employ. Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort (4,300) and General Motors of Canada (4,000) round out the top three. There are also vital agricultural enterprises, including viticulture and fruit orchards, which add to the region’s economy.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

SCHOOL DAYS

Public schools are administered by the Niagara and the Niagara Catholic district school boards. Brock University, Niagara College and the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture offer advanced learning.

Niagara is Ontario's wine country
Niagara is Ontario’s wine country

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 jetboat 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.

Other festivals in the area include the Festival of Lights, the Niagara Food Festival, the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, Canal Days, the Niagara Folk Arts Festival, the Welland Fair and the West Niagara Fair.

International Country Club of Niagara
International Country Club of Niagara

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.

Whirlpool Rapids Bridge
Whirlpool Rapids Bridge

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.

Niagara-on-the-Lake cenotaph and clock tower
Niagara-on-the-Lake cenotaph and clock tower

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 a number of outlet malls in Niagara, too, offering brand-name shopping at lower-thanretail prices.

Welland Canal with the Garden City Skyway Bridge
Welland Canal with the Garden City Skyway Bridge

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: 447,888

Inagurated: 1995

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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