Welcome to St. Catharines and Niagara!

Relocating in & around St. Catharines, (Niagara) Ontario Canada        

Found in southern Ontario between two of North America’s Great Lakes (Ontario and Erie) the Niagara region is a very diverse municipality.

Carp in Jordan  Jordan Valley  Jordan Valley Home  Port Harbour  Hydro Dams Port

Carousel in Port Camel  Port Dalhousie Pavillion   Sandy Beach Port Dalhousie  Sunset at Lakeside Park Sunset at Port Dalhousie Port Mansion Lakeside Park Candian Goose in the Harbour  Lighthouse at Port Lester B Pearson Park  Harbour at Port Dalhhousie    Rowing   Decew Falls Mill           Ball Hockey NiagaraMontebello Park    Balls Falls   Freezing Rain Jan 2007  Ice Wine Festival in Jordan    Frozen Niagara Grapes  Niagara Falls Gorge 2007   Happy Rolphs Bird Sanctuary    Sir Isaac Brock Monument - Queenston Heights  Niagara Escarpment in NOTL    Jordan Museum   Jordan Museum School House   Jordan Museum Mennonite Home - Fry House  Museum Mail Carriage Display   Jordan Museum Volunteer Heritage Gift Shop  Spring Flowers  Lester B Pearson Park  Port Dalhousie Martindale Pond  Port Dalhousie

Our natural features, rich soils and unique climate have contributed to some of the best farmland to be found anywhere. Niagara’s farmlands are promoted through many local markets as well as extensive worldwide distribution. Niagara has become renowned for its award winning wine industry. 

With many other natural features such as the Niagara Escarpment, miles of parks and beaches, not to mention Niagara Falls itself, it is not surprising that the Niagara region is host to more than 12 million visitors a year. Tourism is a booming industry in this region. From the historic landmarks and quaint shopping opportunities of Niagara-on-the-Lake, to the modern and lavish atmosphere of Casino Niagara, you can find an ample supply of things to see and do in Niagara. The region has an abundance of walking trails, cycling and driving routes, such as the Niagara Parkway that follows the Niagara River, to the Niagara Wine Route. The Niagara Wine Route connects at least 22 wineries, through some of the prettiest countryside in Ontario. Niagara is home to many four star accommodations varying from all-suite "convention centre equipped" hotels to charming and memorable Bed & Breakfasts.

The Welland Canal, which is a true tourist attraction in its own right, is also one of the major factors in Niagara’s focus on transportation. We are bordered to the east by New York state. With four driving bridges less than an hour away from major Canadian cities such as Hamilton and Toronto, and extensive rail lines, not to mention a district airport, Niagara has proven to be a vital link to businesses in both the United States and Canada.

Niagara, which covers 1896 sq. km (715 sq. miles), is made up of 12 unique and distinct local municipalities. Varying from the larger populated cities of St. Catharines and Niagara Falls with their urban intensive features, to Wainfleet and West Lincoln with a more rural or natural area setting. Tourism, industry and farming, not to mention all the natural resources including our vast mineral resources (pits and quarries) and environmental resources (peat and petroleum), all add to Niagara’s economic diversity.

The contrasting municipal features and unique natural landscape contribute to the diverseness of the Regional Municipality of Niagara.

Region of Niagara

St. Catharines, Ontario

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of St. Catharines, Ontario
Official flag of City of St. Catharines, Ontario
Official seal of City of St. Catharines, Ontario
Nickname: "The Garden City"
Motto: Industry and Liberality
Location of St. Catharines and its
Census Metropolitan Area in Ontario
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Municipality Niagara Region
Settled 1783
Incorporated 1845
 - City Mayor Brian McMullan
 - Governing body St. Catharines City Council
 - MPs Rick Dykstra
John Maloney
 - MPPs Jim Bradley
Peter Kormos
 - City 97.11 km²  (37.5 sq mi)
Elevation 98 m (322 ft)
Population (2001)
 - City 129,170
 - Density 1,330.2/km² (3,445.2/sq mi)
 - Metro 396,900
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Website: City of St. Catharines

St. Catharines (2001 population 129,170; 2005 metropolitan population 396,900, 2006 estimated population 134,996) is the largest city in the Niagara Region in southern Ontario, Canada, with 97.11 square kilometres (37.5 sq mi) of land. It lies 51 kilometres (32 mi) south of Toronto across Lake Ontario and is 19 kilometres (12 mi) inland from the international boundary with the United States of America along the Niagara River. It is the northern entrance of the Welland Canal.

St. Catharines carries the official nickname "The Garden City" due to its 1,000 acres (4 km²) of meticulously groomed parks, gardens and trails.

Manufacturing is the city's dominant industry, as noted by the heraldic motto, "Industry and Liberality". General Motors operates two plants in the city and until recently was the city's largest employer, an honour now held by the District School Board of Niagara. Foster-Wheeler and TRW also operate plants in the city, though in recent years employment has shifted from heavy industry and manufacturing to services.

St. Catharines lies on one of the main telecommunications backbones between Canada and the United States, and as a result a number of call centres operate in the city. Combined, call centres employ the largest percentage of St. Catharines residents. NuComm International, a Canadian call centre operator, is headquartered in downtown St. Catharines.



The backbone of St. Paul Street today, this area was once thriving with industrial activity
The backbone of St. Paul Street today, this area was once thriving with industrial activity

The city was first settled by Loyalists in the 1780s. The first settlers, Sergeant Jacob Dittrick and Private John Hainer of Butler's Rangers, came to the area where Dick's Creek met Twelve Mile Creek. Dick's Creek was named after another early settler, Richard Pierpoint, a native of Bundu (now part of Senegal). Pierpoint was commonly known as Captain Dick. This part of the settlement eventually became the centre of town. Native trails were used as travel routes, resulting in present day radial road pattern from the city centre.

The first business, a goods storehouse owned by Robert Hamilton, was established around 1783. The first mill, Crown Mills, was opened in 1786. The surrounding land was surveyed, and townships created, between 1787 and 1789. The small settlement was known at the time as "The Twelve".

In 1797, the first inn was built by Thomas Adams, located on the east side of Ontario Street next to what is now St. Paul Street. It became a community meeting place and stagecoach rest stop. In 1798, "The Twelve" became known as "Shipman's Corners", after the inn's new owner, Paul Shipman. According to some sources, St. Paul Street - the main route in and out of the city at the time - was named after him also.

The Art Deco facade of St. Catharines City Hall (completed 1937)
The Art Deco facade of St. Catharines City Hall (completed 1937)

As Shipman's Corners, the town was visited by Laura Secord during the War of 1812, en route to warn James Fitzgibbon of the advancing Americans. She was travelling with her niece Elizabeth Secord, but Elizabeth was exhausted at that point and ceased her journey there. Laura Secord continued on to warn Fitzgibbon successfully.

In 1808, the first name "St. Catharines" appeared for the first time on a survey, named after Robert Hamilton's wife, Catharine Hamilton. In 1817, the post office was established with the name "St. Catherines" (sic), but by 1821, the name was officially "St. Catharines".

The first Welland Canal was constructed from 1824-33 behind what is now known as St. Paul Street, using Twelve Mile and Dick's Creek. William Hamilton Merritt worked tirelessly to promote the ambitious venture, both by raising funds and by enlisting government support. The canal established St. Catharines as the hub of commerce and industry for the Niagara Peninsula.

Merritt would also play a role in making St. Catharines an important place of abolitionist activity. In 1855, the British Methodist Episcopal Church and Salem Chapel was established at the corner of Geneva and North streets, on land granted to the congregation by Merritt in the early 1840s. The area became known to escaped slaves as a place of "refuge and rest", and cemented it as the final terminus on the Underground Railroad.

The Town of St. Catharines was incorporated in 1845. St. Catharines was incorporated as a city in 1876.

Geography and climate

Grapes from a family vineyard near the city's west-end
Grapes from a family vineyard near the city's west-end

St. Catharines enjoys a unique micro-climate because of the moderating influence of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and the sheltering effect of the Niagara Escarpment to the south. As a result, the city can record a large number of frost-free days in the Winter. The summer season is pre-dominately hot and humid, with the average temperature peaking at 27°C (81°F) in July, but can feel closer to 40 °C (104 °F) with the humidex factor.

The complex and extensive glacial history of the Niagara Peninsula has resulted in similarly complex soil stratigraphy in the area occupied by the city today. St. Catharines was once at the base of a glacial lake known as Glacial Lake Iroquois, which deposited thick layers of clay between the Escarpment and Lake Ontario. As a result of these factors, the city's soil is particularly conducive to fruit growing and is capable of producing grapes that are used to make award-winning wines. Three wineries operate in the city's west-end: Henry of Pelham, Hernder Estates and Harvest Estates.

Since the opening of the first Welland Canal in 1829, the city has seen four different canal systems, whether modified or newly constructed, carved into its geographical landscape. The fourth and present-day canal forms the majority of the city's eastern boundary. The first three of the city's canals have largely been buried, portions of it beneath the present-day Highway 406 and Queen Elizabeth Way. Other remnants of the original canals can still be seen in various locations throughout the city, many of which are hidden within forested areas designated as city parks. There has been a growing movement in recent years to restore the original routing of the Welland Canal through the city. The restored waterway and locks would be open to pleasure craft and create a new tourist attraction within the city.

Major parks

  • Short Hills Provincial Park - Ontario's first provincial park, it is located in the Southwest portion of the city along the Niagara Escarpment.
  • Burgoyne Woods - A 122-acre (0.5 km²) wooded area and recreational park located near the Downtown core.
  • Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary - A 15-acre (0.06 km²) park on the shores of Lake Ontario in the community of Port Weller. It is home to hundreds of native and migratory birds and features an exotic collection of flowering Rhododendrons. An onsite petting farm (containing horses, pigs, sheep, goats and llamas, as well as a donkey named 'Hoti' -- 'Don Quixote') is operated by the city from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving Weekend. A trail running throughout the park leads to a peaceful waterfront memorial to Canadian victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Ontario Jaycee Gardens - Overlooking the Henley Rowing Course, this is the city's largest horticultural park with more than 21 acres (0.08 km²) of meticulously landscaped gardens and flower displays. The park exists on land that once featured the Third Welland Canal. The former entrance to the canal can still be seen at the North-West end of the park.

Government and politics

The Six Municipal Wards of St. Catharines

St. Catharines is governed by a mayor and city council of twelve city councillors, with two councillors representing each of the six municipal wards in the city. A city councillor is also elected by the council as a whole to serve as deputy mayor, who only fills the role should the elected mayor not be available. St. Catharines City Council meets every Monday and is open to participation by the community. Matters put forwarded are voted on by members of city council; the mayor presides over council debate and serves very much like the speaker, and as a result only votes in the case of a tie. After 2006, municipal elections will be in November every four years rather than the previous three. Unlike most cities its size, city councillors only serve on a part-time basis and continue with their non-political careers in the community. Only the mayor is elected to a full-time position. St. Catharines City Hall is located downtown on Church Street. Tim Rigby was the Mayor of St. Catharines from 1997 to 2006; Brian McMullan was elected to succeed Rigby on November 13, 2006, and was sworn-in on December 4.

St. Catharines uses a council-manager government, and as a result a Chief Administrative Officer is appointed by council to oversee the day-to-day operations of the city and its departments. The CAO, in effect, is the highest ranking municipal civil servant and has authority over the spending of municipal tax dollars. The CAO advises council on policy matters and acts as liaison between the administrative staff and elected officials. Some of the CAOs duties include assisting in the creation of the municipal budget, and ensuring that municipal funds are spent in a responsible manner. The current CAO of St. Catharines is B. Robert Puhach.

Residents of St. Catharines also elect six regional councillors to the Niagara Regional Council on an at-large basis. Unlike other Regional Municipalities in Ontario, regional councillors do not sit on city council and instead only represent at the regional level. Four school board trustees for the District School Board of Niagara representing St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake are elected, as well as and three trustees for the Niagara Catholic District School Board, two for five of St. Catharines' wards, and one for Thorold and the Merriton Ward of St. Catharines. Regional councillors and school board trustees are elected at the same time, and on the same ballot, as the mayor and city councillors.

St. Catharines has one of the highest resident/representative ratios of any large city in Ontario. There are just under 7,000 people per elected municipal representative in St. Catharines, while Oshawa (a similar-sized city in Ontario) has one representative per 13,500 people. London, Ontario has one representative per 30,500 people, and Toronto has one representative per 55,000 people. There has been recent discussion regarding a modification of the city/regional council arrangement, with the possibility of reducing city council to six full-time representatives and having the six regional councillors serve on city council. While there is growing support in the business community for such an arrangement, city council has been unreceptive to such ideas.

Federal and provincial ridings representing St. Catharines

At the provincial level, St. Catharines is well-known for electing high-profile members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Jim Bradley, the current member for St. Catharines and Ontario's longest serving Member of Provincial Parliament, is the current Minister of Tourism in the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty, and served as Minister of Environment in the government of David Peterson. Peter Kormos, who represents the southern portions of the city as part of the Niagara Centre riding, is a prominent vocal member of the Ontario New Democratic Party caucus and served previously as Minister of Justice in the Bob Rae government.

From 1999 to 2003, during the premierships of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, St. Catharines was one of the few large cities in Ontario to not have at least one government member representing the city, as the Progressive Conservative-held ridings of Lincoln and St. Catharines—Brock were eliminated as a cost saving measure. Robert Welch, a long-time Deputy Premier of Ontario, represented the now-eliminated Lincoln and St. Catharines—Brock ridings throughout the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

Federally, St. Catharines is one of the most bellwether of any riding in Canada, having only elected an opposition MP twice in its history. Rick Dykstra is the current MP for St. Catharines and is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, which currently forms Canada's government. The southern portion of the city is included as part of the Welland riding, and is represented by John Maloney, a Liberal MP. Most federal representatives from St. Catharines have maintained a low profile on either the government or opposition backbenches. The exception was Gilbert Parent, who served as Speaker of the House for seven years while Jean Chrétien was Prime Minister.

St. Catharines is the judicial seat of the Niagara North Judicial District of Ontario, Central West Region, which represents the northern half of the Niagara Region equivalent to historic Lincoln County. The Superior Court of Justice is located on Church Street across from City Hall. A satellite court is located in Grimsby. James Ramsey is the current Crown Attorney.

The city forms "1 District" of the Niagara Regional Police Service. The NRPS headquarters are located on Church Street, with administrative offices on James Street and support services on Cushman Road.


A ship traversing the Welland Canal, with the Garden City Skyway in the background.
A ship traversing the Welland Canal, with the Garden City Skyway in the background.

The most defining transportation icon of St. Catharines is the Welland Canal, a ship canal that runs 43.4 kilometres (27.0 mi), passing through the city. Three of its locks are within city boundaries. The canal allows shipping vessels to traverse the 99.5 metre (326.5 ft) drop in altitute from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

The main access routes into and out of St. Catharines are served by two major freeways. The Queen Elizabeth Way runs east (at 15-Mile Creek) to west (at Garden City Skyway) and the Highway 406 runs north (at QEW) to south (at St. David's Road). Prior to the construction of these freeways, St. Paul Street (former Highway 8, now Regional Road 81) and Hartzel Road (former Highway 58, now a city-maintained street) provided east-west and north-south access to the city.

Public transportation is served by the St. Catharines Transit Commission, which operates bus routes throughout the city and neighbouring Thorold.

Ministry of Transportation Headquarters
Ministry of Transportation Headquarters

All major routes converge at the St. Catharines Bus Terminal, which is located downtown within the heaquarters of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The central station is also served by Greyhound Lines and Coach Canada, en route to Toronto and New York City and connecting it to major cities throughout Canada and the United States.

Though transportation by rail is becoming increasingly popular, the St. Catharines train station is largely underutilized, with car and bus travel being the dominant forms of transportation for the city. The station is located in its original building, outside the downcore core (because of issues involving the crossing of 12-Mile Creek). It is served daily by VIA Rail and Amtrak trains connecting it to Toronto and New York City. The provincial and federal government recently committed $385 million each to GO Transit to aid in the development of their 10-Year Capital Expansion Plan, which includes an expansion bus line servicing the Niagara Region. A potential rail link with GO Transit in the near future continues to be debated in St. Catharines.

St. Catharines/Niagara District Airport services general aviation as well as chartered jetliner flights. It is located near the city's east-end in neighbouring Niagara-on-the-Lake.

St. Catharines was the first - and last remaining - location in the world to have a working interurban electric streetcar route, which ran between the city and Merritton and was eventually extended to Port Dalhousie in the north and Thorold to the south. Like most streetcar routes throughout the world, it was decommissioned in the 1960s, and the right-of-way has since been converted to parks and trails.


St. Catharines is home to Brock University (established 1964), a modern comprehensive university located on the Niagara Escarpment. A partnership between the university and the Ontario Grape and Wine Industry established the city as a centre for cool-climate grape and wine research. "Brock" is the only university in Canada to offer an Honours Bachelor of Science in Oenology and Viticulture. It hosted the St. Catharines Wine Tasting of 2005, in which Canadian wines outscored the best French wines.

McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine is set to open a satellite campus in St. Catharines in 2007. The Hamilton, Ontario-based university will educate 15 first-year medical students in the city's first-ever med school.

Ridley College, located near the city's downtown core in the Western Hill neighbourhood, is a distinguished co-educational boarding and day school. It was established as a boys' school in 1889, and became co-educational in 1973.

A campus of the Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology is located near the city's east end. The school's Horticultural Campus was once located on 360 Niagara Street in the 1970s-1990s but has since been relocated to Niagara-on-the-Lake. One of its greatest teachers, R. Roy Forster, was recognized with the Order of Canada on April 14, 1999, for his work in creating the VanDusen Botanical Garden in British Columbia.

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN), responsible for managing a school system of nearly 119 faculties, contains 8 Secondary Schools in the city of St. Catharines.

The Niagara Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) operates 3 Catholic Secondary Schools within the city.

Communities and development

The Communities of St. Catharines

St. Catharines' development history has resulted in a number of unique and distinct communities within the city. The historical area of St. Catharines consisted of nothing more than what is now the downtown core, with the remaining land being part of Louth Township on the west and Grantham Township on the east. St. Catharines continued to steadily grow through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, eventually annexing land to the southwest that would become Western Hill and Old Glenridge, and to the east and north that would collectively become the central part of St. Catharines. In addition to the growth of St. Catharines, the Town of Merritton and the Town of Port Dalhousie existed as separate municipalities to the South and North of the city, each slowly growing their own residential base.

Along with the rest of Ontario, St. Catharines experienced explosive growth after World War II. St. Catharines continued to annex Grantham Township as development continued, including the large swaths of land to the north known now as "The North End". St. Catharines would also absorb Merriton and Port Dalhousie in 1961, making them part of the city. During this time, St. Catharines nearly tripled in population.

With the formation of the Regional Municipality of Niagara in 1970, the portion of Louth Township east of Fifteen Mile Creek was transferred to the City of St. Catharines. This included the eastern portion of the Hamlet of Rockway, as well as the Hamlet of Power Glen. The few remaining portions of Grantham Township in the Northeast corner of the area, including Port Weller, were also transferred to the city. With the new Louth Township lands belonging to the city, St. Catharines would begin two developments in the west end - Martindale in 1983, and Vansickle in 1987. These developments are nearing completion. There was also a push to continue further expansion to the west in the late 1990s, but this has since been halted by Ontario Greenbelt legislation.

The following distinct communities exist within St. Catharines:

The corner of St. Paul and Queen streets in the downtown
The corner of St. Paul and Queen streets in the downtown
Lakeport Road, in Old Port Dalhousie
Lakeport Road, in Old Port Dalhousie

It should be noted that not all land within the city is considered part of a community - areas of Grantham Township annexed prior to and immediately following World War II simply became the central core of St. Catharines, while undeveloped Louth Township lands are simply referred to as the western portion of the city.


Ethnic Origin Population Percent
English 37,240 29.35%
Scottish 24,650 19.42%
Irish 20,390 16.07%
German 15,595 12.29%
French 14,750 11.62%
Italian 10,775 8.49%

[1] St. Catharines is an ageing city as almost 1 in 5 individuals are of retirement age. As a result, the average age for the city is 40.3[2]. Also 1 in 5 inhabitants of St. Catharines are classified as foreign born as many immigrants from the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany make the city their home.

By far, Christianity continues to be the dominant religion of the city. Some 81.0 percent of the population profess a Christian faith, the largest being various Protestant groups (42.9%), followed by Roman Catholicism (34.2%), while the remaining consists of Orthodox, and independent Christian groups. Non-Christian groups are also present, namely Islam (1.5%), Judaism (0.5%), and Buddhism (0.5%). (The city contains a synogogue and Jewish community centre, as well as a large mosque). The remaining 16.5% report no religion.

St. Thomas Anglican Church
St. Thomas Anglican Church


  • Employment rate: 58.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.5%
  • Average earnings: $30,997

Top five employers:

City issues

Like most large Canadian centres, a number of social issues affect the city, and St. Catharines is no exception. Since 1998, St. Catharines has had the highest obesity rates of any centre in Canada. A 2001 analysis by Statistics Canada showed that 57.3 per cent of its residents were overweight.[1] This has caused some elements of the media, including CTV[1], the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation[2][3] and the Globe and Mail[4] to dub St. Catharines as Canada's "fattest" city.

St. Catharines also has a chronic shortage of social housing, causing hardship on low-income families.[3]. Downtown St. Catharines also has an unusually-high vacancy rate of 10%,[4]causing The Globe and Mail in early 2005 to call St. Catharines the Garbage City.[5] Many have factored the decline of General Motors in the city as the chief cause of these issues, while others claim it it has been a secretive and unreceptive city council. [citation needed] In 2006, many of these issues were brought to the forefront during municipal elections, with the hope that many of these issues can be addressed and changed in the coming years. [citation needed]



In addition, numerous tourist and travel advisory stations are available off-air in the Niagara area.


The Niagara region has no local television service of its own, although stations broadcasting from Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo are available. In 2003, a local business consortium applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for a licence to operate TV Niagara, a community television station in St. Catharines. The application was denied by the CRTC in 2005, citing concerns about the group's business plan and its dependence on gaining audience share in the Toronto market. However, the organization has appealed to the Cabinet of Canada and hopes to continue gaining support for local television in Niagara.

Online News

Sister cities


The current Junior B Falcons logo
The current Junior B Falcons logo

St. Catharines entered into Ontario Hockey Association Junior 'A' Hockey in 1943 as the St. Catharines Falcons. In 1947, they became the Teepees and were affiliated with the American Hockey League's Buffalo Bisons. When the National Hockey League's (NHL) Chicago Black Hawks made the Bisons their number one farm team, they inherited the Teepees. In the 1960s, the Jr. 'A' team went deeply into debt to the Chicago Black Hawks, but continued as a successful franchise. The Hamilton Fincups moved to St. Catharines in 1976 and played here for one year before moving back to Hamilton. The AHL St. Catharines Saints played in St. Catharines between 1982 and 1986, before being forced to re-locate to Newmarket due to protests from the NHL Buffalo Sabres. The St. Catharines Saints served as the farm team for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and today are known as the Toronto Marlies.

Today, the city's Junior 'B' Hockey team, appropriately named the St. Catharines Falcons, play out of Jack Gatecliff Arena.


Martindale Pond in St. Catharines' Port Dalhousie is the site of the annual Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, a world-class event that brings over 3,000 athletes from various nations to the city. The site hosted the FISA World Rowing Championships both in 1970 and in 1999. There are currently talks to bring the Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame to St. Catharines sometime in the near future. It is also home to the largest Rowing Club in the world and is known as one of the best natural rowing courses in the world. The Henley course is also home to the annual CSSRA Championships, which draws hundreds of high school athletes from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Trails system

Walker's Creek, one of the paths and parks that St. Catharines is known for.
Walker's Creek, one of the paths and parks that St. Catharines is known for.

The city's trail system offers over 90 kilometres (55 mi) of accessible pathways that are suitable for walking, jogging, cycling, hiking and cross-country skiing.

  • Bruce Trail - Canada's oldest and longest hiking trail, following the Niagara Escarpment (designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere) from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Tobermory. A 20-kilometre (12 mi) section with associated side trails winds through St. Catharines.
  • Merritt Trail - a segmented 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) trail that passes many of the old sections of the second Welland Canal and remnants of its locks.
  • Waterfront Trail - follows the shore of Lake Ontario, connecting communities from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Brockville. The Port Dalhousie portion of the trail is a major highlight.
  • Welland Canals Parkway - provides an uninterrupted 9-kilometre (5.6 mi) paved path for non-motorized traffic, along the scenic Welland Canal. It links with the waterfront trails of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Port Colbourne, and the Niagara Parkway to create the Greater Niagara Circle Route, measuring approximately 150 kilometres (90 mi).

Whitewater park

A dedicated group of local paddlers and businesses is trying to bring a Whitewater facility, suitable for hosting world-class kayaking events, to the City of St. Catharines. The proposed course would utilize the Wellandvale stretch of Twelve Mile Creek, near the downtown core. If made reality, the project would be Canada's first urban Whitewater facility.

Plans for the facility were made public in Toronto's bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. When Toronto lost the bid to Beijing, the Niagara Whitewater Park Association was created to keep the project alive. In September 2006, the St. Catharines Standard[6] reported that St. Catharines Hydro is in talks with Ontario Power Generation to construct a small generating station adjacent to the proposed site of the Whitewater facility. The proposed Shickluna Generating Station would create electricity for up to 5,000 homes while regulating waterflow to the course. Unfortunately the cost of operating the course was found to be aprox. $200,000 per year and the funds could not be found. The proposal has been tabled until an alternative can be found.

Arts and culture

See also: People from St. Catharines, Ontario

Art galleries

Rodman Hall runs a diverse program of exhibitions throughout the year, featuring the work of local, national and international artists. It also houses a permanent collection of over 850 works including paintings, photographs, sculptures and outdoor installations. Rodman Hall was a public-run gallery from 1960-2003 when financial issues provoked Brock University to purchase the building. Today, it is affiliated with the Brock School of Fine and Performing Arts and continues to serve and welcome the public.

The Niagara Artists' Centre (NAC) is a not-for-profit, charitably registered, collective formed by local community artists and dedicated to serving the working artists and art-enthusiasts of Niagara. It runs a series of diverse exhibitions throughout the year involving abstract paintings, sculptures, new media installations and film screenings. Recently, the centre moved out of its former location on Bond St. to a newly renovated storefront building on St. Paul Street in the city's downtown.


The Market is a popular venue for events like SCENE
The Market is a popular venue for events like SCENE

The Folk Arts Festival was first presented to the city by representatives from the ethno cultural communities of Niagara over 35 years ago. From that first festival was created the Folk Arts Council of St. Catharines, which continues to run its festival each year throughout the month of May and concludes with "Folk Arts in the Park", which takes place in Montebello Park in the city's downtown.

The Garden City Anime Festival is a non-profit organization established in June 2004. Every year this organization holds activities throughout the year, supports Asian related clubs, businesses and fandom. It also holds a year end festival in July. [7]. Additionally, the organization donates proceeds to charities based within the city.

The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival is a non-profit organization that presents three popular wine festivals in St. Catharines and Niagara during the year. The Niagara Icewine Festival (Winter), the Niagara New Vintage Festival (Summer), and the Niagara Wine Festival (Fall), which is the largest of the festivals, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region each year. This event known by most locals simply as "Grape and Wine" attracts young and old varying from partiers to wine connoisseurs.

The SCENE Music Festival is one-day event held in various clubs and pubs downtown. Rock, indie, pop, singer-songwriter, ska, punk, metal, and many other genres are represented by bands such as Alexisonfire, The Strag, White Star Line, Damn 13, Chore, Tangiers, Sick Boys, Raising The Fawn, Supergarage, Sailboats Are White, Revenge Of The Egg People, Bang Theory, and Billy Talent who have played at the festival, which is sponsored by Solo Mobile. Traditionally, a compact disc of select performers is included with admission prices - although in recent years the CD has been expanded to a 2-disc compilation - representative of the growth of the festival.


The St. Catharines Museum is located at Lock 3 on the Welland Canal, off the Welland Canals Parkway. An elevated viewing platform at the museum allows visitors to get a close-up look at ships from around the world as they climb this major section of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Along with its exhibits dedicated to the city's history and the canals, the museum is home to the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum.

Morningstar Mill and Mountain Mills Museum, perched atop the Niagara Escarpment, is one of Ontario's oldest mills on an original site, and is fully powered by water. The picturesque park provides a glimpse into the innovative and pioneering spirit of the 19th Century.

The Children's Discovery Centre, located in the former Niagara College Horticulture School, provides children and their families with an educational yet entertaining and stimulating place to visit using hands-on, interactive exhibits and outdoor activities.

Musical theatre

Garden City Productions (formerly the Operatic Society of Grantham United Church 1956-1962) puts on two community theatre shows per year at the Mandeville Theatre in Ridley College.

Theatre in Port put on a year-round schedule of professionally produced musicals, comedies and dramas.


The Pen Centre
The Pen Centre

See also


  1. ^ a b St. Catharines tops list of Canada's 'fattest' cities. W-Five, July 21, 2001
  2. ^ CBC.ca, National Population Health Survey 1998, Statistics Canada
  3. ^ CBC.ca, Obese Nation: Statistics, November 8, 2006
  4. ^ Fattest & Fittest, St. Catharines leads the fat parade. The Globe and Mail, July 21, 2001

External links

Lake Ontario

  St. Catharines  

Pelham, Thorold



The name "Ontario" comes from the Iroquois word "Kanadario" meaning "sparkling water." The name is fitting: not only is Ontario bordered on the south by the Great Lakes and on the north by Hudson Bay, but 177 390 km2, or one sixth of its terrain, is covered by rivers and lakes. Ontario is larger than Spain and France combined. The province has a landmass of 1,068,580 sq km and is the 2nd largest province in Canada. At its greatest extremity Ontario is 690 km in width. the longest distance north/south is 1,730 km. The highest point, at 693 m above sea level, is in the District of Timiskaming, near Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial Park.


The People


With over 11 million people, Ontario is the country's most heavily populated province. While English is the official language, Ontario's Francophones play an essential part in the province's cultural life. The provincial government provides services in French in those regions where the Francophone population is sufficiently high.




Ontario is Canada's most productive province, generating some 40 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Its manufacturing industries lead the way. Ontario's competitive advantages include its natural resources, modern transportation system, large, well-educated labour force, reliable and relatively inexpensive electrical power, and proximity to key U.S. markets: less than a day's drive puts Ontario's products within reach of 120 million American consumers. Automobiles are Ontario's major manufacturing industry and most important export, employing more than 140 000 people. Motor vehicles, parts and accessories accounted for 37% of Canada's total exports in 1998.