Niagara’s population is projected to rise by 40 per cent over the next two decades, thanks in part to its affordable real estate, excellent school systems, vibrant arts community and an alluring urban-rural mix that provides big-city amenities with small-town charm.
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St. Catharines, the largest city in the Niagara region of Ontario, though only the 16th largest city in the province, occupies an unusual space—literally, its geography is a bit odd. It cleaves the wine country of the Niagara Peninsula in two, separating the lake region of the east with the steeper slopes of the bench region of the west. It’s a longtime industrial city, home to a General Motors propulsion plant, that’s been plopped down in the middle of thousands of bucolic acres of grapevin...
Good Times Magazine: Canada’s Top Retirement Destinations: St. Catharines, ONCanada’s Top Retirement Destinations: St. Catharines, ON
Located on the edge of the Niagara peninsula, the Garden City is relatively small and yet offers plenty of amenities. And while they’re higher than in some centres, real estate prices in St. Catharines could allow someone who sells a house in Toronto to either upsize or bank a healthy sum. In October of 2018, the average selling price for a detached home in the GTA was $914,179, versus a 2018 average of $414,293 in St. Catharines.
Niagara has deep industrial roots that date back to hydropower on the Niagara River in the late 19th century, with a uniquely nimble, talented and resilient industrial workforce that has adapted to changing markets ever since.
The city is surrounded by parks and sits in the middle of Ontario's most prominent wine regions: Niagara-on-the-Lake and Twenty Valley. Withe the opening of the Meridian Centre, downtown has boomed and new restaurateurs are pushing forward.
Niagara housing prices are rising faster than anywhere else in Canada, and the boom looks set to continue in lockstep with improved transportation links to the GTA.
Choosing where to buy a home is a very personal decision, but gut feeling alone shouldn’t guide the biggest financial decision of your life. Whether you’re moving to be closer to closer to your job, have access to better schools for your kids, or you’re an income property investor looking to purchase where there’s maximum upside potential, it’s important to have some knowledge of how the homes in the neighbourhood you pick are likely to appreciate over time.
Niagara Region, already known for its world-class wines, is acquiring a taste for craft beers. “Niagara is earning a growing reputation among beer lovers and foodies for its thriving craft brew scene,” said publicist Stephen Murdoch. “Just as the best wines reflect the area where they are produced, Niagara’s craft beers capture the unique charm and personality of the region and the passion of the brewmasters behind them,” he added. New entries include Lock Street Brewing in St. Catharines.
“We were stagnant for a long while, but now there are few cities in Canada that are seeing the same levels of downtown renewal. With the QEW and GO Train linking us to the Toronto-Hamilton-GTA economy, the momentum is building. There are more cranes in the air every month, and that’s a sign of the next stage of development.”
Brock University’s decision to immerse its art students and facilities in the downtown (including such details as not including food services in the school, so that students and faculty will need to venture into the downtown that much more every day) is a stroke of good fortune for the city.