The City of St Catharines in located in the Niagara Region in the south of the Canadian Province of Ontario; and has a population of around 130,000 residents. St Catharines is only nineteen kilometres from Niagara Falls and the international boundary with the United States of America; and just fifty one kilometres from Toronto, as the crow flies (over Lake Ontario).
St Catharines has a great number of special tourist attractions for those visitors who come to spend a day or two (or for an even longer stay) in the city, besides the trip to see the famous Niagara Falls. The city has been nicknamed the ‘Garden City’ because of the great number of public gardens and parks. The best include Montebello Park, known for its rose gardens; Lakeside Park, for its glorious views of sunsets over Lake Ontario; Burgoyne Woods; the Ontario Jaycee Gardens, well known for its stunning flower displays and Woodgale Park, where rare birds can be seen. The city also boasts of an Arboretum and Happy Rolf’s Bird Sanctuary.
The city is in the heart of the Niagara Region’s famous wine growing area, so visitors should ensure that they go on a wine tasting tour of the wineries, as well as explore the beautiful countryside scenery.
Nature lovers will be delighted with St Catharines’ ninety kilometres of trails which are great for walking, hiking, cycling and, in the winter months, cross country skiing. The best of these trails are the Bruce Trail, which follows the Niagara Escarpment and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Site; the Terry Fox Fitness Trail, which runs through the centre of the city and has fitness stations along its route; the Waterfront Trail along the shore of Lake Ontario; the Welland Canals Parkway, a scenic route which runs along the famous canal; and the Merrit Trail.
Culture lovers will head straight for Rodman Hall, which has a good permanent collection and also holds interesting exhibitions year round; and the Niagara Artists Centre, which showcases local talent. The St Catharines Museum is located on the Welland Canal, at Lock 3, where visitors can get a really good close up look at ships as they pass through this Lock on the St Lawrence Seaway.
There is a good choice of shopping centres and malls to choose from for the retail specialists who need to give their credit cards some fresh air while on holiday. The Fairview Mall and Penn Centre have a wide variety of shops which stock products ranging from jewellery to children’s clothes; and fashion to fast foods. There is even a spa in one of the city’s malls, where customers may choose to use a hot tub and hot tub cover from the vast range of special treatments available. The hot tub and hot tub cover is an excellent choice for those tourists who have had a long and tiring day out exploring the sites of St Catharines, as such treatment will most definitely relieve sore feet and aching muscles.