The Niagara Lifestyle

You haven’t truly experienced Niagara Canada until you’ve enjoyed a favourite new wine paired with artisanal cheeses at one of Niagara’s many wineries, sat in the audience for a world-class theatre performance, played golf overlooking the Niagara River or relaxed at a top-ranked spa. Be thunderstruck by the crash of the Falls, marvel at the natural wonder that is the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, or follow the Niagara Parkway for the “prettiest Sunday drive in the world”.

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96+ local wineries/ 13+ local breweries

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40 golf courses

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300+ kms of cycling trails

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30+ arenas

Arts & Culture

A Canadian culture capital

Niagara Canada is home to world-class theatre, a vibrant arts scene and heritage sites that celebrate some of the most significant historical events that shaped our nation.

To discover what’s happening locally, please visit Cniagara – Niagara’s online resource for arts, heritage, festivals and events.

World-class theatre and other must-sees

Niagara Canada is well known for its incredible arts and entertainment.Don’t miss a performance at the acclaimed Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This world-class theatre annually presents up to 14 funny, brilliant, heartwarming and provocative plays on three stages from April to October.

St. Catharines’ First Ontario Performing Arts Centre features theatrical productions as part of its year round programming, including the Foster Festival. On the lighter side, you can experience dinner and magic at Niagara Falls’ Greg Frewin Theatre or dinner and music at Oh Canada Eh?.

Take note

Niagara Canada’s music scene is really something to sing about. Classical, blues, jazz or good old rock and roll — it’s all here. Pair it up with great venues and you’ve got a can’t-miss recipe for a foot-tapping good time:

  • The lavish 1500-seat Avalon Theatre in the Fallsview Casino Resort attracts an outstanding selection of musicians, including artists like Tony Bennett and Ringo Starr.
  • The Niagara Symphony has been entertaining Niagara’s classical music enthusiasts for six decades. Its 52-piece orchestra performs its concerts at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre.
  • The First Ontario Performing Arts Centre presents an annual HOT TICKET Professional Entertainment Season that features some of the world’s best touring artists.
  • Chorus Niagara has grown from a modest twenty-four members to its present complement of a hundred choristers performing innovative and passionate choral music with a professional orchestra and soloists. The Chorus became an Internet sensation when its Hallelujah! Flash Mob video went viral and was viewed over 35 million times.

Summer in Niagara is the time for a myriad of music festivals and series, including the Jackson-Triggs Summer Concert SeriesHillebrand’s Jazz, Blues and Rock at the Winery and Music Niagara’s concerts in beautiful indoor and outdoor settings in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Explore visual arts

Rodman Hall Art Centre is a contemporary art gallery in the historic Thomas Rodman Merritt House, overlooking the Walker Botanical Garden that descends to the Twelve Mile Creek. Year-round programming at this St. Catharines landmark connects the community with art through innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions, events and art classes for all ages.

The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre art gallery and studio is located in a heritage building circa 1891 on the banks of the Niagara River in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It offers year-round educational programs, exhibitions and events promoting interests in the visual arts.

Collectors can browse a variety of artists’ galleries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Jordan Village and on Niagara Falls’ Queen Street.

Attractions

Fun unlimited

Diverse attractions mean unlimited fun in Niagara Canada. Locals have the benefit of living a short drive from the breathtaking Falls in the heart of wine country and don’t have to leave home to find the world-class attractions that so many tourists come to see.

A true world wonder

The natural wonder of the Horseshoe Falls is one of the world’s most famous waterfalls. With heights of 176 feet, and a colossal 150,000 gallons of water crashing down per second, you are bound to be wonderstruck by the roar of the Falls, the mystery of the rising mist, and if you’re lucky, the sight of rainbows overhead.

This wonder takes center stage in a range of activities — take an elevator 150-feet down through bedrock to tunnels behind the Falls, explore the roar of the water on the Hornblower boat tour or take in the view from up high on the Skylon Tower, on Canada’s largest observation wheel, or aboard a sightseeing helicopter.

From summer fireworks to winter light displays and the iconic New Year’s Eve celebration, the Falls is a breathtaking backdrop year round.

Niagara Falls is also the place for family fun, confirmed by Trip Advisor which named it Canada’s number one family holiday destination. Families make a beeline to the attractions of nearby Clifton Hill, the Niagara Parks and Marineland, explore along the Niagara River and splash around at indoor waterparks. Adults don’t just come to the Falls for honeymoons anymore. In fact, more and more visitors are heading here for gaming at two casinos, falls view dining and a vibrant nightlife.

Bottoms up

Niagara Canada has over seventy award-winning wineries eager to share their distinctive personalities and products at winery tasting rooms and on site tours. Take in a vineyard concert, try your hand at picking frozen grapes for the Icewine harvest, sample creative food and pairings at one of the many winery touring programs, or chat with the winemaker over an intimate barrel cellar dinner.

The wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake offer comprehensive tours, innovative architecture and tastings offered by producers large and small. The wineries of the Twenty Valley invite you to take the back roads to discover the rolling vineyards of the Niagara Escarpment and boutique wineries around every turn.

Yet another wonder

Visit the outdoor elevated viewing platform at the Lock 3 Viewing Complex in St. Catharines to experience the marvel that is the Welland Canal. After being greeted by the ship’s blast, take the tour of the canal’s eight locks. Bike, run or walk the trails canal side to get a close-up look at the ships or visit the adjacent St. Catharines Museum to learn more about one of the world’s greatest man-made wonders.

Naturally Niagara

In addition to our thundering wonder, Niagara Canada offers nature lovers plenty of other awe-inspiring options. Hike the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, explore the magnificent Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, or spend a day of quiet discovery at one of our many conservation areas, trails or beaches.

Battle of the beaches

For guaranteed family fun, just add water! Niagara Canada’s best sandy fun can be found at Port Colborne’s Nickel Beach, Sherkston Shores Beach Resort and Campground and the white sand shores of Crystal Beach, all on Lake Erie.

Head to the waterfront at Port Dalhousie with its walkable pier, lakefront park and historic carousel where rides still cost just 5 cents. Niagara-on-the-Lake is aptly named, with its attractive public park overlooking Lake Ontario.

Journey through time

Learn more about Niagara’s rich heritage by visiting Niagara Parks. You will find First Nations history, the War of 1812, our role as a last stop on the Underground Railroad, and so much more at numerous heritage sites along the Niagara Parkway.

Visit important War of 1812 sites, including Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Fort George and Laura Secord House and Old Fort Erie in Fort Erie.  Niagara-on-the-Lake’s McFarland House and Niagara Falls’ Lundy’s Lane Historical Museum provide interpretive glimpses into the past. The well-preserved architecture of the Heritage District in Niagara-on-the-Lake provides a taste of Upper Canada’s past

In Queenston, the RiverBrink Art Museum houses a collection of fine art and rare books in a stately home, while the Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum reveals 500 years of printing technology in an authentic period print shop. Visit the St. Catharines Museum and Lock 3 Viewing Complex in St. Catharines to experience the wonder of the Welland Canal.

More to see

If you’re looking to unwind, Niagara Canada is home to some of Canada’s top-rated spas and has perfected the destination spa experience. Where else can you partake in unique vinotherapeutic treatments using the region’s renowned wine and grapes?

Drive down Niagara Canada’s side roads and you’ll be astounded by the number of produce markets and roadside stands. Picked at the peak of perfection, our produce is perfect and locals can stock up at one of the many farmers’ markets. If you prefer to pick your own, Niagara is home to several farms that are happy to let you provide your own labour.

There are a number of scenic viewpoints to stop at along the Niagara River Parkway; or take the rural back roads of the Twenty Valley, stopping at charming villages and wineries along the way.

Dining & Nightlife

That’s entertainment

For residents of Niagara Canada, dining out means partaking in the creations of culinary stars and eating food that is truly farm to table. A night out on the town is just as world-class with gaming and hot ticket performances.

Canada’s #1 food and wine destination

Niagara Canada has become a culinary hotspot, with celebrity chefs like Jamie Kennedy and Massimo Capra opening restaurants in the Falls and TripAdvisor recognizing Niagara-on-the-Lake as Canada’s number one food and wine destination. With many chefs featuring Niagara’s rich bounty of local ingredients in their menus, locals are guaranteed an unforgettable meal when dining out.

Chose from restaurants overlooking the falls, with vineyard views and outdoor patios; or hit one of the many “supper markets” in communities like Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fonthill, where food trucks congregate on a weekly basis.

Gaming and nightlife

There are plenty of local things to do in Niagara Canada.  Enjoy the great live entertainment, fantastic shopping and fabulous dining at these venues for a real Vegas vibe.

Home to two casinos, including Canada’s largest, as well as the Fort Erie Race Track and Slots, Niagara Canada has plenty of options if you’re looking to test your luck.

The Avalon Ballroom at the Fallsview Casino Resort, Fallsview Theatre at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, and First Ontario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines all feature year-round entertainment from popular music headliners to symphonies and unique performances found only in Niagara Canada.

Festivals & Events

Niagara celebrates

No matter the season, there’s always something to circle on your calendar in Niagara Canada. Every month brings a lengthy roster of marquee and community-based events and festivals.

World-class festivals

From wine and food festivals to canal side events, Niagara celebrates everything from the annual peach harvest to our friendship with our American neighbours. You’ll find fantastic events and festivals in every municipality and in every season.

Some Top Festivals Include:

  • Niagara Wine Festival
  • Niagara Lavender Festival
  • Niagara-On-The-Lake Peach Festival
  • Niagara VegFest
  • Pride Niagara Week
  • Port Colborne Canal Days
  • Pelham Summer Fest
  • Fort Erie Friendship Festival
  • Annual Canada Day Celebrations through the region.

Happenings across the region

The communities in Niagara Canada are always buzzing with activities and festivals. Do not miss the fun and stay updated with the upcoming events through the local listings online.

For other sources of local events, please see the following alternative resources.

Shopping

Shop talk

For locals who want a little retail therapy, Niagara Canada has plenty of shopping options. Whether you are looking for a one-of-a-kind treasure, the most current fashions or bargain finds, you have plenty of options available. From large malls to charming boutiques and artisan markets, you can find just about anything in Niagara Canada.

The call of the mall

If you’re looking for one-stop shopping, Niagara Canada’s largest shopping destination, The Pen Centre in St. Catharines, features 180 stores and services and one million square feet of shopping fun.

The Outlet Collection at Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Canada One Factory Outlets on Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls are havens for shoppers looking for brand name bargains. Deals await at brand name outlets like Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Roots, Nike and Under Armour.

One-of-a-kind finds

If you prefer strolling outdoors and poking into different shops, Niagara Canada has many unique shopping districts that you won’t want to miss.

Queen Street in Niagara Falls’ original downtown core has been reborn, complete with unique shops, galleries and restaurants.

Travel to the heart of Twenty Valley and experience the distinctive shops of Jordan Village. Whether you’re looking for clothing, gifts, or something for the home, you’re sure to find something that no one else will have here.

Antique shops, specialty foods, wines, beautiful clothing and fabulous gifts — the merchants of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Heritage District offer it all. And when your feet need a rest, there are plenty of spots to stop for a bite or a glass of wine.

Sports & Outdoor

Actively inclined

Outdoorsy and sporty types have a wide range of sports, games and activities to participate in Niagara Canada. Water sports enthusiasts, nature nuts and passionate spectators will all feel at home.

Pedal power

Trade in your four wheels for two and experience Niagara Canada in a whole new way. The region boasts miles of dedicated cycling trails and fantastic options for mountain biking.

Ride one of 200 Niagara scenic ‘loop rides’ for recreational cyclists, like the bike path along the Niagara River Parkway from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls.

Golfing galore

Fore! With a dedicated Golf Trail and 48 courses, Niagara has the greatest single concentration of golf facilities in one region, anywhere in Canada. That’s over 850 different golf holes awaiting your next birdie.

This wide selection of courses includes the oldest golf club in North America, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, scenic locations like the Whirlpool Golf Course and Peninsula Lakes Golf Club and challenging links-style courses such as Legends on the Niagara.

Float your boat

Niagara is home to 10 marinas for boat lovers of all kinds. The South Coast of Niagara Canada provides plenty of opportunities for fishing. Go fishing with Get It Wet Fishing Charters in Port Colborne or try sport fishing on Lake Erie. Brag about your catch including salmon, lake trout, brown trout and steelhead.

Feel the thrill by scuba diving in Lake Erie – a wonderful way to explore the waters that contain reefs and sunken ships. Speed along the Niagara River with Whirlpool Jet Boat tours located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Get propelled into the air over the waters at FlyBoard Niagara in Twenty Valley.

The Welland International Flatwater Centre is a premiere watersports centre that combines international-standard competitive water sport facilities with recreational rental and social opportunities. It hosts competitive canoeing events and is the home of the Welland Flume – two independently controlled, moving water, variable speed, training tanks outfitted for rowing, canoeing, kayaking and dragon boating. For 135 years, Canada has welcomed collegiate rowers from all over the world to the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines, considered one of the world’s marquee rowing competitions and the top amateur rowing event in North America.

Sugarloaf Marina in Port Colborne offers over 700 beautiful slips for short day visits, overnight stays or seasonal rental. Nearby you’ll find Canada’s finest bass and walleye fishing, dozens of historic shipwrecks for scuba diving and some of the country’s best sailing. Marinas at Port Dalhousie, Jordan Harbour and Niagara-on-the-Lake are also home bases for recreational sailing and power boating.

Fresh air fun

You can camp, fish, picnic, walk the trails or just enjoy being surrounded by nature in Niagara Canada’s Conservation Areas which are spread over 2,870 hectares of some of the most sensitive and unique natural areas in the region. There are 39 Conservation Areas in total, each offering diverse recreational and educational opportunities and a place to experience nature’s beauty.

The Niagara Parks Commission oversees sprawling parkland and manicured gardens throughout Niagara Falls and environs. At their various locations you can discover world-famous rose collections, spectacular flowering trees and shrubs and annual baskets in full bloom. Explore historic Queen Victoria Park and the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, meet naturalists for a hike through the Niagara Glen, travel along winding trails or cycle along the Niagara River Recreation Trail.

Discover the Niagara Glen nature reserve, winding through pristine Carolinian Forest overlooking the Niagara River Whirlpool or walk the Bruce Trail, wandering along area fruit lands and the Niagara Escarpment.

Community facilities

In Niagara there are more than 30 public arenas and hundreds of gyms and fitness facilities. Please visit each municipality for more specific information:

For the fans

In Niagara Canada, sports fans can enjoy exciting and action-packed hockey, basketball and car racing.

With National Hockey League (NHL) ticket prices out of reach for many families, the Niagara IceDogs offer an excellent alternative. Fans flock to see this Ontario Hockey League (OHL) team play at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, to watch high quality, fast-paced action and the opportunity to see tomorrow’s NHL stars today.

Car racing enthusiasts in Southern Ontario have been flocking to Merritville Speedway, a popular summer time venue in Thorold, for 60 consecutive seasons. The energy-charged crowd particularly enjoys the quick-paced Saturday night stock car races.

Based in St. Catharines’ new downtown Meridian Centre, the Niagara River Lions basketball team does not disappoint. Games have the same fast pace as their NBA counterparts, with hungrier players, non-stop action and amazing prize giveaways at every game.

The Niagara Thunderhawks are a Junior “B” box lacrosse team that play in the OLA Junior B Lacrosse League. Tickets are available for games at the Meridian Centre from April through June.