If you’re from outside of Niagara, you might already know Niagara-on-the-Lake, which we somewhat affectionately refer to as ‘NOTL’. Consistently named as one of Canada’s top best places to live, it’s a picture-perfect town with elaborate Victorian homes, horse & buggy rides, theatres & peach festivals, Christmas candlelight strolls, and tons of wineries. As a Niagara local, it’s our own local getaway, and even feels like a mini-trip and a whole new world when you live on its outskirts.
It is probably the most coveted town in the Niagara Region, and for good reason. As you drive in through Niagara Stone Road, you pass vineyards and wineries, each of which you can stop at for a tasting. All the wineries have their own style and offer something unique (for example, Southbrook organic winery has sheep roaming its lot; and you may know who Gretzky Estates Wines is named after, but did you know they also have a brand of whisky and now do beer?). Once you arrive in the downtown, you feel like you’re in a storybook. Quaint little shops selling locally made jams, old theatres showing world-renowned shows (the Shaw Festival lives here), restaurants doing high tea and hotel spas to spend your afternoon inside. The houses that line the streets surrounding the downtown are historic and grand, and just a walk from the lake shore. You can rent bicycles and take a ride along the Niagara Parkway, from the lake through Fort George (a historic fort you can tour in the day, or at night for the ghosts!) and all the way to Niagara Falls. Or, just hop along from one winery to another. Craft breweries have also gained traction here, with a number of breweries setting up shop in interesting buildings. On Wednesday nights, you might also find food trucks and picnic tables set up along the park out front of Garrison Village (a cute neighbourhood of colourful homes made to appear like historic NOTL builds), as people enjoy the ‘Suppermarket’ to a background of a live band. No wonder so many want to retire here!
On the outskirts of NOTL, you’ll find a great outdoor outlet mall, White Oaks hotel & spa, and a campus of Niagara College. At this college, they have some seriously cutting-edge courses that add very specific interest to our local industries: Niagara College houses Canada’s first commercial cannabis production program, The Canada Food and Wine Institute, and the Niagara College Teaching Brewery (https://bit.ly/2tSLRNM). That’s nothing if not a one-two punch for forward-thinking and growing markets from Niagara outwards!
To read more about Niagara areas and why Niagara is THE place to live right now, click here.
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