St. Catharines is a city with a lot of heart. Boasting a population of 113,000 and an unbeatable location on Lake Ontario’s shore, St. Catharines offers its residents a culture of working-class charm and a uniquely mild climate for Ontario. If you’re looking for homes for sale in Ontario outside the price range of the GTA, St. Catharines should be the first city on your list.
More About St. Catharines
The largest city in the Niagara Region and one of the biggest cities in all of Ontario, St. Catharines is an independent metropolis where residents can find all they need within their city’s bounds. St. Catharines is strategically located about 25 kilometres from the U.S. Border and less than an hour and a half from Toronto. Furthermore, its local canals and locks make St. Catharines a major thoroughfare for shipping on the Great Lakes.
St. Catharines has a mature feel to it. The median age here is 45 and, except when Brock University students are in town, the city is usually pretty quiet and relaxed. Thanks to its proximity to Niagara Falls, St. Catharines gets a large influx of tourists each summer that spur community events and help local businesses thrive.
Nowadays, St. Catharines is mounting an ambitious long-term campaign to revitalize its city centre. As more people work from home and move out of Toronto to the Niagara Region, it’s not unreasonable to expect a true renaissance in this humble lakeside city.
St. Catharines Real Estate
St. Catharines breaks the mould when it comes to Ontario real estate. In a province where anything within two hours of Toronto sells for the same price, St. Catharines offers a refreshing variety of homes for sale and listing prices.
The median sale price for a single-family home in St. Catharines, ON was $757,000 at the end of 2021. That is almost half of the Toronto average. How long prices will stay like this depends entirely on how many GTA residents pull up stakes in their Mississauga suburbs and decide to make a move to St. Catharines. For the time being, the affordability of the homes for sale in St. Catharines is unbeatable in the region.
We mentioned variety in St. Catharines real estate, and we meant it. Though well over half of the homes for sale in St. Catharines are detached, they come in many styles and flavours. You can find luxury homes for upwards of $1.4M and fixer-upper shotgun houses for less than $600K. Almost all the homes in St. Catharines have three bedrooms and most were built before the 1970s, giving the whole city a vintage feel.
The real estate market in St. Catharines has reacted accordingly to the upsurge in home values and appreciation rates common to almost every city in Canada since 2020. St. Catharines has seen appreciation rates in the 20% range year-over-year and homes usually only last eight days on the market before they’re bought. How the market will react in 2022 is far from certain, but investors and home-seekers alike should pay close attention to St. Catharines as a new home for GTA residents looking to get more breathing room for themselves in post-pandemic Canada.
Best Neighbourhoods in St. Catharines
North End is the largest neighbourhood in St. Catharines and composed of a patchwork of squared residential blocks. This neighbourhood is suburban Canada at its finest. The streets are wide and straight, with plenty of lawn space for each house and sidewalks on both sides of the road. Whether you’re going for an evening walk or teaching your kid how to ride a bike, North End is known for its safe, slow pace of life.
Louth is the westernmost neighbourhood of St. Catharines and about as large as North End. Louth is almost exclusively rural, with acres upon acres of farmland in stark contrast to the suburban areas around St. Catharines downtown. If you’re looking to purchase undeveloped land in St. Catharines, ON, this is the neighbourhood for you.
Port Dalhousie seems like it was torn from the pages of a Canadian fairy tale. Located on a peninsula right up against Lake Ontario, Port Dalhousie is by far the most sought-after neighbourhood in St. Catharines. The streets are spacious and well-shaded, the homes for sale are some of the finest in the whole city, and the neighbourhood is home to Lakeside Park, one of the quaintest, most peaceful parks in St. Catharines.
Fitzgerald is just north of St. Catharine’s downtown and is a great middle-found for parents looking to raise kids in a quiet neighbourhood while still being close to big city amenities.
Schools in St. Catharines, ON
All the public schools in St. Catharines fall under the management of the District School board of Niagara. The city hosts six secondary schools and a multitude of primary schools. There are also three catholic secondary schools and dozens of elementary schools governed by the Niagara Catholic District School Board. Here’s a look at some of the best schools in St. Catharines, ON
DSNB Academy (6-8)
130 Louth Street, St. Catharines ON, L2S 2T4
Laura Secord Secondary School (9-12)
49 Niagara St, St. Catharines, ON L2M 4V9
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School (9-12)
101 Glen Morris Dr, St. Catharines, ON L2T 2N1
Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School (9-12)
460 Linwell Rd, St. Catharines, ON L2M 2P9
Saint Francis (9-12)
541 Lake St, St. Catharines, ON L2N 4H7
Grapeview Public School (JK-8)
106 First St Louth, St. Catharines ON, L2R 6P9
Applewood Public School (JK-6)
130 Woodrow St, St. Catharines ON, L2P 3T7
Economy in St. Catharines, ON
St. Catharines is a major centre for telecommunications between Canada and the United States. Several call centres are located in the city and, thanks again to its proximity to the U.S. There is a major push to supercharge St. Catharine’s economy over the next ten years. The main industries at play in St. Catharines are sales and services followed by finance, government, and education.
Interestingly enough, St. Catherine’s climate is measurably milder than most of southern Ontario. Though lake-effect snow is still a common occurrence during the winter, St. Catharine enjoys more frost-free days than almost anywhere else in the region and has frequent thaws even in the depths of winter.
Two major roads serve St. Catharines, Queen Elizabeth Way, which connects to the GTA and Highway 406, which bisects the Niagara region north-to-south. The St. Catharines Transit Commission operates public buses throughout the city and GO has a bus stop in St. Catharines linking it further to the GTA.
FAQ about St. Catharines, ON
What is the Postal Code for St. Catharines, ON?
Where is the nearest airport in St. Catharines, ON?
Niagara Falls International Airport, 37.2 kilometres
Where is the nearest hospital in St. Catharines, ON?
St. Catharine’s General Hospital, 9 kilometres
What is the average sale price for a single-family home in St. Catharines, ON?
Things to do
- Lakeside Park – Lakeside Park will quickly become a favourite destination, especially during the summer. Offering 300 metres of beach to enjoy on the sunniest Ontario days, Lakeside Park is a great place for a family gathering.
- St. Catharines Farmers Market – The great thing about the farmer’s market is you can enjoy it all year round. Located on the corner of King Street and James Street, the market is open Thursdays and Saturdays from the morning till early afternoon.
- Niagara Folk Arts Festival – Held annually in the St. Catharines Multicultural Centre, the Niagara Folk Arts Festival is a great way to celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the St. Catharine community. Come and eat ethnic food, watch dances with hundreds of years of history behind them, and enjoy!
- Decew Falls – Though Niagara is only a twenty-minute drive away, you might get tired of those waterfalls pretty fast. But if gravity and water still excite you, Decew Falls is well worth the short trip south to check them out. Nearly a forty-foot drop, the falls are pretty impressive and the old mill above them is well worth a visit too!
- Niagara Glen – Niagara Glen is a public park just past the falls. Walk along the Niagara River and enjoy an old-growth forest found almost nowhere else in Ontario. This overlooked natural gem of the Niagara region is a real treasure for the residents who know about it.