About St. Catharines
St. Catharines is the largest city in Canada's Niagara Region and the sixth largest urban area in Ontario, with 96.13 square kilometres of land and 133,113 residents in 2016. It lies in Southern Ontario, 51 kilometres south of Toronto across Lake Ontario, and is 19 kilometres inland from the international boundary with the United States along the Niagara River. It is the northern entrance of the Welland Canal. Residents of St. Catharines are known as St. Cathariners. It carries the official nickname "The Garden City" due to its 1,000 acres (4 km2) of parks, gardens and trails.
St. Catharines is between the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and the Fort Erie – US border. Manufacturing is the city's dominant industry, as noted by the heraldic motto, "Industry and Liberality". General Motors of Canada, Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of General Motors, was the city's largest employer, a distinction now held by the District School Board of Niagara. THK Rhythm Automotive, formerly TRW, operates a plant in the city, though in recent years employment there has shifted from heavy industry and manufacturing to services.
St. Catharines lies on one of the main telecommunications backbones between Canada and the United States, and as a result a number of call centres operate in the city. It is designated an Urban Growth Centre by the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, intended to achieve a minimum density target of 150 jobs and residents combined per hectare by 2031 or earlier.
There are marinas at Port Dalhousie and Port Weller and a club that sails from Municipal Beach. The St. Catharines Marina is at Port Weller. The Port Dalhousie Pier Marina and the Port Dalhousie Yacht Club are at Port Dalhousie.
Martindale Pond in St. Catharines' Port Dalhousie is the site of the annual Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, a world-class event that brings over 3,000 athletes from various nations to the city. The site hosted the FISA World Rowing Championships in both 1970 and in 1999. More recently, the World Master's Rowing Championship was held at the Martindale Pond in the summer of 2010, with $500,000 in improvements to the facility such as: a weed harvester, new docking and a new timing system. There are currently talks to bring the Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame to St. Catharines sometime in the near future. The pond is also home to the St. Catharines rowing club, Brock University rowing club, Ridley College rowing club and to the annual CSSRA Championships, which draws hundreds of high school athletes from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The Martindale Pond or Henley, continues to hold its world-renowned status as a major rowing venue in the world. The rowing event in the Pan American Games were held in St. Catharines in 2015. Several Olympic medallists in rowing are from St. Catharines, including Melanie Kok, Buffy Williams, and Dave Boyes.
- The city's trail system offers over 90 kilometres (55 mi) of accessible pathways that are suitable for walking, jogging, cycling, hiking and cross-country skiing.
- Bruce Trail: Canada's oldest and longest hiking trail, following the Niagara Escarpment (designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve site) from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Tobermory. A 20-kilometre (12 mi) section with associated side trails winds through St. Catharines passing by places such as the Morningstar Mill.
- Merritt Trail: a segmented 11 km (6.8 mi) trail that passes many of the old sections of the second Welland Canal and remnants of its locks.
- Terry Fox Fitness Trail: named after Canadian hero Terry Fox, a 1.5 km trail that runs along the former interurban railway right-of-way through central St. Catharines. Placed strategically along the Terry Fox Fitness Trail are six exercise stations of Dynatract Fitness Course, with instruction boards at each station.
- Waterfront Trail: follows the shore of Lake Ontario, connecting communities from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Brockville. The Port Dalhousie portion of the trail is a major highlight.
- Welland Canals Parkway: provides an uninterrupted 9-kilometre (5.6 mi) paved path for non-motorized traffic, along the western-side of the scenic Welland Canal. It links with the waterfront trails of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Port Colbourne, and the Niagara Parkway to create the Greater Niagara Circle Route, measuring approximately 150 kilometres (90 mi). An equestrian trail is on the canal's east-side and is part of the parkway.