Niagara Falls Lions Club celebrates 101 years of community service

by Nick Redekop

Dwindling membership doesn’t stop one of Canada’s oldest clubs from being there for the community, and planning for the future. Photo credit: Niagara Falls Lions Club   The City of Niagara Falls may have seen a lot of change over the past 100 years, however, there are some things that have remained constant. The Niagara […]

Niagara communities prepare to be ‘Saved by the Beep’

by Nick Redekop

With its name inspired by the famed television show Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Beep encourages residents across Ontario to check their homes’ fire alarms. Photo credit: First Alert via PRNewswire   Communities across Ontario will have the opportunity to update their knowledge of fire prevention and safety over the next couple of […]

Pictured left to right: Bryan Bebas, production control manager at Highland Ridge; Edwin de Jonge, Nick de Jonge, and Fred de Jonge, leadership team at Highland Packers; Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West; and Marinus and Janneke de Jonge and Janet DeVries, leadership team at Highland Packers. Photo credit: Sam Oosterhoff   Highland Packers, a meat processor […]

Niagara College connects students to careers

by Nick Redekop

Career and Co-op Services director chats upcoming school year and bridging the gap between classroom and employment. Photo credit: Niagara College   Career and Co-op Services director chats upcoming school year and bridging the gap between classroom and employment. Photo credit: Niagara College   The 2023-24 school year is well underway at Niagara College. Whether […]

Local farms to find the family turkey this Thanksgiving

by Mary Spinks

Kent Heritage Farms, Littlefoot Farm, and Silmaril Farm all offer local, free-range/run turkeys for your holiday dinner. Photo credit: Monstera Production   With both Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, it is a good time to start planning where to get your family’s turkey. In Niagara, there are several farms that offer local turkey to […]

St. Catharines MP who helped usher in Liberal ‘censorship laws’ exits Canadian Heritage

by The Niagara Independent

Chris Bittle (left) has been named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey (right) given new secretarial role at Transport Canada. Photo credit: Government of Canada   Following what many deemed to be an ineffective cabinet shuffle earlier this summer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shook up his […]

Brock chaplain looks forward to exciting year at Faith and Life Centre

by Nick Redekop

Christian Reformed chaplain and chair of Brock’s Faith and Life Centre Zack DeBruyne. Photo credit: Brock University   As students at Brock University settle into the 2023-24 school year, a wide variety of extracurriculars and clubs are starting back up, including faith-based groups and activities. Zack DeBruyne currently serves as the Christian Reformed chaplain and […]

Co-op, Career and Experiential Education director Cara Krezek. Photo credit: Brock University/The Brock News   As post-secondary institutions return to school this month, the Co-op, Career and Experiential Education (CCEE) department at Brock University is eager to support students in realizing their professional goals. Cara Krezek currently serves as director of CCEE.  “It’s been great […]

Fall fairs and festivals to check out around Niagara this season

by Mary Spinks

The annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival takes place from October 6 to 9. Photo credit: Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival   Just like that, the fall festival season is here in Niagara. From pumpkins and apple cider, to music and crafts, there are so many options to embrace harvest time and support the local community.  Here […]

‘Ready at a moment’s notice’: Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

by Nick Redekop

Located just over the border in Niagara Falls, New York, the 914th Refuelling Wing maintains a close relationship with its Canadian counterparts. Photo credit: Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station   As a turbulent decade continues, the need for democratic allies to collaborate on defence is as important as ever. Oftentimes, local military bases play a […]

Local education directors talk start of new school year

by Nick Redekop

With local students returning to class last week, The Niagara Independent caught up with Warren Hoshizaki of the District School Board of Niagara and Camillo Cipriano of the Niagara Catholic District School Board. Photo credit: Pexels/RDNE Stock Project   As September marches on, a new school year is taking shape for students, educators. and administrators […]

Province increases funding for Niagara offloading nursing program

by Nick Redekop

Pictured is MPP for Niagara West Sam Oosterhoff and Niagara Regional Council Char Jim Bradley. Photo credit: Sam Oosterhoff   The Niagara Region will receive an additional $1.8 million in specialized health-care funding over the next three years, the provincial government announced Thursday, September 7.  The investment, which is part of a broader $51 million […]

 ‘After several seasons of capacity limits and border closures, it’s been a really important opportunity for us to rebound’. Photo credit: Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours   As the nights get colder, school returns to session, and the signs of the season turn to football, migrating birds, and pumpkin-spiced lattes, it is a critical time for […]

Niagara apple picking season is here

by Mary Spinks

Plenty of orchards around the peninsula to bring the kids for some family fun. Photo credit: iStock    September is the peak of the pick-your-own apple season in Niagara. Apple orchards are full and ready for those looking to get in the autumn spirit.  According to the Apple Growers of Ontario, the Great Lakes region […]

Annual ‘Big Move Cancer Ride’ takes place this weekend

by Nick Redekop

Event marks decade and a half of fundraising success. ‘Every pedal rotation and every dollar raised holds profound significance.’ Photo credit: Facebook/Big Move Cancer Ride   On Sunday, September 10, more than 500 participants in the annual Big Move Cancer Ride will gather at White Meadows Farm in Pelham.  “For the past 15 years, the […]

Brock welcomes new cohort of Badgers to campus

by The Niagara Independent

Along with students’ families and friends, a ‘small army’ of Brock employees and volunteers helped the university’s 2,700 eager arrivals move in over the weekend. Photo credit: Brock University   Brock University’s St. Catharines campus was abuzz with new and return arrivals over the weekend. In preparation for the start of the fall semester on […]

Information collected from the Majestic Monarchs program will be used to determine the number of monarchs in the area, understand their migration south to Mexico, and provide data that will be considered in the further protection of the species. Photo credit: Britannica   Niagara Parks is hosting a free educational program, Majestic Monarchs: Annual Species […]

Niagara College launching four-year registered nursing degree

by The Niagara Independent

First intake set for fall 2024. New program to build off of college’s existing two-year diploma in practical nursing. Photo credit: Niagara College   This time next year, Niagara College will welcome its first cohort of 60 students into its brand-new, stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program.  On Wednesday, the college announced that […]

Scrumptious local ciders to try this fall season

by Mary Spinks

Typically lauded for its wine, the Niagara Peninsula also produces some of the best hard ciders in the country. Photo credit: Facebook/Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery   As summer comes to a close, fall activities and events are beginning to ramp up around Niagara. One fall festive activity is to partake in a glass of hard […]

Investment will help create 30 new jobs. Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith (third from left) was on hand last Thursday with local officials and representatives from the company to announce the funding. Photo credit: Twitter/Graydon Smith   Last week, the province announced it is investing $1.8 million to help Smithville’s Niagara Pallet […]

Festivals around the region this Labour Day weekend

by Mary Spinks

This Labour Day weekend be transported to Greece with the sights, sounds, and food of Hellas at the Niagara Greek Festival in St. Catharines. Photo credit: Niagara Greek Festival   The upcoming long weekend is a final chance for families to get out and enjoy the summer before school resumes and warm weather turns to […]

Sheridan College prepares to welcome students to Fort Erie satellite campus

by Nick Redekop

Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop (centre right) joined Mayor of Fort Erie Wayne Redekop (right) and school officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new campus last week. Photo credit: Facebook/Jill Dunlop   As students and educators return to the classroom after Labour Day, many post-secondary applicants will soon have a new and […]

Province readies to name regional facilitator to review Niagara governance structure

by The Niagara Independent

Minister Steve Clark (pictured) said the facilitator will be announced by September 11. Photo credit: Twitter/Steve Clark   After months of waiting, Niagara will soon know who, exactly, will lead a long-anticipated review of the region’s governance system on behalf of the province.  Speaking at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference earlier […]

St. Catharines’ TAG Art Gallery, which closed its doors last fall, has made a sizable donation of historically significant artwork to the museum. Photo credit: City of Niagara Falls/Niagara Falls History Museum   Last week, the City of Niagara Falls announced that the Niagara Falls History Museum has received what it is calling an “unprecedented” donation […]

Province provides Niagara College over $800,000 to offer free pre-apprenticeship training

by The Niagara Independent

Funding will help address regional labour shortage. Photo credit: Niagara College   On Monday, the Ontario government announced it has invested $812,775 at Niagara College to boost pre-apprenticeship training for in-demand jobs in the skilled trades. The funding is part of the province’s record investment in nearly 100 free pre-apprenticeship programs around Ontario. “Ontario’s skilled trades […]

Zappitellis give ‘transformative’ $1 million gift to new Niagara Falls hospital

by The Niagara Independent

Over a dozen philanthropists have now contributed substantial gifts toward the community’s local share of the project. Artist rendering of the future hospital site. Photo credit: Niagara Health   On Thursday, August 17, the Niagara Health Foundation announced the latest benefactor on its growing list of ‘Founding Donors’ supporting the South Niagara hospital project.  Tony […]

Niagara Falls named ‘most magical’ place in Canada

by The Niagara Independent

Title determined based on online activity via Instagram hashtags and Tripadvisor reviews. Photo credit: Tourism Partnership of Niagara   The magic and majesty of Niagara’s world-famous falls remains unrivaled across the country. According to a new report from BonusFinder, Niagara Falls is Canada’s “most magical” place.  “Situated on the Niagara River, it is known for […]

Hotel Dieu Shaver receiving $2.5 million from province for strategic expansion

by Nick Redekop

Pictured left to right: Rick Mauro, Board Chair, Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation; Sister Louise Dillon, Director of Mission and Pastoral Services, Hotel Dieu Shaver; Jim Bradley, Chair, Niagara Region; Sam Oosterhoff, MPP Niagara West; Lynne Pay, Chief Executive Officer, Hotel Dieu Shaver; Tracy Geoffroy, Executive Director, Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation; Betty-Lou Souter, Trustee, Hotel Dieu […]

Nearly 10,000 students in Niagara not up to date on mandatory vaccinations

by The Niagara Independent

Of the over 68,000 students enrolled in schools across the region, 14 per cent currently hold incomplete immunization records. Photo credit: Blue Cross Blue Shield   With the 2023/24 school year set to start in exactly three weeks, Niagara Region Public Health (Public Health) is reminding parents and caregivers to get up to date on […]

Three West Niagara municipalities hold joint meeting to discuss regional governance

by The Niagara Independent

West Lincoln, Lincoln, and Grimsby appear to be signalling that, should the province bring change to Niagara’s governance structure, they hope to stick together. Pictured is West Niagara Agricultural Centre and Fairgrounds, where representatives from the municipalities met on Wednesday. Photo credit: West Niagara Agricultural Centre and Fairgrounds.   In a shared news release earlier […]

Though only very slightly, prices increased for a fifth consecutive month in July.   After tumbling down for the better part of 2022 into early 2023, and then surging in the spring and remaining steady for the past few months, housing prices in Niagara effectively flatlined in July. According to the latest statistics from the […]

Cities of St. Catharines and Thorold sent letters to federal government demanding answers and change. Their pleas, according to the Conservative MP from Niagara Falls (pictured), went unanswered. Photo credit: Tony Baldinelli   In a recent media release, Conservative Party MP for Niagara Falls Tony Baldinelli blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and local Liberal members […]

The lion’s share will be dedicated to advancing patient care directly, with portions going toward the Walker Family Cancer Centre (pictured) and the new Niagara Falls hospital. Photo credit: BH Architects   This week, the largest donation in the history of Niagara Health was presented by philanthropists Greg and Diane Slaight. The family committed a […]

The agency’s iconic incline railway cars. Photo credit: Niagara Parks   Niagara Parks is looking to revamp the way in which visitors get around its main tourist hub in Niagara Falls. In a press release Tuesday, Niagara Parks announced that it has officially launched a call for proposals for a new visitor transportation system “that […]

Mountainview LemonAID Day raises over $100,000 for FACS Niagara

by The Niagara Independent

Funds will help send hundreds of local children to camp. President of the event’s title sponsor Mark Basciano (second from right) was on-hand for a reveal party earlier this week, pictured here alongside Thorold mayor Terry Ugulini (right), St. Catharines mayor Mat Siscoe (third from left), and members of the FACS team. Photo credit: Mountainview […]

Two top cops leaving Niagara police early next year

by The Niagara Independent

Chief of Police Bryan MacCulloch and Deputy Chief Brett Flynn set to retire on Feb. 1, 2024. Photo credit: NRPS   Over 73 years of experience: that’s what the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) will lose when both Chief of Police Bryan MacCulloch and Deputy Chief Brett Flynn simultaneously retire on Feb. 1, 2024.  Chair […]

Thorold mourns loss of former long-time councillor, two-term mayor

by The Niagara Independent

Ted Luciani served on the city’s council from 2000 to 2018. Photo credit: City of Thorold   Former Thorold mayor Ted Luciani has passed away. The municipality announced Luciani’s passing in a press release on Friday, July 28. “On behalf of City Council, staff and residents of the City of Thorold, our heartfelt condolences, thoughts […]

Long-time Toronto educator Richard Bilkszto, pictured here at a May 2023 appearance on TVO’s The Agenda, was a former Town of Lincoln councillor. Photo credit: TVO   Toronto principal and former Town of Lincoln councillor Richard Bilkszto took his own life earlier this month. Bilkszto was an educator for over two decades. He was 60 […]

Hydro One investing $1.3 million to help Pelham meet energy demands

by Nick Redekop

Pictured centre are Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, Mayor of Pelham Marvin Junkin, and Hydro One Executive VP Teri French. Photo credit: Hydro One   Hydro One is investing $1.3 million to add a third power line to the Pelham Centre Distribution Station, the organization announced Wednesday.  Teri French currently serves as Executive Vice President, […]

Councillors unanimously pass set of ‘progressive’ new strategic priorities

by The Niagara Independent

Climate change, equity among priorities set to guide Niagara Region into 2026. Photo credit: The Niagara Independent   At its special council meeting last Thursday, July 20, Niagara Regional Council unanimously approved four new strategic priorities that will help guide the municipality’s decision-making over the next four years.  As outlined in “Growing Better Together: Council […]

Niagara College named grand champion at U.S. beer competition

by The Niagara Independent

The school’s Teaching Brewing was recently named Grand National Champion at the 2023 U.S. Open College Beer Championship, nabbing five medals in the process. Photo credit: Niagara College   If you need any more evidence that Niagara College Teaching Brewery is one of the best post-secondary institutes in North America to study the art and […]

Officials take part in a ground-breaking ceremony at the future Siltech site at 1700 Pettit Rd. Pictured left to right are Maple Reinders president Harold Reinders, Siltech project engineer Mark Marynowicz, Niagara Falls MP Tony Baldinelli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, Siltech CEO Rick Vrckovnik, Mayor of Fort Erie Wayne […]

Poilievre takes ‘Bring It Home’ tour across Niagara

by The Niagara Independent

On Wednesday, July 19, the Conservative Party leader visited Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, and Thorold, before ending the day at a huge rally featuring some 1,600 supporters in St. Catharines (pictured). Photo credit: Pierre Poilievre   As part of his coast-to-coast Bring It Home campaign tour this summer, Canada’s Leader of the Official Opposition Pierre […]

Shovels in the ground for brand new South Niagara Hospital

by Kevin Geenen

 Several public officials, including Premier Doug Ford, were on hand for the official ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday, July 18, 2023. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   On Tuesday, July 18, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was in Niagara to break ground on the region’s new state-of-the-art $3.6 billion hospital: Niagara Health’s South Niagara Site. Ford was joined […]

Pictured left to right are Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Chair and Lincoln Regional Councillor Rob Foster, Mayor of Lincoln Sandra Easton, MPP for Niagara West Sam Oosterhoff, and Coastal Science Coordinator for Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative Kiersten McCutcheon. Photo credit: Sam Oosterhoff   The Ontario government is investing $6 million to support 30 multi-year projects […]

Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Port Colborne all offer outdoor walking tours throughout the summer months. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara Falls Museums   Niagara is known for its rich history and landmarks but many of these sites can be overlooked as they now blend into the modern landscape. Fortunately, many local museums offer guided walking tours that […]

Niagara Falls City Council pledges $30 million for new local hospital

by Nick Redekop

Artist rendering of the future Niagara Falls hospital at the corners of Montrose and Biggar roads. Photo credit: Niagara Health   The City of Niagara Falls has officially committed to provide $30 million dollars to the construction of a cutting-edge hospital for residents of South Niagara. Lynn Guerriero currently serves as President and CEO of […]

Splashtown opened for its second season off Nickel Beach two weeks ago. Photo credit: Splashtown   Splashtown Water Parks has reopened for summer fun at Nickel Beach in Port Colborne.  The inflatable water park has slides and an obstacle course just a short swim from the shoreline. The attraction is family friendly — encouraging all […]

Average Canadian rent price reaches record high

by The Niagara Independent

Average asking rents in Canada have increased 20 points in two years. St. Catharines saw a month-over-month increase above the national average, yet remains one of more affordable medium- to large-sized cities in Canada.   With increased immigration and rising interest rates putting more and more pressure on investors and landlords, rental prices continue to […]

Niagara one of safest large urban areas in Canada, new study suggests

by The Niagara Independent

Website Rentola looked at the 34 largest census metropolitan areas in Canada. Photo credit: City of Welland   The St. Catharines—Niagara census metropolitan area (CMA) is the eighth “safest” metro area in Canada, according to a new study by rental search engine website Rentola. The study ranked Canada’s 34 largest CMAs for “overall security and […]

Pace of price increase slows below one per cent. Average number of days houses on market remains steady at 30.    After tumbling for the better part of 2022 into early 2023, the Niagara real estate market continues its slow and steady climb back up. For the fourth month in a row, home prices across […]

Niagara’s Shaw Festival Theatre celebrates half century of entertainment

by Nick Redekop

While the Shaw Festival is currently in its 61st season, the organization’s main theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake officially opened its doors 50 years ago on June 28, 1973. Photo credit: Shaw Festival   As the calendar turned to July last weekend, the 2023 season at Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake was already well underway. However, this is […]

Frozen confections around the region to keep you cool this summer

by Mary Spinks

Celebrate the hot weather and Niagara’s small business community by visiting one of the locations below. Pictured is Chef and Bub in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The small-batch popsicle maker has another location in Thorold. Photo credit: Facebook/Chef and Bub   Summer is in full swing, and with the hot weather it’s always nice to indulge in a […]

Niagara Health provides further insight into decision to reduce urgent care hours

by The Niagara Independent

Starting this Wednesday, the urgent care centres in Fort Erie (pictured) and Port Colborne will shift from 24/7 operations to exclusively running from 10:00am to 8:00pm. The change is ultimately the result of a “human resources issue”, not inadequate funding. Photo credit: Google Maps   Following a torrent of backlash from residents, municipal leaders, and […]

Niagara College tripling on-campus housing over next four years

by The Niagara Independent

To accommodate growth and address existing housing shortage, school adding new living spaces for approximately 1,000 students at its Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses. Photo credit: Niagara College   Driven by its uber-successful, innovative programs in the food and beverage, horticultural, and advanced manufacturing industries, over the last decade or so Niagara College has quickly transformed from […]

Canada Day celebrations across Niagara

by Mary Spinks

From fireworks over the Falls, to free concerts, parades, and a variety of food vendors, Niagara communities across the peninsula have a lot on offer this Canada Day. Photo credit: Niagara Falls Tourism   There’s plenty of things going on around the region this Canada Day long weekend. Below is a selection of some of […]

Rooted Hair Studio showcases local entrepreneurial spirit

by Nick Redekop

Colleen Slappendel (pictured, centre) opened her Pelham hair salon at the height of the pandemic in October 2020. Despite the inherent challenges in starting a small business, plus the added pressures of recurrent lockdowns and restrictions, she and her business prevailed, and continues to grow. Photo credit: Rooted Hair Studio   2020 was undoubtedly one […]

Niagara Falls MP Tony Baldinelli, Mayor of Fort Erie Wayne Redekop comment on possible tax that would increase costs for Canadians who own property in the U.S. Pictured is the Peace Bridge, which connects Fort Erie, ON and Buffalo, NY. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn   In response to a generational crisis in housing […]

Pair of Niagara police officers awarded province’s highest honour for bravery

by The Niagara Independent

Mike Delano (right) and Christian Gifford (left) were honoured with the Ontario Medal for Police Bravery at a ceremony in Toronto on Thursday, June 22. Pictured in-between Delano and Gifford is NRPS chief Bryan MacCulloch. Photo credit: Twitter/Bryan MacCulloch   At a ceremony at Queen’s Park in Toronto last week, the Ontario government honoured 21 […]

The award-winning market is set to move from the MacBain Community Centre parking lot (pictured) to the brand-new Niagara Falls Exchange Cultural Hub and Market on Ferry Street later this summer. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market   The 2023 season at the Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market is well-underway. This year, however, is particularly special. […]

Local school boards’ budgets continue to balloon

by The Niagara Independent

The DSBN’s annual budget has increased nearly $100 million since the 2019-20 school year. Photo credit: VNIS Education   Just in time for the start of summer break this week, Niagara’s public and Catholic school boards have approved of their respective 2023-24 budgets.   For the fifth consecutive year, the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) […]

Sixth year in a row the Parks Canada fort, which typically serves as a War of 1812 reenactment site, will play host to World War I commemorations. Photo credit: Fort George National Historic Site   Fort George, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, is most renowned for its depiction of daily life during the War of 1812. For one […]

Niagara cleans up at Ontario Wine Awards, with nationals just around the corner

by The Niagara Independent

Peller Estates’ Katie Dickieson (pictured) awarded ‘Winemaker of the Year’. Domaine Queylus’ Brooke Husband named Paul Pender Memorial ‘Rising Star’ for 2023. Photo credit: ARTiculation Group/Joseph Chan   Earlier this month, the winners of the 2023 Ontario Wine Awards were announced at a ceremony hosted by Niagara College. Katie Dickieson of Peller Estates was named […]

Province helping McNally House significantly expand care capacity

by The Niagara Independent

Left to right: Mayor of Grimsby Jeff Jordan, Mayor of West Lincoln Cheryl Ganann, Mayor of Lincoln Sandra Easton, MPP for Niagara West Sam Oosterhoff, McNally House Executive Director Pamela Blackwood, and McNally House President and Board Chair Murray Bain. Photo credit: Sam Oosterhoff   The provincial government is providing funding to help McNally House […]

Niagara Catholic board receives unidentified threat

by The Niagara Independent

Put in place Monday in response to the threat, hold and secure order now lifted as of Tuesday morning. All schools back to normal. According to police, threat likely originated from outside of Canada. Photo credit: Google Maps   A hold and secure order at all elementary and secondary schools across the Niagara Catholic District […]

The Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre (pictured) is set to receive $100,000 to implement its solution focused on increasing health literacy, raising awareness about colon-friendly healthy diets, and enhancing accessibility to colorectal cancer screening and primary care. The centre aims to not only educate but also normalize the discussion around colorectal cancer, creating the tagline […]

Diodati, Siscoe set to get strong mayor powers from province

by The Niagara Independent

Mayor of Niagara Falls Jim Diodati (centre) and Mayor of St. Catharines Mat Siscoe to be granted increased decision-making capabilities July 1. Photo credit: Twitter/Jim Diodati   The heads of council for Niagara’s two largest cities have been granted ‘strong mayor powers’ by the province. In an announcement Friday morning, Minister of Municipal Affairs and […]

The Conservative MP for Niagara Falls (pictured) also put forward a unanimous consent motion on Monday to immediately return Bernardo back to a maximum-security prison. The Liberals rejected the motion.   Local MP for Niagara Falls Tony Baldinelli has taken concrete steps to guarantee mass murderers like Paul Bernardo are kept in maximum-security for their […]

Several pick-your-own experiences around the region to choose from. Pictured is Fenwick Berry Farm. Photo credit: Fenwick Berry Farm   Strawberry season in Niagara officially kicks off this weekend with the 38th annual Strawberry Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The festival, which takes place on Saturday, June 17, will be held on the grounds of St. Andrew’s […]

The Pie Guys Bakery and Café (pictured) opened its new production facility at the corner of King and Minto St. six weeks ago, expanding its local footprint and helping fill a commercial vacancy on one of the city’s main thoroughfares. Photo credit: Facebook/Pie Guys   If you’ve driven down King St. in Port Colborne recently […]

Back on May 9, Mayor Mat Siscoe outlined a “laundry list” of issues St. Catharines (pictured) is dealing with in relation to homelessness, drug abuse, and violence. Photo credit: City of St. Catharines   Last month, Mayor of St. Catharines Mat Siscoe painted a bleak picture of a downtown core overrun by hard drug abuse, […]

Niagara Falls MP Tony Baldinelli (pictured, front) set to sponsor and introduce legislation this week that will return serial killer back to maximum-security prison and keep him there for life. Baldinelli and Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre announced their plan to reverse the decision to transfer Bernardo at a press conference on Sunday, June 11. […]

Staff installed warning signs in front of four school safety zones earlier this week, officially kicking off the 90-day notice period required by law to allow for automated speed enforcement. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara Region   Municipal staff were out in the field on Wednesday installing “coming soon” signs in anticipation of program launch for Niagara […]

Local MPP Sam Oosterhoff (pictured) sponsored the private members’ motion, which nabbed unanimous, all-party support earlier this week. Photo credit: Sam Oosterhoff   On Monday, June 5, Ontario lawmakers from all parties unanimously passed a private members’ motion from Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff calling for the inclusion of multi-faith chaplaincy work on the province’s […]

Niagara West MP Dean Allison (pictured), who previously served as shadow minister of international development and international trade as well as director at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said the CCP has “inundated” many of Canada’s largest and most powerful institutions, and most Canadians aren’t even aware of the severity of the […]

Local housing prices rose another 1.3 per cent last month, with number of sales increasing 22 per cent from April to May. Photo credit: AP/Steven Senne   For the third consecutive time, home prices across Niagara ticked up last month.  According to the latest statistics from the Niagara Association of Realtors (NAR), the regional Home […]

Niagara Parks celebrates Seniors Month with two-for-one offer throughout June

by The Niagara Independent

Every Wednesday, seniors aged 60 and over get one free admission for every entry purchase at all of Niagara Parks’ attractions and heritage sites. Photo credit: Niagara Parks   Along with National Indigenous History Month, Italian Heritage Month, and a bevy of other month-long observances, June represents Seniors Month in Ontario: “a time to honour […]

On Wednesday, May 31, it was announced that Niagara’s two urgent care centres in Fort Erie and Port Colborne would shift from operating 24/7 to exclusively running 10:00am to 10:00pm. Pictured are mayors of Fort Erie and Port Colborne Wayne Redekop (left) and Bill Steele. Photo credit: Niagara Region   Earlier this week, Niagara Health […]

Ambassador families, sponsors, community donors, dignitaries, and staff from Niagara Children’s Centre celebrated the 2023 fundraising campaign with a water illumination at Niagara Falls Wednesday night. Photo credit: Niagara Children’s Centre   Niagara Children’s Centre is celebrating a historic fundraising campaign.   Last month, the St. Catharines-based youth rehabilitation facility raised a record-breaking $325,487 as part […]

Marineland denies any wrongdoing related to care of black bear cubs

by The Niagara Independent

The Solicitor General’s office charged the Niagara Falls park with three counts of failure to comply with an order on Tuesday. Photo credit: Facebook/Marineland   On Tuesday, May 30, Ontario’s Ministry of the Solicitor General laid charges against Marineland Canada for three counts of allegedly failing to comply with an order related to the care […]

Fort Erie and Port Colborne urgent care centres to switch from remaining open 24 hours a day to operating exclusively from 10:00am to 10:00pm, seven days a week. Photo credit: Google Maps   In the face of “unprecedented challenges relating to health human resources”, Niagara’s regional healthcare provider is set to halve operational hours at […]

E.S. Fox and Aecon revealed a new teaming agreement at the former’s Port Robinson facility on Tuesday, May 30. Pictured from left to right are E.S. Fox VP of Business Development Frank Pepers, Minister of Energy Todd Smith, Ontario Power Generation Chief Supply Officer Karen Fritz, Aecon VP Greg Thede, and E.S. Fox President Spencer […]

Trustees voted 5-2 to uphold a by-law that prevented board members from discussing the policy change at its May 23 meeting. The motion will be reviewed at the board’s June 20 meeting. Photo credit: Twitter/WRDSB   A pair of Niagara Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) trustees recently tried to discuss development of a policy that […]

Business community celebrates Niagara’s best and brightest under 40

by The Niagara Independent

Business Link hosted its 20th annual 40 Under Forty awards in Niagara Falls on May 25. Pictured (left) is Fort Erie’s Katie Clarkson of R2G Construction, one of last week’s 40 winners from across Niagara. Photo credit: Business Link Media Group   Last Thursday, May 25, Business Link Media Group hosted its 20th annual 40 […]

Niagara scores C on annual fiscal accountability report card

by The Niagara Independent

Niagara’s regional government finished tied for 20 out of 32 municipalities assessed by the C.D. Howe Institute. Photo credit: The Niagara Independent   When it comes to fiscal accountability, the Niagara Region is one of the country’s poorest performing municipalities, new analysis from leading think tank C.D. Howe Institute suggests. In its annual study on […]

Mass retirements and more building projects means there will be tens of thousands of good-paying jobs available over the coming decade and beyond. Photo credit: Niagara College   As the demand for new infrastructure increases, technology advances at an unprecedented rate, and the baby boomers retire in droves, the need for skilled trades people is […]

Niagara Health launches new, better integrated diagnostic imaging system

by The Niagara Independent

Deputy Chief of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Amit Mehta. Photo credit: Niagara Health   As part of its ongoing efforts to improve patient care and outcomes via implementation of an integrated, fully digital information system, Niagara Health has launched a new diagnostic imaging platform.  The software system, called Sectra Enterprise Imaging Solutions, allows healthcare providers in […]

Marineland reports ‘successful’ start to season

by The Niagara Independent

Despite protests and uncertainty surrounding the park’s future, site officials purportedly saw massive year-over-year increase in opening weekend attendance. Photo credit: Marineland   Despite a crowd of “100 or so” protestors outside its park entrance in Niagara Falls on Saturday, Marineland said it had a “successful” opening weekend to kick off the 2023 tourist season.  […]

Ontario’s Solicitor General visits with Niagara first responders

by The Niagara Independent

Alongside local MPP Sam Oosterhoff, Minister Michael Kerzner met with firefighters and law enforcement in Niagara Falls on Tuesday. Photo credit: Twitter/Michael Kerzner   Minister Michael Kerzner, the province’s Solicitor General, met with some of Niagara’s finest on a trip to the region Tuesday.  Hosted by Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, Kerzner, whose ministry oversees […]

The premier made the remarks in response to a reporter’s question in St. Catharines on Friday last week. Niagara currently has 126 elected officials for a population of just 485,000. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   In a tandem announcement last week, the Ontario government revealed both that it will dissolve the Region of Peel by […]

City of Welland’s HR team named one of most innovative in Canada

by The Niagara Independent

High-quality employers know how to attract the best people and keep them feeling fulfilled throughout their tenure, all while driving growth and success for the entire enterprise. Selecting talent and helping ensure job satisfaction are, in large part, the role of an organization’s human resources team. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons   In terms of hiring, […]

Applied Modern System Integration Inc. manufactures modular electrical houses, switchgear, protection and control cabinets, portable substations, and more. The company’s new facility will be located in the Town of Lincoln’s industrial park, pictured here just south of the QEW. Photo credit: Google Maps   St. Catharines-based manufacturer Applied Modern System Integration Inc. (AMSI) is moving […]

In St. Catharines on Friday, Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, Associate Minister of Transportation Stan Cho, and other government officials announced that starting this weekend there will be three GO train roundtrips to and from Niagara every day of the week year-round. Photo credit: The Niagara Independent   Just in time for […]

Letter comes only weeks after province significantly increased annual support and committed $62,314,200 over next three years to help address homelessness in Niagara. Pictured are co-signatories NDP MPP for St. Catharines Jennie Stevens (left) and Ward 4 city councillors Robin McPherson (top right) and Caleb Ratzlaff. Photo credit: Facebook/Jennie Stevens and City of St. Catharines […]

Things to do around the region this Victoria Day long weekend

by Mary Spinks

From fireworks in Niagara Falls and Welland to a festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, there’s something for everyone. Several heritage sites and tourist attractions open for the season this weekend as well, including Niagara Parks’ Old Fort Erie (pictured) and Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm in St. Catharines. Photo credit: Niagara Parks   The Victoria Day long weekend […]

Province set to dissolve Peel Region, Niagara among next to be assessed

by The Niagara Independent

Ontario government set to name facilitator who will review whether Niagara Region ‘continues to be relevant’ and if its 12 lower-tier municipalities ‘are mature enough to pursue dissolution.’ Photo credit: The Niagara Independent   It’s official: come Jan. 1, 2025 the Region of Peel will be no more and it’s three constituent communities of Mississauga, […]

Niagara College distillery in high ‘spirits’ after nabbing three international medals

by The Niagara Independent

Head Distiller David Dickson (left) and Assistant Distiller Ian Bickle hold up the college’s award-winning craft spirits. Photo credit: Niagara College   Niagara College’s School of Wine, Beer and Spirits continues to haul in the hardware for its high-quality, innovative creations in the alcohol sphere.  In its latest impressive showing on the international stage, the […]

Niagara Region Transit launches blitz to catch fare evaders

by The Niagara Independent

Riders not paying their transit fare is a growing issue around Ontario. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons   In an effort to reduce fare evasion across its network, Niagara Region Transit (NRT) is undertaking a regionwide proof-of-payment blitz. Agency officials started checking passengers’ NRT fare cards, student cards, prepaid fares, paper tickets, mobile tickets, and transfers […]

Lincoln restaurant ranks fifth best in Canada

by The Niagara Independent

Second year in a row Jordan Station’s Restaurant Pearl Morissette has finished in the top five of Canada’s 100 Best annual restaurant ranking. Only Niagara eatery to make the list. Photo credit: Canada’s 100 Best/Sarah Annand   Local residents looking to try one of the top restaurants in Canada this year don’t have to travel […]

Students, staff, and faculty from Niagara College in front of the newly installed doors at the Welland Museum. The doors mimic the original set that would have secured the building’s entrance in 1923. Photo credit: Niagara College   The elaborate, time-consuming architecture of the past sometimes seems like a lost art in today’s fast paced […]

Region to consider former St. Catharines CAO as head of Public Works

by The Niagara Independent

Commissioner Bruce Zvaniga (pictured, left) set to leave next month. CAO Ron Tripp (right) putting forward former colleague from St. Catharines Dan Carnegie to ‘temporarily’ fill role. Photo credit: Niagara Region   The Region’s current Commissioner of Public Works Bruce Zvaniga is leaving his $216,000-salary post for another municipality.  According to sources familiar with the […]

New facility located at 118 Main Street East in Grimsby. Photo credit: Strive Niagara   Strive Niagara, a local learning support organization for young families, opened the doors to its new Margaret Jarrell Centre last Thursday, May 11. Tracy Belcastro currently serves as Executive Director for Strive Niagara.  “The Margaret Jarrell Centre is one of […]

Program graduates at the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre in St. Catharines. Supplied photo.   Last year, the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre (NFAMC) debuted the Healthcare Navigator Training Program for Internationally Educated Healthcare Professionals (IEHPs). The program consisted of trained professionals supporting newcomers when they accessed Ontario’s healthcare system and sought to help integrate […]

Encampment in Centennial Gardens off Gale Crescent near downtown St. Catharines. Image from July 2021. Photo credit: Julia McLaren    Downtown St. Catharines has become a hellscape of hard drug use, public defecation, and intercourse in open view, according to the city’s mayor.  Speaking at Niagara Region’s public health and social services committee on Tuesday, […]

Due to excess bacterial pollution, the water quality at Queen’s Royal Beach in Niagara-on-the-Lake (pictured) was designated “impaired” and unsafe for swimming in 1993. Photo credit: NPCA    It turns out that the Canadian side of the Niagara River didn’t need an ultra-stringent environmental designation that subjects local authorities to the whims of international regulators […]

Are residents of Niagara’s cities unhappy?

by The Niagara Independent

Recent report from Point2 analyzed happiness in communities around Canada. Niagara’s three most populated municipalities all ended up in the bottom fifth of the country’s 100 largest cities. Pictured is St. Catharines, which ranked 87. Photo credit: Flickr/Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing   A new study suggests Niagara’s Big Three municipalities are among some of […]

Niagara-on-the-Lake set to host Doors Open Ontario day this fall

by Mary Spinks

Currently, six sites, including the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre (pictured), are participating in the October 21 event. This year’s theme centres around Ontario’s culinary and agricultural heritage. Photo credit: Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre   Late last month, the annual Doors Open Ontario campaign began its 2023 season to celebrate the architectural, cultural, and natural heritage […]

Pictured is the International Railroad Bridge that connects Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York. Three individuals were caught by U.S. officials on the bridge trying to illegally enter the U.S. last Thursday. According to U.S. Border Patrol, agents have captured 24 non-citizens in the last 60 days trying to enter the country in the […]

Niagara home prices rise across the board, second monthly increase in a row

by The Niagara Independent

April was the first month in over a year in which housing prices rose in every municipality within the Niagara Association of Realtors market area. Photo credit: The Globe and Mail/Matthew Sherwood   Homes in Niagara are once again starting to sell for more, more quickly. After rising for the first time in exactly a […]

Marotta family donates $10 million to new South Niagara Hospital

by The Niagara Independent

It’s the largest gift ever given to the Niagara Health Foundation. Pictured left to right at a celebration event at Two Sisters Vineyards last Thursday are Benny Marotta, Louise Marotta, Simona Marotta, Angela Marotta, Melissa Marotta-Paolicelli, Giuseppe Paolicelli, and Chiara Marotta. Photo credit: Niagara Health Foundation   As residents, officials, and stakeholders of every kind […]

Held every other year, the Niagara Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) hosted its 2023 Awards of Excellence gala at Club Roma in St. Catharines on April 14. Pictured is the team at Mountain Building Group. Photo credit: Mountainview   The Niagara Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) held its biannual Awards of Excellence gala in St. Catharines last […]

Plenty of places around Niagara to celebrate coronation next weekend

by Mary Spinks

Events taking place in Port Colborne, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and Thorold. For most Canadians, it’s the first royal coronation of their lifetime. Pictured is the Roselawn Mansion in Port Colborne, which will be hosting a celebratory high tea on Sunday, May 7. Photo credit: Facebook/Friends of Roselawn Centre   Spring is a time of […]

Local chambers excited for return of ‘Niagara Networks’

by Nick Redekop

The South Niagara Chambers of Commerce is excitedly preparing for the return of its blockbuster networking conference and tradeshow later this month at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre (pictured). New this year is a series of sector specific roundtables. The event, held annually prior to the pandemic, last took place in 2019. Photo credit: Niagara […]

Ontario’s longest-serving director of education retiring from DSBN after 18 years

by The Niagara Independent

Warren Hoshizaki (pictured, right) spent almost half of his over 40-year career in education leading Niagara’s public school board. Photo credit: Twitter/DSBN   After nearly two decades at the helm of the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN), Director of Education Warren Hoshizaki is calling it a career at the end of this calendar year.   […]

Hirji passed over for permanent medical officer of health position

by The Niagara Independent

Region selects current associate medical officer of health Dr. Azim Kasmani (pictured) to lead Niagara’s public health efforts moving forward. Photo credit: Niagara Region   After an epic year and a half-long recruitment process, Niagara Region has finally landed a permanent medical officer of health and commissioner of Public Health and Emergency Services. And while […]

Self-proclaimed mandate ‘leader’ among Ontario universities, Brock drops mask requirement

by The Niagara Independent

Students and faculty no longer have to wear masks in instructional settings on campus. Photo credit: Brock University   In a move that brings it in line with the vast majority of post-secondary institutions across North America, Brock University has finally dropped its on-campus masking mandate.  As of Monday, April 24, Brock students, faculty, and […]

The 68-kilometre infrastructure project, finished in December, brings broadband access to nearly 700 homes and businesses in south Pelham. SWIFT (Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology) is a non-profit municipally-led broadband expansion project created to improve internet connectivity in underserved communities and rural areas across Southwestern Ontario.    Only weeks after the Town of Lincoln secured a […]

The consortium alleges Woodbine has worked to monopolize the horse racing industry in Ontario and believes the Toronto track has intentionally exacerbated tensions with Fort Erie and its partners. Photo credit: Facebook/Fort Erie Race Track   Attempts to resolve a long-standing dispute between Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium (FELRC) and Woodbine Entertainment regarding the shipping […]

Region raises price of garbage tags 14 per cent

by The Niagara Independent

The hike is just the latest in a long line of price increases related to waste management in Niagara from recent years. Photo credit: Town of Pelham   In October 2020, Niagara Region started collecting residents’ garbage every other week instead of once a week.   The move to bi-weekly pickup was originally touted as a […]

Pelham one of seven Ontario communities selected for EV charging stations

by The Niagara Independent

The town will receive between six to 10 Level 2 charging stations through a program launched in partnership between Aviva and Earth Day Canada.    In a media release earlier this week, insurance provider Aviva Canada announced that the Town of Pelham is one of the first seven communities that will receive Level 2 EV […]

Niagara Parks investing in repair, preservation of Niagara’s south shore

by The Niagara Independent

Breakwall damage along the Niagara River in Fort Erie. Photo credit: Niagara Parks   A number of unusually strong storms have wreaked havoc on Niagara Peninsula’s south shore in recent years, including the Christmas-cancelling blizzard that pounded Fort Erie, Port Colborne, and Wainfleet this past December. All that ice, water, and wind has taken its […]

Niagara Health’s new digital platform provides patients better surgical care experience

by The Niagara Independent

Monitored by a “nurse navigator”, the app allows patients to give and receive real-time feedback on their post-surgical outcomes without the need for an appointment or hospital visit. Photo credit: Facebook/SeamlessMD   Only months after Niagara Health announced its plan to replace all of its paper-based records and outdated electronic processes with a more modern, […]

Niagara’s newest post-secondary institute to welcome first students start of next year

by The Niagara Independent

The University of Niagara Falls Canada (UNFC) is set to launch its first two programs in data analytics and management in January 2024. Pictured are Mayor of Niagara Falls Jim Diodati (front-right), city councillors, and representatives from UNFC (including Cyndi McLeod, front-left) at a community social event hosted by WeinLokal this past Saturday, April 15, […]

Atura Power eyes 2024 grand opening for Niagara Hydrogen Centre

by Nick Redekop

Concept illustration of the Niagara Hydrogen Centre. According to Atura, construction of the new facility on the Niagara River will generate an estimated $67 million of GDP, $31 million of labour income, and $4 million of tax revenues at the provincial level, plus tens of millions more over its 30-year operating life. Photo credit: Atura […]

The increased funding from the Ford government amounts to $62,314,200 over three years. Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff (pictured, centre) made the announcement alongside Mayor of Niagara Falls Jim Diodati (right) and Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley (front-left) earlier this week. Photo credit: Sam Oosterhoff   The Niagara Region will receive an additional yearly $20,771,400 […]

Local MP Tony Baldinelli responds to Liberal minister’s tour of Niagara

by Nick Redekop

Canada’s minister responsible for trade and economic development Mary Ng (pictured, left, at Ravine Vineyard) was in town last Thursday to tout the federal government’s recent budget. Photo credit: Twitter/Mary Ng   Mary Ng, federal Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, visited Niagara on Thursday, April 6. Alongside fellow Liberal […]

It will be two decades before Canada sees another total solar eclipse, and no less than 82 years before Ontario experiences the phenomenon again. Multiple reasons, including the lengthy duration of totality on the peninsula, will likely coalesce to attract countless spectators to Niagara. Photo credit: AccuWeather/McKinley Museum   In almost exactly one year’s time, […]

Holy Week reflections with Niagara’s Father Corso

by Nick Redekop

The Parochial Vicar at Niagara Falls’ Our Lady of the Scapular Church shares his thoughts on the holiest time of the year for Christians and provides some practical ways in which the faithful can participate and find peace this weekend. Photo credit: Facebook/Our Lady of the Scapular Church   As Holy Week culminates this weekend […]

Niagara housing prices rise for first time in a year

by The Niagara Independent

The local monthly HPI benchmark price increased more than two percentage points in March, following several months of deceleration in decreases. In January and February, prices effectively flatlined, decreasing a mere 0.4 and 0.25 per cent. Photo credit: Bloomberg/Cole Burston   For the first time in exactly one year, local housing prices in Niagara went […]

Pattison pledges $5 million toward South Niagara Hospital

by The Niagara Independent

 Interior concept illustration of the new Niagara Falls hospital. Photo credit: Niagara Health    Only a few months away from construction start, the South Niagara Hospital project has received yet another major private-sector donation. On Thursday, April 6, the Niagara Health Foundation announced that renowned philanthropist and business mogul Jim Pattison has pledged $5 million […]

Committee endorsement brings local red light cameras one step closer to reality

by The Niagara Independent

The initiative now just needs full council approval. Installation of the new technology is part of Niagara Region’s broader Vision Zero traffic strategy and could come as soon as September. Pictured is a red light camera warning sign in Sudbury. Photo credit: CBC/Jonathan Migneault   After a “wholesome discussion” on the matter Tuesday morning, members […]

Popular Beamsville brewery buys local cider producer

by The Niagara Independent

Pictured from left to right are Bench Brewing president and founder Matt Giffen, Niagara Cider Company co-founder Rich Houghton, Bench director of brewing and beverage operations Kaitlin Vandenbosch, and Niagara Cider co-founder Matt Dixon. Photo credit: Facebook/Bench Brewing   Two of the region’s most popular (non-wine) adult beverage makers are joining forces.  In a social […]

Province provides Niagara College, Brock with funds for new instructional equipment

by The Niagara Independent

MPP for Niagara West Sam Oosterhoff (left) tours the labs at Niagara College’s Rankin Technology Centre in Welland on Friday, March 31, 2023. MPP Oosterhoff is pictured alongside Mechanical Engineering Technology professor and program coordinator Rick Baldin. Photo credit: Niagara College   The provincial government is investing in critical teaching technology at Niagara’s two postsecondary […]

Thirty million litres of raw sewage spilled into lake from local plant during Christmas storm

by The Niagara Independent

Last December, Niagara Region’s wastewater facility in Crystal Beach failed, resulting in 30 million litres of raw sewage dumping into Lake Erie. The public was not informed. Regional Council was not informed. Pictured is the Crystal Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant. Photo credit: Google Maps   The Region of Niagara is responsible for treating wastewater prior […]

Brock remains one of best schools in world to study sports

by The Niagara Independent

Photo credit: Brock University    If you want to study the science, practice, and administration of sports in Canada, or indeed the wider world, Niagara’s Brock University is one of the best places to do so. For the third year in a row, Brock finished in the top 100 universities globally for “Sports-Related” subjects – […]

Each year, Niagara growers employ thousands of migrant workers to help fill the significant labour gaps in the local agricultural sector. The Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.) program connects seasonal workers with local producers. Photo credit: F.A.R.M.S.   As spring arrives and the days become longer and the temperatures slowly begin to rise, the […]

Chief MacCulloch one of highest paid public employees in province last year

by The Niagara Independent

Niagara’s Chief of Police Bryan MacCulloch earned over $675,000 in 2022 after receiving an early retirement payout following 35 years of service. Other big earners from the region were Niagara Health head Lynn Guerriero and Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Mustafa Hirji. Photo credit: NRPS   Cloaked by the budget it released the day […]

Welland Canal officially opens for season with top hat ceremony in Port Colborne

by The Niagara Independent

Mayor of Port Colborne Bill Steele (left) presents Captain Michael Rodaway (centre) with the 2023 ceremonial top hat. Captain Rodaway’s ship, the Florence Spirit, was the first downward vessel of the 65th navigation season to pass through the Welland Canal on Wednesday, March 22. Photo credit: Facebook/City of Port Colborne   At its annual top […]

Niagara College alum lends lighting expertise to Academy Award-winning film

by The Niagara Independent

Game Development graduate (2019) Andres Coimbra Castedo worked on Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, which won the 2023 Oscar for Animated Feature Film. Photo credit: Niagara College and Netflix   The work of Chippawa’s-own James Cameron was once again on display at the Oscar’s earlier this month, with Avatar: The Way of Water picking up four […]

United Way Niagara has record-breaking year

by The Niagara Independent

Niagara’s largest non-governmental supporter of social services raised in excess of $5,000,000 in 2022. Photo credit: United Way Niagara   United Way Niagara has set a new annual fundraising record.  In 2022, the local charity raised an incredible $5,270,000, up 11 per cent from 2021 and its largest yearly sum yet. The organization celebrated the […]

Niagara City Cruises enjoys earliest season opening in a century

by Nick Redekop

The first cruise of the year set sail last week. The iconic boat tour at the base of the Falls typically holds its inaugural excursion in April or May. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara City Cruises   While Monday was the official first day of spring, Niagara City Cruises welcomed the new season even earlier. Mory DiMaurizio […]

Optimally employed in neighbouring jurisdictions, power of the audit underrealized in Niagara

by The Niagara Independent

Provincial legislation allows a municipality to appoint an independent Auditor General. The Auditor General is responsible for holding administrators accountable for the quality of stewardship over public funds and for the achievement of value for money in municipal operations. Hamilton has one, Niagara does not. Pictured is the Burgoyne Bridge in St. Catharines – the […]

With all pandemic restrictions at the border now lifted and international travel continuing to increase, the Niagara Parks is expecting a stellar 2023 tourist season – and the organization needs help from the community to make it a success. Photo credit: Niagara Parks   It may only be March but plans for summer 2023 are […]

Province provides funds to help connect Niagara seniors to specialized care and supports

by The Niagara Independent

The near-$300,000 in funding will allow residents with complex medical needs receive appropriate care where they live, instead of at a hospital. Pictured left to right are Minister of Long-Term Care Paul Calandra, Mayor of Grimsby Jeff Jordan, and Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff. Photo credit: Twitter/Sam Oosterhoff   Speaking at Deer Park Villa long-term […]

Half dozen Niagara events make Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals and Events list

by The Niagara Independent

Pelham contributed two festivals to this year’s list. Photo credit: Pelham Summerfest   Last week in Niagara Falls, Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO) held its annual conference celebrating the work of organizers and municipalities around the province that hosted a wide range of live entertainment and activities this past year.   Held at the Marriott on […]

Diodati calls on feds to provide plan for migrants transferred from Roxham Road

by The Niagara Independent

Niagara Falls has taken in over 4,300 illegal border crossers since the federal government started transferring people from Quebec to Ontario last June. Having rose well above the initial 87 asked for in the summer, migrants now occupy over 2,000 of the city’s hotel rooms. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons   Mayor of Niagara Falls Jim […]

McCall MacBain makes massive donation to new South Niagara Hospital

by The Niagara Independent

 John McCall MacBain (pictured) grew up in Niagara Falls. Over the years, his family and foundation have given millions to a variety of projects and initiatives around the city. Photo credit: Niagara Health Foundation   The South Niagara Hospital project has received yet another major donation. On Thursday, March 9, the Niagara Health Foundation revealed that John […]

Councillor Huson chats challenges, opportunities for Niagara Region

by Nick Redekop

Current chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee, Diana Huson (pictured) was first elected Regional Councillor for Pelham in 2018. Photo credit: Niagara Region   As spring approaches, many initiatives will be picking up speed in Niagara’s regional government. Diana Huson serves as the Regional Councillor for Pelham.  “The first big objective we’ve […]

Local housing prices remain stable, as sales jump nearly 50 per cent from January to February

by The Niagara Independent

Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Lars Hagberg   For the second month in a row, the month-over-month decrease in local housing prices continued its halt to near zero, as the Housing Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark for the Niagara Association of Realtors (NAR) catchment area fell a negligible 0.25 per cent from $629,100 in January to […]

Niagara Regional Council delivers highest property tax bill since 1970

by The Niagara Independent

The 2023 budget includes adding approximately $36 million to regional reserves. With families struggling to make mortgage payments and put food on the table, it appears that Regional Council would rather have money in its government bank accounts rather than in the bank accounts of residents and local businesses. Pictured is Niagara Regional Council Chair […]

The funds will help Stanpac purchase new equipment to make more sustainable food packaging, like its new paper-based bulk ice cream container. Photo credit: Facebook/Stanpac   On Monday, government officials were on hand in West Niagara to announce a $5 million investment in local manufacturer Stanpac.  The money, sourced from the FedDev Ontario fund, will […]

Buffalo Congressman blasts Trudeau for ‘discriminatory’ tax on underused homes

by The Niagara Independent

This isn’t the first time Democratic representative for New York’s 26th congressional district Brian Higgins has criticized the Trudeau government’s policies. Photo credit: Facebook/Brian Higgins   Few American politicians were as critical of Justin Trudeau’s “draconian” COVID travel policies as Democratic Congressman for Buffalo and Niagara Falls Brian Higgins.  Throughout the pandemic, Higgins, who co-chairs […]

At present, there are thousands of asylum claimants occupying some 2,000 hotel rooms in Niagara Falls. The migrants crossed into Canada from the U.S. via Quebec’s Roxham Road (pictured). Photo credit: Global News   As winter drags on, the migration crisis facing Canadian border communities is intensifying. Niagara is no exception. “Our local service organizations […]

$3.6 billion contract awarded for South Niagara Hospital

by The Niagara Independent

The multibillion-dollar Niagara Falls facility will be one of the single largest design, build, finance, and maintain investments for a new healthcare project in provincial history. Artist rendering of the new hospital’s ‘Oakes Family’ main entrance. Photo credit: Niagara Health   Niagara residents south of St. Catharines are one step closer to finally realizing a […]

As initially proposed back in August 2022, Fort Erie would exit the current riding of Niagara Falls, while the newly formed district of ‘Niagara South’ would become the peninsula’s most populous riding. Photo credit: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario   Back in August 2022, the three-member Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario proposed a number of […]

Niagara-on-the-Lake withdraws Randwood Estate appeal

by The Niagara Independent

The withdrawal ends a yearslong legal saga with developer Benny Marotta. Pictured is the entrance to the Randwood Estate property on John St. East in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Photo credit: Google Maps    After over four years, untold energy and resources, and thousands of tax dollars wasted, it appears an ongoing legal saga between the Town-of-the-Lake and […]

The regionwide transit service launched on Jan. 1, 2023. Carla Stout heads up the commission in charge of making sure the new system runs smoothly. Photo credit: CPTDB Wiki   After several decades of planning, designing, and securing long-term investment, the newly amalgamated Niagara Region Transit system is up and running.  Carla Stout is the […]

Councillors continue to debate one of highest property tax bills in Niagara history

by The Niagara Independent

  At a time when just about everything costs more and people are already holding on by a thread.   Get ready for your 2023 double-digit property tax bill. As recommended by regional staff last week, and approved by the budget review committee Thursday night, the 2023 property tax bill will be one of the […]

Hamilton Centre provincial by-election set for March 16

by Kevin Geenen

Seat vacated following now-Mayor of Hamilton Andrea Horwath’s re-entry into municipal politics. Veteran police sergeant Pete Wiesner (left), representing the Ontario PCs, takes on NDP candidate and well-known anti-police activist Sarah Jama (right). Photo credit: Ontario PC Party and Facebook/Sarah Jama   The Ontario Government has officially announced the date of the Hamilton Centre provincial […]

Local researcher trying to help patients get back pain diagnosed faster, from anywhere

by The Niagara Independent

Brock University Kinesiology graduate student Carl Alano and his thesis supervisor, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Shawn Beaudette (standing), review video data being used to develop a telehealth screening tool for diagnosing back pain. Photo credit: Brock University    Whether acute or chronic, many adult Canadians have experienced lower back pain at some point in their […]

Niagara grape growers experience ‘small’ 2022 harvest, with yield half of previous years

by The Niagara Independent

Wet, cold weather to blame for quanity issue, but quality said to be ‘exceptional’. Low supply should mean increased demand for 2022 vintage in years ahead. Photo credit: VQA Ontario   According to VQA Ontario’s latest Vintage Report, 2022 was a bad year for the province’s grape yields, and thus a bad year for Niagara […]

Province recognizes Niagara College faculty and staff for community work, accessibility project

by The Niagara Independent

Niagara College culinary instructor Olaf Mertens accepts an Award of Excellence from Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop on Feb. 6, 2023. Photo credit: Niagara College   Niagara College continues to have an outsized positive impact on the Niagara community and beyond.  Earlier this week, college faculty and staff were presented with Minister’s Awards […]

Members of the collaborative team changing over foam mattresses and stretcher pads to gel alternatives at all five Niagara Health sites. Photo credit: Niagara Health   It may seem like a small change, but it will no doubt make a big difference in the lives of many –if even for a short while.   As announced […]

Prices actually slightly increased in six of the Niagara Association of Realtors’ 10 market areas. Only Fort Erie and Port Colborne/Wainfleet saw sizeable month-over-month reductions in property value. Photo credit: CBC/Francis Ferland   Though Niagara’s housing market finished off 2022 on an overall low-note, statistics from the first month of 2023 may indicate prices have […]

Reimagined Gilmore Lodge eyes January 2024 grand opening

by Nick Redekop

The new facility on Garrison Road will replace the Gilmore Road home and double its capacity to 160 long-term care beds. The three-storey facility will be situated close to Albany Street, providing sight lines to Lake Erie. Photo credit: Niagara Region   A central component of the Niagara regional long-term care system is on the […]

Two-term Niagara Regional Councillor David Barrick served as CAO of the City of Brampton from 2019 until his termination in February 2022. He was accused of contravening municipal policies and procedures. Multiple “independent third party investigations” recently cleared Barrick of any wrongdoing.    Earlier this week, former Deputy Mayor of Port Colborne, two-term Niagara Regional […]

Store dedicated to non-alcoholic alternatives makes move to Fort Erie

by The Niagara Independent

Soberlicious launched in 2021. Currently online-based, the store plans to open a brick-and-mortar shopfront on Dominion Road in Fort Erie for the summer tourist season.   In 2016, the Canadian Cancer Society launched Dry Feb, a fundraiser that challenges Canadians to go alcohol-free during the month of February. The purpose of the 28-day dry-out is two-fold: to […]

Budget committee green-lights Niagara police budget increase

by The Niagara Independent

The 5.7 per cent bump from 2022 will allow an already-stretched service to hire and retain members, invest in mental health support, and contend with rising costs of operational necessities like fuel. Photo credit: Twitter/Bryan MacCulloch   Despite continued calls to “defund the police” across North America, and the recent efforts of local activist groups, […]

Niagara College top in Ontario for research funding, second in Canada

by The Niagara Independent

One of the myriad measures that make a quality post-secondary institution is adequate research funding to help students and faculty inquire, innovate, explore and, ultimately, make a difference in the wider world. Pictured lab tech Brock Husak sets up a Fortus 900 3D print machine for an industry partner at Niagara College’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing […]

Oosterhoff believes productive year lies ahead for Ford government

by Nick Redekop

Niagara’s lone PC Party MPP – pictured, left, alongside Grimsby mayor Jeff Jordan – talks health care, housing, and Greenbelt. Photo credit: Facebook/Sam Oosterhoff   Sam Oosterhoff, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Niagara West, is preparing for a significant year at Queen’s Park. “I believe this will be a big year for this government, […]

Marineland may soon be up for sale, lobbyist registration suggests

by The Niagara Independent

In an integrity commissioner application filed earlier this month, a lobbyist for the Niagara tourist attraction listed sale of the park and zoning changes to allow for development as items he intends to talk to the provincial government about. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Tara Walton   What was only rumour for the last few years […]

Last Friday, Niagara Health and local NDP MPP Jeff Burch both posted threads to social media regarding the present and long-term fate of Welland hospital, as well as if proper information about the site has been circulated to date. Photo credit: Google Maps   Niagara Health and NDP MPP for Niagara Centre Jeff Burch appear […]

 According to the most recent monthly report from, rent went up 10.9 per cent across the country last year. However, in relative terms, St. Catharines maintained the 13th cheapest rent of 35 medium to large-size Canadian cities in December 2022. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick    Hot off a recent study that suggested […]

Located in Fort Erie, Ray Rosettani is a long-time veteran of the real estate industry. Photo credit: Facebook/Ray Rosettani    Canadian real estate has seen rapid changes and sharp turns over the past several years. The pandemic, inflation and broader market instabilities have contributed to price and inventory numbers that many home buyers and sellers […]

Four local home builders nominated for national excellence awards

by The Niagara Independent

Winners will be announced during Home Building Week next month. Mountainview Building Group earned two nominations for the Penthouse Suite at its Port Dalhousie “The Beaches” development (pictured). Photo credit: Quartek Group Earlier this month, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) released its list of finalists for the 2023 National Awards for Housing Excellence. According to […]

Despite new legislation, NPCA proposes 17 per cent budget increase and tripling of permit fees

by The Niagara Independent

In a seemingly desperate attempt to thwart pending provincial legislation aimed at building more homes, at the last Board of Directors meeting of the previous term’s tenure, the NPCA pre-approved a 17 per cent increase to the 2023 budget and tripled some of their permit fees. Pictured is NPCA headquarters at 250 Thorold Rd. in […]

Local four-year-old slipped into coma after eating mother’s cannabis gummies

by The Niagara Independent

Last Thursday, a St. Catharines court heard how the Niagara Falls girl and her older sister consumed several of their mother’s cannabis-infused edibles, thinking they were candy. Their story of severe sickness is only one of hundreds from across Canada since the legalization of recreational cannabis. Photo credit: CBC   Children across Canada, including here […]

 Over the next few years, the government will allow more procedures to occur in private community facilities. Local Opposition MPPs accused the premier of deliberately underfunding public healthcare in order to privatize Ontario’s system. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford In an effort to eliminate surgical backlogs and reduce wait times, the provincial government announced on Monday […]

Feds help fund Francophone community centre in Welland

by The Niagara Independent

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey (centre-left) and Minister of Official Languages Ginette Petitpas Taylor (centre-right) were in Welland on Tuesday, January 10 to announce the funding. Photo credit: Twitter/Ginette Petitpas Taylor   The Government of Canada is providing Foyer Richelieu Welland, a Francophone long-term care facility in central Niagara, an additional $2.7 million in support to […]

Port Colborne wharves to undergo major revitalization, as partners announce $45.3 million project

by The Niagara Independent

Federal and municipal officials were in town Wednesday for the announcement. Pictured (front) is Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra. Pictured in back from left to right are president and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation Terence Bowles, Mayor of Port Colborne Bill Steele, and Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey. Photo credit: Twitter/Omar Alghabra […]

The team of 16 Goodman School of Business MBA students fended off powerhouse teams from York, McMaster, and a dozen other universities to take home the Queen’s Cup for the first time since the competition started in 1988. Photo credit: Brock University   It’s a time-honoured tradition among Canadian business schools: the annual MBA Games.  […]

St. Catharines homeowners pay second lowest shelter costs in Ontario, new study suggests

by The Niagara Independent

A recent report from Point2 indicates Niagara’s most populous municipality is one of the province’s, and country’s, cheapest places to own or rent. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons St. Catharines remains one of the most affordable cities in Canada to maintain housing, according to yet another third-party report.  A recent study by Saskatoon-based online real estate […]

New initiative aims to open up vital hospital space and get people back home faster

by The Niagara Independent

The program will leverage community supports, ensuring individuals receive the appropriate care they need outside of a hospital setting.    It’s been the story of the last few years: hospitals struggling to stay afloat operating at or, more often than not, above capacity.  Emergency departments are overwhelmed, and there simply aren’t enough inpatient beds to […]

Fort Erie pursuing provincial funds to help with blizzard fallout

by The Niagara Independent

When the small lakefront community was previously slammed by a destructive storm on Halloween in 2019, the municipality successfully secured $7.4 million in disaster recovery funding from the Ford government. Photo credit: Facebook/Town of Fort Erie   The true extent of the damage done by the massive blizzard that tore across Niagara’s south coast in […]

The town’s long-time head of council said the storm that ripped across Niagara’s south coast in the days before Christmas – encasing some lakefront homes in solid ice – was the worst weather event the municipality’s seen since 1977. Photo credit: Twitter/Nick Iwanyshyn   When an extratropical cyclone took more than half of North America […]

Niagara housing prices finish off 2022 with another monthly decrease

by The Niagara Independent

The local Housing Price Index composite benchmark has dropped an overall 23.5 per cent from peak in March 2022. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Graeme Roy   After making historic gains throughout the latter half of the pandemic, Niagara’s housing market has collapsed back down to early 2021 levels. On Tuesday, the Niagara Association of Realtors […]

Elite student-athlete academy opening campus in Port Colborne

by The Niagara Independent

TPH Academy currently has campuses across the U.S. from Phoenix to Fort Lauderdale. The company’s new Niagara branch will operate out of Port Colborne’s Vale Health and Wellness Centre (pictured).   One of North America’s top dual athletic-academic sports development programs is coming to Niagara. This spring, U.S.-based TPH Academy is expanding operations in Canada […]

Niagara Icewine Festival back with full slate of festivities

by The Niagara Independent

Events take place all across the region during the last three weekends of January. Photo credit: CNW Group/Wine Marketing Association of Ontario   Niagara’s Icewine Festival is back in full force for the first time in three years.  Marketed as the largest icewine festival in the world, the 2023 celebration will take place over three […]

Local pharmacy owner Sean Simpson (pictured, left) said the provincial government’s recent move to provide pharmacists the ability to prescribe medication for 13 common ailments represents a “big change” that will positively impact healthcare in Ontario. Photo credit: Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy    As of January 1, 2023, Ontario pharmacists are now able to prescribe […]

Niagara Falls silent this New Year’s Eve

by Mark Hardwick

 Despite all Covid restrictions being fully lifted, why did Canada’s top leisure tourism destination have such a humdrum holiday season? Photo credit: Niagara Falls Tourism   Music and Niagara Falls on New Year’s Eve had at one time been synonymous. For many years, the City of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Parks Commission and local tourism […]

Power restoration efforts in Fort Erie, Port Colborne ‘substantially complete’

by The Niagara Independent

Some residents were without power for a full week after a once-in-a-generation blizzard ripped through Niagara’s south coast last Friday and Saturday. Photo credit: Canadian Niagara Power   It’s been a long week without power for many residents of Fort Erie and Port Colborne, but the tireless efforts of hydro crews across the region have […]

Niagara police’s holiday RIDE program results in one arrest, five licence suspensions

by The Niagara Independent

Pictured NRPS, OPP, and Niagara Parks Police officers take part in a joint spot check operation in Niagara Falls the night of December 3, 2022. In all, over 2,500 cars in six Niagara communities were stopped across four nights this past month. Only one driver was arrested for registering a Blood Alcohol Concentration above 0.08. […]

Christmas-cancelling blizzard slams Niagara’s south coast

by The Niagara Independent

Wind gusts topped 120km/h in certain areas. Driving was virtually impossible in Fort Erie and Port Colborne for much of Friday and Saturday. Pictured is a Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) cruiser that slid off the road in Fort Erie, Dec. 24, 2022. Photo credit: Twitter/NRPS   While perhaps not quite as destructive and widespread, […]

One of Brock’s top administrators leaving university for similar role at nearby college

by The Niagara Independent

After only three years on the job, associate vice-president of advancement and external relations Gord Arbeau is leaving the St. Catharines university to become vice-president of advancement at Niagara College. He’s not the first top administrator in recent years to leave the large research university to take up effectively the same position at an applied […]

Niagara-on-the-Lake brewery buys out one of Ontario’s original craft beer-makers

by The Niagara Independent

Josh Graham of Virgil’s Silversmith Brewing and Ken Woods of Etobicoke’s Black Oak Brewing share a beer. The two craft breweries recently joined forces under ownership of Silversmith. Photo credit: Silversmith   One of Niagara’s most iconic craft breweries is expanding its business. Virgil’s Silversmith Brewing, located in an 1890s church on Niagara Stone Road […]

Santos is the senior pastor at Redeemer Bible Church in Niagara Falls.    This past year has brought with it no shortage of change, much of which has made a weary Canadian population even more uneasy. As 2022 concludes, however, many holiday traditions are returning for the first time since 2019.  Reverend Carl Santos serves […]

Local fundraising project has record-setting year

by The Niagara Independent

Project Plaid raised over $143,000 for youth mental health. This year’s campaign received support from several local organizations, including the Niagara IceDogs, who once again hosted ‘Plaid Night’ to help raise funds. Photo credit: Facebook/Meridian Credit Union   After Shanta Rangaratnam lost her 18-year-old daughter Amelia Durocher to suicide in February 2019, the St. Catharines […]

Brock LINC launches NAVIGATE, a new program for early-stage entrepreneurship

by Alejandro Vasquez Coronado

Inside the Rankin Family Pavilion. Photo credit: Brock University   Located in the Rankin Family Pavilion, Brock LINC is the centre for creativity, innovation, research, and entrepreneurship at Brock University.  Nearing its three-year anniversary since it opened, Brock LINC continues to expand and provide unique opportunities to the Niagara region. This time, to entrepreneurs with […]

EllisDon selected to lead construction on new Niagara Falls hospital

by The Niagara Independent

Once contract details are finalized over the coming weeks, construction on the over-$1 billion project will begin. Photo credit: Niagara Health    The South Niagara Hospital project officially has a builder.  On Monday, Infrastructure Ontario and Niagara Health named EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare (EDIH) as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, and maintain the brand-new […]

Thorold Multimodal Hub doubles footprint overnight

by The Niagara Independent

The industrial hub along the Welland Canal now boasts 400 acres of land and over 1 million square feet of indoor space. Photo credit: HOPA Ports   Just days after one of its tenants received a joint-investment from the provincial and federal governments to the tune of $11.3 million, it was announced the Thorold Multimodal […]


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