I’m a family man — you know that about me. And being family man and a Realtor means that I work with a lot of home buyers and sellers who have families or are thinking of starting a family soon, which means they are looking for the best neighbourhoods to raise their kids.
There are a lot of great family friendly corners of St. Catharines, places where any kid would be lucky to grow up. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite family friendly neighbourhoods for you to keep a watchful eye on if you’re looking for a new home. And if you live in one of these areas and are thinking about selling, I can tell you, I know there are tonnes of families across Niagara who would love to see your home!
Port Dalhousie is a great place to start up your family and has always been a family favourite. Start asking people who grew up in the area where they lived as kids, I bet you know some Port kids! And it’s easy to see why, Port Dalhousie has everything a young family needs. For starters, the top scored public elementary school in St. Catharines is right there: Gracefield Public School — it’s number one in the city!
Schools aside, there are also LOTS this is a community that is made for making memories. Lakeside Park isn’t just a Port Dalhousie favourite, it’s a Niagara favourite — and it will be seconds from home. With a beautiful beach, century-old carousel and brand-new pavilion coming soon, you’ll know exactly where you want to spend your free time.
And the festivals! In the summer, you’ll have the Supper Market every week, and this year saw the start of two great new events: the St. Catharines Chicken Wing Festival in the summer and the Christmas Market in December. Both of these events were a hit in their first year, and I’m sure will only get better!
The Glenridge neighbourhood is another family favourite, with beautiful old homes and another great school for kids. Oakridge Public School ranks #2 in the city, and academically rates an 8.6 out of 10.
And as important as a great school is for the kids, being able to build experiences is better. Burgoyne Woods is a city park with streams and hiking trails for adventurous families, and a leash-free dog park to take your furry family members.
The neighbourhood is super close to downtown St. Catharines, with its restaurants, shopping, the Meridian Centre, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and Farmers’ Market. There’s a neverending list of things to do! And the Pen Centre is walking distance from home, so besides having great shopping just a few blocks away, as the kids grow up there is always something for them to do! Bonus: when it’s time for the kids to get part-time jobs, there’s no shortage of places for them to work!
North End St. Catharines
North-End St. Catharines is full of families, with tonnes of great schools for kids to attend. One of the best schools in the city, Porter Weller, is ranked #3 in the city. That’s not the only option by a long shot, though. There’s also Prince Phillip, Dalewood, Assumption, St. James and more to choose from. If you choose the North End, you’ll probably have a public school within walking distance of your new home.
Need somewhere for your kids to run off some energy? Take them to one of the many parks, like Cherie Road Park or Walker’s Creek Park and let them run wild! Lake Ontario is at the northernmost point of the neighbourhood, which means you also have the Waterfront Trail, connecting you all the way to Port Dalhousie. The Welland Canal is the easternmost boundary of the neighbourhood with the Welland Canal Parkway that follows the entire waterway with a beautifully paved path that’s great for bike rides, rollerblades, walks and runs.
Bu the piece de resistance? The beautiful Sunset Beach (which is just as beautiful at every time of day, but especially at sunset!), a personal favourite. I could go on about that beach for days, or you could just see what I’ve had to say about it in the past, here, here and here.
St. Catharines’ West End
The West End of St Catharines is becoming an absolute hub of activity and growth. Fourth Ave just keeps growing and is buzzing with retail spaces to shop. Everything you need is just a quick drive away! You’ll never have to worry about going to the other end of town to get something, everything is literally minutes away.
Power Glen Public School is in the area as well. The school is filled with 100 years of history, and the new building that has been constructed with state of the art facilities. If you or your kids are interested in sports, this could not be a better area for you! Joe McCaffery Park, a district wide sports park, is located in the area.
Midtown St. Catharines
Midtown St Catharines has one of the newest schools in the city, the brand new Harriet Tubman school, just two years old! The community is close to downtown, with access to the new Performing Arts centre and other local attractions for lots of fun things to do as a family.
Midtown has a community centre which often has activities for kids to get them out and involved in their community. There’s also a trail right through the community for lots of outdoor fun, and on those hot summer days, beat the heat and head to the community splash pad! If your family includes pets, there’s even a dog park nearby for your fur babies.
If you’re looking to start up a family, or you’re looking to buy a new home and relocate your family my advice to you – keep an eye on these neighbourhoods. St. Catharines is a fantastic city and your dream home is sure to be found in one of these neighbourhoods — or one of the many other amazing corners of our city.