Accessible by the 406 and the QEW, St Catharines is a 560-km trip from Parliament Hill — over five hours by road. Constituents have access to bus service provided by the St. Catharines Transit Commission.
Martindale Pond and Twelve Mile Creek run through the riding, and it is bordered to the north by Lake Ontario. The western border partly follows the Welland Canal and there are a number of municipal parks, including Montebello Park, Centennial Gardens, and Lester B. Pearson Park.
About 19% of the riding’s population are immigrants, with some of the largest populations born in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland.
German, Italian, and Spanish are the most common non-official mother tongues in the riding.
Approximately 3% of the riding’s population identify as Aboriginal.
Average individual income is $39,342.
In addition to the municipal parks, constituents of St. Catharines have access to two golf courses within the riding, the Welland Canal Parkway, the Waterfront Trail and Port Dalhousie and a number of sports leagues, sailing clubs, as well as several art galleries, theatres, and performance venues.
Canadian band Alexisonfire started their career in St. Catharines. Photographer Edward Burtynsky and supermodel Linda Evangelista were both born in St. Catharines.
St. Catharines once laid claim to the title of Doughnut Capital of Canada which may have been because of the sheer number of doughnut shops in the city and also because of the number of Tim Horton’s franchises in the area.
The industries that employ the most residents in the riding include retail trade, health care and social services, manufacturing and accommodation and food services. Almost 50% of the workforce has some sort of post secondary education.
The city of St. Catharines has a sustainability strategy which is aimed at addressing issues like climate change and resource scarcity along with adapting to rising energy prices. The strategy was prepared with the help of members of the community and organizations like Environment Canada, Brock University and the Niagara Region. The city also has a backflow prevention program to prevent cross-contamination of the water supply and a green advisory committee to oversee the city’s management of its urban forest.
The City of St. Catharines was settled by Loyalists after the American Revolution. St. Catharines was in an ecologically fertile region that led to early growth in agriculture and lumber. The unusual name is thought to be in honour of the wife of a prominent businessman, but it remains unconfirmed. Because of its proximity to the American border, St. Catharines was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad by Harriet Tubman in the mid-1800s. The Salem Chapel BME Church, which was used as a gathering place, is now a National Historic Site.