Niagara Falls ranks fourth best small city in Canada to live, work and invest

Niagara Falls ranks fourth best small city in Canada to live, work and invest

Niagara Falls has been ranked the fourth best small city in Canada to live, work and invest, according to a comprehensive city ranking website.

Resonance Consultancy’s ranked municipalities with populations of fewer than 200,000 people based on a set of criteria.

Results were determined in various areas grouped into six categories: place (rating the perceived quality of a city’s natural and built environments), product (key institutions, attractions and infrastructure), programming (arts, culture, entertainment and culinary), people (immigration rate and diversity of a city), prosperity (employment rate and income equality), and promotion (quantity of stories, references and recommendations shared online about a city).

While the top spot went to Victoria, B.C., Best Cities called the Honeymoon Capital “a pretty sweet place to put down roots and raise a family.”

Best Cities said Niagara Falls ranks No. 1 for family-friendly activities, No. 2 for theatres and No. 3 for sights and landmarks.

It said aside from new investments in tourism, progress is being made in other areas, pointing to the future Niagara Falls culture hub and farmers market, and the city features enticing natural amenities, including rivers that “flow everywhere,” trails and is close to a “prosperous” wine region. Niagara Falls ranked No. 4 in Best Cities’ parks and outdoors subcategory and No. 1 in the overall promotion category.

Mayor Jim Diodati discussed Niagara Falls’ ranking during Tuesday afternoon’s city council meeting.

He said the city is “going in the right direction” and is “firing on all cylinders again” after two years of a pandemic.

“Everybody is really excited and pumped to be here. Even if the Americans are not (coming) here yet in big numbers, at least Canadians are flocking here.”

St. Catharines was ranked as the 25th best small city in Canada, with Best Cities saying “there’s something” about the Garden City that “just feels more sophisticated, more ambitious.”

It said recent investments have created a “nerve centre” for events, music and the No. 4 ranked restaurants among Canada’s small cities, “powered” by the dozens of award-winning vineyards.

Best Cities said anchored by Meridian Centre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and Warehouse Concert Hall, “this stealth creative hub” ranks No. 8 in Canada in the programming category.

In an interview after the meeting, Diodati said it’s nice to see Niagara Falls recognized in such a positive way, adding the city is “coming off two of the most challenging years” in its history.

“We are so dependent on tourism and tourism was literally turned off for two years, (but) we’re making not just a comeback but a triumphant comeback,” he said.

“You can tell by the mass migration from the (Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area), they’re all coming here, and they’re talking. Before, the No. 1 reason they came was because it was less expensive. Now they’re saying the quality of life, the amenities, and people are realizing it’s a great place to live.”

Diodati said “there’s so much to do” in Niagara Falls, which borders the United States.

“And you’re not that far from Toronto — far enough away, but not too far, so it’s kind of perfectly positioned between Toronto and the U.S.A.”

He said the Niagara region as a whole is “thriving” and that for a long time Niagara Falls wasn’t on people’s radar other than for tourism.

“Well, now people don’t want to just visit here, they actually want to live here.”

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