Niagara Falls named fourth highest on Canada’s ‘Best Small City’ list

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Published July 7, 2022 at 10:44 am

There’s no surprise that Niagara Falls was chosen as one of the best small cities in Canada.

However, to area residents, what may be surprising is that three small cities finished ahead of the honeymoon capital of the world, leaving it in fourth place.


When Resonance Consultancy has released its first-ever ranking of Canada’s best 25 cities with populations under 200,000, Niagara Falls fell just outside the medal round with the top three spots going to Victoria, BC, Kelowna, BC and Kingston, ON.

Of the top-ten, Ontario and BC dominated, taking eight spots but Canada’s largest tourist destination wasn’t the only Niagara community in the mix as St. Catharines also made the list, coming in the final 25th place.

Resonance Consultancy, a Vancouver-based firm that is one of the “leading advisors in real estate, tourism and economic development,” created by the list by using six different categories to sum up the offerings of each pick:

  • Place (natural and built environment)
  • Product (attractions and major institutions)
  • Programming (arts, culture, entertainment and culinary scene)
  • People (immigration rate and diversity)
  • Prosperity (employment and corporate landscape)
  • Promotion (online recommendations and recognition)

Resonance Consultancy has some high praise for Niagara Falls. “It turns out that the honeymoon capital of the world is a pretty sweet place to put down roots and raise a family. Of course the city is and will always be a tourist destination, both for regional families and for Canadaphiles who need to check Clifton Hill and Lundy’s Lane off their bucket lists every few years.”

“Not surprisingly, it ranks #1 among small cities in Canada for Family-friendly Activities, #2 for Theatres and #3 for Sights & Landmarks. After two-and-a-half years of pandemic devastation to its vital tourism industry, the city is on the comeback trail, with investments in tourism and community not seen in decades.”

They added, “With many on both sides of the border still tentative about flying, Niagara Falls is positioning itself to once again be the jewel in the North American road trip crown.”

St. Catharines also got some reassuring words from the company, who noted, “For a small city, there’s something about St. Catharines that just feels more sophisticated, more ambitious. It is the largest city in Ontario’s booming Niagara region, and the sixth-largest urban area in Canada’s most populous province, just 90 minutes from Toronto and 30 to Niagara Falls and the US border.”

“The historic downtown (it’s held a farmers’ market since the 1860s) and impressive housing stock can take a lot of the credit. Recent investment have created a nerve centre for events, music and the #4-ranked restaurants among Canada’s small cities, powered by the dozens of award-winning vineyards around town.”

The Garden City downtown seemed to by the city’s biggest asset. “Anchored by the eight-year-old Meridian Centre (a $50-million performance venue with 5,000 seats), the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and the new Warehouse Concert Hall, this stealth creative hub ranks #8 in Canada in our overall Programming category.”

“All this creativity, foodie culture and some of the province’s most impressive breweries has people who missed out on affordability in Hamilton looking further west. House prices have been climbing rapidly as a result, and more is being built, including a 28-storey condo development that will be the city’s tallest residential building.”

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