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Old 06-11-2013, 11:59 AM
3 posts, read 24,108 times
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We are a lower middle class but cleancut/traditional family of three currently living in Mississauga and looking to move somewhere smaller and more family oriented. We are looking at Niagara Falls and Oakville, with our preferences being towards Niagara Falls at the moment as Oakville may be a bit pricey for us.

My husband's skill set lies in sales or general labour, or I suppose he could get a casino job. I am a stay-at-home mom.

I have a few questions about the Niagara region.
What kind of place could we rent for ~$1200/month?
What is public transportation like?
What is the area like for crime/drugs?
What are the 'wholesome' areas?
What are the sketchier areas?
What are jobs like? (sales/general labour/casino)
What are prices like? (groceries/etc)
Which areas are generally English/German or Italian?

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:42 PM
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Look on kijiji to see rental prices in the area. 1200 will get you an older smaller house, or a townhouse. You'd have to go up a few hundred bucks to rent a nicer, newer house. Surprisingly, rents aren't all that much cheaper than what you'd pay in Mississauga, even though the houses are less than half the price. The best area would probably be the far northern end of the city near Mountain Road and around Stamford Centre (Thorold Stone Road area). Crime is definitely higher than Halton region (Oakville/Burlington) but still not bad. You want crime, go across the river to the U.S. side. There's plenty of competing grocery stores so prices aren't bad, and you can always go across the river and shop in the U.S. too if you have a car. The job market here is horrible compared to Mississauga. Public transportation - I have no idea about, since I drive my own car

Personally I would prefer St. Catharines or Welland over Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls has way too many ugly large powerlines and run down stretches of road. Just drive Stanley Avenue between Mountain Road and downtown and see what I mean. The Falls has some good restaurants and parks but is overall way too touristy for my tastes. St. Catharines and Welland have more of a hometown feel to them.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:45 PM
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
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I live in Niagara falls and I love it. It's got great shopping, parks, entertainment and reasonable real estate. I lived in St. Cathrines for about 20 years and I like NF better. I don't know where the previous poster got his crime stats but NF is very safe in my experience. I live right in the area mentioned around Stamford centre but there are a lot of nice areas in town. I just sold a house I had right off Lundy's lane near the factory outlet mall and I loved it there too. You can buy a nice house here for $200,000 or less. I have a 3 plus 2 bedroom side split with a huge lot and it also has a one bedroom apartment built on the garage side of the house that I could rent if I wanted. I paid 200K for it in December 2012. 20 years ago the old downtown of the falls was very run down and not nice. Over the last few years people have been fixing up the homes down there the city has put millions into the streetscape and it's becoming nice. I looked for a house there but the lots are too small for what I needed. {A dog daycare}.

You mention your hubby has sales experience. A good salesperson can always find a good job. There are always car sales, furniture sales, insurance sales, hotel and entertainment sales, home improvment sales and so on. I myself sold paving and roofing here for 20 years before I retired and I always made a good living.

The thing I love about Niagara is the lack of traffic gridlock. The very worst traffic jam is 5 minutes and that does not happen often.

The previous poster sems to like Welland. I hate Welland and would never live there for what I consider good reasons. There is a lot of Euro Culture here in Niagara but it does not tend to concentrate in any one area. In the past you had an Italian and a German area in St. Catherines but those areas have changed over the years to just a general mix. There are a lot of Italians in NF, that's for sure. Lots of excellent Italian bakeries and food stores too, YUM. It may suprise you to know there is a large Serbian community here. St. Catherines has a lot of Polish and Ukrainian people. There are few visable minorities. I don't know why but that's how it is. I have a good friend who is a Ugandan immigrant and she feels very welcome here and has not experiences any racism.

Of all the communities in Niagara I like NF the best followed closely by St. Catherines then Ft. Erie because of the beach living then Vineland Beamsville although people from there use St. Kitts for most things. Then Welland which I don't like then Pt. Colborne which I hate then Wainfleet which is beyond the pale. There is also a lot of little rural communities all around Niagara for those who like country living. All around the Smithville area, all along the Lake Erie shore, the top of the escartment all through the region and the NOTL area.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:36 PM
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1. Crime stats:
See Canada’s most dangerous cities 2011 – Crime chart - Macleans.ca

According to Maclean's, Niagara region has a crime rate 16% below the Canadian average, which makes it safer than Toronto (which is 10% below the average) but not nearly as safe as Halton region which is 54.7% below the average crime rate and the third safest area in the country (only Caledon and Centre Wellington are marginally safer).

Bottom line - Niagara is a very low crime area, but not on the same level as Oakville and Burlington which are squeaky clean.

2. There are few "visible minorities" in the area because there are few jobs in the area. People who immigrate from most other nations come here to try to make it big; they are also usually skilled workers, students, or came on a work visa. An area like Niagara Region doesn't have enough jobs to satisfy the local population's need for employment, so why would an employer around here sponsor someone from overseas? The situation is the opposite from Toronto.

3. All three main cities in the Niagara Region (St. Catharines, Welland, and Niagara Falls) have good neighbourhoods, arenas, parks, gyms, libraries, etc. If you're an avid cyclist like me, you may choose Welland because it has the best network of bike trails in the region, or because you like rowing on the canal. If you like casino gambling, or work in the hospitality industry, Niagara Falls might be the best choice. St. Catharines is a good choice if you might commute to Hamilton, or if you are muslim and want access to a masjid/mosque, or if you prefer being near a nice upscale shopping mall (Pen Centre). All three cities have their pluses and minuses, and they all have run down parts of town, and areas with multi-million dollar mansions.

My personal view is that for a lower-income family relying on public transportation, St. Catharines is probably the best bet. The population is larger than Niagara Falls and Welland combined, it has more amenities, and more jobs. It also has everything from a lakeshore beach to steep cliffs and waterfalls (Short Hills). If I didn't have a car and wanted to live in Niagara Region, I'd definitely live in St. Catharines.

For me, since I drive, Welland gives me the most flexibility in the region. I can be at Pen Centre in less than 20 minutes, or at the falls in about 30 minutes... I can be at Port Dalhousie in 30 minutes to fish Lake Ontario's waters, or in 15 minutes I can be in Port Colborne and swim in Lake Erie. Oh, also, not sure why lucknow hates Port Colborne... it's a smaller town and a little bit more "redneck" but it's right on Lake Erie, has some awesome places to eat and great scenery and I think it's a much better town than Fort Erie. Also, not sure what's to hate about Wainfleet except that it's extremely rural and there's nothing there.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:37 PM
3 posts, read 24,108 times
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Thanks for sharing, everyone I really appreciate it!
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:10 PM
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Can I ask a question. I'm new here and don't know what the procedure is?
Can Niagara Falls (NF) Canada be broken down into good and less than good areas? This is what I think I know now...
1. The area north of the train station has soil contamination and there is no new building up there.
2. The area south of the train station gets into old-town, downtown NF and this is the least desirable area.
3. The new area in the south part of NF has new subdivisions and is the best area to live but pricey.
4. The area along the river is for tourists only and not recommended for quiet living. Also extremely expensive buying anything there.
5. This leaves the huge area between the old town and the southern subdivisions. Someone told me there is a drug problem in the Lundy's Lane area and a prostitution problem along Ferry Street.
6. I have no idea about the north-west section around Thorold Stone Road.
Can anyone comment on where I am incorrect or add more info because in the end the above is still inadequate for any decision making.
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