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Considering a small town to retire to in 2030-35. Recommendations?

afransen

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Perhaps a topic of discussion for the Urban Sprawl thread, but I wouldn't mind a concerted effort from the provincial level to concentrate some of the regional growth into Welland and Port Colborne.

Seems like a St. Catharines, Thorold/Niagara Falls, Welland, Port Colborne corridor would have potential as an urban conglomeration, but currently are not exactly brimming examples of Ontario's vibrancy as per Towered's recent tour.
There is a fair amount of new housing development going in along the 406. But the real boom-towns of Niagara are Stoney Creek/Beamsville along the QEW. Some decent size condo towers being built along the Lake Ontario shoreline. I get this funny feeling that the whole west end of Lake Ontario is going to have a skyline eventually!
 

flonicky

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Port Stanley is pretty overlooked. Maritime village feel and some quirky local stuff. Mildly touristy without being overwhelmed like Lake Huron communities. Proximity to London and the 401 but you can feel outside of the Toronto bubble. 2+ fewer months of winter than somewhere like Almonte.

There. I probably just ruined Port Stanley.
 

W. K. Lis

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Port Stanley is pretty overlooked. Maritime village feel and some quirky local stuff. Mildly touristy without being overwhelmed like Lake Huron communities. Proximity to London and the 401 but you can feel outside of the Toronto bubble. 2+ fewer months of winter than somewhere like Almonte.

There. I probably just ruined Port Stanley.
Shhh! Don't tell them about the wineries around Georgian Bay and Lake Huron...
WCO_EmergingRegion-GeorgianBay_Map-2021.png

WCO_EmergingRegion-HuronShores_Map-2021.jpg


See link.
 

Towered

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There is a fair amount of new housing development going in along the 406. But the real boom-towns of Niagara are Stoney Creek/Beamsville along the QEW. Some decent size condo towers being built along the Lake Ontario shoreline. I get this funny feeling that the whole west end of Lake Ontario is going to have a skyline eventually!

I noticed a cluster of ugly new condo towers right by the lake in Grimsby. Very strange.

Seems that the cuter little towns in Niagara region are all on the north side - Beamsville, Lincoln, Grimsby (the old part), Niagara-On-The-Lake.
 

Towered

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Port Stanley is pretty overlooked. Maritime village feel and some quirky local stuff. Mildly touristy without being overwhelmed like Lake Huron communities. Proximity to London and the 401 but you can feel outside of the Toronto bubble. 2+ fewer months of winter than somewhere like Almonte.

There. I probably just ruined Port Stanley.

Went there once in the dead of winter so didn't get the best impression of it. I should try again.

And don't worry about it - this isn't BlogTO ;)
 

Towered

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Such as it is................I think you were looking for this:


Ft. Erie is not really a thing.............LOL........

Its comprised of several smaller historic communities that were amalgamated. Ft. Erie and Bridgeburg actually came together in 1930 or thereabouts; but then Crystal Beach and a few other places were consolidated to it in 1970.
Bridgeburg's downtown is on Jarvis Street.



Welland needs to move the Niagara College campus to downtown, its the only real hope!

LOL. This is why I hate amalgamated "cities". The sign for Fort Erie says something like "population 35,000", so you expect a notable settlement, when in reality there's still at least another 15 minutes of highway driving before you see a single building, and when you finally arrive in what you assume is "Fort Erie", you are faced with a small, hopelessly unimpressive village. The "City of Kawartha Lakes" or "Quinte West" are other idiotic examples that come to mind.

And wow, that google streetview is...depressing.

Maybe I should just streetview tour a bunch of Ontario towns I haven't seen to save myself time, money and frustration!
 

Northern Light

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LOL. This is why I hate amalgamated "cities". The sign for Fort Erie says something like "population 35,000", so you expect a notable settlement, when in reality there's still at least another 15 minutes of highway driving before you see a single building, and when you finally arrive in what you assume is "Fort Erie", you are faced with a small, hopelessly unimpressive village. The "City of Kawartha Lakes" or "Quinte West" are other idiotic examples that come to mind.

And wow, that google streetview is...depressing.

Maybe I should just streetview tour a bunch of Ontario towns I haven't seen to save myself time, money and frustration!

Visiting in person, in good weather is excellent, when there's somewhere to visit; having a look-see on the way back from camping/cottage etc, can be a good/fun use of time too.

But dedicated trips w/o pre-screening is open-defiance of the virtues of the internet!

LOL
 

Rufus8

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If you are going to be some where new you need to know what it is like in the dead of winter. If you buy a house what's the snow clearance like? In Toronto it's rare to get a ton of snow, out in the boonies that's the norm. Will the street be clear within 24 hours? Possibly not, so you will have to be prepared. And what are local medical facilities? We take for granted xrays, etc, out there you have to know what is available and again the pace is slower, less urgent. Is there delivery for grocery stores, chemists, etc? You are stepping into a different world with a different rythm.
 

W. K. Lis

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There is the question of new developments in the town you're interested in. Are they implementing the zoning fad of the 1950's and 1960's, where single-use, single-story automobile oriented zones are allowed? Are they implementing the more thought out 2020's zoning of more mixed-used use walkable zones?
 

AlbertC

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Admiral Beez

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Port Stanley is pretty overlooked. Maritime village feel and some quirky local stuff. Mildly touristy without being overwhelmed like Lake Huron communities. Proximity to London and the 401 but you can feel outside of the Toronto bubble. 2+ fewer months of winter than somewhere like Almonte.

There. I probably just ruined Port Stanley.
I’m a big train fan so visited Port Stanley in 2016 to ride the https://pstr.on.ca/. They had a nice touristy downtown with a great ice cream shop. I was surprised to see an active fishing fleet and processing facility - I had no idea we caught fish on Lake Erie. Is there a fishery on Lake Ontario? Anyway, it was a very cute town, about half an hour drive from VIA in London.

Housing is inexpensive and cute https://www.realtor.ca/map#ZoomLeve...archTypeId=1&TransactionTypeId=2&Currency=CAD
 

lenaitch

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I’m a big train fan so visited Port Stanley in 2016 to ride the https://pstr.on.ca/. They had a nice touristy downtown with a great ice cream shop. I was surprised to see an active fishing fleet and processing facility - I had no idea we caught fish on Lake Erie. Is there a fishery on Lake Ontario? Anyway, it was a very cute town, about half an hour drive from VIA in London.

Housing is inexpensive and cute https://www.realtor.ca/map#ZoomLevel=15&Center=42.663391,-81.217626&LatitudeMax=42.67117&LongitudeMax=-81.19726&LatitudeMin=42.65561&LongitudeMin=-81.23799&Sort=6-D&PGeoIds=g30_dpw6cfr5&GeoName=Port Stanley, ON&PropertyTypeGroupID=1&PropertySearchTypeId=1&TransactionTypeId=2&Currency=CAD

I was aware of the commercial fisheries out of places like Pt. Stanley, Pt. Dover, Wheatley, etc. According to the Ontario Commercial Fisheries Association, there is an industry on Lake Ontario, but I don't know where it is centred. Their website claims Ontario has the largest freshwater fishery in North America, but if you look at the catch data, it's not huge. It may be because Ontario covers four lakes plus a piece of the St, Lawrence, while no single US state does.

 

Lennox970

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I’m a big train fan so visited Port Stanley in 2016 to ride the https://pstr.on.ca/. They had a nice touristy downtown with a great ice cream shop. I was surprised to see an active fishing fleet and processing facility - I had no idea we caught fish on Lake Erie. Is there a fishery on Lake Ontario? Anyway, it was a very cute town, about half an hour drive from VIA in London.

Housing is inexpensive and cute https://www.realtor.ca/map#ZoomLevel=15&Center=42.663391,-81.217626&LatitudeMax=42.67117&LongitudeMax=-81.19726&LatitudeMin=42.65561&LongitudeMin=-81.23799&Sort=6-D&PGeoIds=g30_dpw6cfr5&GeoName=Port Stanley, ON&PropertyTypeGroupID=1&PropertySearchTypeId=1&TransactionTypeId=2&Currency=CAD

Riding the PSTR is somewhere on my bucket list, saving it for a special occasion. Port Stanley/Grand Bend were always the 2 traditional summer-day-out towns for London. However, Port Stanley is finding a niche with greater numbers of retirees so (anecdotally at least) it increasingly has some sort of reasonable winter activities in town. Not all that dissimilar to Port Burwell further down the coast. Perhaps with the impact of Covid, these communities will see an influx of pre-retirees that can work remotely, but want access (under 2hr drive) to bigger cities.
 

p_xavier

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This thread made me realised how lucky I was to purchase my new house last year. This is what I wake up to on my property. VIA station is a 10 minutes walk away too as I can't drive and have all the things I want from the historic downtown. COVID has been a blessing for me like the woman said in the article. Plus people are so much friendlier in a small place, couldn't have found better neighbhours. I don't miss the coked up sex workers from Montréal one bit.
IMG_0050 (1).jpeg
 

Lennox970

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This thread made me realised how lucky I was to purchase my new house last year. This is what I wake up to on my property. VIA station is a 10 minutes walk away too as I can't drive and have all the things I want from the historic downtown. COVID has been a blessing for me like the woman said in the article. Plus people are so much friendlier in a small place, couldn't have found better neighbhours. I don't miss the coked up sex workers from Montréal one bit.
Oh, the gentleman doth protest too much! 😄

But honestly, when an Aunt of mine told me the current prices in Fort Erie my natural instinct was to correct her that she had accidently added an extra zero. Yikes! South of Niagara Falls, along the river down around the lake is always nice, and traditionally more sane than the other direction, NOTL and wine country.
 

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