Master a “Living Well Lifestyle” in Niagara

Cyclists in vineyard

Research shows that a “Living Well Lifestyle” is undeniably important for our wellbeing, yet so many of us ignore that simple fact.

We now find ourselves in the final three weeks of the winter season. And soon, the world will start waking up again for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. What would you like to complete, accomplish, do or experience before this winter ends? 

You may find yourself overwhelmed by all the duties and responsibilities you’re facing and yearning to escape and avoid them instead. That’s natural.

Here’s the good news. A full Moon in Virgo on February 24 gave us a permission slip to be gentle with our thoughts and words and to pay attention to our health during these final weeks of winter as we ready ourselves for the busy Spring season ahead. 

Niagara-on-the-Lake Is All About Lifestyle
Now is an especially good time to adopt and indulge in a Living Well Lifestyle, a ground-breaking discovery that unveiled five regions, known as Blue Zones, around the world where people live exceptionally long lives. An important aspect of this lifestyle is our ability to take our cues from and be in sync with nature. The tangible benefits of the Living Well Lifestyle become apparent in the remarkable health, happiness and low stress levels of residents and visitors alike.

Buddha ornament

Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a way of life that pays homage to the lessons learned from such vibrant communities by integrating the 9 main pillars of a Living Well Lifestyle:

  1. Freedom
  2. Access to nature
  3. Sense of community
  4. Tranquility
  5. Walkability
  6. Activity (fitness, adventure)
  7. Beauty (architecture, design and spaces)
  8. Connection/sociability
  9. Nourishment

Let’s look at how these nine pillars are so effortlessly incorporated into daily life in Niagara-on-the-Lake and how everyone benefits from such a lifestyle.

Movement: Moving Naturally
The opportunities for movement within Niagara-on-the-Lake arise naturally, and often, spontaneously and unplanned. 

silhouette of jogger

A typical day may start with an early peaceful walk on the network of natural trails that meander through the Commons, along the waterfront and on the Niagara Escarpment in Queenston and St. David’s. A variety of versatile sports and recreational choices available include kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, yoga, high-intensity training at the community gym, golf, swimming, tennis, biking, hiking and running. 

Additionally, friends and family meet for lunch at one of the many restaurants, followed by a walk to the beach or to any of the town’s boutiques and art galleries or taking in a live stage performance at the Shaw Festival. At day’s end, many meet at a park on Lake Ontario to unwind and watch the sun go down.

Love and Being Loved: Putting Family and Friends First
In a walkable town like Old Town in Niagara-on-the-Lake, skipping time in traffic allows more time and energy for what is important. 

There are wonderful opportunities where you can spend time with family and friends at organized weekly activities such as movie nights, live music events, festivals, arts and crafts sessions and workshops, wine tastings, kids’ clubs, BBQs, art exhibitions, moon ceremonies, stargazing, yoga, pizza nights and more.

Friends enjoying wine

Downshifting: Slowing it Down and Reducing Stress
Stress is part of everyone’s life, and finding ways to reduce its impact is a significant focus for Niagara-on-the-Lake residents and visitors. Fortunately, Niagara-on-the-Lake offers an array of options and spaces for downshifting in and around town.

This might include engaging in healing sessions at one of the numerous spas, hitting the trails on foot or bike, taking a walk in nature, forest bathing, practising yoga, meeting for outdoor workouts, joining friends for a sunset drink, journaling on a rocking chair at your favourite B&B while sipping a cup of coffee or tea, meditating in one of our historical churches or simply strolling through Old Town, admiring the beautiful architecture that imparts a sense of calm from another era.

Glass of wine and food on plate

Nourishment: Benefits of a Plant-Slant Diet
While food choices, preferences and habits are entirely up to the individual, restaurant chefs and your B&B hosts in Niagara-on-the-Lake have ramped up their efforts to increase the availability of organic produce that is grown locally.

In collaboration with local farms, vegetable gardens and agricultural cooperatives, chefs encourage agricultural practices that support a respectful cycle of the food’s growth and their interaction with it. This fosters a sustainable and efficient nourishment of the soil, and as a result, of our bodies. 

Purpose: Belonging and Being Part of a Tribe
While this may look quite different for most people, choosing to become part of such a community, even for a short time, naturally leads to the pursuit of similar purposes, at least regarding health and lifestyle. 

Niagara-on-the-Lake offers an unparalleled lifestyle for both residents and visitors. It’s a place where people can feel better and healthier at any time of the year.

The highly walkable Old Town of Niagara-o-the-Lake includes hotels, bed and breakfasts, cottages, villas, shops, restaurants, day spas, parks and recreational facilities, all nestled between the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Throughout the region of Niagara-on-the-Lake, walkable public spaces are interwoven with nature, emphasizing an indoor-outdoor lifestyle that is healthier, more satisfying, more fun and more sustainable. 

So Many Reasons to Visit Year-Round
With summer fast-approaching, you may want to book your preferred spot as early as possible because Niagara-on-the-Lake is especially popular during the high season (May through October). To help you plan your next escape to Niagara-on-the-Lake, here are a few tempting events slated for 2024:
Until February 29: SeaSky International Light Show at Reif Estate Winery
Until Mid-March: Skating at the Great One’s Backyard Rink and at The Gardens at the Pillar and Post
March 16 & 17 and 23 & 24: Around the World Event at Reif Estate Winery
April 2 to 8: Coming of Age exhibit at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
April 8: Solar Eclipse Events at Wayne Gretzky Estates, Niagara Cycling Tours, and Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
Until April 29: Strike a Pose: The Art of Self-Obsession at the NOTL Museum
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
October 4: Shaw Autumn Soirée
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 14: Christmas Parade

Helpful Tips
Lost & Found: Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email for more information.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town.

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed $400. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.

Niagara-on-the-Lake: Activate Your Passion

March 20 heralded in the Spring Equinox and the Aries Season while a New Moon on March 21 added a punch to underscore the importance of this annual celestial event. Think of this lunar lift as a ribbon-cutting ceremony for your freshest, most out-of-the-box ideas. This cosmic invitation is summoning your inner warrior to recommit to living life by your own design!

As it turns out, passion is an essential element to living a fulfilled life. So, you might say, this celestial combo is asking you to tune in to your passion meter for excitement and let the hot blood pump through your veins as you spring into action.

Some of our best insights and ideas come to us when we’re active and enjoying something we love — cycling, hiking, golfing, birdwatching, dining, spa treatments, live stage performances, music, museums and historical re-enactments, gardens… Our minds are relaxed and our intuition — our personal GPS — works best when the mind is engrossed in the present moment. Like they say, time flies when you’re having a good time.

And what better place to enjoy good times and indulge your passion(s) than in Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Spring Into Action
Vineyards, fruits orchards and fields of vegetation surround Niagara-on-the-Lake, making it a culinary haven for chefs, foodies and wine-lovers alike. Dining venues throughout the area range from affordable pub fare to five-star gourmet experiences. Why not make a day of it with friends? Chauffeured guided tour companies offer an excellent way to experience three or more wineries, and some tour options even include lunch or supper at a local dining establishment.

Partying with friends

Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake is a safe, very walkable community, perfect for daytime and evening strolls along residential streets and nature trails that meander through provincial parks and along the Niagara River where there is year-round birdwatching at its best. Most bed and breakfasts and short-term rental properties are within easy walking distance of restaurants, theatres, shops and wine- or beer-tasting venues. So, why not park the car and forget about it?

Flat terrain and quiet country roads in the area are ideal for cycling and e-bikes — a great way to combine fresh-air exercise with touring some of our award-winning wineries on your own. Be sure to check out the 2020 Chardonnay at Two Sisters Vineyards, winner of a Gold Medal at the 2023 Chardonnay-du-Monde competition held in Burgundy, France. Bring your own bike or rent one at one of the local businesses, such as Zoom Leisure, Grape Escape, Vino Velo and eBike Rental Niagara, to name just a few. Many also offer guided cycling wine tours.

Take in a round of golf and some of the area’s most scenic views at the oldest surviving golf course in North America. Its lakefront restaurant patio and indoor lounge are popular watering holes for a light post-game bite, a brew and some friendly banter.

Perhaps self-care is one of your passions. Niagara-on-the-Lake features a selection of world-renowned spas, each of which offers a menu of treatments that are sure to leave your body singing with relief and gratitude.

Passionate about live theatre and musical performances? Niagara-on-the-Lake also hosts world-class performances at the ever-popular Shaw Festival, which, in 2023, is presenting 14 plays, and several concerts and events at the Festival Royal George and Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatres as well as the new Spiegeltent outdoor venue.

Choose Your Private Retreat
After a full day of activities and sightseeing, a well-deserved night’s rest is in order. STAY Niagara-on-the Lake offers a long list of accommodation options where you can relax and reminisce over that fine bottle of Niagara wine you picked up earlier.

For couples, a bed and breakfast is the perfect choice. Today, most B&Bs feature secluded guest quarters with private ensuite washrooms for complete privacy, as well as indoor and outdoor nooks where you can mingle with your hosts or other guests — or not. Nightly rates include breakfast, on-site parking and internet access. For parties of three or more, self-catering apartments, villas or cottages may be a more reasonable alternative.

Go ahead and check us out. Make a few calls and ask questions. We want you to make the choice that’s best for you and your needs.

Plan Ahead
Here is a taste of things to come this spring and summer to rev up those passion meters and get your creative juices flowing:

April 1 – Fort George opens Saturdays and Sundays, and daily May 20
April 29 – Queens of the Vineyard at Caroline Cellars
May Weekends – Sip & Sizzle at various Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries
May 6 – TD Niagara Jazz Festival Spring 2023 Fundraising Event at The Hare Wine Co.
June 9 – White Effect Dinner at Peller Estates Winery
June 24 – Shaw Guild Garden Tour
July 1-3 – Artistry by the Lake
July 8 – Cherry Festival
August 12 – Peach Festival
August 12 – Sip, Savour & Stroll
August 13 – Shades of Summer Dinner