What is it to Embrace Niagara?
Embrace Niagara is a website dedicated to sharing the stories and experiences of life in Niagara.
My wife and I have lived in many places in North America, including the mid-west, the heart of the desert and on both coasts. Our work and travels have taken us to many major cities and to smaller towns and villages.
One of the things we have taken away from our voyages is that not all places are created equal — and how valuable a place is depends on the values of the traveller.
Katie and I each grew up in small towns and in the years that followed, our lives and business took us into major urban areas. As a result, we have learned to love aspects of both kinds of living.
As our business matured and the nature of how we did our work and interacted with our clients became more “remote controlled”, we had an opportunity most people don’t get. We recognized that we could work from nearly anywhere in North America.
This realization caused us to step back and recognize what we really wanted from our day-to-day life. We spent many months combing through statistics, reading forums, looking at lifestyle choices and the proximity to the things we enjoy every day.
After all this research and soul-searching, we realized that there were a lot of niceties that we would like to have: a reasonably priced home in a place with some history, safe neighbourhoods, 4 seasons of moderate weather, access to nature and water, culture, professional sports, a smaller-town pace, large city access, a place with great infrastructure and a vision to the future, a commitment to arts, education and technology — in other words, we wanted it all!
The best word that summarizes what we were looking for is: BALANCE.
The wine region of Niagara was what put it on our list to begin with — the culture and events associated with great wine regions was compelling to us. The list of areas originally included Atlantic Canada destinations (I grew up in NB), the Southwest (Katie and I met in Phoenix), the interior of BC, Vancouver Island and a half dozen other places.
So what made us fall in love with Niagara? The statistics and research showed us we could live the kind of balanced life we were seeking. Niagara was among the leading candidate in every category that was important to us. That isn’t what made us love the area, just put it on our short list…
The two trips here to explore the region showcased the warmth of the people and began a love affair.
You can’t help but be enthralled (overwhelmed) when you take in the fantastic green spaces, award-winning wineries, wetlands and parks, the endless waterways (shores on 2 of the Great Lakes, countless creeks, the fabulous Welland Canal, Niagara River and the majesty of The Falls itself), thousands of Kilometers of trail systems for hiking and biking, great Sunday drives, wildlife and bird watching, art & culture, historic landmarks, festivals, shopping malls and boutiques, great eateries, golf courses, spas, local produce and tons of family fun (including an abundance of festivals, Clifton Hill and Marineland)!
That doesn’t even touch on the fact that you can be in Buffalo in 45 minutes and Toronto in less than 90 minutes.
We couldn’t get over the fact that we almost needed to stumble across half of the things because nobody here wants to brag! All these fantastic restaurants and local stores still remain a local secret.
We live here now. We brought our business here. We have no problem being loud and showy. As this site develops we will include the stories of this area, video and audio, photos and give you a glimpse of what makes Niagara such a compelling place to visit, explore, play, to do business, or even to make your home.
And now we are telling anyone who will listen, that Niagara has everything!
Come and Embrace Niagara with us!
Dan & Katie McKinnon