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Niagara-on-the-Lake with its historical charm and tourist draws. We are perched on the Niagara Escarpment a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and the shores of Lake Ontario and Port Dalhousie just across the lake from Toronto with views of the CN Tower. And in the very heart Downtown St. Catharines The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is world class with four breathtaking theatres that accommodate the Niagara Symphony Orchestra ballets and countless other performing and visual arts. Its construction was the game changer for St. Catharines. We also have pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly streets new restaurant patios and terraces and city plans to widen the sidewalks and create a civic square. Montebello Park was designed by the landscape architect who master-planned Central Park in New York City St. Catharines also has an amazing culinary scene a local wine route and a great marina to sail out of and I honestly think the best is yet to come. Q What are the top three neighbourhoods for rst-time buyers A For families the north end. I grew up in the north end and I think its a good spot to establish roots. For arts lovers Q Logistically whats the best way to look at distant properties A Have your REALTOR set you up to receive automated emails with detailed listings that t your criteria the moment the listings come on the market. When a property that ts your criteria is sent to you ask your REALTOR to preview the home on your behalf and FaceTimeSkype the home with you while they walk through making the experience interactive. They should also be able to send you a video of the property if the listing agent has completed one. Have fun online and explore what is out there Old Glenridge a great residential neighbourhood right on the cusp of our thriving downtown. And in the York Street and Henry Street areas you can get a downtown feel for much less money. These neighbourhoods are denitely experiencing new gentrication. HOW TO SUCCEED AT LONG-DISTANCE HOUSE HUNTING GENWORTH CANADA SPRING 2016 15