Translation Services in St. Catharines – Economic Profile
With an official nickname “The Garden City”, and often referred to as “St. Kitts”, St. Catharines is the largest city in the Niagara Region and the sixth largest urban area in Ontario, Canada. It is located south of Toronto across Lake Ontario and is 19 kilometres inland from the international boundary with the United States of America along the Niagara Escarpment.
Manufacturing was once the dominant economic force in St. Catharines, but has been in decline since the early 1980s. General Motors operates two plants in the city and used to be the city’s largest employer. Moreover Thompson Products, now TRW Canada and many smaller companies are still important contributors to St Catharines’ economy.
The city is striving to foster new business and employment prospects as a means to diversify the city’s economic base and wants to offer residents increased economic and social opportunities. Now the city’s most important economic sector is service, which remarkably changed the city’s economic structure.
Service industries, such as education, health services, city administration and policing with some accompanying manufacturing have been the major employers. The District School Board of Niagara in St. Catharines is the largest employer. The city is also seeking business opportunities in information technology and new media for local firms through programs with Brock University and Niagara College. The city’s diversifying economic base is causing an increase in demand for linguistic services throughout the region.
Due to its location in the Niagara Fruit Belt, the city produces half of the province’s fresh fruit; many wineries are located in the area as well. As it is situated along a creek, as well as Lake Ontario, water sports are naturally part of the summer agenda.
St. Catharines is also a centre of higher education with two major institutions: Brock University (established 1964), and Niagara College. Brock University is a modern comprehensive university; its main campus serves a student population of over 17,000 full- and part-time students. Niagara College has brought Canada its first Teaching Winery, and the only fully licensed teaching winery in Canada.
With a population of close to 132,000 people, the city’s main ethnic group is primarily British, while people of German, Italian, French, Dutch, Ukrainian and Polish descent are also strongly represented. 20% residents of St. Catharines are classified as foreign born as many immigrants from the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany make the city their home. Approximately 32% of population has German, French, and Italian by mother tongue.