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St. Catharines, Ontario (City)

Canada is a country in the northern half of North America. Saint Catharines is the largest city in the Niagara Region in southern Ontario, Canada, with 97.11 square kilometres of land. It lies 51 kilometres south of Toronto across Lake Ontario and is 19 kilometres inland from the international boundary with the United States of America along the Niagara River. It is the northern entrance of the Welland Canal. In 2001 the population was 129,170, 2005 its metropolitan population landed upto 396,900 and 2006 it estimated a population of 134,996.
Saint Catharines carries the nickname the Garden City due to its 1,000 acres of meticulously groomed parks, gardens and trails. Manufacturing is the city's dominant industry, as noted by the heraldic motto, Industry and Liberality. General Motors operates two plants in the city and up until recently was the city's largest employer, an honour now held by the District School Board of Niagara. Foster-Wheeler and TRW, Thompson Ramo Wooldridge also operates plants in the city, though in recent years employment has shifted from heavy industry and manufacturing to services. Saint Catharines lies on one of the main telecommunications backbones between Canada and the United States and as a result a number of call centres operate in the city. Combined, call centres employ the largest percentage of Saint Catharines residents. NuComm International, a Canadian call centre operator, is headquartered in downtown Saint Catharines.
The city was first settled by Loyalists in the 1780s. Saint Catharines enjoys a unique micro-climate because of the moderating influence of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and the sheltering effect of the Niagara Escarpment to the south. As a result, the city can record a large number of frost-free days in the winter. The folk arts festival was first presented to the city by representatives from the ethno cultural communities of Niagara over 35 years ago. From that first festival was created the Folk Arts Council of Saint Catharines, which continues to run its festival each year throughout the month of May and concludes with Folk Arts in the Park, which takes place in Montebello Park in the city's downtown.
A city known for its historic myths and traditions, scenic beauty, cooperative people and luxurious hotels and cottages, Saint Catharines is one of the favorite holiday destinations for most of the vacation lovers. Today, one can also learn about its history, from its earliest times and gain enthusiasm in its natural beauty and populace.

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