It’s no secret that Hamilton’s new home market is hot, with CMHC’s Spring Housing Market Outlook report predicting a rebound in Hamilton housing starts, particularly multi-unit housing construction such as townhouses. Winona, a rapidly growing community that bridges Hamilton and Niagara (it’s technically in Hamilton), is its own hotbed of real estate activity, with a number of new townhouse developments either on the go or in the works. Here’s why we think Winona is a great place to live and invest.
#1 Nature at your doorstep.
Winona is nestled between the blue expanse of Lake Ontario and the craggy heights of the Niagara Escarpment, two of the most magnificent natural features in southern Ontario. It’s home to Fifty Point Conservation Area, with great camping, fishing, birding and swimming (it boasts one of the cleanest, warmest beaches at the western end of the lake). Confederation Beach Park, a little to the west of Winona, has free trails and there’s a pay-to-use pool (Lakeland Pool) and waterslides at Wild Waterworks. The Winona Park Waterfront Trail is an almost six-kilometre stretch of paved pathway for walking and cycling that passes through a quaint residential area (look for the quaint historical cottages). Winona is also the gateway to the Niagara fruit belt—think peaches, pears, plums, cherries, apples, grapes and all the amazing things they get made into (including wine and cider).
#2 The Winona Crossing big box retail project.
Winona-ites will get their very own Costco when the former Stop 50 motel property, located on the South Service Road, opens as Winona Crossing. The development has been on the books for years and Councillor Brenda Johnson, who also chairs the City of Hamilton’s planning committee, wants to see shovels in the ground soon. The planned 17-hectare development amounts to an $85 million investment in the community—and will mean convenient access to high profile retail and restaurants for Winona residents.
#3 The Grimsby GO Train station.
We wrote about new GO Train service to Grimsby in another blog post, but the message bears repeating: good transportation access by road and rail increases quality of life in a community and property values for current homeowners. Grimsby’s GO Train station will provide Winona residents with convenient weekday commuter service towards Toronto as early as 2021. Service from Grimsby towards Niagara Falls is to be in place by 2023.
#4 A community that speaks its mind.
Winona residents are known for being pretty passionate about their community and dedicated to maintaining its small-town feeling, even as it grows. Community meetings are well attended (the meetings around the Fruitland-Winona Secondary Plan were particularly heated). Considering that most newcomers to the community are looking for the same things as people who have lived in Winona for years—a great place to live and raise a family—we consider community engagement to be a plus.
#5 Two new elementary schools.
St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School is not even a year old, opening its doors to 500-plus kindergarten to Grade 8 students in September 2015. It’s a beautiful, energy-efficient, state-of-the-art building with an oversized gym and learning commons located at Barton Street and Fifty Road. Winona Elementary opened on its new site at Lewis Road and Barton Street in 2012. It’s one of the largest K to 8 elementary schools in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and has resources to go along with its size: lots of educational technology, collaboration areas between classrooms and an instrumental music program. (Both schools, we’re thrilled to say, are close to our new Foothills townhome development, slated to break ground in spring 2017 and located on the north-west corner of Barton Street and Fifty Road.)
#6 The Winona Peach Festival.
Winona’s peach of a festival has grown from a small fundraiser for charities that started the year Canada turned 100 to an international festival that sees more than 100,000 visitors and runs thanks to the dedication of more than 2,000 volunteers. The festivities take place at the end of August every year and feature a car show, the Grand Peach Ball, a pageant, arts and crafts, a midway and, of course, the famous festival peach sundae.
We think Winona is worthy of serious consideration by anyone looking to buy a new home or townhome in a family-friendly community that’s got big city amenities and a small-town feel—which is why we’re breaking ground on a new townhouse development of our own early in 2017. We’ll be sending out Winona community news and updates our townhome development. Sign up for our Winona mailing list to stay in the loop.