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We have what it takes to make St. Catharines a place where everyone belongs.

There are many aspects to a compassionate city. Get involved in something that’s meaningful for you whether it’s helping the homeless, on the sports field, at your business, helping seniors living in isolation or at your place of worship.

Some of the ways you can get involved:

  • Shop and Eat Local
  • Promote Your Favourite Local Business
  • Mentoring
  • Coaching
  • Volunteering – Encourage Employee Volunteerism
  • Neighbourhood Committees 

Below are just some of the ways individuals, businesses and community groups have taken action in our city.

Video: Grand Opening of 527 Carlton St.

It was a pleasure to be a part of the grand opening of Niagara Regional Housing’s newest building at 527 Carlton St. Watch for highlights from the opening and an interview with one of the newest residents about what this new home means to him. What a special day!

Grand opening – Niagara Regional Housing

Grand Opening of 527 Carlton St. On May 24th 2019 we celebrated the grand opening of the newest Niagara Regional Housing apartmentsin St. Catharines. It was a significant moment – the first new NRH building in the city in more than 40 years, and it comes at a time of great need. Addressing the need […]

Shelter and Housing in Niagara – Call for Action

Shelter and Housing in Niagara – Call for Action March 21, 2019 This week at Regional Council the Community Services Committee received an update on the Niagara homelessness strategy. This includes work that Niagara Region has been doing with community partners to respond to the growing need for shelter and housing. You can read more […]

‘Historic’ agreement for city and native centre

June 26, 2018 By Karena Walters, St. Catharines Standard Originally appeared at https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/8697573–historic-agreement-for-city-and-native-centre/ St. Catharines city council approved signing a memorandum of understanding with Niagara Regional Native Centre Monday night in what the mayor called a “historic moment” for the city. Members of the centre were at city hall for the unanimous council vote, which […]

St. Catharines receives $2.8 million for affordable rental housing

St. Catharines receives $2.8 million for affordable rental housing April 30, 2018 St. Catharines will receive $2.8 million for affordable rental housing from a new development charges rebate program. St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley made the announcement at City Hall on Friday. This is one of the priorities outlined in the Housing Action Plan to […]

April is Volunteer Month

April is Volunteer Month It’s springtime in the city and along with the fresh air, we are all looking forward to getting outdoors to enjoy our parks and trails and meeting at festivals and events this season. From fundraisers, walk-a-thons, planting community gardens, to cultural festivals and enjoying the arts, each of these events relies […]

St. Catharines supports eliminating taxes for affordable housing

St. Catharines supports eliminating taxes for affordable housing Appeared in The St. Catharines Standard, by Karena Walter  March 21, 2018 St. Catharines council is backing a plan that would see property taxes currently paid by Niagara Regional Housing go into creating more affordable housing units in the city. Council voted 8-3 to support the tax […]

Housing update, March 2018

Housing update, March 2018 Monday, March 19 was was a productive Council meeting. We received updates on new funding for public transit, approved the water and wastewater budget and got a positive economic update. We are making progress on our strategic plan. More importantly, on Monday night, Council approved new funding for affordable housing. City […]

We’re Better Together – St. James School

We’re Better Together – St. James School Congratulations to Mrs. Martinelli’s class at St. James Catholic School on winning 2nd place in the Community Living Ontario 5th Annual ‘Together, We’re Better’ contest. The contest was open across Ontario and challenged classes to explain why classrooms that include students who have an intellectual disability are better. […]

Fitzgerald Neighbours Community Group

Fitzgerald Neighbours are a residents group located close to downtown St. Catharines. With the goal to foster a vibrant and inclusive community for all. Learning from neighbouring communities in Hamilton, London, Kitchener and beyond, lifelong friends Caleb and Suzanne, were inspired to start a neighbourhood association in their own backyards. Starting with an Easter Egg Hunt […]

Falcons Food Drive

Thank you to the members of the AA Major Peewee Falcons hockey team who for the past month have been purchasing and gathering items for the The Salvation Army Booth Centre – St. Catharines. These donations will make a difference to their clients this Christmas. These young boys took the initiative to help others during the […]

Thank you St. Catharines! The Great Holiday Food Drive

THANK YOU! to all the people in our community who came out for the Great Holiday Food Drive that was hosted by Bell Media (Newstalk 610 CKTB , 97.7 HTZ-FM 105.7 EZ Rock ) We live in an amazing community. The stories of kindness and compassion show today that we really have a compassionate city that cares for each […]

Giving Tuesday – The Toolbox Project

Very appropriate to share this story on Giving Tuesday Canada – Thorold resident James Symons is helping homeless men with the assistance of Start Me Up Niagara through his ‘tool box’ project. Help James as he spreads warmth and compassion by donating items such as – underwear, shaving cream, hats, deodorant and something fun i.e. cards, games etc. Donations […]

Queenston Neighbours Roundtable

Neighbours in the Queenston have been meeting regularly as a community roundtable to talk about changes in the neighbourhood and opportunities for the future of this historic part of our community. While the City has made investments in infrastructure, repaving the road and new sidewalks, installing new watermains, new streetlighting and upgrades to Centennial Gardens, […]

 St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre Mitten Tree

Give the gift of warmth this season. Staff at the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre will be collecting mittens, hats, scarves, socks and other gently used winter clothing for families and children as part of their annual Mitten Tree Campaign. All donations go to Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold and Out of the Cold. It […]


Today, on #NationalHousingDay, I was proud to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for an innovative new affordable housing project in downtown St. Catharines by Bethlehem Housing and Support Services in partnership with Penn Terra and FirstOntario Credit Union. This project brings together the private sector and service agencies with government support to create much needed new affordable housing for families […]

National Housing Day, 2017

National Housing Day Nov. 22, 2017 Today is National Housing Day – an important opportunity to talk about housing and think about creative solutions to the housing challenges we are facing in our community and across the country. The City of St. Catharines has developed a Housing Action Plan which focuses on what we can […]


Mayor’s Invitational Golf Tournament donates $25,000 to YWCA Niagara Region campaign for affordable housing November 16, 2017 Mayor Walter Sendzik and the Mayor’s Invitational Golf Tournament committee are helping YWCA Niagara Region launch a capital campaign to build new affordable housing in St. Catharines. Mayor Sendzik and committee members presented a $25,000 donation from the […]

Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial Unveiled

On November 12, 2017, our community fulfilled a long-forgotten promise to honour 137 fallen workers – the fathers, brothers, sons, uncles, veterans and newcomers to Canada who died building the Welland Canal, a project that continues to shape our community and national economy. Thank you to our partners at the St. Catharines Standard for helping capture the […]

Niagara Region Native Centre Partnership

St. Catharines city council is moving to create a formal partnership with the Niagara Regional Native Center to advise the City on implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. St. Catharines has taken a different approach to Canada’s 150th by focusing on renewing relations with our First Nations Through the Celebration of Nations / Célébration […]

The Upstream Project

The RAFT recently completed a pilot to address youth homelessness in Niagara called “The Upstream Project”. The project is a first in Canada (adopted from a model in Australia) to identify students who are at risk and connect them with supports they need to continue their education in safe, stable housing. RAFT has partnered with […]

Pocket Change: Local business making a difference

Pocket Change: Local business making a difference October 13, 2017 Congratulations to new business owner Melissa Parkins on the opening of pocket CHANGE located downtown St. Catharines. Pocket Change – is a shop that is dedicated to home and personal accessories, jewellery and locally sourced food products. All products are by local artisans, crafters and that any […]

Niagara Regional Native Center Annual Pow Wow

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of our country this year, we as a city have decided to take a bit different route. The pathway we’re on is talking about the next 150 years. The Niagara Regional Native Center is held its annual pow wow in Montebello Park on Oct 1st and it was a perfect day […]

Video: Brock Badgers Basketball Camp

The Compassionate City Project: A team approach to compassion

A team approach to compassion By Ashley MacSporran This article originally appeared in Niagara This Week – St. Catharines on July 26, 2017 It was a week of compassion, inclusion and one I will remember for the rest of my life. To me, compassionate city means inclusion. I’ve found with sport, there’s no boundaries and […]

The Compassionate City Project: Compassion can be a family affair

Compassion can be a family affair By Mat Siscoe This article originally appeared in Niagara This Week – St. Catharines on June 30, 2017 Time. Treasure. Talent. We all have something we can give. What we are able to give may differ from person to person, but we all have the means to give back […]

The Compassionate City Project: Opening the circle — a lesson in compassion and community

The Compassionate City Project: Opening the circle — a lesson in compassion and community May ambassador Chris Sinclair reflects on the fourth weekend of the #CompassionateSTC initiative This article originally appeared in Niagara This Week – St. Catharines, June 30, 2017 By Chris Sinclair Shortly after being asked to be 1 of 12 ambassadors for […]

New affordable housing coming to St. Catharines

New affordable housing coming to St. Catharines June 27, 2017 On June 27 we officially broke ground on the 1st new Niagara Regional Housing build in St. Catharines in 40 years. As the price of housing continues to climb and the need for decent, affordable housing continues to grow, this new building will be the start […]

Congratulations Salvation Army St. Catharines – more than 130 years of service

Congratulations Salvation Army St. Catharines On June 17 the Salvation Army of St. Catharines celebrated the opening of a new extension at its north St. Catharines church and facility. I was honoured to participate in this special event with other community leaders and celebrate the Salvation Army’s commitment to our community. Around the world, the […]

The Compassionate City Project: Compassion is a priority year round

Compassion is a priority year round By Crispin Bottomly This article originally appeared in Niagara This Week – St. Catharines, May 5, 2017 Last December when I was president of JCI St. Catharines chapter (Junior Chamber International), Steve Boese, a long-time member, came to me with the idea of expanding on the presentation we were […]

Video: TEDxEdenHighSchool – How to have a Compassionate City

Earlier this spring I was invited to be a speaker at Eden High School’s TEDx event. The students really put together an excellent program of speakers and I was honoured to be invited. My talk was about building a compassionate city – what that is, what it means, and how we can all get involved. […]

The Compassionate City Project: Once we know better, we must do better

Once we know better, we must do better By Sara Palmieri This article originally appeared in Niagara This Week – St. Catharines on April 7, 2017 I am proud to be a part of a Compassionate City that aims to promote dignity, respect and opportunity for all of its residents. I believe that the arts […]

Our Home with Mayor Sendzik: JCI St. Catharines and the JCI Compassionate City Project

March 28, 2017 Watch the latest episode of Our Home on TVCogeco featuring a discussion with the JCI’s of St. Catharines Crispin Bottomley, National Vice President of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Canada and Steve Boese, JCI member discuss the JCI’s in the community and their newest project – the JCI Compassionate City Project

The Compassionate City Project: Compassion takes many forms

The Compassionate City Project: Compassion takes many forms This article originally appeared in Niagara This Week – St. Catharines on March 7, 2018 By Bones, Niagara IceDogs mascot Helping out in St. Catharines during our #CompassionateSTC weekend was such a great experience. I was able to help several people with different tasks over a three-day […]

#CompassionateSTC interview on The Source

The ideas about care and compassion to create positive change in our community are really resonating. I’m proud to see the leadership of the JCI St. Catharines through #CompassionateSTC social media campaign. Find out more from Marty Mako and CogecoTV Niagara in this clip. And please, get involved! We all have a role to play. […]

Brock alumni and staff help launch compassionate city campaign

This article originally appeared in the Brock News Feb. 9, 2017 By Kate Book They’re Brock alumni and Niagara community members, but most importantly, they share the common goal of wanting to make St. Catharines a safe, compassionate and inclusive city. The year-long social media campaign, #CompassionateSTC, was recently launched by JCI St. Catharines in […]

The Compassionate City Project: Compassion can start with simple acts – Jessica Potts

  The Compassionate City Project: Compassion can start with simple acts This article originally appeared in Niagara This Week on Feb. 2, 2017 By Jessica Potts Compassion is like a yellow Volkswagen – once it’s on your radar, you see it all over the place. This past weekend, I kicked off the #CompassionateSTC project, a year-long […]

Our Sisters In Spirit Vigil Day

Today is Our Sisters In Spirit Vigil Day – this is a movement for social change and is a day to honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. As we work to build a compassionate city – an essential element of that work is about recognizing our past, understanding reality and reconciling with […]

Video: Central Community Church

I recently visited with Pastors Bill Markham and John Gallo from Central Community Church on Scott St – an important community institution with a large congregation and many outreach programs and services. Central Church has been around for many years and continues to grow as an active member of our community. Here’s our chat about what […]

Mayor Sendzik meets with Chief McGuire to discuss Queenston Street community response

July 26, 2016 – St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik met with Niagara Regional Police Chief Jeff McGuire this week to discuss community issues and police activity in the Queenston Street and Gale Crescent neighbourhood. The discussion with the Chief comes after the Mayor held meetings with local business owners, service agencies, public health officials and […]

Site of Future Niagara Regional Housing Development Announced

Niagara Region, June 27, 2016 Today Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) and the City of St. Catharines announced the site of future NRH development at 527 Carlton Street. To respond to current affordable housing need and development pressure, NRH has purchased a site formerly occupied by Carlton United Church in St. Catharines. The location is in […]

Niagara Regional Housing plans affordable housing project for Carlton Street

Niagara This Week – St. Catharines By Melinda Cheevers June 29, 2016 http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/6745784-niagara-regional-housing-plans-affordable-housing-project-for-carlton-street/ ST. CATHARINES — Niagara Regional Housing is taking a proactive approach to reducing wait times for affordable housing units in St. Catharines. On Monday, the site of a future NRH development was revealed on Carlton Street. Formerly home to the Carlton United […]

CLOSEUP: Mental health workers, cops join forces

By Bill Sawchuk, St. Catharines Standard – Thursday, June 9, 2016 Brandy Sand’s first night on the street was a tough one. On July 2, the social worker wrapped herself in a bullet-proof vest and started her initial shift. She was teamed with a Niagara Regional Police officer as part of what is known as […]

City Hall gets to art of the matter

By Karena Walter, The Standard – Monday, May 30, 2016 Orange flames appear to pierce the black and white burn pile photographed and hanging at St. Catharines City Hall. “It’s glowing inside,” said artist and digital photographer Craig Maclean, describing the image he spotted in a friend’s rural backyard. “It has a volcanic feel to it.” […]

Video: Art Me Up Goes to City Hall

A unique partnership between the city of St. Catharines & Start Me Up Niagara has led to a public art installation at city hall. “Art Me Up” Goes to City Hall – from  TV Cogeco

Lake to Lake EPISODE 10: The compassionate city

St. Catharines Standard – Friday, May 20, 2016 Episode 10 of the Lake to Lake podcast chats with St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik about his compassionate city concept. You can listen to the episode HERE. You can also listen to every episode of the Lake to Lake podcast on Soundcloud and now on iTunes.

Art Me Up exhibit Comes to City Hall

Public art is returning to city hall with the opening of the Art Me Up Goes to City Hall on Wednesday, May 25.   An exhibit of original artwork by Expressions Art Collective, Art Me Up Goes to City Hall features 17 artists whose creations emerged in the face of significant life challenges. The original […]

#AskSendzik: Spreading word about compassionate city

By Karena Walter, The Standard – Friday, April 15, 2016 St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik shared his compassionate city model with mayors across the country last week and was buoyed by the response. “It was great to see how overwhelmingly supportive people were of the concept,” Sendzik said Friday during his monthly Chat with the […]

Mayor launches Compassionate City website

Sendzik: we can all do our part By Mike Zettel – Niagara This Week – St. Catharines ST. CATHARINES — Mayor Walter Sendzik has taken the next step in his aim of making the City a more compassionate community. Last week the St. Catharines mayor launched a Compassionate City website as a resource for citizens and businesses to […]

St. Catharines’ compassionate city initiative ‘first of its kind’ in country

By Scott Rosts – Niagara This Week – St. Catharines Mayor hopes to begin rollout to city staff in April ST. CATHARINES — Walter Sendzik first mentioned it during his inaugural address at the start of this term of council. He wanted to see St. Catharines become a leader in many ways. “We can build […]

Compassionate city initiative added to budget

By Karena Walter, The St. Catharines Standard – Monday, March 7, 2016 The mayor’s compassionate city initiative got a jumpstart Monday as council, on the first night of budget deliberations, approved $5,000 for a small pilot project. Walter Sendzik asked council to restore $5,000 in operating expenses into the office of the mayor, which was […]

Shining a positive spotlight on the community

By Scott Rosts – Niagara This Week – St. Catharines Be compassionate, be ambassadors, Mayor Sendzik says during State of the City ST. CATHARINES — He celebrated accomplishments such as the opening of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, but Mayor Walter Sendzik also shone a […]

LaFLECHE: Building a city with soul

By Grant LaFleche, The Standard – Friday, January 29, 2016 There are few civic events I distain more than a state of the city address. Usually bereft of interesting news and filled with so much self-congratulatory backslapping, they are, from a journalist’s point of view, a kind of limbo where time has gone to die. […]

SENDZIK: Action needed to conquer poverty

By Walter Sendzik,  St. Catharines Standard – Thursday, September 10, 2015 First, I want to applaud the St. Catharines Standard for its continued coverage of poverty in our community, including its impactful Faces of Poverty series. Through the lens of media, our community has been given greater insight into the challenges faced by far too […]

Sendzik takes next step in addressing poverty in St. Catharines

By Scott Rosts – Niagara This Week – St. Catharines Mayor introduces poverty reduction advisory group ST. CATHARINES — St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik has fulfilled a campaign promise by bringing stakeholders around the table in a bid to fight poverty in the city. Sendzik has been working with an advisory group to look at […]