Day trip to St. Catharines

November 30th, 2011


Yesterday we left the city to visit my parents. On the way there we stopped by Rise Above for some lunch, a vegan cafe/bakery/restaurant that my brother has been raving about. It was nice coming back home to see some life injected back into the old stomping grounds. I’ve always had long conversations about how to resurrect these beautiful downtown areas, and my big idea is to take over an entire block of real estate with a group of other young entrepreneurs offering something unique, and instantly creating a destination area worth visiting.

I’ve seen a lot of singular business with good potential have to close down because of little foot traffic, so it makes a lot of sense to create a reason for people to spend an afternoon or night in one central area. This could start with a manageable 3 businesses, most of the buildings in these areas are beautiful and the rents are very low. Investing a bit of money to the interior, branding, and signage are all key to the success of the business and branding the neighborhood. It doesn’t take too long to instill a sense of pride in the community if you simply bring the area back to it’s former glory, and give people something to be proud of.

Rise Above is positively setting the tone for the potential in this area so hopefully we’ll see other interesting new businesses follow suit.


Now back to our lunch! The menu is comprised of an enticing collection of vegan comfort foods. They also had their daily soup, market sandwich, and pizza of the day.


I ordered the special which was a chana masala wrap with a green salad.


Juli got the potato/broccoli/vegan cheese ball with a side of oven cooked root vegetables.


The inside is so nice, it really shows the potential for the rest of the interiors on the street.


The Donuts looked delicious, but we had to pass since my mom had already promised to make us a batch for dessert.


After lunch we took a walk down St. Paul St. to scope out any other new gems in the neighborhood.



There are still too many vacancies though, which is a shame since it’s an interesting street!


We walked by a recently cleared area and it turns out they are planning to build a performing arts center designed by Diamond and Schmidt architects. This could be the very thing that this downtown area needs! It will bring out so many people, and before and after concerts people are going to want to go out for dinner and have drinks.

Really looking forward to seeing what it looks like when it’s finished.


And then a foggy ride to mom and dad’s for dinner!

Filed under: General | 10 comments

10 Responses to 'Day trip to St. Catharines'

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  1. Wow. “Life’s too short to make others shorter”
    That is going to be my mantra from now on.

    I love your idea for re-energizing one block. And what a beautiful block that is.


    30 Nov 11 at 12:34 pm

  2. That is a brilliant idea!!! In certain places in this world, that street would be dripping with trendsters ~ gorgeous!


    30 Nov 11 at 10:14 pm

  3. Hey,
    Thanks for the kind words. I really love your store and was going to come out and introduce myself and be a geek but y’all were already leaving. Recognized you from a few Dwell’s ago. Is that weird? Haha. Thanks for coming by!


    Kyle Paton

    1 Dec 11 at 12:32 am

  4. hey! kind of surprised that you are from ST. CATHARINES and spelt it wrong… whoops!


    1 Dec 11 at 1:01 pm

  5. Dear Vikky, I’m actually from Welland! But embarrassing none the less.

    John & Juli

    1 Dec 11 at 2:36 pm

  6. Dear Kyle, Thanks so much for leaving a comment. We wished you came out to introduce yourself. Let us know if you ever plan to stop by the store!

    – John & Juli

    John & Juli

    1 Dec 11 at 2:37 pm

  7. Hello! Stumbled across your blog recently (searching for a particular Hokkaido shop) and now it’s a new regular read! When I read your comments on resurrecting a city block, I remembered an article I read in Monocle issue 45 about that very subject (maybe you saw it??) anyway they had all kinds of theories about proportions and stuff, which really resonated with me. I tried to find a digital version for you but no luck! Anyway, also, just wanted to say hi.


    1 Dec 11 at 10:43 pm

  8. Guysss!! I couldn’t agree more! I’m from St. Catharines and I always look longingly at the downtown core hoping one day it will be as beautiful as it could be…Kyle’s definitely blazing it up though- love Rise Above!


    5 Dec 11 at 9:41 am

  9. I love those doughnuts. They look amazing. I miss Toronto (I moved to Prague) :)


    9 Dec 11 at 12:56 pm

  10. I’m from Welland and used to love going to St Paul Street when I was a teenager. Totally going to check this restaurant out next time we’re down visiting family.


    9 Dec 11 at 2:48 pm

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