Vacancies: 2.3% ↓
Rents: $898 ↑
Border Town Struggles
In spite of its striking natural amenities (not just including the falls), in spite of its importance as a major power generator, and in spite of the government services that come from being a major crossing point between Canada and the United States, the City of Niagara Falls has not escaped the malaise that appears to have struck other border towns like Windsor or Cornwall.
Since the 1970s, when major electro-chemical industries left the city due to global competition, Niagara Falls has struggled economically. Located too far from the Greater Toronto Area to be viable as a bedroom community, and with few prospects in the education and service sectors, Niagara Falls’ biggest industry, tourism, has not been able to take up the slack. The population grew only 4.3% between 2001 and 2006, and demographically Niagara Falls is older than the average Canadian city, with as many retirees as children under 14.
The city of Niagara Falls has made major investments in its tourism industry, building two large casinos to attract visitors. Their efforts have been hampered by the high Canadian dollar and competing casinos that have now been established in Niagara Falls, New York. New security regulations imposed on visitors to the U.S. and U.S. citizens returning across the border have dragged down the Niagara Falls economy and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Further transit connections (including additional GO train service) have been established to serve the tourism industry. It will be years before growth in the Greater Toronto Area makes Niagara Falls a viable bedroom community, but the possibility remains, as the province considers further transit expansion in the near future.
We have rated Windsor higher and placed Niagara Falls last in our ranking because of our sense that Niagara Falls has not hit bottom, yet. Until it does, investments here will be risky. This isn’t to say that you should avoid a good deal found in Niagara Falls, but be aware of the continuing challenges this market faces.
- In spite of Niagara Falls’ diversified market, risk has not been priced in, yet. Investors need to be aware of the risks and consider the long term.
- Opportunities possible in the rising seniors’ market.
- The continued high Canadian dollar, U.S. border security regulations and competition from American casinos mean the Niagara Falls tourism industry is facing challenging times.
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Global Director Buildings
Mansoor Kazerouni is an Architect with over 27 years of experience and a significant portfolio of projects completed or underway across Canada, the United States, the UAE, Jordan and India. These include high density high-rise residential buildings, hotels, office, retail, institutional, and complex urban mixed-use developments. A number of these projects have been nominated for and received Urban Design and Architectural Design awards.
Mr. Kazerouni is the Global Director of Architecture at IBI Group, leading a team of over 1,400 Architects, designers and Engineers located in 60 offices worldwide.
Mr. Kazerouni has been a guest lecturer on the subject of architecture and mixed-use design at universities, conferences and various panels. He has also been interviewed on the subject by newspapers, architectural publications, television and other media.
Mr. Kazerouni's abilities and expertise in his field have been recognized by his appointment to the City of Mississauga's Urban Design Advisory Panel, the City of Markham’s Urban Design Advisory Panel and the City of Vaughan's Urban Design Advisory Panel. He is also a past Advisory Board Member of the Urban Land Institute, a member of the Ontario Association of Architects, the Alberta Association of Architects, the Nova Scotia Association of Architects, the Architects Licensing Board of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He has testified as an expert witness at the Ontario Municipal Board and at Arbitration Hearings related to development sites.
Darryl McCullough CCIM SEC
Broker - Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka Realty Inc., Brokerage
President - Crescent Equity Management Inc.
Since 1972, I have been given the opportunity to interact with seasoned partners and clients in structuring and organizing both simple and complex real estate transactions involving acquisition, disposition, finance, and consulting in Canada and throughout the United States. It has trained me to bring a unique, personal client-centered approach to each assignment, from simple to complex transactions and the diverse clientele who own them.
In 1984 I received the Certified Commercial Investment Member, CCIM, designation (www.ccim.com); an internationally recognized identity confirming amortized knowledge in the disciplines of investment, development etc.
Another prominent membership I thankfully am able to continue holding is with the U.S. based Society of Exchanges Counselors (www.secounselors.com). This organization shares my belief in pursuing and demonstrating problem solving techniques in the real estate industry based on proven principles of integrity, professionalism, and accountability. Through this organization I continue to dedicate myself to what is true in the discipline of real estate problem solving.
Technology coupled with a learned research and analytical skill set now allows me to carry out these functions with selected projects from my adopted Muskoka home.
I continue to maintain an ever changing “student” learning status not only related to the physical asset, but equal or more importantly, drawing out corporate/personal situations and objectives and then knitting together ultimate benefit packages based on creative solutions via time honoured formulas.