Feb 21, 2017

REVIEW | Putting Downtown St. Catharines on the Map

How invigorating!

Downtown St. Catharines has become an ideal place to take in live concerts, plays and sports events, thanks to the addition of the Meridian Centre and the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre.

In the past 9 months, I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying live events at both facilities on a regular basis.

I first got to check out the Meridian Centre at Pride Niagara’s Kick Off Party (& Pageant) early last summer. 

I returned to the arena in December with my buddy Doug, sister Jane and nephew Graham, to enjoy a Niagara Ice Dogs hockey game, thanks to the 4 tickets I had won at a Lyme Disease fundraiser for our friend Bylynnda. 

The Meridian Centre scores high marks in my book. It’s just the right size and set up perfectly to enjoy sports and concerts. 

Down the street from the Meridian Centre, we have the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre. There’s actually more than one hall in which to enjoy live music, plays and movies. When I have visited the Performing Arts Centre, I was with my pal Shelley and we were in Partridge Hall, where we saw Burton Cummings, Quinn Sullivan, The Tea Party and Classic Albums Live’s presentation of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album.

The acoustics in Partridge Hall are impressive. The hall is large enough to give you that concert feeling, yet still small enough to make it feel like an intimate show, where every seat is a good one. When Burton Cummings performed there he said it was “a very nice room.” And he’s right. It is.

Before we enjoy a live show at the Performing Arts Centre, Shelley and I usually head over to Gord’s Place on James Street. I love their burgers and those fries....Mmmmm, so good, one of the few places where I eat every last fry on my plate. Another tasty choice are Gord’s Chicken Bites. There’s various sauce options, but my favourite is the dry Cajun. I don’t do real spicy hot food, but these meaty bites have just the right amount of spices to give it kick without knocking you on your ass.

Shelley and I use public transit and walk to go downtown and get back home. If you’re driving, there’s two parking units that are reasonably priced and close to both the Meridian Centre and the Performing Arts Centre.

Cheers to the new pulse of downtown St. Catharines as it continues to grow and attract more patrons. It’s nice to see St. Catharines is now on the map when it comes to live shows and events.