Growing Better Together

Niagara is growing.

The region is expecting to grow to a population of 694,000 people and 272,000 jobs by the year 2051.

Partnership and co-investment with other levels of government is essential to support this growth. We are ready to work together on solutions to ensure a thriving Niagara, now and in the future.

Learn about our priorities


  • Growing infrastructure
  • Growing housing
  • Growing healthy communities
  • Growing modern services

Growing Infrastructure - South Niagara Wastewater Treatment Solution

Regional wastewater infrastructure located within the City of Niagara Falls does not have the capacity to service population and economic growth forecasted by 2051.

Once finalized, the South Niagara Wastewater Treatment Solution will introduce a new wastewater treatment plant as well as upgrades to existing infrastructure that will connect current facilities to the new plant. This will result in increased servicing capacity in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Thorold, Niagara-on-the-Lake and potentially Fort Erie.

With an estimated total cost of $400 million, this project represents one of the most significant Regional capital investments over the next 10 years. We cannot move forward without confirmation of external funding.

Niagara Region is asking the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada to match our one-third investment for this critical infrastructure to support sustainable growth.


  • Planning for growth

    Increased servicing capacity will offer significant economic and social benefits, such as:

    • Supporting an estimated 9,200 new jobs through large-lot expansion in south Niagara
    • Servicing an estimated 115,950 new housing units
    • Providing the needed infrastructure for the South Niagara Hospital, which is currently under construction
  • Building for sustainability

    A new plant and sewer system will:

    • Help protect the Great Lakes
    • Reduce sewer overflows by 60 to 70 per cent
    • Mitigate flood risks
    • Introduce innovative, energy-efficient technologies to support sustainability
  • Doing our part

    The cost of the new plant and upgraded sewer system is estimated at $400 million.

    Development charges are expected to pay for a portion of the costs and Niagara Region is prepared to invest one third of the remaining investment needed for the plan

  • Supporting shared priorities

    Co-investing in the South Niagara Wastewater Treatment Solution supports the province's 2024 Budget investment of $1 billion to create a Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program, which will support core infrastructure projects that enable housing for growing and developing communities.

    Staff look forwarding to learning more about the program and how it can support wastewater treatment as further details are announced by the province in the coming months

Growing Housing - 320 Geneva St., St. Catharines

Niagara is ready to help build more homes in Ontario. Our Affordable Housing Strategy and Housing Master Plan engages private, non-profit and local municipal partners to support a range of housing options for a total development potential of nearly 11,000 units.

320 Geneva St. is a priority project identified in the strategy as it will have a cascading affect on Niagara Region's ability to move forward with redevelopment at other existing and underutilized sites.

As a three-phase project, it will introduce:

  • Net-new bridge housing and supportive housing (Phase One)
  • Affordable rental units (Phase Two)
  • Market rate units (Phase Three)

Together, this will provide options to temporarily accommodate tenants that will be displaced through future housing projects associated with the Housing Master Plan.


  • Increasing the housing supply

    Once finalized, Phase One and Phase Two will create an estimated 85 net new units, including bridge, supportive and affordable units.

  • Unique co-investment opportunity

    An investment of $150,000 per unit would support capital costs and site remediation associated with Phase Two.

  • Supporting shared priorities

    Additional co-investment would directly support the provincial priority of increasing the housing supply by 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Growing Healthy Communities - ACT Priority Population Team

Niagara Region Mental Health has noted a significant increase in the percentage of clients suffering from complex mental illnesses.

There is a rising population with highly complex needs, comorbidities (mental health, opioid and crystal meth addiction), and increasingly living unsheltered, contributing to further poor health outcomes and treatment non-compliance.

The under-supply of community-based treatment for mental health has resulted in Niagara residents overutilizing emergency and hospital services to respond to critical mental health concerns.

To respond to increasing demand and reduce the impacts of Emergency Medical Services call volumes, Niagara Region Mental Health has identified an opportunity to introduce a specialized Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Priority Population Team, responsive to unique community needs.


  • Innovative Niagara solutions

    Niagara is known as a leader in specialized approaches for chronically homeless people affording a unique partnership opportunity.

    A specialized ACT Priority Population Team would support residents with serious and persistent mental illness, who also require supports related to chronic substance use disorders and chronic homelessness.

    This program will collaborate locally with the hospital and leverage other Regional initiatives that are currently underway to support this priority population group to address individual needs and provide support systems that improve overall health and housing outcomes.

  • Cost avoidance and long-term benefits

    One ACT team at a cost of $1.3 million per year, produces a cost avoidance of $4 million per year.

    An evidence-based, international overview of ACT results found:

    • A 62 per cent reduction in client hospital admissions after receiving ACT services for one year
    • Improved housing stability
    • Better retention in mental health services
    • Higher satisfaction (patients and families)
  • Supporting shared priorities

    Further investing in mental health community services aligns with the province's 2024 Budget investment of an additional $152 million over three years to support individuals facing unstable housing conditions and dealing with mental health and addiction challenges.

Growing Modern Services - Municipal Modernization Program

As a two-tier municipal government, Niagara is actively working to identify and implement shared services between the Region and local area municipalities.

Established in 2023, the Region's Strategic Transformation Office has a dedicated team working with the local municipalities to explore, evaluate and implement shared services across Niagara that:

  • Serve the public good
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness
  • Improve customer service
  • Coordinate use of resourcing and staffing

In partnership with local municipal CAOs, a list of shared services that are in alignment with provincial priorities has been identified and is ready to move forward. However, region-wide initiatives would benefit from provincial partnership to support one-time costs.

Reintroducing the provincial Municipal Modernization Program with a renewed focus on two-tier shared services would support the Region and local municipalities in:

  • Actioning work plan items within a Building Services Review
  • Conducting a review of Emergency Management Organization functions across our local governments


  • Supporting shared priorities

    Supporting Niagara's Building Services Review will help identify opportunities to make building inspections and permitting more efficient in Niagara by streamlining customer service delivery and reducing duplication. This directly supports the Government of Ontario's core priority of building 1.5 million homes by 2031.

    Supporting a review of Emergency Management Organization functions will help determine the ideal structure and alignment between the Region and local municipalities. This directly supports Ontario's Provincial Emergency Management Strategy and Action Plan (A Safe, Practiced and Prepared Ontario).

  • Municipal Modernization Program

    The Municipal Modernization Program ran from 2019 - 2022 and provided small and rural communities with funding to streamline service delivery through two streams

    1. Review Stream: provided funding for municipalities to undertake program expenditure reviews to find long-term efficiencies
    2. Implementation Stream: provided funding to cover a portion of project costs
  • What we've done so far

    Efficient and effective government is a shared priority. Recent examples of shared services Niagara has delivered include:

    • Amalgamation of transit
    • Shared library services
    • Joint fire services
    • Shared animal control
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