Energizing Niagara's Wine Country Communities

Regional Municipality of Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Applied Expertise

  • Economic Development
  • Public Involvement
  • Heritage and Tourism
  • Market Analysis
  • Interpretive Planning
  • Urban Design


The wineries of the Niagara Region of Ontario hold the potential to be a world-class tourism destination second only to Niagara Falls. The region features more than 80 wineries producing award-winning Vintners Quality Alliance wines. Our strategy was to leverage the wineries for economic revitalization of the region’s communities. This included organizing the wineries into an established Wine Route with loops and spurs linking wineries with downtowns. The project was commissioned by the Niagara Region Economic Development Corporation in conjunction with the three wine route municipalities, the Wine Council of Ontario and the Grape Growers of Ontario.

Our strategy builds a strong brand for the route, enhancing tourism opportunities and the potential for a broader range of visitor attractions. The Master Plan outlines the location of potential attractions, a wayfinding system and an interpretive program to define an enhanced wine route. Extensive market and tourism data analysis helped us to develop specific recommendations for major destinations related to wine, culture and culinary tourism as well as for private investment opportunities in each of the communities.


2008 Excellence in Planning Award for a Planning Study or Report, Ontario Professional Planners Institute

2008 Honorable Mention for an Economic Development Plan, Canadian institute of Planners

2007 Director’s Choice Award, WNY Section of the Upstate NY Chapter of the American Planning Association

2007 Promotional Awards Category Winner for a Research Report, Area with a Population Greater Than 200,000, International EconomicDevelopment Council (IEDC)

2007 Award for a Strategic Plan from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO)

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