Featuring charming painted beach house, a prime location on the Bruce trail, and belonging to both Hamilton and the Niagara Region, Grimsby is a small town dream come true in Ontario. Although most Ontarians pass Grimsby on the highway without a second thought, taking a moment to stop and explore this best-kept-secret in Niagara might convince you it’s one of the best places to call home in the Province.
Although it began as a small Ontario settlement, Grimsby has quickly grown over the past decades thanks to its location between Hamilton and the Niagara region. Unlike many other Ontario towns which show no sign of slowing down in terms of growth, Grimsby has two natural growth barriers with Lake Ontario to the north and the Niagara Escarpment to the south.
Many residents enjoy these impediments that ensure their charming small town will stay a small town, though others may lament the residential development and its effects on the orchards which were crucial to the town for many years.
Like many Ontario communities, the town has experienced a steady transition from agrarian and rural society to a modern commuter town with all the amenities a modern resident could ask for.
Some key attractions for prospective residents include the many parks and greenspaces, ease-of-access to larger towns and cities, and the rich sense of community and Lakefront location.
Read on to discover more of what Grimsby has to offer, and if you’re considering real estate in the area don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced associates to help you along your real estate journey.
Walking through the streets of Grimsby many visitors notice the rich sense of heritage which dates back to the arrival of the Loyalist settlers. The Loyalists began calling Forty Mile Creek home back in the 1780’s, though the town didn’t see significant settlement until the late 20th century.
Today, you can follow the Heritage Highway route to explore the town’s roots and immerse yourself in local history and everything that made Grimsby the town it is today. Despite settlement as far back as the late 18th century, Grimsby wasn’t incorporated until 1876 and didn’t become a town until 1922.
Before Western settlers arrived, Neutral First People settlements existed in the area. Their remnants are on display today in the ROM while the Grimsby Museum is home to numerous artifacts from later settlers, including the original town bell.
Curiously, Grimsby has enjoyed a reputation for tourism since the 1850’s, though it has waned in recent years. The town beach which serves as the main tourist attraction has its roots as the site of a Methodist Camp meeting ground. A unique temple on the site brought families from across the region. By the 1900’s the area was converted into an amusement park which attracted visitors from far and wide. Visitors would flock to the town each August to celebrate the abolition of slavery at the Emancipation Day Picnic.
Walking around Grimsby Beach today, visitors wouldn’t recognize the town’s rich and significant history. Many remnants of the past have been replaced by the affectionately labeled “Gingerbread Houses” that are charmingly painted in bright colours. Not your average Toronto Islands beachfront cottages, these homes draw visitors from all over Ontario. Sometimes referred to as the Painted Ladies of Grimsby, they provide a unique attraction that drives the town’s tourism and continued development.
Much of Grimsby’s economy today comes from tourists who come to the beach, to explore the town’s history, or take in the beachfront gingerbread houses. Although the town has a past as a port town and agrarian centre thanks to the fertile land, development in this sector has been stifled by globalization and residential development in the region.
Many residents commute out of town to Niagara or Hamilton for work, while those in the town are primarily employed in the tourism and hospitality industries.
Nonetheless, a short drive up to Hamilton makes Grimsby a great place to settle for residents who don’t shy away from commuting to work while enjoying the slower pace of life in a small town.
Recreation in Grimsby, Ontario
Rich in nature with both the lake to the north and Niagara Escarpment to the south plus plenty of opportunity for recreational activities and community building in the town itself, Grimsby has no shortage of opportunities for leisure.
The Bruce Trail passes directly through Grimsby, making it an ideal location for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Multiple conservation areas like the Beamer Memorial Conservation area and Wolverton Conservation Area immediately to the south mean there’s no shortage of place to hike, bike, or even cross-country ski in the winter for those who are so inclined.
In the city itself there are over 30 parks of various sizes, plus community centres, sports facilities, and a local hockey arena to complete the quintessential small Ontario town profile.
When it comes to culture in Grimsby, we’ve already touched on a few of the historical and tourist attractions like the Grimsby Museum which offers insights into the region’s history or the beach and Gingerbread Houses that appeal to more leisurely visitors.
Residents might also point to the Public Library, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, or the Danish Church as centres of local culture. Numerous community programs, classes, sports, and clubs are also organized for the benefit of the locals.
Find all the complete information about culture and recreation in Grimsby on the town’s website.
Real estate in Grimsby has risen to keep pace with Southern Ontario as the town transitioned to more of a residential area than the economic centre it once was. Prices are lower than larger neighboring regions like the GTA, Hamilton, or even Niagara and there are some terrific properties to consider in the area.
Owing to the town’s size, most real estate falls into one of two categories. Detached or semi-detached single family homes. Buyers looking for condos or high-density housing might look to nearby Hamilton or Mississauga.
Interested in buying real estate in Grimsby, Ontario? Now that you’ve learned a bit about what life is like in this charming Ontario town, let us know if you have any questions about real estate in the area.
Transportation to and from Grimsby is simple. The Queen Elizabeth Way spans from Niagara Region in the south east up to Hamilton and the GTA in the north west. Highway 81 is a smaller highway which follows the same route, though it serves more for local traffic than intercity travel.
VIA Rail services the Niagara Corridor, providing Grimsby residents the means of traveling comfortably to neighbouring cities and beyond. GO Buses also stop in Grimsby which provides an alternative option for leaving or coming to Grimsby.
If you’re taken with the urge to explore real estate in Grimsby, let us know if you have any questions. With 30 years of experience helping 1,000’s of GTA residents buy and sell property, we can address any pressing questions you may have.
Contact us to get started on your real estate journey in Grimsby or call us at (416) 917-5466. One of our representatives would be happy to assist.