St. Catharines is the largest city in Canada's Niagara Region and the sixth largest urban area in the province of Ontario. It lies in Southern Ontario, 51 kilometres (32 mi) south of Toronto across Lake Ontario, and is 19 kilometres (12 mi) inland from the international boundary with the United States along the Niagara River. It is the northern entrance of the Welland Canal. St. Catharines carries the official nickname "The Garden City" due to its 1,000 acres of parks, gardens, and trails.
St. Catharines is located between the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and the Canada–U.S. border at Fort Erie. Manufacturing is the city's dominant industry, as noted by the heraldic motto, "Industry and Liberality". General Motors of Canada, Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of General Motors, is a large employer. THK Rhythm Automotive, formerly TRW, operates a plant in the city, although in recent years, employment there has shifted from heavy industry and manufacturing to services. Other large employers include the District School Board of Niagara.
St. Catharines lies on one of the main telecommunications backbones between Canada and the United States, and as a result a number of call centres operate in the city. It is designated an Urban Growth Centre by the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, intended to achieve a minimum density target of 150 jobs and residents combined per hectare by 2032 or earlier.
St. Catharines was ranked #261 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. St. Catharines has a population of over 133,113 people. St. Catharines also forms part of the wider St. Catharines-Niagara metropolitan area which has a population of over 406,074 people. St. Catharines is the #188 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.5415 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.