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Squirrel House Gardens


Top: Entrance to Squirrel House Gardens barn suite; Bottom left: Upstairs bedroom; Bottom centre: Outdoor Wedding Gazebo; Bottom right: Interior view of barn suite showing French doors to garden (photos: Elisabeth Hilton)


General Information

Experience Squirrel House Gardens, a St Catharines bed and breakfast self-catering
accommodation located in a historic farm renovationin the heart of wine country.
Indulge yourself in a luxury barn holiday in your own private romantic suite.


Although the barn dates from 1850, you will find the comforts of home, including central air and central heating.

Your suite has been carefully decorated with carefully chosen pieces to make your stay memorable.

Look out your French doors and you will find yourself in the midst of a lush garden in a world very much your own. Settle into the Muskoka chairs with a glass of wine and local artisan cheese and you may not want to move!


As tempting as it is to sit back and dream, you might want to tear yourself away to discover the local treasures. It can take well over a week of meandering and there will still be another wine tasting needing to be experienced.

Photo Gallery


Hours of Operation

Open Year-Round



QEW exit 52, Seventh Street
South on Seventh Street away from Lake Ontario

Left (east) on Third Avenue at tiny church          
Right (south) on Fifth Street where sign says No Exit

Right (west) into driveway with squirrel on mailbox



How did the name Squirrel House Gardens come about?


During construction my husband Ron was tearing a wall down and all of a sudden he found himself in a waterfall of walnuts...almost knee deep. It was the first indicator of the battles ahead.


Through years of neglect the house had become a storage haven for the squirrels’ bounty.
We managed to get them out of the house but they refuse to leave the property. Why should they be any different then ourselves who never want to leave the property? They are still a nuisance eating the bird food, but worst of all they nip off the closed tulip flower just before the moment you have been waiting for, through all the winter months…in one nip, your tulip is laying on the ground. It might be some comfort if they ate the flower but it is just a bit of play, a little tasting.


The naming of the property is an act of submission to nature.


We have been working towards becoming fully organic for quite some time. Roses are the last and most difficult battle ground. The biggest challenge has been the microscopic rose thrip. It has no mercy and sucks the life away from the bud. The shiny, somewhat beautiful but troublesome Japanese beetle adores roses; but as challenging as they are, a tub of soapy water will do the trick. Meanwhile the thrip is near impossible to eliminate, but with every year there is an opportunity to try another organic solution. This year it will be an elderberry concoction.

From the earliest days the vision was to restore the entire property with a respect for both heritage and nature. We were determined to create a garden that would attract birds and butterflies. The property is now alive with the sounds of nature. Frogs and toads have been nurtured and transplanted throughout the property.


You can see families of gorgeous bright orange orioles returning one week before the hummingbirds. We see cardinals, blue jays, American goldfinches, yellow warblers, red house finches, mockingbirds, the downy woodpecker, the Northern flicker, nuthatch, Eastern kingbird, tree swallows, chickadees, wrens, gnatcatchers, robins, cedar waxwings, grosbeaks, hawks, one owl for certain, and so many more birds; all taking advantage of the concentration of fruit bearing plants and the ecological diversity of the  protective habitat.



We have a beautiful swimming pool surrounded by gardens, a walking trail, gardening, bird watching, exercise equipment with advanced scheduling, and a patio to sit back, unwind, and dream the day away.


Adjacent Land Uses

Rural roads are all around us, and you can often see cycling groups passing by. Country roads are especially lovely when the fruit trees are in blossom. Cycle 15 minutes up the way and you will pass the waters of Martindale Pond, home of The Royal Henley Regatta. A few minutes more and you will be cycling into the historic harbour-front village of Port Dalhousie with its eclectic range of historic buidings, shops, restaurants and two lighthouses. While there don’t forget to visit Lakeside Park Carousel, one of the oldest carousels in North America, with rides still at 5 cents.

By car or cycling you will have tons of fun.

Two bikes are available on site.

There is so much to see and do. We are minutes away from antique shops, art shops, fabulous restaurants, Niagara Falls, Jordan and Niagara-on –the-Lake.

Please visit our web site for more information.

Further Information

Coming down by way of the Bike Train? Feel free to give us a call and we will meet you to transfer your bikes.


Ask us about hosting your wedding in this ideal venue. It will be a country garden wedding to remember, with heart stopping pictures to remind you. We will help you connect to the best caterers.


Ask us about an onsite garden tour.


Also, if you are a passionate gardener - needing, not wanting, a glimpse into the world of private gardens - please enquire.


Photographers will be delighted.


Ask about garden mentoring classes.


Ask about our working vacation.


A Special Request: Please no pets, and no smoking.



Admission Fee

Ask about our seasonal rates. Off season two day minimum.


Squirrel House Gardens
1819 Fifth Street
St. Catharines, Ontario


(905) 685-1608

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.158861947471785
Longitude -79.30015325546265


Tel (905) 685-1608
Email squirrelhouseniagara@sympatico.ca

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