Skip to main content

Gardens in Niagara

Montebello Park

Montebello Park, 1938

Montebello Park in St. Catharines was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in 1887.  Olmstead was a prominent figure in landscape design in the United States and helped to design Central Park in New York City and the grounds of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  

The park is comprised of 6.5 acres of land in downtown St. Catharines.  The property had been owned by William Hamilton Merritt Jr.,  who had named it "Monte Bello", or beautiful mountain.  Merritt had planned to build a home on the land.  His premature death in 1861 created uncertainty around the future of the property.   While the fate of the property was being decided, the land was divided into garden plots that could be rented.  The Merritt family sold the property to the City of St. Catharines in 1887.  

The park contains a pavilion, rose garden, ornamental fountain, bandshell, and playground equipment.  It has been the site of many local events and festivals, including a gala in 1874 in honour of Queen Victoria's 54th birthday.  More recently, the park has been used for the Niagara Wine Festival and Niagara Folk Arts Festival. 

A poster advertising the Montebello Gardens Gala in honour of Queen Victoria's 54th birthday, May 25, 1874.