Grab a Timmy’s and park along the boat launching site at Crystal Beach’s Waterfront Park, and you’re sure to see Ring-bill gulls in all their glory. Not only are they the inspiration for our D. W. Howard Realty logo, gulls are amazingly adaptable creatures to be admired.

Most of the gulls we see in Ridgeway/Crystal Beach lately are Ring billed gulls, which have taken over territory from our larger Herring Gull. Although they are migratory birds, many stay in the area, since the Niagara River never fully freezes up.

Omniverous scavengers, found everywhere from the margins of Antarctica to further north than you’d ever want to go, we imagine gulls will be hanging around long after we humans have destroyed ourselves.

Gulls can get awfully:

OLD –  The oldest (recorded) gull was a Herring Gull which lived to be 49.

INTELLIGENT – The Herring Gull has been seen using tools, such as using bread to bait fish.

VICIOUS – A colony will group together in a mob to attack predators or intruders.

HUMAN – Opening a bag of Doritos to snack on with friends at the beach before going for a dip in the lake.

Please contact D. W. Howard Realty to search for Crystal Beach ON real estate now.

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to share our updates on social media, and join in conversation with clients, colleagues, and connections of all kinds so we can better assist you in securing a property purchase or sale.


Find out about new listings as they’re listed! Follow us on Twitter!

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Home prices across Canada continued to decline last month. The average price of a home in Canada was $353,147, which is 2% lower than July 2011. Overall sales across Canada, however, were up 3.3% from a year ago.

Keep in mind this is a national average, with Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver giving much weight to the figures due to recent peaks, and particularly Vancouver’s volatile market, (Vancouver’s average sale price dropped over 12% from last year, to $667,462.)  This sort of market correction is often a good thing, as it can prevent us from seeing interest rates rise dramatically. Most markets have stayed about the same as a year ago.

The Canadian Real Estate Association , tighter mortgage & lending laws appears to be what has cooled our national housing market.

What’s happening with the real estate market in the D. W. Howard Realty area? (Ridgeway/Crystal Beach, Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, and Port Colborne)  Stay tuned, more to come…

The Fowler’s Toad is an endangered species due to habitat loss and degradation. It lives on sandy beaches and breeds in marshy shallows of lakes or ponds. It has become a local issue to us in Ridgeway & Crystal Beach because the location where the Crystal Beach Gateway Project is to be placed is prime area where the Fowler’s Toad thrives.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has approved the Overall Benefit Permit (OBP) for Fowlers Toad at Bay Beach in association with the South Beach Waterfront Condominium Development.



Male Fowler’s toads begin to call as the water in the ponds/lake begins to warm in May or June. The call is described as a short trill, a nasal, sheep-like “waaaaa”

Adult toads hibernate under sand on raised beaches.

What’s the difference between a Fowler’s Toad and a common American toad? A Fowler’s toad usually has 3-4 warts in each brownish blotch on their backs. The bony ridges behind the eyes actually touch the front edge of the paratoid gland (the large kidney shape mark behind eye). The two species can interbreed and produce fertile hybrids.

Visit Port Colborne, Ontario this weekend, August 3-6, 2012, for the Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival.

D. W. Howard Realty proudly presents the following open houses this Sunday August 5th, 2012, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in Fort Erie and Crystal Beach, Ontario:

Fort Erie is Canada’s bloodiest battlefield! Witness for yourself the 26th Annual Siege Weekend at Old Fort Erie, August 11-12, 2012!

Tour the fort and witness reenactments of the legendary “Major Buck’s Surrender” Saturday at 11 a.m. Artillery demonstration at noon. Battle at 2pm., and “Drummond’s night assault on the Fort’ at 8 p.m.

Eerie lantern tours of the fort “After the Battle” at 9 p.m. (tickets required.)

And then on Sunday…
10:30 a.m. Memorial Service at the monument; “U. S. Sortie” battle 1 p.m. and then 2 p.m. American Evacuation of the Fort

The Town of Fort Erie and the developer finalized and approved the maintenance & cost sharing agreement last Monday night.  The Town of Fort Erie will pay $116,000 in maintenance, insurance and amortization costs, but receive $190,000 in tax revenue, so will gain $75,000.

The cost to maintain the new “community pavillion” is estimated at around $45,000.

The province is considering options to deal with the massive increase in highway traffic on Niagara’s stretch of the QEW expected over the next 2 decades.

Pour billions into public transit? Widen the QEW to 10 lanes? Build a mid-peninsula corridor?

The proposed Mid-Peninsula Highway would run above the Niagara Escarpment (south of the QEW) and connect Highway 403 in Hamilton to the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie. Despite the urgency of its construction, much study is needed to explore options that would minimize envimonmental and agricultural disruption.

Town of Fort Erie and Last Mile Wireless Internet are collaborating to equip the Point Abino Lighthouse with high-tech upgrades:

– A transmitter to bring Internet service to shoreline residents; (the device is barely visible, so won’t affect the Point Abino Lighthouse’s aesthetics.)

– A webcam in the basement so the Town of Fort Erie can monitor sump pump

– A motion activated camera inside the Point Abino Lighthouse for security

– Internet phone inside the Point Abino Lighthouse for emergencies

This 2-year pilot project with be at no cost to the Town of Fort Erie.

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