22.6 C
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Museum courtyard nurtures ‘community wellness’

The Incas knew it. So did the ancient Romans and even a few monks or two: Create a courtyard to nurture and help build community wellness.

Here in Niagara-on-the-Lake, small driveway courtyards and patios are popping up and now the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum has created a Community Courtyard right in its own garden, in front of the museum at 43 Castlereagh St.

The museum received a federal Healthy Communities Initiative grant to enhance its courtyard area.

With the addition of a large tent, new benches and recycling bins, the peaceful courtyard has become an ideal protected space to dwell, have coffee or a take-out lunch, and sit with friends, surrounded by trees and flowers.

Historically, the purpose of a courtyard was to be a place of social interaction, with a sense of intimacy and feeling of community.

Here in NOTL that’s something everyone can benefit from right now, after the long pandemic pause on activities. Until the province changes the rules, there are still restrictions on outdoor gatherings – 10 people at one time, socially distanced.

The museum hopes that number will increase as we move into the next stage of openings here in Niagara.

The Community Courtyard offers free wifi too, so visitors will have the opportunity to not only check their email and catch up on some work, but they can also explore the various information sites of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

For a more tranquil time, Sonya Marie de Lazzer will be offering Outdoor Yoga in the Courtyard on Wednesdays at 9 a.m., from July 14 until Aug. 18.

These Hatha yoga classes are for all levels, and offer a gentle, mindful and meditative approach to the day. Space is limited to nine participants, and interest is high – July is already sold out.

To register for August, or go on a waiting list, email

The classes at the museum are free to all, but donations are accepted.

And for more information on the yoga programs, check out

As restrictions lift, the Community Courtyard will also be used to expand museum programming. Updates will be posted on the museum's new website,