The Monastery of Mount Carmel, located in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada, is a sacred retreat and conference center for individuals and groups seeking spiritual growth and formation. Founded by the Discalced Carmelite Friars in 1875, the monastery has a rich history and a variety of offerings for visitors.

This monastery is nestled on 12 acres of land, featuring wooded areas, open spaces, and gardens. Visitors can also enjoy the onsite vineyard, winery, and tasting boutique, open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additionally, weekday mass is held in the historic chapel at 11:15 a.m., and all are welcome to attend.

The Carmelite Gift Shop, located within the monastery, is one of the largest religious gift shops in southern Ontario. The monastery also offers air-conditioned accommodations for those attending retreats, conferences, or workshops.

The mission of the monastery is to nurture spiritual growth and formation in the Christian community through retreats, conferences, and ministry to parishes. The center is available for private retreats or small group retreats, as well as mornings of reflection on spiritual topics throughout the year. The monastery also offers the use of its conference facilities to many groups for their own spiritual and/or educational programs.

The Carmelites, a Roman Catholic religious order, came to Niagara Falls in 1875. The first residence for the Carmelites was a simple farmhouse on the side of the escarpment across from the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace. This building was demolished around 1935. Construction on the present monastery building began in 1894 with the original purpose of serving as a hospice and retreat center. In 1920, due to a decrease in interest in the hospice and an increase in the vocation of the Carmelites, the building became known as Mount Carmel College Seminary. In 1926, the chapel, the present building, and the gymnasium were added.

In 1966, the Gervase Toelle Memorial Library building was erected. In November of 1967, a fire destroyed the north wing as well as a good portion of the chapel roof and interior ceiling. In June of 1979, the seminary was closed, and the monastery returned to its original purpose as a retreat house. It is now called Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre and serves the spiritual needs of the people of the Niagara Region and beyond.

The Main Chapel possesses a unique beauty because of its monastic simplicity. The main altar is the most prominent feature of the chapel. All the wood carvings and the wall paneling are of American white oak, stained a majestic seal brown, and carved by the Valley City Seating Company of Dundas, Ontario. Most of the details were done by hand. Above the main altar is a massive carved statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order. Mary stands on a cloud and is surrounded by rays of light. She bears the Christ child in her left arm, while with her right hand, she extends the scapular, the traditional devotion of the Carmelite Order. Over this statue, two angels bear a scroll upon which is written in Latin: “Behold the sign of salvation.”

The Monastery of Mount Carmel Spiritual Retreat and Conference Center is a place for those seeking spiritual growth and formation. With a rich history, a beautiful chapel, and a variety of offerings, including a winery and gift shop, it is a great historic destination.