Port Colborne gets a bit more Zen

Mayor Bill Steele helps Linsey Hill cut the ribbon for the grand opening of her new yoga studio on West Street.

Every morning for weeks, while driving past the renovation work that was underway at a rundown West Street shop, Linsey Hill would have the same thought.

“I’d be driving the kids to school and every time I’d see the place and the beautiful work they were doing on the facade, I’d think to myself about how it would make a great yoga studio,” recalled Hill.

Finally, after having the same thought a couple dozen times, she decided to stop just thinking about it and do something. She tracked down the owner, inquired about moving into the space, and the next thing she knew, Hill suddenly found herself operating Oak Tree Yoga & Wellness, which launched with a grand opening celebration on Jan. 13.

“I really wanted to do a small little soft launch, just a couple people, but everyone told me, no, you have to go big, so here we are,” said Hill as she was joined by friends, family, the mayor, local business leaders and curious onlookers who were there to try their hand (and feet) at the free grand opening yoga session.

Hill has been living in Port Colborne for eight years now, and she said West Street has always appealed to her. And now with the cruise ships coming to West Street, she said the timing was perfect for her to set up shop there.

“The cruise ships are a really exciting opportunity, and I’ll definitely be scheduling some classes around that and hopefully we can entertain some cruise passengers,” said Hill.

The city’s mayor, Bill Steele, has been spearheading the cruise ship initiative since he took office five years ago, said the new yoga studio is a perfect fit.

“This is exactly the kind of thing that cruise passengers would be looking to do, so Linsey is positioned well to take advantage of that,” said Steele.

As a member of Six Nations, Hill will also be using the space to go beyond just yoga. She plans to offer moccasin-making classes, a smudging workshop and other Indigenous-focused activities.

For now, the studio is open from 9 am to 1 pm between Monday and Thursday, with activities and classes expanding into the weekends as needed. A schedule of those events can be found online at oaktreeyoga.ca and the studio itself can be found at 240 West St. in Port Colborne.

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