Because the power that drives a sailboat is the wind, a boat with a tall rig can carry more sail area, which generates more driving force. For that reason, a boat with a tall rig is usually a nice thing to have in light air. However, when the wind pipes up, the additional sail area of a tall rig boat has to be reefed earlier, to prevent the boat from being overpowered and heeling excessively. Also, since the mast is higher, the boat will have more weight aloft, which will cause it to heel a bit more easily. If you have a standard rig boat, and you sail it a lot in light air, you can get a cruising spinnaker, which will increase it's sail area, and keep it moving better in light air. In other words, there are some things you can do to improve the performance of a standard rig boat in light air.
If I was buying the boat to race, I'd want the extra performance of the tall rig boat. If I was buying it to cruise, I'd probably lean more towards the boat that was in the best condition and that had the best equipment for the money.
I've never sailed Lake Ontario, but I'd bet both tall rig and standard rig Catalinas have been sailed there happily by their owners for a long time. Almost anywhere you sail, sometimes you'll go to the boat and find there's not enough wind, and that's when you take a swim, or socialize on the docks. At other times, you'll go to the boat and find so much wind it'll scare you. When that happens, you'll find out if you're a real
sailor who goes out there and revels in the wind, or if you'll just have a swim, and socialize on the docks.