Plan to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake, many tourists do because Niagara-on-the-Lake is often described as the prettiest town in Ontario. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a well-preserved 19th-century village, with its charming inns, upscale restaurants and elegant architecture, is the heart of Ontario’s wine region. Home to the world class theatre the Shaw Festival, boutique shopping, glamorous hotels, and historical sites. Only a few minutes from Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint location to get that true authentically ‘Niagara’ feel. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a village of firsts is an excellent article written by George Bailey.
sidewalk scene in Niagara On The Lake, people walking and others sitting on a bench. Showing trees and flower displays outside along the sidewalkview of down town Niagara on the Lake, showing an historic building and more trees and flowers
Stroll the beautifully landscaped shopping district with unique boutiques, outdoor cafes, and exquisite fine dining. Fancy a horse and buggy ride, Niagara-on-the-Lake is famous for its romantic glimpse of the past and its decadent spas.
The town is home to the Shaw Festival, a series of theatrical productions featuring the works of George Bernard Shaw, his contemporaries, or plays about his era (1856–1950), running from April to November. The festival operates three theatres in the centre of town: the Festival, Royal George, and Court House theatres, and features one of a repertory acting company, scenic staff, and collection of resident and guest directors considered some of the best in the English-speaking world. The Shaw Festival is a signature experience of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
From 2012 through 2014 this Niagara-on-the-Lake will be planning many exciting events, re-enactments and celebrations to commemorate some of the historic events that helped form Canada 200 years ago known as the War of 1812. If you’re a history buff then the next two years are for you! Plan to explore historic Niagara-on-the-Lake.
A LITTLE NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE HISTORY
Niagra-on-the-Lake was originally known as Butlersburg, in honour of Colonel John Butler, the commander of Butler’s Rangers.
The Town received an official status in 1781 when it became known as Newark, a British military site and haven for British loyalists fleeing the United States in the volatile aftermath of the American Revolution. Later, it changed names again, this time to Niagara.
Niagara was named the first capitol of Upper Canada (now the province of Ontario), and the first provincial parliament was convened at Navy Hall in 1792 by Lieutenant-Govenor John Graves Simcoe.
During the War of 1812, the capitol was moved to York (later to be renamed as Toronto) so as to be farther from the areas of combat.
The Town played a central part in the War or 1812. It was taken by American forces after a two day bombardment by cannons from Fort Niagara and the American Fleet, followed by a bloody battle.
Later in the war the Town was razed and burnt to the ground by American soldiers as they withdrew to Fort Niagara. Undaunted by this setback, the citizens rebuilt the Town after the War, with the residential quarter around Queen Street and toward King Street, where the new Court House was rebuilt out of firing range of the cannons of Fort Niagara.
In the 1880′s, the Town was renamed as Niagara-on-the-Lake to avoid confusion with Niagara Falls. The central part is referred to as Old Town or Old Niagara.