While celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary take place from coast to coast this summer, it’s easy to look at Niagara as one of the most historically significant regions in the country. With a rich history starting with the War of 1812 and General Sir Isaac Brock’s victory over the American forces, many of Niagara’s most notable contributions to Canadian history predate the confederation of 1867.
As Canada celebrates it’s 150th year, we’ve created our own “Canada 150 Tour” to help guide you through some of the region’s most historic sites, along with some of it’s best Canadiana. While you may not be able to fit all of these amazing stops into your trip, a healthy sampling will definitely give you a “Canadiana treatment”. Gather the family for a Niagara Falls vacation, take our Canada 150 Tour enjoy the relaxing accommodations at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel!
Let’s get started.
Niagara Falls History Museum
Located just down the street from our property, the Niagara Falls History Museum is now home to several galleries and exhibits that explore the history of Lundy’s Lane and is within steps of the Drummond Hill Cemetary. This site was home to the “bloodiest battle” of the War of 1812, and is a must-stop for history buffs. From May 20th to December 31st, experience the “Pieces of Canada” Exhibit, featuring stories about transportation, immigration, sports, military and much more.
Hornblower Niagara Cruises
There’s no better way to experience the full force of Niagara Falls than a ride with Hornblower Niagara Cruises! Experienced by millions as the Maid of the Mist, Hornblower has taken over and continues to provide visitors with an exciting (and wet) trip to the base of the Falls. How better to celebrate Canada than with an up-close and personal visit to one of it’s most impressive natural wonders?
Niagara Falls IMAX Theatre
Get ready to brave the raging waters as IMAX takes you on a heart-pounding ride over Niagara Falls. Travel back in time to learn of its 12,000-year history and experience the death defying stunts performed by daredevils who challenged the fury of Niagara Falls. With shows every hour, you can drop into the IMAX Theatre anytime during your stay to watch the “Niagara: Miracles, Myth & Magic” movie. Watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/pGZUY4BChAM
Oh Canada Eh! Dinner Show
A celebration of Canadiana isn’t complete without a visit to the Oh Canada Eh! Dinner Show on Lundy’s Lane. This summer is certainly no exception. The show features over 2 hours of Canadian music, including Paul Anka, Celine Dion and Justin Bieber, performed by a colourful cast of Canadian characters. Not to mention classic Canadian food inside a 250 seat rustic log cabin! Tickets range in price from $35.95-$71.95 CAD.
One of Canada’s most authentic historic sites is Fort George, located in Niagara On The Lake along the Niagara River. After being attacked and destroyed by American forces during the War of 1812, the Fort was rebuilt and now serves as a glimpse into early Canadian past. During June, July and August, you can even put on a British military uniform and shoot a musket yourself! This certainly makes for a truly hands on experience in Canadian history.
Niagara On The Lake
Millions of visitors from around the world make their way to Niagara On The Lake every year, and as we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, 2017 should be no different! With dozens of shops, cafes and restaurants to visit, along with historic landmarks and architecture, NOTL is a must-see on your Canada 150 Tour. This beautiful old town is home to longstanding businesses like Maple Leaf Fudge – who have been producing fresh, old-fashioned fudge in copper kettles since 1978. Grab a slab (or three) and try to not to finish it before you get home! NOTL is also home to the famous Shaw Festival, which started in 1965 and has been home to countless world-class theatre shows since. There is much to see and do in Niagara On The Lake, but be sure to take your time and take in the historic charm!
Laura Secord Homestead
No, this isn’t just a chocolate shop. During the War of 1812, Laura Secord became a part of Canadian history when she trekked 32 kilometers (20 miles) to warn the British of the impending American invasion. Having been given the news by Secord, the British were able to mobilize a defence that ultimately helped them win the war. Now restored to its original condition, Laura Secord Homestead is a look back in time at life during the early 1800’s in Canada. Featuring guided tours and located on the Niagara Parkway, the Laura Secord Homestead is open daily over the summer months.
Noteworthy for being Niagara’s oldest winery, Inniskillin derived it’s name from the Inniskilling Fusiliers – the Irish Regiment commanded by the land’s original owner, Colonel Cooper. The winery became the first to produce Icewine from Vidal grapes frozen naturally on the vine. After winning a prestigious award for it’s Icewine in 1989, Inniskillin helped to put Canadian wines on the world map. Icewine is now produced by a variety of wineries and is known worldwide as a Canadian original, enjoyed by tourists from around the globe.
Niagara’s Craft Breweries
We’re not just about wine here in Niagara. Over the last half decade, Niagara’s craft beer industry has expanded rapidly, starting with the opening of Silversmith Brewing Company in Virgil, just outside of Niagara On The Lake, in 2011. The following year, Oast House Brewers opened and both have become the leaders in the Niagara craft beer landscape. With half a dozen fully operational craft breweries in the Niagara Region and more on the way, Niagara is becoming known for it’s quality beer as much as it’s wine. While Ontario has a rich craft beer culture, Niagara is also becoming a hub for the industry. Learn more about Niagara’s craft breweries here: www.visitniagaracanada.com/craft-breweries
A trip to Niagara Falls really isn’t complete with a visit to Clifton Hill, featuring dozens of family friendly attractions, shops and restaurants. Grab your Canada souvenirs in this area, including shirts, hats, keychains.. you name it! Niagara Falls will be decked out in Canadiana this summer, so make sure you fit in and enjoy the festivities. While you’re on the Hill, be sure to try a Beaver Tail – a true Canadian classic! Don’t worry; they’re not really made with beaver tails. This piping hot pastry is served with your choice of toppings and sauces including Nutella, banana, chocolate sauce, caramel and more. Pick up a Clifton Hill Fun Pass and take advantage of multiple family friendly attractions for a lower price!
Niagara Falls / Fireworks
Of course it wouldn’t be a visit to Niagara Falls without seeing the actual Falls – one of Canada’s most well-known and most visited sights. Walk along the parkway and get amazing views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls, and don’t forget to snap a photo! From June 12th to September 1st, you can catch the Fireworks over the Falls every Monday through Friday at 10PM, plus on holidays at the same time!
No matter how long you’re in Niagara Falls this summer, it’ll be easy to get into the Canada 150 spirit, with celebrations happening across the region. Whether you’re in town for a week or just a couple of days, you’ll want to take in what some of these businesses and attractions have to offer as we celebrate Canada’s 150th year.
If there’s something you don’t see on the list, but want to learn more about, our friendly Front Desk staff would be happy to help you! Don’t forget to book your Niagara Falls stay with us, where you can relax after a busy day of sight-seeing. Book now: www.cairncroft.com or call 1-800-263-2551