Niagara-on-the-Lake is a traveler’s dream when it comes to scenic wine tastings, waterfalls (of course), and all that this Ontario town has to offer.
Niagara Falls holds universal acclaim as the Niagara Region’s premier destination, though the dark horse, Niagara-on-the-Lake wields its own charm in Ontario. With its alluring vineyards a major attraction, this small town is packed with historic sites, restaurants, parks, galleries, theaters and an abundance of cultural things. If you still rate your visit, that’s a resounding yes.
About Niagara-on-the-Lake and its history
A well-preserved 19th century town still retains its glory with its shops, horse-drawn carriages for transport, cast-iron planters, vineyards and all that there is as a paradise for the senses. Originally incorporated as a city in 1792, it is the only city in Canada to have a mayor. With the oldest Anglican and Catholic churches, it also deserves the title of haunted city of Canada. The city is located where the Niagara River enters Lake Ontario and the tribe of Iroquoian ancestry referred to as “neutral” by the French lived throughout the Niagara Peninsula. Over the years, this place has become one of the wealthiest communities in Canada.
Vineyards in Canada
Ontario’s modern wine industry has its roots here and is home to the oldest wine-producing vineyards in Canada. Wines have earned their fame through geology, soil, elevations and temperature variations which cumulatively affect the wine produced.
The range of wines differs from light, fresh, sweet, mellow, tannic, powerful or salty.
Some of the best wineries to visit are listed below.
Popular for Chardonnay wine, white wine, Pinot Noir, red wine and Riesling wines, this place sees the making of premium wines. You can join them for a wine tasting and delicious culinary dishes. Tasting fees vary from $20 per person and take place daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Peller Wine Estates
The juggernaut of a winery on the Niagara block is Peller Estates where their ‘Greatest Winery Tour’ where one can experience their sparkling wines in an igloo a bit of an icewine parlor. It is a modern and elegant serving farm-fresh wines and foods.With 50 years of experience, it offers four collections: Andrew Peller Signature Series, Private Reserve, Family Series and French Cross.
Originally from the small German town of Uhlbach, he thrived in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is the only winery with a view of the lake and has a castle-like estate. Their semi-dry Baco Noir and peach wine ice cream is worth trying.
The Shaw Festival
A festival for cultural connoisseurs, the Shaw Festival has grown into an iconic festival since 1962. Featuring timeless classics, this festival celebrates the life and spirit of Bernard Shaw. An Irish playwright and critic, Bernard revolutionized comic drama. Brian Doherty and Calvin G are the people who made the Shaw Festival possible through their passion for theatre. The shows are directed by Tim Carroll and Tim Jennings and the plays are quite diverse, provocative and celebrate the contemporary as well as the history of theatre. Organized each year from April to November, it offers dozens of musicals and plays.
Walk through the historic center
One of the prettiest towns with a vintage vibe is Niagara-on-the-Lake and has some of the best streets to stroll such as Queen Street, Front Street, Prideaux Street, as well as Memorial Clock Tower, Old Court House and St. Vincent de Paul Church.
One can also stroll through Queens Royal Park, a retreat to unwind after visiting the Pellar Estates. If strolling isn’t your thing, take a ride in an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage. One can book his horse-drawn carriage next to the Prince of Whales hotel with Sentinel Carriages and take a ride through the city.
Visit the Niagara Apothecary
Nostalgia for the bygone era points to tonics, lotions, and glass bottles as remedies back then. Basically an authentic museum restoration of an 1869 pharmacy and now a Canadian Historic Site, this place is currently owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust. The single storey building reflects Georgian style architecture and has an Italianate facade.
Visit Niagara Falls
Yes! Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake are two different locations although the former is only 25 minutes away by road. One of the most spectacular universally known waterfalls is Niagara Falls and one cannot miss this beauty. It is said to have the “highest flow in the world” About 3160 tons of water flow over these falls every second and the average depth of the falls is estimated at 170 feet.
Golf at Lake Niagara
Having the oldest golf course in North America, it was established in 1875. It offers a full-length 9-hole course and the golf course is located along the shores of Lake Ontario. Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, Queenston Golf Course, Royal Niagara Golf Club; in total there are 10 golf courses.
Visit Walker’s Country Market
To embrace the real feel of the Ontario Farmers Market, a must visit is Walker’s Country Market. Having farm fresh produce and baked goods, it has been family run since 1930. Although it is closed in the winter and should be visited in the warmer months.
Next: Ontario’s Complete Travel Guide – Things to Do, Activities and Food
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