Niagara-on-the-Lake is a Canadian town located in Southern Ontario where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario in the Niagara Region of the southern part of the province of Ontario.
People travel from around the world to experience the Town's unique charm, including historic forts and monuments, grand mansions, top-flight golf courses, breath-taking parks and gardens, and world-class wineries and vineyards.
It is located across the Niagara river from Youngstown, New York, USA.
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.
There are dozens of nearby wineries. The town is also known for its gardens, art galleries, antique shops, and golf courses. Accommodations in the area include many hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and spas.
Honoured in 1996 as the "Prettiest Town in Canada," the historic downtown boasts a number of quaint shops, boutiques and restaurants, as well as public and private art galleries, the centuries-old Court House, museums, and the renowned Shaw Festival Theatre.
Take a romantic tour of the Old Town by horse drawn carriage. Old Town tours are operated by Sentineal Carriages and are available at the corner of King Street and Queen Street (along side the Prince of Wales hotel, 6 Picton Street). The guided tour starts at the main street, goes along the waterfront and through the Old Town. The carriage can accommodate up to four adults and two children. All tours are private. Multiple carriages are in use so you should not have to wait long. Ask the tour guide about pricing and tour duration options. Highly recommended.
Visitor information is available at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Centre, 26 Queen Street, lower level of the Court House Theatre.
Points Of Interest
Shops of the Heritage District (along Queen Street, from Gate Street to Picton Street)
Follow the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) to exit #38B (from the direction of Toronto) or #38 (from the direction of Lewiston/Buffalo) near St. Catharines. The Exit sign reads 55/Niagara Stone Road/Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Following the signs to Niagara-on-the-Lake and Shaw Festival, you will end up on County Road #55 (also called the Niagara Stone Road).
Proceed through the town of Virgil into the old town of Niagara-on-the-Lake following County Road #55, which turns into Mississauga Road.
At the end of Mississauga Road, there is a "T" intersection. Turn right onto Queen Street and continue two blocks to the Heritage District. See: Parking below.
Contact & Address
Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 1043
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, L0S 1J0
The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated parts of the town centre a National Historic District in 2004, the only one in Ontario. The plaque reads:
In 1778, Loyalist refugees began crossing from Fort Niagara to settle the west bank of the Niagara River. A town was laid out in a grid pattern of four-acre blocks and grew quickly, gaining prominence as the first capital of Upper Canada from 1792 to 1796. Following Niagara's destruction during the War of 1812, the citizens rebuilt, mainly in the British classical architectural tradition, creating a group of structures closely related in design, materials and scale. Spared from redevelopment, the town's colonial buildings eventually became one of its greatest resources. Beginning in the 1950s, residents rehabilitated and restored the old structures, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to the preservation of local heritage and making a significant
contribution to the conservation movement in Canada. This collection of residential, commercial, ecclesiastical and institutional buildings, many on their original sites close to the street, is the best-preserved in Canada built between 1815 and 1859. With its early buildings and grid street plan, this historic district recalls the era when Niagara-on-the-Lake was a prominent, prosperous Loyalist town.