Niagara-on-the-Lake gave itself that name to tell you that you are not in Niagara Falls… not that you would confuse the two once you have seen them.
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This cute little town with its Victorian architecture is only about twenty minutes from those world famous falls. If you do not want to remain in the hubbub of Niagara Falls, he’s a great alternative.
It’s a well-preserved 19th century village with spruced-up, charming inns and restaurants and oh-so-cute bed-and-breakfasts. Where Niagara Falls now has modern high rise hotels, Niagara-on-the-Lake has retained the romance with cozy accommodations.
What is there to see in town? Take a stroll down tree-lined Queen Street. It’s the main street, lined with colorful storefronts with flower baskets hanging from all the light posts. You can start at the Clock Tower in the center of the street and work your way toward Lake Ontario… That’s the lake the town is on by the way.
The main street for shopping and the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake is Queen Street. This becomes Picton Street and then Queen’s Parade. The shops on the street exude a small town feel and, despite the existence of several stores focusing mainly on souvenirs, don’t project the same touristic atmosphere as nearby Niagara Falls. Quaint little shops and fashion boutiques pepper the street, such as Just Christmas. These only sells ornaments of the season, and the Niagara Apothecary. Open during the summer months, the Niagara Apothecary is a museum that was once a 19th century pharmacy. Today, it proudly displays many of the artifacts of the time as the only surviving building of the time in town.
Explore the side streets of town, and just enjoy the ambience. There might be a few too many candy stores and tourist shops, but check out the old Apothecary shop or English style pubs.
Near the lake you will come to either of the oldest golf courses in North America… might be fun to play on if you are a golfer.
Walk to Fort George, a National Historic Site of Canada. This reconstructed fort was the main headquarters for the British Army during the War of 1812. You can tour the barracks and the officers’ quarters. If you are into spooky things, see if you are able to take an evening ghost tour.
If you like theater, that enough might bring you to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Every year they have the Shaw Festival which runs from April to November. This festival showcases the works of Bernard Shaw, but also features works by others such as Oscar Wilde, and Agatha Christie. There is music too. There are about a dozen productions performed each season, in three different theaters. If you are interested, you should look up the Shawfest website and book ahead.
Niagara on the Lake is in a portion of southern Ontario famous for its 17 wineries within a 20-minute drive, antiques, art galleries, and the popular Shaw Festival. This is a theatrical festival celebrating the works of playwrights Eugene O’Neill, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. The Shaw Festival produces several plays each calendar year. You can see their full schedule here.
AND one more thing… it is right in the heart of Ontario’s wine region. You can use this great little town as a basis for exploring the Niagara Wine Trail. Yep, more wine in Canada. Nearby there is an impressive array of vineyards… something like 17 of them. They make some interesting varietals. However, they’re especially known for their Ice Wines. You can book a wine tour in town so you will not need to be afraid of tossing a coin about who’ll be the designated driver.
Wine has been enjoyed by people throughout the world for ages as its appealing and diverse flavours excite the taste buds. Different grape varieties are used in order to provide the finest taste and premium quality. Thus, wine appraisals are very necessary to provide the most exquisite quality wine. Wine speakers are hired to taste the wine and stratify the quality of wine.
While there may not necessarily be any specific attraction that calls to you, the town itself as a whole should. If you want is a nice little respite from Toronto or Niagara Falls, this charming little town might just fit the bill.
FAQ’s: Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake?I am going to see a play at Shaw Festival on Niagara on the Lake….has anyone been? Does anyone know what the dress code is there? Is it casual….i asked when i booked the tickets and the man said "whatever you want"….does anyone know for sure?? please help!
Unless it's opening night, the dress code ranges from formal (i.e suit/suit jacket for men, dresses for women) to tourist casual (jeans, sandals and t-shirts). Wear what makes you feel comfortable, but when in doubt, dress up instead of down. Have fun! I have been it is always a beautiful production all of the theaters are nice. A dress code that is sutiable to mingle with people is fine there is really no dress code just don't dress like a rag picker! (Pick those pants up and wear a nice shirt) no offense that's what you want to do for dress!
Here is a related blog post; charming place to stay at shaw festival NOTL