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Niagara-on-the-Lake

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Niagara on the Lake[1] is a small town in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. It sits on the shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River. It is a frequent destination daytrippers from Niagara Falls and a destination in its own right.

Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake

Understand[edit]

Visitor Information, 26 Queen Street (in the lower level of the Court House building), 905 468-1950. Open daily.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Buffalo-Niagara International Airport (IATA: BUF) in Buffalo, New York is about a 45-minute drive away.

  • Buffalo Airport Shuttle, 716-685-2550, [2] offers service from the Buffalo-Niagara airport to Niagara on the Lake. A group of up to 4 can expect to pay approximately $95 each way and the drivers often have great tips on where to go and what to avoid.

Hamilton John C. Munro International Airport (IATA: YHM) in Hamilton, Ontario is about a 75-minute drive away.

Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ) in Toronto is about a 1 1/2-hour drive away.

By car[edit]

Niagara on the Lake is approximately 1 1/2 hours from Toronto (depending on traffic) and 45 minutes from Buffalo.

From Toronto Airport: Take the QEW east (QEW Niagara). Once you pass St. Catharines, exit at Niagara Stone Road (HWY #55). Go north for 20 minutes.

From Niagara Falls (Ontario) follow the scenic Niagara Parkway north along the Niagara River.

By bus[edit]

Daily bus service is available from cities throughout Ontario from bus companies such as King Transportation [3], or bus tours companies such as eTours [4] and Niagara Tours [5].

Get around[edit]

By taxi[edit]

  • Niagara On The Lake Taxi, 905-356-3737.  edit

By bicycle[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Shaw Festival, 905-468-2172 or 1-800-511-7429, [8]. Named after playwright George Bernard Shaw, this theater festival runs from April to November and features plays by Shaw, playwrights who lived during Shaw's lifetime, or plays about his era (1856-1950). The 2008 playbill features two plays by Shaw, and nine other plays and musicals. Three main theaters comprise the festival venues, and all are located within walking distance of downtown:
    • Festival Theatre, 10 Queen's Parade.
    • Court House Theatre, 26 Queen Street.
    • Royal George Theatre, 85 Queen Street.
  • Fort George, 26 Queen St., +1-905-468-4257, [9]. A reconstucted British fort which featured prominently in the War of 1812. Open April to November. Ghost tours offered some evenings.
  • Music Niagara, [10]. Music Niagara: July 17 - August 14, 2010 – Summer music festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake featuring 34 concerts with internationally renowned musicians of classical, jazz, opera, and more. From brilliant pianists (Andre Laplante, Dick Hyman), engaging ensembles (Swiss Piano Trio, Métis Fiddler Quartet), terrific instrumentalists (Paul Pacanowski, Julie Spring), and tremendous vocalists (Brett Polegato, Krisztina Szabo), hear great music round the clock in intimate venues including wineries, churches, and bistros. Tickets: $15-45. www.musicniagara.org or 1-800-511-7429.
  • Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Wine Tours, 431 Mississauga St, 905-468-2366, [11]. See Niagara by Bike! Ride our beautiful bike paths to visit the areas wineries, fruit markets and shopping district.  edit


Do[edit][add listing]

  • Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, 61 Melville Street [12]. Powerful Jet-boats speed upriver, making their way into the breathtaking stonewalled canyon that is the Niagara Gorge. The anticipation builds as the boats splash into the whitewater of Devil's Hole Rapids. April - October.
  • Peach Festival, Queen Street. 9AM-?. First Saturday in August to celebrate peaches. It starts at 9AM sharp and the day is full of jams and pies and peaches.  edit
  • Take a wine tour - The many wine tours of Niagara on the Lake are an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Several companies downtown offer the tours - it's not strictly necessary to book, and you might want to take a look at the offerings. Choose your mode of transportation - by bike, bus or several other ways, and head off to between 3-5 wineries. Each winery offers a brief tutorial on wine-tasting, as well as a sampling of 2 or 3 of their vintages. Since you will be consuming alcohol it is strongly suggested that you consider joining a tour.
    • eTours.to, 1-800-391-0149, [13] offers Niagara-on-the-Lake winery tours that depart from many locations in Toronto.
    • King Tours, toll free:1-866-546-4999, [14] offers group Niagara-on-the-Lake winery tours.
    • Niagara Vintage Wine Tours, 905-933-7433 (email: Chris@nvwt.biz), [15]. Local and run by an industry professional.
  • The Ghost Walk of Niagara-on-the-Lake, 126 Queen Street, 855-8GH-OSTS (844-6787) x4, [16]. Niagara-on-the-Lake is Canada’s Most Haunted Town! 200 years of history and ghosts featured on this outdoor walking tour, with tales of haunted pubs, inns, and homes. Experiences abound with over 80% of homes and businesses reporting a ghost story or two. Hear about the violent ghost of the Angel Inn, the headless solider, town secrets, séances, legends and more! Walks offered every single night from June - Halloween - with Winter & Spring walks too. See GhostWalks.com for details. Starts from The Haunted Shop - just a 1/2 block from Starbucks Coffee.  edit
  • Take a horse-drawn carriage ride or sleigh ride through the old town.
  • The Niagara Wine Festival, [17], takes place September 19 - 28, 2008. There is also an Icewine Festival in January and a New Vintage Festival in June of each year. Festivals include winery tours and tastings, cuisine, and entertainment.
  • Bike the scenic bikepaths along the Niagara River.
  • Mystery on the Lake (interactive theatre), (Niagara-on-the-Lake), 1-866-386-2921, [18]. A new adventure in interactive theatre! You aren’t just the audience, you’re in the show! Stroll through picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake for this memorable 2.5 hour show as you discover new places and work with fellow audience members to solve historical puzzles. Have fun interacting with unusual characters played by actors as you are caught up into an historic plot of mystery and intrigue. Admission to two of the town's premiere historic attractions is included in your ticket price! Season: May to October...  edit
  • Great Lakes Pyrate Lore & Harbour Walks (Historical NOTL Walking Tour), 26 Queen St (Lower Level), 905 381 0396, [19]. Join Pyrates in an historical walk through the town as they regale ye with true tales of Pyrates that used Niagara on the Lake as a base of operations! Sunken ships, daring raids, men "put on account", merchant ships and sunken wrecks that sit at the bottom of Lake Ontario. Learn the secrets of Fort Mississauga & Fort Niagara, and what role Pyrates may have played in the disappearance of a notorious NOTL resident. $10.  edit
  • Art by the Lighthouse, 247 Ricardo St (on the river, between Navy Hall and the marina), +1 905 468 5455, [20]. 30 Jul - 1 Aug 2011: Sa Su 10AM-6PM, M 10AM-4PM. Art by the Lighthouse is a juried fine art show held on the grounds of the Niagara Pumphouse Visual Art Centre, accompanied by live music. Running concurrently; a free gallery exhibit of Robert Uhre and Katherine McDonald inside the Pumphouse Gallery. Free.  edit
  • Niagara Falls Tours[21]

Spa[edit]

  • Spa at The Oban Inn, 160 Front Street, 866-359-6226, [22]. 9am-8pm. Intimate boutique spa located in The Oban Inn overlooking Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Course and Lake Ontario offering personalized massage, body treatments and aesthetics. Open daily, year-round. Outdoor pool, whirlpool and fitness room.  edit
  • The Shaw Spa, 92 Picton Street, 905-468-5711 or 1-800-511-7070, [23]- offers a unique variety of treatments including ones specializing in vinotherapy, chocotherapy, and bio-maple
  • 100 Fountain Spa , 48 John Street E, 1-888-669-5566, 100 Fountain Spa [24]- enjoy one of Canada's top spa locations

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are lots of little shops, especially along Queen Street, including one dedicated to Christmas all year round, Just Christmas.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Zee's Grill, 92 Picton Street, 905-468-5715 or 1-800-511-7070 [25]. A great new restaurant that is more like a Toronto hot-spot than something that you normally find in sleepy little Niagara! Great food and great presentation.
  • Charles Inn, 209 Queen Street, 1-866-556-8883 [26]. Good if you are looking for something a little more formal. Amazing food and a nice cozy feel.
  • The Epicurean, 84 Queen Street, [27]. Daily, 9AM-9PM. Made to order sandwiches and you can ask them to pack you a picnic lunch.
  • Hillebrand Winery Restaurant, 1249 Niagara Stone Road, [28]. Open daily for lunch from noon and dinner from 5PM. Reservations recommended.
  • Peller Estates Winery, [29]. Open daily for lunch from noon and dinner Su - Fri from 5:30PM and Sa from 5PM.
  • Stone Road Grille, 238 Mary Street at Mississauga in the Garrison Plaza, (905) 468-3474, [30]. Tu-F 11:30AM-2PM (lunch), Tu-Su 5PM to 10PM (dinner). Closed Mondays in winter. Reservations strongly recommended.
  • Tiara restaurant, 155 Byron Street, at the Queen's Landing Hotel, 1-905-468-2195, [31]. A good choice for Sunday brunch (11AM- 2:30PM). It costs $32, but definitely worth every penny. Traditional French cuisine using local ingredients.
  • Tony de Luca, 905 468-7900, [32].

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Butler's Bar & Grill, 284 Mary Street, 905-468-0049 [33]. Pool tables, dart boards, games, big screen TVs, and very good pizza and wings.
  • Olde Angel Inn Restaurant and Pub, 224 Regent St, [34]. A variety of domestic and import beers on tap, and a great atmosphere.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are a number of fine hotels, including several within walking distance of the Shaw Festival theatres and the main centre of town.

The town also has an extensive network of B&Bs, which provides an opportunity to mix with other tourists, bookable through the NOTL B&B Assn.

  • Niagara Bed and Breakfast Accommodations, +1 905-988-1303 (), [35]. If you are looking for a romantic getaway or an historical property or if you are simply coming to attend the Shaw Festival, you will be well served staying at a Niagara-on-the-Lake Bed and Breakfast.  edit
  • Best Western Colonel Butler Inn, 278 Mary Street, +1 905-468-3251 (toll free: +1-866-556-8882, , fax: +1 905-468-5844), [36]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. 26 rooms. Complimentary continental breakfast 7AM-10AM. Free high speed Internet access and parking. In season: $179+; Winter: $99+.  edit
  • The Charles Inn, 209 Queen Street, +1 905-468-4588 (toll free: +1-866-556-8883, , fax: +1 905-468-2194), [37]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. 12 rooms. Free parking. In season: $205+; Winter: $99+.  edit
  • Girasole, Tuscan style B&B, 1211 Line 8 Road, +1 905-262-7653 (, fax: +1 905-262-9900), [38]. Italian style amid lush vineyards with spacious rooms with jacuzzis. Cotton linen, antique décor. $139 weekdays, $159 weekend days.  edit
  • Harbour House Hotel, 85 Melville Street, +1 905-468-4683 (toll free: +1-866-277-6677, , fax: +1 905-468-0366), [39]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. 31 rooms. Expanded European style buffet breakfast 8AM-10AM. Free high speed Internet access, parking, and shuttle service. In season: $295+; Winter: $199+.  edit
  • Olde Angel Inn, 224 Regent Street, +1 905-468-3411 (, fax: +1 905-468-4821), [40]. If you're obsessed with the paranormal, then you'll love this inn located in the downtown area. It is supposedly haunted by Captain Swayze, a British officer accidentally killed in the building's cellar during the War of 1812.  edit
  • Pillar and Post, 48 John Street East, +1 905-468-2123 (toll free: +1-888-669-5566, fax: +1 905-468-3551), [41]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. The classic country charm and modern amenities of this historic property attract vacationing families, corporate and social groups, as well as health & wellness seekers looking for a rejuvenating Niagara experience.  edit
  • Prince of Wales, 6 Picton Street, +1 905-468-3246 (toll free: +1-888-669-5566, fax: +1 905-468-5521), [42]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Distinguished leisure and business travellers alike seek the elegance and refinement of the Victorian Age embodied in this treasured landmark hotel located directly on the main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake.  edit
  • Queen's Landing, 155 Byron Street, +1 905-468-2195 (toll free: +1-888-669-5566, fax: +1 905-468-2227), [43]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. This spectacular Georgian-style mansion on the banks of the Niagara River is perfect for everything from family vacations to high-level corporate gatherings providing outstanding accommodations in a waterfront setting.  edit
  • Shaw Club Hotel & Spa, 92 Picton Street, +1 905-468-5711 (toll free: +1-800-511-7070, , fax: +1 905-468-4988), [44]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. 30 rooms. Continental breakfast included 8AM-10AM. Free high-speed internet access, parking, and shuttle service. In season: $185+; Winter: $99+.  edit
  • 334 William B&B, 334 William St., 1-905-984-7989 (), [45]. Our suite features a King sized bed, your own private bathroom, and personal entrance via a deck area for your leisure.Its run by two friendly spirits who are avid wine drinkers and love to travel. $125 a night.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Niagara Falls - for the Falls, of course
  • Toronto - Ontario's multicultural capital
  • Kitchener - hosting the largest Oktoberfest in the world outside of Munich
  • Stratford - picturesque city that hosts the Stratford Shakespeare Festival from April to November
  • New York
  • Buffalo






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