The Niagara Region in Ontario, Canada is one of my favourite places to visit. There is such a diverse selection of things to do, places to see, and experiences to have that you need to go for at least a few days each time to do it right. Visits with family or friends you can’t go wrong. I am so grateful to live only a few hours away from the 8th Wonder of the World.
We are currently planning our next trip and it will include investigating local history of the region in several of the amazing museums in Niagara Canada.
I’ve always wondered about how the historical lands around this incredible natural wonder of the world came to be developed and how Canadians and Americans ended up settling the land ownership. With such a wondrous and fertile agricultural area, there must have been much ‘discussion’ about where to draw the national borders.
Our family had a large debate over who won the bloodiest of battles that took place on Lundy’s Lane in 1814. We intend to find out the answer on our day at the Niagara Historical Society and Museum, and the Battle Ground Hotel Museum. Housing all sorts of interesting tidbits and details of the developing time around the Niagara Falls region, this museum offers tours, displays, and children’s programs as well as downloadable program materials on their web site.
I like to find out strange and uncommon information when I am visiting a museum – it’s like a treasure hunt for me. I think this place will provide many charming details.
In addition to this museum visit, I’d like to take the family for High Tea at the Prince of Wales in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Close to the museum, it offers a full high tea and an afternoon cream tea in addition to other menu items. I’m a sucker for a traditional tea and the menu here makes me drool. If you decide to try it out make sure you book in advance.
Now of course, an after dinner trip down to the falls is mandatory to enjoy the spectacular light show that runs from 9pm to midnight. After that, we’ll take a candlelight ghost walk in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Established in 1994, the Ghost Tours of Fort George are the longest-running ghost walk in Niagara Canada. Nothing like walking off all the good food we’ll be enjoying with a bit of spooky storytelling. We’ve been on many haunted walks in other towns and this is a unique way to get to know the area and its history.
Our final museum visit on day three will conclude in Queenston. We’ve all heard about the heroine Laura Secord – how she helped turn the tides of the war of 1812 with her bravery. Her farm is located close to Niagara Falls in Queenston and was restored and furnished by the Laura Secord Candy Company in 1971 to commemorate her selfless act.
I feel I owe it to myself and my kids to learn more about the details leading up to her 32km (20 mile) hike across unsettled and enemy infested wilderness to warn the British army about a surprise attack planned by the invading American army. This attack could have altered the outcome of the entire war if not for her actions by giving the invaders control over the entire Niagara Peninsula.
I want to understand how this brave woman ended up making this life and history altering decision.
Visiting these places for me is about being in her home and feeling the same floors under my feet that she felt under hers; walking through the same hallways she went through many times a day, from 1803 to 1835. Maybe a tiny bit of her essence, or energy remains and emanates from this place she called home.
I’ll ask myself the same questions she must have asked herself – could she actually deliver this news? Would she be believed? How would she physically be able to get there and would she be too late?
But most importantly, what would have happened if she did nothing?
Most people rush home at the end of their journeys but my family prefers to enjoy having dinner locally in order to discuss what we’ve seen and learned, such as the many sites of war within the area. It is a great way to end a trip and get you ready to head home.
By then we’ll have the answers to the questions we came with. With so much information to absorb, it sure helps to spread it out over a few days. Plus, we’ll be able to start planning our next trip to the area!
I’d like to try Niagara Park’s Queenston Heights Restaurant which is reputed to have a “FeastON designated” menu showcasing a selection of the region’s bountiful farms and lush vineyards. No visit to this area would be complete without a final dinner by the Niagara River with a glass or two of local wine.
Our family makes memories as often as we can. This visit to see the 8th Wonder of the World will give us many more opportunities to add to our own history of the Niagara Canada.
Which of these museums have you been too? Do you have any other recommendations we should consider? Let me know in the comments below.