This mid-19th century multipurpose civic structure is located on the main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake and it was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1980 because it was designed by the prominent Toronto architect, William Thomas with Neoclassical style and symmetry.
The Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia are considered cool climate viticulture regions. Temperatures during the fruit-ripening phase are moderate and consistent. These regions are ideally suited for the growing of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling.
One of the most well-known wineries in the district is INNISKILLIN which is an Estate Winery offering a variety of wines and icewines. Inniskillin's Vineyard is called the Brae Burn Estate.
Hans and I went on a tour of Inniskillin and thoroughly enjoyed it. After the tour Hans bought me a bottle of Riesling which was absolutely wonderful.
Grapes are left on the vine well into the winter months. The resulting freezing and thawing of the grapes dehydrates the fruit and concentrates the sugar, acids and extracts in the berries, thereby intensifying the flavours. The finished icewine is intensely sweet and flavourful
We arrived here later in the afternoon, but couldn't resist a stop! If you visit here (and you should!), I advise you to come early as there is much to see! I'm speaking not only of the Botanical Gardens, but the entire Niagara Falls area. I would think there is plenty to see to fill a couple of days, and if you are into gambling, then you can stay until your money runs out!
Arriving at the Gardens, we wandered around on the many paths and displays just drinking in the views. There is also the Butterfly Conservatory but we were too late to enter. Still, we were rewarded with a leisurely stroll among a most peaceful and beautiful place. Please see my other tips for more pictures.
I hope you will be able to see here some of the color and beauty that awaits. I'm told that in the spring there is a tulip festival also and would be most colorful to see, having been to the Netherlands and provided a glimpse of the many astounding colors that tulips produce! September here is nice too!
We did not have time to walk through the entire Park, and only viewed this on our way back towards the car. But, I can easily suggest that more time will be devoted on the next visit! And so again, I would highly suggest that if you enjoy nature, color, and a soothing time spent at your own pace, you will want to visit the Botanical Gardens!
I went there on a Ghost Tour. If you are interested in the Spirit world, Niagara-on-the-Lake is apparently a very active town.
I'm sure if you go there on a regular tour it will be very informative, just as the ghost tour was!
The Niagara peninsula enjoys climate that is conducive for the growing of wine grapes. Instead of the icing on the cake, in the many wineries around Niagara-on-the-Lake, a couple of hours' drive from Toronto, you can have the icing of your wine... and drink it too! :)
I love icewine (though I only know of the Inniskillin brand) and have loved it since when I worked in a wine bar in Singapore in 2002. So when I finally was able to visit the country which is a major producer of icewine, of course I jumped at the chance to visit a winery. The winery that my friends chose was Jackson-Triggs. The winery tour cost 5 CAD (or was it 10 CAD?) per person, well worth it IMHO.
The winery tour started off with an introduction about the history etc of the winery. As it was raining, the guide decided not to let us traipse all over the vineyard, which were right behind the main building.
As we ascended the outdoor stairs to the 2nd floor of the building, we had a bird's-eye view of the machinery used to do the processing of the raw grapes, with the guide explaining the procedure. Unfortunately I've forgotten most of the technicalities. :(
We then proceeded to the inside of the building where there were more huge metal vats used to process and cool the grape juice. I had fun scraping my name on the condensation on one of those metal vats used for cooling!
After that, the guide took us to the comfortably cool and dry underground cellar where the grape juice was left to age in oak barrels (the wood came from various places in France, the US etc), under carefully controlled conditions.
Next stop was almost the last and we tasted a few of their wines. IIRC we had a red, a white and also an icewine. Questions were asked by some of the other tour members, though I couldn't find any that sounded intelligent enough to ask, so I kept my mouth shut as far as questions were concerned. :P
The last stop was the gift store where we all had a voucher worth 5 CAD off the purchase of certain wines, so I bought a sparkling wine which I liked. The store also had a wide selection of their reds, whites and also icewines. Good value!
http://www.jacksontriggswinery.com/en/niagaraEstate/winery/visitUs/directions_p.html has detailed driving directions to get to the winery from Toronto, or Niagara Falls/Buffalo.
In August 2009, after our Mystery on the Lake tour, we decided to try out some wineries. To our dismay we found most of them were just closing. In our final attempt we pulled into the drive for Marynissen and ended up pulling up next to the owner. He rolled down our window and asked if we were looking for wine. My friend told him yes and asked if he was closed. His response was "Come on - I'll open back up for you". We headed up the drive and he unlocked and store and invited us in. Told us to look around and he would answer any questions and let us try whatever we wanted.
He let us try the Sauvignon Blanc which was incredibly delicious! Different than I had tasted before and would recommend to anyone. I ended up picking a bottle of that, a bottle of Rose and a bottle of their ice wine.
The owner was very friendly and we were so thankful he did this favour for us - we'll most definitely make a visit back and/or make some orders to have the wine shipped to us directly! I'd recommend Marynissen for sure if you're heading out for a day of Winery tours in Niagara on the Lake!
Mystery on the Lake is a great adventure! They call it an "interactive theatre experience." When you book your ticket, you're given a starting location, but from then on you have no idea where you're going to end up. Along the way, you're trying to solve a mystery, and you keep running into these characters who are placed around the town. It's so much fun! And you learn a bunch of local history at the same time. My wife and I look for these kinds of adventures wherever we go, and we loved it. Note that there is a fair bit of walking involved (3 km = 1.9 miles), but it's spaced out so you hardly know it.
Konzelmann Estate Winery is a treat to visit. The only winery right on the water, it has an observation tower from which you can get great views. Konzelmann is a medium-sized winery that originated in Germany and was established in Canada in 1984. They make wonderful icewines and peach wine.
Tours are only $3 - most other wineries charge $5. Tour groups see the picking, storing, aging, bottling, and labeling of wine. Tours end in tasting around three wines. More wines are available for tasting for 50 cents each.
Lots of businesses and hotels lease bicycles for the visitor. There is a great paved bike path that runs from the Northeast tip of Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls (see photo). On the way you will ride along the Niagara River, pass wineries and country stores, and eventually arrive at the Butterfly Exhibit and Niagara Falls.
A good website to get information from is www.cycleniagara.com. They have maps, bike rental agencies, etc.
Several bike rental agencies are located along Queen St. Hotels often rent bikes as well. There are also bike tours lead by a guide.
So here is scoop about this Aero Car thing. Built in 1916 by Spannish Engineer Leonardo Torres Quevedo, the open air gondola allows for a bird’s eye view of the turbulent Whirlpool rapids and a spectacular view of the Niagara River. You will go right over the rapids. Bring your camera because it is worth the photo's.
Operation depends upon wind and weather conditions.
$11.00 Adults (13+ years),
$6.50 Children (6 to 12 years),
Children 5 and under are FREE!
Open Seasonally, Daily from March to November. Operation is weather dependent.
Opening Times -
March 9 to June 29: 10:00 a.m.
June 30 to Nov. 25: 9:00 a.m.
Closing Times -
March 10 to May 21: 5 p.m., holiday weekends 6 p.m.
May 22 to June 30: 6 p.m. weekdays, 7 p.m. weekends
July 1 to September 2: 8 p.m.
September 3 to November 25: 5 p.m. weekdays, 6 p.m. weekends
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Had lunch here in their wonderful restaurant.
I had the burger ($15 can) but was it worth it - oh mannnnnnnnn
The Cab/merlot blend went very well with it as well.
Service is wonderful and the atmosphere just great.
Henry of Pelham is a small, premium estate winery located on the Niagara Bench. Owned and operated by the Speck family since 1988, the land was deeded to their great, great, grandfather in 1794. With the premise that fine wine is grown and not made, they take low yields and tend their 150-acre estate vineyards with meticulous care. Only small volumes of handmade wines are produced to ensure the highest standards of quality.
Situated atop the famed Niagara Escarpment in Beamsville, EastDell Estates offers visitors the opportunity to experience the majesty of Ontario's wine country. Possessing one of the finest views on the Wine Route, EastDell's Bench Bistro overlooks rolling benchlands and lush vineyards with Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline shimmering in the distance.