Stroll back through history and enjoy world-class theatre, fine dining, shopping, our estate wineries, farmers' markets and historical sites.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, winner of the Prettiest Town in Canada award, has a long and distinguished history. Site of the old Neutral Indian village or Onigahara, it was settled at the close of the American Revolution by Loyalists coming to Upper Canada. Many of them had been members of the much feared Butler's Rangers, based during the American Revolution at Fort Niagara, then under British control.

In 1781, the British government purchased land from the Mississaguas'; a strip of land 6 miles wide along the western bank of the Niagara River for "300 suits of clothing." By 1782, 16 families had become established and had cleared 236 acres. In 1791 part of the military reserve at the mouth of the river was chosen as the future townsite. In 1792, Newark - as it was named by Governor Simcoe, became the first capital of the newly-created colony of Upper Canada, and the legislature met here for five sessions, until Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe moved the capital to York. By 1796, 70 new homes were built, and the town continued to prosper as the economic, administrative and judicial centre for the Niagara Peninsula. The physical appearance of the town, with the exception of the powder magazine at Fort George was virtually erased by the burning of the town by the Americans during the War of 1812.

Rebuilt, Niagara became an active commercial centre, with a busy shipping and ship-building industry, as well as many shops and warehouses. The beautiful old homes lining the tree-shaded streets attest to the prosperity of its citizens.

TODAY, over two hundred years after its founding, Niagara-on-the-Lake hums with a different kind of traffic. Its many attractions include historic sites - Fort George and the Historical Society Museum; the Shaw Festival with its three theatres, the marina, our heritage business district for shopping as well as world class golf courses, parks, beautiful farmland, agricultural markets and our world famous Niagara wineries.

Take a carriage ride through Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake which passes right by Regent House.









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Niagara-on-the-Lake General Info