Ball’s Falls

In the early 1800s, along Twenty Mile Creek, John and George Ball established a grist mill, sawmill and woolen mill. Ball’s Falls was a prospering pioneer community for nearly a century. The 1900s saw the town’s sudden decline, as it was bypassed by the Great Western Railway.

Now, some 200 years later, the grist mill is home to one of the few working mills in Ontario. Tour heritage buildings, such as the lime kiln and blacksmith shop. Spring and Fall craft shows and other seasonal events provide additional opportunities to enjoy a time gone by.

Hikers will enjoy trekking to the Upper and Lower Falls. Bring your camera. The Cataract and Bruce Trails are scenic delights. Like many locations in the Escarpment, Ball’s Falls is one of the Niagara Region’s most biodiverse beauties. Encounter 471 vascular plants, 53 species of mammals and 36 species of amphibians as you take in more of the natural wonder that is Niagara.

Located near Vineland, Ball’s Falls is easy to find. Take exit 57 from the QEW. Head south on Victoria Avenue and through Vineland to the entrance on 6th Avenue.

Fallsview Casino Resort

Fallsview Casino ResortA vacation to Niagara Falls, Canada can become an adventure in luxury and indulgence when checking into the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. This is the next level in luxury accommodations and some of the hottest slots in the area!

The Niagara Fallsview Casino is the ultimate in Niagara Falls casino activity. The immense 180,000 square foot gaming floor features 3000 slot machines and 150 table games. The Niagara Fallsview Casino treats guests and players to an experience that is unparalleled in other Niagara Falls hotels.

From the intricate, hand painted ceilings to the uniquely exquisite d’cor, Niagara Fallsview Casino and hotel will dazzle you with charm and fantasy that takes you back in time to the splendor and indulgence of old Europe. At the Niagara Fallsview Casino, you will tread upon marble floors beneath a hand painted ceiling and gilded chandeliers.

This world-class casino resort will spoil you, as you indulge in all the luxuries that it has to offer. Like no other gaming resort hotel, this is the perfect setting for your romantic getaways or your gaming adventures. The Fallsview Casino offers sheer decadence and luxury in a resort setting.

The signature water attraction at the Fallsview Resort, is the Hydro-Teslatron, an impressive seven minute water show which converts the rushing water of Niagara into viable electricity. This is only one of the areas that the resort outshines other Niagara Falls hotels. Amid lasers, LED displays and loudspeakers, this astounding demonstration reminds of the humbling, sheer power of water and electricity.

Of the Niagara Falls hotels, this resort raises the bar in luxury accommodation. The d’cor of the rooms is homey but steeped in luxury and elegance. Each of the 374 lavishly furnished rooms offers a spectacular view of Niagara falls and the cityscape. You will wrap yourself in elegance as you indulge yourself in the lush atmosphere of luxury accommodations that offer room service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The experience of the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort is one that none of the other Niagara Falls hotels can offer.

The Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort is a luxurious escape with pools, health clubs, and so much more, this Niagara casino resort offers everything to spoil and pamper.

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Screaming Tunnel

Beneath the railway tracks that connect Niagara Falls with New York City and Toronto, on a dirt road just off of Warner Road lies the infamous Screaming Tunnel, nearly 2000 square feet of beautiful stonework and eerie vibes.

Most who know of this tunnel remember it as Christopher Walken’s temporary place of refuge in the 1983 feature film Dead Zone, but to some, this tunnel represents a varying story of fire and death.

According to the legend, a young girl set ablaze in the early1900s lived her dying moments inside this very tunnel, yet how she arrived there is mysteriously debatable.

One story of her arrival speaks of a nearby farmhouse, which had caught fire and forced the young girl and her family to use the tunnel during their escape. Screaming with her hair and clothes caught in flames, the young girl was unable to make it through the tunnel with the rest of her family.

Another version describes a custody battle with a violent conclusion as the young girl was dragged to the tunnel and set on fire by her father. Some have heard that the young girl was kidnapped by a crazed butcher, who dawned a pig’s mask and burned her alive after she had tried to escape through the tunnel.

Perhaps the most gruesome story, the young girl was raped while inside the tunnel, with the perpetrator burning the body in order to hide the evidence.

The burning farmhouse version of the young girl’s arrival is believed to be the most accurate, yet despite which story is true, they say that you can often hear the young girl’s screams echoing through the tunnel. And those who have dared to step near the tunnel have spoken of extremely cold temperatures, even during the hottest of days.

by: Chase Kell | clip credit: wwwyoutube.com/user/burrheadjr

The Sky Wheel

The Sky Wheel is Niagara Falls own version of the Millennium Wheel. At 53 meters tall each ride on the Sky Wheel lasts 10 exciting minutes. The 42 gondolas slowly rise to the top and the view provided on a clear day is absolutely magnificent. The view of the Falls on a clear day is breathtaking from the top of the Wheel. A camera is a must to bring on the ride. At the very top, both the Horseshoe and American Falls are seen in their majestic splendor.

On a clear day, one can see the Niagara parks and surrounding landmarks for miles. The ride is best taken in the evening to capture the glitter of the Niagara Skyline and the illumination of the Falls. The wheel turns surprisingly slowly- it takes about 10 minutes to go round, so one has plenty of time take photos to scenic landmarks.

All Gondolas are fully equipped to provide either heat or air conditioning. The Sky Wheel does offer access for the handicapped. The Sky Wheel is located on Clifton Hill. the entrance is $ 9.99 for adults and $ 5.99 for children.

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Mahoney Dollhouse

Located at 657 Niagara Boulevard, the Mahoney Dollhouse Gallery was built in 1835 under the original name of Bertie Hall. Despite owning a collection of nearly 150 dollhouses spanning 200 years, perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this museum lies in the basement, which contained a tunnel extending well in to the bedrock that was used to help smuggle slaves from the US during the Underground Railroad.

After his son had drowned when the rising tide flooded out the tunnel, Captain Forsythe, owner of the building in the late 19th, sealed off the tunnel entrance with bricks. It is believed that a flood in the tunnel also claimed the life of a young slave in the early 1800s. Since then, it is believed that the museum is a haven for phantom and ghost like activity.

Despite the fact that the basement has witnessed the drowning tragedies, it is the upper floors where the apparitions and strange occurrences are noticed. An employee once noticed that a pink dollhouse had moved at least three feet overnight while sitting up on the 2nd floor. The smell of lilacs that seems to come and go is probably relative to the often seen apparition of a woman, holding a basket of flowers as she stands on the stairs.

by: Chase Kell

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Scenic Trolley

Like all cities, Niagara Falls has already established a mobile guide for the tourists in a Trolley. This comfortable scenic ride takes lets one explore the various areas of the City and the surrounding areas in a relaxed and comfortable fashion.

All trolleys have a guide which interacts and relates the importance of the surrounding land. The entire Trolley trip takes about 3 hours and travels the entire length of the Falls. It does stop at all the important landmark sites, like the Falls, Prospect park and Caves of the Wind.

The Trolley does make frequent stops, but one is allowed to get on and off at different spots at leisure. These state of the art Trolleys are heated in the Winter and have air conditioning in the Summer.

The Trolley allows room and access for handicapped and wheelchair bound individuals. Because of the constant crowd overflow and traffic congestion, the Trolley offers all the convenience of mobility without being harassed by the traffic.

The Trolley service is available all year around and the tickets are available at all the stops. Adults can ride for $2 and children under 12 can ride for $1.

Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill is one of the major tourist destinations in Niagara Falls, Canada. It is a street located just one block to the Niagara Falls containing lots of gift shops, wax museums, haunted houses, restaurants, hotels and other themed attractions. It is a major amusement area and centre of night life. That is why it is also called The Entertainment and Dining District.

Niagara SkyWheel

The SkyWheel is a 53-meter tall Ferris wheel towering over the Niagara Falls horizon. It offers a magnificent view of the surrounding area like the Niagara River, parks and other attractions. An evening ride on the Skywheel will let you see the lights of Clifton Hill and the surrounding Niagara skyline. All 42 gondolas are fully closed with heating or air conditioning that can seat up to six people. Admission rates are $9.99 plus tax for Adults and $5.99 plus tax for Children.

Movieland Wax Museum

It is said that a walk through Movieland is like a walk through entertainment history as the museum features all of your favorite movie, television and recording stars set in their most memorable scenes and also some newly created scenes. Admission rates are $9.99 plus tax for Adults and $5.99 plus tax for Children. Kids under three years old are free of admission.

Dinosaur Park Miniature Golf

This mini putt golf course lets you step back to prehistoric times when you play their 18-hole miniature golf course. The course has a par of 40 and takes around 30-45 minutes to play. The Dinosaur Park is located near the top of Clifton Hill just behind Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Admission rates are $9.99 plus tax for Adults and $5.99 plus tax for Children.

Ghost Blasters Dark Ride

The Ghost Blasters Dark Ride is a fun and interactive ride where you can take a ride through a haunted house and shoot ghosts with lasers. Each car on this ride can seat 2 people and the entire ride takes around 5 minutes. This attraction is located in the Great Canadian Midway. Admission rates for both Adults and Children are $4.99 plus tax.

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Niagara Greenhouse

Specializing in plants and herbs, the Niagara Greenhouse offers a wide and unique selection of annuals, perennials, topiaries and foliage plants as well as pottery, statuary and gift items reflective of the Niagara Region.

There is a large variety of plants and vegetables grown all year around and will astound even the novice gardener. Almost all the Green house plants are grown with the highest quality seeds which are brought from across Canada and Europe.

Whether you are a seasoned Gardener or this is your first time planning a Garden you can be sure to find all of the Annuals, Perennials, and Vegetable Plants you need to know for your gardening project.

Even the novice gardener will learn the simple bedding techniques required to grow good quality plants.

At any time the Greenhouse is visited, flowers in all stages of bloom are seen. Vegetable plants are a gardeners’ delight and in spring almost every variety of green plant is grown. It truly is a gardener’s paradise.

The Niagara Greenhouse is located just 10-15 minute walk from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. It is open year around. Entrance is free and there is ample parking space

Niagara Falls State Park

Photo By: Jacob Enos

Niagara Falls features America’s oldest State Park and is fascinating and rich with history. At the new Visitor Center you will see how the magnificent Falls were formed and natural features such as ecology, geology, and wildlife. The new Discovery Center features fossils and minerals, as well as a multi-screen theatre featuring the history of the Falls.

Don’t miss the history of Niagara Falls, and discover hiking and other scenic attractions like biking, fishing, and cross-country skiing. The Niagara State Park features a Visitor’s Center, Discovery Center, and the Observation Tower. Weddings at the Niagara Falls State Park offer a one of a kind moment with breaktaking scenic backdrops.

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Pink Palace

Tales of brutal murder have built a creepy aura around the apartment building at 4223 Buttery St.

Converted into apartments during the 1950s, this building once stood as a 27-room Victorian style mansion built in 1865. Originally knows as the Pink Palace, this illustrious mansion was part of an 85-acre estate that featured stables, vineyards, orchards and tennis courts.

Being well known for hosting sumptuous parties, a Dr. John Ferguson owned the property until his untimely death in 1893. According to reports, Dr. Ferguson’s property played host to much more than lavish festivities.

It has been told that a transaction resulted in murder when a thief attempted to connive an immigrant into purchasing this property, which the thief did not own. Lets just say that this immigrant was not as gullible as the thief believed. Ten years later, while awaiting their carriage following one of Dr. Ferguson’s luxurious parties, a couple is said to have been brutally murdered on the driveway of the mansion.

It is believed that a phantom horse-drawn carriage has been seen rolling its way up the driveway. On the anniversary of the couple’s murder, blood trails are said to have been seen streaming down the driveway.

by: Chase Kell

Niagara Whirlpool

The Whirlpool has a depth of 38 m or 120 ft. and the water circulates in a counterclockwise direction.

For a view from above, ride the aerocar, a cable car suspended over the Whirlpool. Conceived by J. Enoch Thompson, and built in 1913 by The Niagara Spanish Aerocar Co. Limited, according to the design of Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres y Quevedo. It officially opened on August 8, 1916.

 

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Cave of the Winds

A visit to Niagara Falls would not be the same if one did not take the Cave of the Winds Trip. The journey is one for the memories. Over the years, it has become a major attraction or tourists. The trip involves an exciting tour of the Niagara Falls from an artificial deck built on the rocky side of the Water Falls.

The thunderous noise and the rushing water are impressive and one can immediately realize the force of the water fall. The trip starts by going about 150 feet down an elevator into the Niagara Gorge.

To prevent getting soaked from the misty water, you will be given a souvenir yellowish-orange poncho and sandals (to prevent slipping on the wet floor). A specially designed deck has been reconstructed only 20-25 feet away from the water falls. The deafening noise and the roar of the falls is scary and awesome. All the tours are led by guides and the deck has been specially designed to offer the best viewing.

The Cave of the Winds offers a view of the Falls which is unseen from above. For those lucky enough, the most colorful rainbows may also be visible at different times of the day. The trip is even more exciting when the trip is undertaken in the late evening with the bright lights illuminate the falls.

The specially designed Hurricane deck has a special viewing area for the handicapped and children. In the summer, the lines are long and so it is best arrive either early in the morning or come in the late afternoon

The Cave of the Winds is only open during the spring and summer months. The Tours start at 9 am and close at 4.45 pm. For more information on the Cave of the Winds information, call (716) 278-1730. The entrance to the Cave of the Winds is $10 for adults and $ 7 for children. Parking is available.

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Short Hills

Short Hills Provincial Park is a day-use park with six trails and the Bruce Trail traversing its 735+ hectares. The Swayze Falls and the Black Walnut trails accommodate hikers, mountain bikers or horseback riders. For a hikers-only experience, try the Scarlet Tanager, Hemlock Valley, Terrace Creek and Paleozoic Trails. Two waterfalls are situated within the park.

From the parking lot, the wheelchair accessible Paleozoic Path leads to a lookout platform at Swayze Falls, where Twelve Mile Creek drops over the Escarpment. Follow the graveled path to complete the 20-minute return hike to the falls. The trail leads through a forest and meadow where butterflies enjoy wildflowers and blue-winged warblers provide background chorus from the brush.

Take a longer walk by following the horse trails into the wooded valley of Twelve Mile Creek. In the Spring, colour covers the forest floor as masses of trilliums and other native flowers bloom.

To get to Short Hills Provincial Park, take Highway 20 from the QEW through the village of Fonthill. Continue on Hwy. 20 for a few kilometres past Fonthill to Effingham Road (32/28). Turn right (north) and go 6.2 kilometres through beautiful farmland with old country homes and vineyards. Turn right at Roland Rd.

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McFarland House

There are not many buildings on Niagara on the Lake from the past 200 yeas, but McFarland House is one of the few monuments attesting to that time period. The entire brick building was built by John McFarland in 1800.

In the early years, it was used by the British Army officers as its headquarters. However, it also functioned as a hospital during the early wars of that period. During the British occupation the house regaled in all the pomposity of British aristocracy and future owners of the house continued the British tradition of afternoon teas in the gardens. Today, fine British tea and biscuits are the highlight of the visit. For those who frown tea, there is an ample choice of wine to drink. For the children ice creams in all flavors are available.

Over the past 100 years, the building has undergone numerous reconstructions and restorations to preserve the historical significance of the monument. In 1959, the building was bought over by the Niagara Parks Commission who further renovated it and have opened it to the public. The building now functions as a museum and as a tea house. Unfortunately, the gardens surrounding the house have become dilapidated and most have disappeared. However, the house is located in area of picnic grounds and the Niagara River Trails which more than make up for the lost gardens.

McFarland house is located in McFarland Point Park. For those who want to know more about the history, scheduled guided tours of the building are available during the summer months. There is an entrance fee of $4.50 for adults and $ 3.50 for children. The house does offer access for the handicapped.

Fort Erie

Contrary to popular belief, it was the French, and not the British, who built the original Fort Erie back in the 1600s. The British hadn’t officially claimed the site until 1763, building their own fort following the conclusion of the seven years war.

Located at 350 Lakeshore Road, the original Fort Erie sat on the edge of the Canadian side of the Niagara River. The severity of the winter storms began to be troublesome for the British, which lead to the construction of a new fort on higher ground, further away from the riverbanks in 1803.

However, the new fort had yet to be completed when the war of 1812 had begun. Less than a year into the war, US forces had temporarily taken control of the fort only to have the British regain control shortly after. The US forces managed to seize the fort yet again in 1814, destroying the fort and fleeing to Buffalo in December of that year. As the US fled, the carnage and bloodshed left behind was astounding, allowing Fort Erie to easily be recognized as the deadliest battlefield in Canadian history.

The British occupied what was left of the fort until 1823. Stones left from the fort’s ruin were used three kilometers north in the building of the St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Being left somewhat abandoned, the fort remained empty until a brigade of Irish Republicans claimed the fort as their base during their raid into Ontario in 1866. The Irish fled shortly after, and the fort remained abandoned until reconstruction began in 1937.

With such a history of such violence and bloodshed, it is believed by many that the ghosts of deceased soldiers continue to call this fort home. Supported with evidence from an archeological excavation in the late 1900s, the journal of a former drummer boy tells many tales of apparitions and ghost like activity.

The drummer boy spoke of certain visions, including that of a headless soldier as well as a soldier missing his hands. While the US Forces were occupying the fort for the second and final time, it is documented that a young corporal was shaving the beard of Sergeant Benjamin White before a British cannonball came blasting through the fort, severing the corporal’s hands and decapitating the sergeant.

by: Chase Kell

Niagara Apothecary

With a history spanning over 100 years, under the ownership of six different suitors, the Niagara Apothecary is believed to be the last of Ontario’s confederation buildings to be left standing.

The Ontario Heritage Foundation began to restore the Apothecary shortly after its closure in 1964, transforming the facility at 5 Queen Street into a museum seven years later. And like many of the areas with historical prominence in Niagara, there is much more to this property than meets the eye.

The reported sounds of footsteps jogging up and down a staircase have lead some to believe that there is a high level of ghost like activity within the museum. Some have gone as far as to strategically place newspapers on the front steps only to watch as the paper is gently moved by what they described as translucent footsteps. Although samples of a specific medicine called Beladona are no longer kept on site, the scent of the medicine, along with wild flowers, are frequently noticed by the museum’s visitors.

Some have reported the sensation of cold spots, certain areas that are dramatically colder than others even during the hottest of days. It is believed that the cold spots occur when a ghost is near and/or angry and upset, leading some to believe that the Apothecary had seen its fair share of violence and medical negligence.

by: Chase Kell

Mackenzie Printery

The Mackenzie Printery Museum covers an era of Printed newspapers for more than 500 years. The Printery has a lot of firsts in Canada; the first printed newspaper, the oldest press circulation, the first wooden press, etc.

The Printery building was the re-built on original home of William Mackenzie and in an honor to the great Publisher; the Museum has devoted a substantial amount of time on the life the man and his home.

Once inside the museum, there is an opportunity to test one’s ability at operating a Press and type setting. For those lithographers, there are guided tours which provide all the nitty gritty details about the ink, machinery and the metal type casters. Today the museum offers a historical evolution of printing in Canada. Both the wooden and iron presses of the time are available for view.

The museum also has a vast collection of letter press equipment and artifacts related to the printing trade. The museum also offers educational tours for college and high school students. Every now and then, the museum holds seminars on advertising, journalism communications and business skills in relevance to printing.

The museum is open year round and located in the village of Queenston, just a few miles north of the Falls. Entrance to the museum is $4.50 for Adults and $3.50 Children (6 to 12 years). This historic building is not wheelchair accessible. For more information, one can call 1 877 642 7275

Floral Clock

Between the Botanical Gardens and Queenston Heights Park stands one of the most popular sights to view in Niagara. The Floral Clock is a 12.2-m (40-ft.) diameter working clock that is one of the largest in the world.

Seeing the gardens in Niagara falls may give you some great landscaping ideas. Using over 15 thousand small plants that are placed close together, elaborate designs are created and changed twice a year. Gardeners use long ladders, placed over the clock, to trim it every two weeks to keep the intricate design.

While enjoying the annual and perennial gardens surrounding this more than 50 year-old structure, be sure to listen to the Westminster chimes that strike every 15 minutes.

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Fort George

Photo By: Robert Linsdell

Not only does Niagara’s Fort George hold historic prominence, it is also the location of some of the creepiest reported hauntings in the province of Ontario.

Located on Queen Street, on the opposing shore of the Niagara River, Fort George was completed in 1802 and was used to house the British Army as well as local militia. After 11 years the fort was partially destroyed and seized during the war of 1812 by the Americans, who used the fort as a base while invading Upper Canada. Shortly after, the battles of Beaver Dams and Stoney Creek forced the Americans to flee as the British won back their fort and began rebuilding.

Upon the war’s conclusion, British troops fled Fort George and took shelter in Butler’s Barracks and Fort Missassauga. In the 1930s, the Niagara Parks Commission rebuilt and restored Fort George into the beautiful fort that stands today. Parks Canada is responsible for maintaining the fort, especially the stone powder magazine, the only remaining section of the original fort and the oldest military structure in the province of Ontario.

Yet with such historical prowess come some of the eeriest hauntings and apparitions in the history of Ontario, many of which made famous by Kyle Upton, author of the book Niagara’s Ghosts at Fort George. The often seen apparitions from within the blockhouses include a grey-haired man behind the bunks looking outwards; a young girl with long blonde hair wearing a white night gown; a man clothed completely in white; a small hand appearing translucent, resting on the stair railing; a dark Caucasian man standing before a ground-floor window and a man pacing the upstairs floor.

If you are to look into an original gilt framed mirror, dated back to the 1790s which rests in the officer’s quarters of the fort, chances are that you might notice a beautiful young lady with long, curly hair standing behind you. Footsteps have been heard from within the halls of the officer’s quarters, doors seem to open and shut by themselves. Even the display gates have unhooked and opened up all on their own. Apparently the upper torso of a soldier’s body, patrolling the gates with his musket ready to fire can be seen on the fort’s property.

All of which contributes to the historic prominence and the eerie vibe that is Fort George.

by: Chase Kell

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Goat Island

Goat Island is a tiny non populated island in northern New York, at the SW tip of Niagara County. It is situated in the middle of Niagara Falls on the Niagara River, between Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls.

On either side of the island, the Niagara River divides into two large streams which are responsible for the Canadian and American Versions of the Niagara Falls. From anywhere on Goat Island, one can easily view of the American and Horseshoe Falls. At the bottom of the Falls, one can hear the combined thunder and power of the ravaging water which races towards Lake Ontario.

Nearly half a century ago, part of the island was enlarged by a few acres to allow for a parking lot and a helicopter pad. The entire island is surrounded by fast running shallow water and the shore line has no beach soil, but is studded with large rocks and islets.

The island offers a great view of the Niagara Falls from the US side. With the development of a bridge, one can access the island by either walking or by car. The interior of the island is not inhabitable and is largely populated by woody trees and walking trails. On the eastern side of the island, an elevator has been built which can take one to the bottom of the falls and provides an easy access to the Cave of the Winds

Over the past 200 years, great efforts have been made to preserve the status of the island as a State Park. In spite of pressure from the growing economy, the Park has remained untouched by the near by Commerce Industry and it still remains on the oldest State Parks in the US.

The island is easily accessible all year around and the best views of the combined falls are at night, especially during the late summer and early autumn.

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