Blue Ghost Tunnel

Constructed in 1876 out of limestone blocks, the Great Western Railway was built in order to allow trains to travel underneath the 3rd Western Canal.

This railway, located at GM Glendale- Gate 12, was active until 1915, when the tunnel was abandoned due to frequent use of the 4th Welland Canal. At this point, the GWR Tunnel’s greatest use was providing a shortcut for local farmers.

Acting as reservoir to their respective canals, locals began building man-made ponds near every canal in 1903. However, building the pond for the 3rd Welland Canal became troublesome as the builders were forced to relocate the St. Peters Church Cemetery. It is believed that only 250 graves were removed, leaving behind over 500 dead bodies to rest beneath the brand new reservoir.

Though there are no records of any deaths from within, the tunnel known as the Blue Ghost Tunnel has seen its fair share of violence. Two trainmen lost their lives after their trains had collided just yards beyond the tunnel in 1903. An accident in 1912, at the tunnel’s 22nd lock, forced portions of the tunnel to break, drowning two boys caught gallivanting in the tunnel.

It has been reported that while listening to the tunnel, the sobbing cries of a young boy can be heard along with whistling. Though some reports speak of confusing drops of water from the melting ice with whistling, other reports have mentioned that the whistling hummed a very specific tune. Conversations have been heard coming from the tunnel’s east end, and music, early 20th century music described as coming from an old music box has been heard as well.

One patron who dared to enter took a photograph of the mouth of the tunnel, captioning a strange blue mist surrounded by a cloud of white mist. It is unknown whether or not the photograph had anything to do with the tunnel’s nickname of the Blue Ghost Tunnel.

by Chase Kell

Shaw Theatre

The world renowned theater company, Shaw Festival has built it’s reputation on committed exploration of celebrated produced works by Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries, and with the technical skill, fluency and style of it’s acting ensemble and top notch production values.

In 2000, the theatre’s mandate was expanded to include work written about the time period of Shaw’s lifetime which was 1856 to 1950. Jackie Maxwell has committed to explore the mandate
in new ways, including, but not limited to producing international and Canadian plays along with a new rendering of classic texts and new plays for the Festival. Ms. Maxwell is now in her fourth season as artistic director.

Each season, ten productions are presented. They encompass three individual theatres which include; the Festival Theatre, the Court House and the Royal George. All three are located in Niagara on the Lake.

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Merritt House

Located on Yates Street, the Merritt House was built in the 1820s and owned by Mr. William Hamilton Merritt, the builder of the Welland Canal. Fire destroyed the house in 1858 and the second version of the beautiful white house was built approximately two years following.

From 1918 to 1930, in the midst of the First World War, the house’s main purpose was serving as a recuperating rest stop for those in the military. Shortly after the war, the house briefly served as an Inn and a brewery before transforming into a radio station.

Perhaps the most fascinating detail of this house lies underground, where tunnels were built to connect the main building with the carriage house. As one extension of the tunnel ran north right up to the river, another extension emerged next to the river in the very location that the Burgoyne Bridge stands today. Originally serving a large role in the underground railroad, these tunnels were made very useful to bootleggers during the Prohibition, but for safety reasons were filled in and sealed up in 1967.

Yet underground tunnels and a prominent history are not all that this house is well known for. Several reports of ghost like activity in recent decades have lead many to believe that this house is still someone’s home.

Doors that open and shut by themselves. Trophies, chairs, cups and other random objects have been seen moving from one spot to another by translucent hands. Electrical equipment has been known to malfunction, including radios broadcasting peculiar sounds such as bells, a sighing woman and a man laughing.

Apparitions of a woman standing in the former waiting room, which today is a studio, as well as a man standing before the studio doors until vanishing have also been reported.

Some have even spoken of an aura, a strange feeling as if something was trying to restrict their movements. The sounds of a baby crying hysterically from a room on the second floor have been reported as well, hinting to some that there is some form of life, or lack there of, that refuses to leave this house.

by: Chase Kell

Drummond Hill

At the corner of Drummond Rd and Lundy’s lane, in the heart Niagara, lies one of the most notoriously haunted cemeteries north of the boarder.

The oldest tombstone at the Drummond Hill Cemetery dates as far back as 1797, a time when the small wooden structure that sits nearby stood tall as the Drummond Hill Presbyterian Church.

The church was destroyed in 1814 during the infamous Battle of Lundy’s Lane, a six-hour battle in which Lieutenant General Gordon Drummond and his troops successfully thwarted an attack from the rival Americans.

As the story goes, the ghosts of five injured soldiers have been seen limping their way through the former battlefield, fading off into the distance. The apparition of three gun blazed British soldiers, marching their way up the hill towards the Lundy House has also been reported.

May the faint of heart be forewarned.

by: Chase Kell

Victoria Day Fireworks Niagara Falls

fireworks niagara
Opening night fireworks for May long weekend.

Experience Victoria Day fireworks in Niagara Falls this weekend as we celebrate another holiday in Niagara and the surrounding Region. With good weather in the forecast this long weekend, visitors and tourist to the Falls will be enjoying the many family attractions and events the area has to offer. Here are some recommended links we’ve curated for you to help plan your holiday visit this weekend in Niagara Falls.

Celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Queen Victoria Park | Niagara

http://blog.niagaraparks.comMon, 13 May 2013 19:38:07 GMT

Since opening on May 24, 1888, Queen Victoria Park has been the heart of Niagara Parks, playing a vital role in preserving the rich heritage and natural beauty of Niagara Falls. To mark the historic 125th anniversary of the … and beautifully maintained gardens. According to the Annual Report of the Commission in 1888, Queen Victoria Park was opened to the public on the 24th day of May in honour of the 69th birthday of Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria.

GO trains return to Niagara Falls again this summer, Victoria Day

http://transit.toronto.on.caSun, 21 Apr 2013 21:56:25 GMT

GO Transit is again offering seasonal GO train service between Niagara Falls and Toronto. This year, the service is available during the Victoria Day long weekend, Friday, May 17 until Victoria Day, Monday, May 20, then …

Niagara Parks plans party, photo contest to mark 125th anniversary

http://www.bulletnewsniagara.caWed, 15 May 2013 09:00:59 GMT

Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2E 6T2, Canada. Several special events to commemorate the opening of Queen Victoria Park have also been planned to coincide with the Victoria Day holiday weekend, including: Friday, May 17 …

Victoria Day Weekend in Niagara Falls – Niagara Falls Blog

http://www.cliftonhill.com/Apr 22

The holiday has been observed since before Canada was formed, originally falling on the sovereign’s actual birthday, and continues to be celebrated in various fashions across the country on the fixed date.

 

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St. Johns Conservation

Twelve Mile Creek is Niagara’s only cold-water creek, and the 28-hectare St. Johns Conservation Area protects the headwaters of one of its tributaries. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority built a .75 hectare trout pond on the creek. The public are welcome to fish for rainbow trout in the smaller spring-fed pond. A wheelchair accessible path and boardwalk encircles the pond.

Watch for tadpoles, frogs and painted turtles along the way.
Several well-marked trails guide visitors through this breathtaking, mature Carolinian forest. Boardwalks rise above wet areas covered with skunk cabbage. The diversity of foliage is amazing with an abundance of ferns, more than 400 species of vascular plants and 80 mushrooms species growing here.

This lush Escarpment woodland will take your breath away. St. Johns Conservation Area is located near Fonthill. From Regional Road 20, take North Pelham Road to Hollow Road.

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Battle Ground Museum

The Battle Ground Hotel Museum is situated on the historic grounds of the War of 1812 Lundy’s Lane Battlefield. The building was initially constructed as a home in the early 1800’s.

However, even at that time, it was noted by the future owners that the place had the making of a great tourist attraction and thus was later converted into a tavern and inn. The interior of the building combines architecture details from both the Regency and Classical Revival style of the mid 1800’s.

Each of the rooms allows the visitors to go back in time and imagine the taverns of the early and mid 19th Century. In addition, costumed guards also provide details about the War of 1812.

Over the past few decades, the Battle Ground Hotel has undergone numerous reconstructions and revisions to help restore the artifacts relating to the early years of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, and the legacy of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

Situated across from Battle Ground Hotel is the Drummond Hill Cemetery, an important historic site where the War of 1812 was fought and the resting place for Laura Secord. A monument commemorating the Battle of Lundy’s Lane is also located at this historic site.

The Battle Ground Hotel is open daily from May 1st to October 31st. During the winter months, the site is open by appointment. The museum is located at 6151 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls. For visits, one can phone 905-358_Ì5082

Victoria Park

Niagara has many parks and one of the most well known is Queen Victoria Park. It is located in the middle of downtown Niagara very close to the Canadian side of the Horseshoe Falls. Like its Royal name, the Park has all the appearances of being Regal.

The park has immaculate lawns and well manicured gardens. With every season, the garden is surrounded by the flowers of the season that may include tulips, fuchsia, lantanas, magnolias or daffodils. Walking through the garden one becomes familiar with the various garden themes in the Park which include a Rose garden, a Rock garden and an international collection of plants.

Autumn brings about the annual falling of the leaves and reveals another serene aspect of the Park. When it snows in winter, the icicles can be seen on all the twigs and the bare tree branches- giving an appearance of absolute solitude.

The park has all the facilities for tourist and the pristine lanes allow for a leisurely stroll. When one is tired, there are ample park benches located in the shade.

In the summer, the annual fireworks are always on display each night and there is no place better than the Park to catch the glamour of the Niagara skyline in the background.

Like most of Niagara Parks, it is well illuminated very attractively at night. The best time to visit the park is early morning or late in the afternoon. The park offers an excellent view of the majestic Falls and its roaring waters going over the Falls.

For those who are tired after a long day of walking and sight seeing, the nearby Queen Victoria restaurant provides a relaxing atmosphere with all its serenity.

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Oakes Garden

In 1932, when the Clifton hotel was destroyed by fire, the gutted site was purchased by Sir Harry Oakes. This property bought by Mr. Oakes is today located on the south side of Clifton Hill. Oakes then rebuilt the basic foundations and constructed the amphitheater.

Over the ensuing years, the natural landscape with its splendid backdrop to the Falls led to the development of the gardens. The amphitheater has all the resemblance of the Roman architecture and the immaculate gardens reflect all what is native to Canada. The gardens are surrounded by limestone and well paved lanes. The reconstructed spiral staircases with painted steps lead directly to the Falls.

In the late summer, there is no view like it and rivals some of the best images seen in Canada. The Oakes Garden is one of Niagara’s most beautiful and inspiring place. It makes one oblivious of the city’s congestion, traffic and offers a, quiet place to sit and reflect, and a presents a vision of soft colors and fragrance.

The gardens display a diverse and unique collection of plants, landscape features, and culture heritages. They reflect the human effort to create a harmonious blend of nature and art. In addition to beauty and comfort, these gardens also provide education and conservation opportunities. They are the sparkling jewels within the Niagara Falls Park System. Admission is free and there is ample parking.

Hawley House

Built as two separate buildings in 1796, the Hawley-Beckenridge House underwent massive renovations in order to merge the buildings into the beautiful house that exists today.

This location on Mississauga Road played a large role in the underground railroad as several freed slaves found temporary refuge in the house. In fact, it is believed that at least six of those very slaves were buried in the backyard.

Yet despite the fact that the house aided many in their struggle to live free lives, the house continues to exist with an aura that is not as positive. Though it cannot be confirmed that the bodies buried in the backyard are at all responsible, frequent reports lead many to believe that the spirits of several angered slaves may still be living inside the house.

Unwelcome guests are often greeted at the house by the slamming of doors, where no one was there to do so. The large brass knocker on the front door is often repeatedly banged with brute force, and some have answered a knocking at the back door only to find that no one was there.

Apparitions such as a woman dawning a long, flowing dress, briefly seen before she disappears in a puff of smoke have plagued this house. What can only be described as a smoky, foggy-like figure has been seen standing at the foot of the stairs and a woman, appearing to be in her mid 30s, clothed in a bonnet and a long dress is often briefly glimpsed at prior to disappearing right before the fireplace.

by: Chase Kell

Niagara on the Lake

Niagara on the Lake is often called the loveliest town in Ontario and also an picturesque commercial centre with many shops and dining destinations among beautiful old homes lining the tree-shaded streets. Niagara on the Lake offers many attractions including historical sites like Fort George and the Historical Society Museum, theatres, the heritage business district, golf courses, parks, markets, and the world-famous Niagara wineries. Niagara on the Lake is located at the south shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River and can be reached via highway from all of Ontario and the northeastern USA.

Niagara on the Lake : Bike Rentals

Biking is a must do experience during your visit on Niagara on the Lake. Rental rates are $20 for half day or 3 hours and $30 for full day until dark. Long term rentals are also available from 2 days to 7 days with prices ranging from $50 to $105. All bikes have baskets, water bottle cages, kickstands, helmets, bike locks and maps all included in the rental price.

Mystery on the Lake

Mystery on the Lake: The Secret of Butlersburg is an interactive theatre where the audience can interact with actors in secret locations around Niagara on the Lake. It is more of a mystery as the starting location is also kept a secret. It is like a walking tour, scavenger hunt and historical puzzle all rolled into one as you will be walking and discover other sides of town, hunting down clues and trying to solve the mystery, and lastly, you will be learning more about the town’s history. Sampling of local food and beverages and admission to two of Niagara on the Lake’s premier historical attractions is also included.

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Woodend Conservation

Atop the Escarpment is Woodend Conservation Area, a 45 hectare site for hiking and cross-country skiing. The Bruce Trail and other trails traverse the property. The Silurian Trail lines the Escarpment edge, looking out over the Niagara Peninsula.

Views are best in fall and winter, when the trees are bare. For hikers, summer foliage of the large deciduous trees muffles the roar of the QEW below. One is then able to appreciate songs of hermit thrushes, vireos and winter wrens.

In 1798, the United Empire Loyalist family of Peter Lampman settled what is now Woodend. The Canadian poet, Archibald Lampman, is a descendant. Subsequent family members built the present-day house in 1931. Now renamed the Woodend Environmental Centre, the house provides outdoor education opportunities for students of the District School Board of Niagara.

Woodend Conservation Area is operated by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA). Come to Woodend via the Glendale exit (38) from the QEW to Regional Road 70 (Beechwood Road). Drive up the Escarpment and watch for the Conservation Area signs.

Maid of the Mist

The Maid of the Mist is a historic journey on a modified Double Decker boat that takes you so close to the Falls; so close to the Falls that one can literally touch the raging waters. Even since the Falls became a tourist attraction, the Maid of the Mist has become a traditional boat ride. One should not leave Niagara falls without taking this incredible boat ride. Even though it appears scary, the ride reveals the might of the massive water falls, the roar of the water tumbling over the edge and the deafening sound.

The boat gets so close to the bottom of the Falls that one can feel the thunder of the noise all around. The force of the water falls and the tumultuous amount of water raging around is an incredible feeling. Despite the rushing water and large waves, the boat is very stable and most individuals have no complaints of motion sickness.

As the boat nears the base of the Falls, there is an incredible feeling of awe and just sheer might of the water. The splashing of the water produces a misty breeze which completely soaks everything in sight and can even obscure the view at times.

The modified boats have been making these daily trips for decades and have powerful engines that can ride against the powerful Niagara river current. Before the boat ride, everyone is given souvenir yellow rain ponchos. These are a must because one is sure to get soaked otherwise.

The Boat ride is available from both the Canadian and American side of the Falls. From the Canadian side, the directions to the boat ride are found along side Clifton Hill. After the boat trip, there is a gift shop and fast food outlet for some hot coffee.

The Maid of the Mist runs from Easter to end of Summer. The rides start at 7.30 am and continue until late evening.

Tickets to the Maid of the Mist are available at the docking site at the foot of Clifton Hill. The ticket price for adult is $14 and $9 for children. The pathway leading to the Dock and the Boat allow for wheel chair and strollers.

Because of the difficulty with parking, it is best to leave the car at the designated car park area and take the People Mover (rapid transit) which operates every 5-10 minutes and transports individuals along the entire length of the Falls.

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Cham Shan Temple

The Ten Thousand Buddha Temple of Peace is a Mahagana Buddhist temple rising seven stories towards the heavens, while sitting on 3 peaceful acres. Dedicated to the furtherance of Buddhist principles, the structure is adorned with a variety of statues and paintings.The building is not only an example of Asian architecture but also functions as a place of worship. Services are held morning, midday, and afternoon, and visitors are asked to respect persons of faith paying reverence at Cham Shan.

Open to the public. Morning and evening services daily. Free guided tour of the 7 story Stupa on Saturdays and Sundays from June to October. Gift shop of Buddhist arts and crafts.

Free Admission!

Niagara Falls Skywheel

175 feet above the falls, the Niagara Skywheel is the newest way to see the falls. Now open – Soar the skies in the a ferris wheel above Niagara Falls for the most spectacular view you will ever experience.

42 state-of-art gondolas are heated and air conditioned to allow for year-round enjoyment. Enjoy the 15 min view of the Niagara Falls in a climate controlled environment which seats six people.

Admission: Adult $9.99 Child $5.99

Location: 4946 Clifton Hill

Keefer Mansion

The Keefer Mansion, built in 1886, was the home of the Keefer family, who were well known as brilliant engineers during the 19th century. The mansion was built on the very same property that the American’s occupied with a hospital during the war of 1812.

Since the Keefer family, the mansion has been used for several ventures including a mental institution, a bar, a hospital, apartment buildings and most recently, the Maplehurst Retirement Home.

In its early years, the mansion played a large role in the underground railroad as it is believed that hidden tunnels were built within the mansion’s walls.

As this prominent mansion is well known for many things, housing ghosts and spirits apparently is one of them. In preparation for the mansion’s latest venture, a bed and breakfast opened in 2005, city officials hired two mediums to attempt to remove the reported spirits.

Perhaps these spirits are responsible for the footsteps often heard from inside one of the rooms upstairs, as well as the frequent banging from the staircase. Faucets turn themselves on and off, and the hanging smell of smoke from a pipe often lingers in the basement, where apparitions of various ghost like figures have been spotted. The sounds of a gate, squealing as if being opened and closed repeatedly have been reported as well.

by: Chase Kell

Niagara Duty Free


Niagara Falls Duty Free Shopping

The Niagara Falls Area is home to three international bridges between Canada and the United States, where approximately 12 million vehicle crossings take place every year. It’s not surprising that duty-free shopping is so popular. Here’s how to make the most of your duty-free dollar.

Substantial savings on liquor, wines and beer, tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco, jewelry, fine chocolate, perfumes and many other items are on sale at the duty-free outlets at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, and the Peace Bridge. Most liquors still sell at duty free shops for 30 to 50% off their Canadian retail price. Perfumes are available at 30 to 60 per cent off the retail list price.

To make your duty-free shopping even more affordable, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission has also just lowered the Canadian toll rate on the bridges to $3.75 from $4.00. Frequent travellers in the Niagara Region who cross into the USA can benefit from a lower-cost ExpressPass rate. Each crossing is now $3.20.

At the Rainbow Bridge, visit Niagara Duty Free Shop at 5726 Niagara Falls Blvd. The Queenston-Lewiston Duty Free Shop is on Highway 405 adjacent to the bridge, and the Peace Bridge Duty Free Shop is just off Central Avenue.  You can rest assured you are purchasing duty-free liquors, tobacco, perfumes and other specialty goods from sellers authorized by both the Canadian and United States Governments. The Duty Free outlets also offer restrooms and refreshments, and currency exchange.

Be aware of your entitlements to duty-free goods. You must be out of your home country (Canada or USA) for 48 full hours before you may bring home any goods duty free.

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Skylon Tower

The Skylon Tower is the tallest structure in Niagara Falls, Canada. It is also the most famous landmark in Niagara as it overlooks both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. The tower is located in the heart of the hotel, dining, and entertainment district just steps away from the Falls and across the Fallsview Casino. They offer a Ride-to-the-Top attraction aboard any of the three exterior glass-enclosed “Yellow Bug Elevators” in just 52 seconds where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Niagara Falls, the Great Gorge, the Niagara wine district and the city skylines of Buffalo, New York and Toronto, Canada. It is also considered as the highest vantage point in Niagara where you can see 8000 square miles of Canada and the United States.

At the top of the Skylon Tower are two restaurants, the first is the lower Revolving Dining Room and the other is the upper Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room. The Revolving Dining Room can seat up to 276 people and silently revolves once every hour. There are also indoor and outdoor observation decks at the tower’s summit and the base of the tower features some gift shops, fast food restaurants and an amusement arcade.

Showing only in the Skylon Tower’s new 60 sit motion theater, t he Skylon Tower also features the all new 3D / 4D Falls Movie – “Legends of Niagara Falls” where you can experience the power of the Falls up close in amazing 3D/ 4D effects . It is also home to the Skylon Family Fun Center which is the largest indoor entertainment center in Niagara Falls. It features high-tech interactive games and rides for all ages. Most attractions that are found in the Skylon Tower are open daily all year round.

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Haunted Niagara

“Haunted tales of Trails of blood streaming down the driveway of the Victorian style mansion known as the Pink Palace in Silvertown, Niagara Falls. Also local accounts of innjured uniformed 1812 soldiers limpimg their way up the hill of the Drummond Hill Cemetery. With dishes that often rattle from within the cupboards of the Angel Inn.”

Reported apparitions and encounters such as these have allowed many to believe that Niagara is just as much dead, as it is alive.

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Niagara’s Fury at Falls

Inside the stunning new Niagara Falls entertainment complex Niagara’s Fury begins with a capitvating family friendly pre-show that tells the story of Niagara’s monumentous creation. Then enter the circular theater to see and actually feel the sensations of Niagara’s birth in an onslaught of site and sounds.

You will be humbled by the vast magnitude of Niagara Falls’ power and beauty. Be part of nature’s fury as monstrous glaciers crash and splash around while you see and feel thunder, rain, lighting, wind, fresh water spray, and even snow! Then plunge sway, and soar toward the unforgettable moment when Niagara’s Fury and beauty is revealed in a thrilling multi sensory climax featuring amazing aerial visuals you can’t see anywhere else.

Niagara’s Fury is an world-class immersive and dramatic experience. This multi-sensory attraction allows visitors to feel and appreciate the wonder of nature in a whole new way. Be immersed in the marvelous birth of Niagara Falls and experience the amazing new Niagara’s Fury attraction at Niagara Falls Canada.

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