Niagara-on-the-Lake Travel Blog› entry 5 of 9 › view all entries
On Thursday, we planned to venture further up the Niagara Parkway to Niagara-on-the-Lake. This is a true parkway as it parallels the Niagara Parks Comission park its entire length. First stop was the Floral Clock. The Floral Clock is a 40-foot wide operating clock. It's been in operation since 1952, originally by Niagara Hydro and now by Niagara Parks. There is a different planting theme and floral design for the clock each year. In 2005, the theme was Scouting, celebrating the centennial of the founding of Boy Scouts in the UK. Behind the clock, a room contains a display of color photos of all of the annual floral designs back to the beginning.
On up the parkway was Queenston Heights. The Brock Monument is located here on a hill overlooking the river.
The Queenston Heights restaurant is nearby. We ate lunch at this very nice restaurant with a commanding view of the Niagara River below. A wine tasting was in progress as we left, but we did not tarry.
Below Queenston Heights is the Laura Secord Homestead historic site. Laura Secord is a Canadian patriot and heroine. She was an American from Massachusetts who married a French Canadian and settled in what was then known as Upper Canada. During the War of 1812, invading Amercan troops bivouacked at her farm. She oveheard their plans and journeyed through the night to warn the British Army of the American advance.
The region contains many farms today. We stopped at Kurtz Orchards to sample the region's products and learn about the Ontario wine industry. The shop at Kurtz displays a panoply of Ontario wines and jellies, preseves, spreads, and syrups made from locally grown fruits and vegetables. There were numerous tasting stations and we enjoyed trying out many delicious varieties of preserves. Especially noteworthy were the Ontario wine preserves! We bought a few bottles and jars to take home and for gifts.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a verry pretty community right at the mouth of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Hanging flower baskets line the main street, giving an air of comminity pride and tidiness.
Fort George is a Canadian National Historic Site. It's located on the Niagara River near its mouth, almost directly across from Old Fort Niagara on the New York side. There's a reason for this. Fort George was built by the British in the 1790s to replace Fort Niagara, turned over to the United States at the end of the Revolutionary War. (Old Fort Niagara, in New York state, is also a historic site open for visitors.) As you enter Fort George, a large brass artillery aiming device invites the visitor to draw a bead on Old Fort Niagara right across the river and the border. The two forts did bombard one another during the War of 1812. Bunkhouses, the officer's quarters, and other structures have been restored and furnished and contain interpretive displays. During our visit, a fife and drum corps in period costume put on a performance.