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The lovely old town of Niagara-on-the-Lake was settled in 1780, and served as the first capital of Upper Canada between 1792 and 1796. Burned down by American forces during the War of 1812, Niagara-on-the-Lake was rebuilt by the English, and its elegant buildings make it one of North America’s best-preserved colonial towns. Today the city’s biggest draw is the Shaw Festival, which presents the works of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries from April through October. As the original Fort George was destroyed in 1812, only the magazine remains, but within the excellent reconstruction, visitors get a vivid picture of early 19th-century ...

The lovely old town of Niagara-on-the-Lake was settled in 1780, and served as the first capital of Upper Canada between 1792 and 1796. Burned down by American forces during the War of 1812, Niagara-on-the-Lake was rebuilt by the English, and its elegant buildings make it one of North America’s best-preserved colonial towns. Today the city’s biggest draw is the Shaw Festival, which presents the works of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries from April through October. As the original Fort George was destroyed in 1812, only the magazine remains, but within the excellent reconstruction, visitors get a vivid picture of early 19th-century garrison life.

In town, behind the century-old storefronts of Queen Street, boutiques, galleries, cafés and pubs keep visitors happily occupied. Along the tree-lined side streets, many homes built before 1840 have been converted into B&Bs or small boutique hotels. Its location within Niagara Peninsula Wine Country ensures an impressive availability of gastronomic experiences.

Joanna Ebbutt
About the Expert

Joanna Ebbutt is the author or editor of three Insight Guides to Toronto and Canada, and coauthor of Off the Beaten Track: Western Canada. She has been writing about travel for three decades, including chasing the aurora borealis in Northern Ontario.

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Joanna Ebbutt for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake is a Canadian town located in southern Ontario where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. It is located across the Niagara River from Youngstown, New York, USA.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, late spring, early fall, Christmas-New Year’s holiday season, winter