Explore This Quaint Town
Niagara on the Lake is home to the world class theatre the "Shaw Festival" and many historical sites. Only a few minutes from Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint location to get that true authentic ‘Niagara’ feel. "Niagara-on-the-Lake is a village of firsts", is an excellent article written by George Bailey.
The town is home to the Shaw Festival, a series of theatrical productions featuring the works of George Bernard Shaw, his contemporaries, or plays about his era (1856–1950), running from April to November. The festival operates three theatres in the centre of town: the Festival, Royal George, and Court House theatres, and features one of a repertory acting company, scenic staff, and collection of resident and guest directors considered some of the best in the English-speaking world. The Shaw Festival is a signature experience of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
A LITTLE NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE HISTORY
Niagara-on-the-Lake was originally known as Butlersburg, in honour of Colonel John Butler, the commander of Butler’s Rangers.
The Town received an official status in 1781 when it became known as Newark, a British military site and haven for British loyalists fleeing the United States in the volatile aftermath of the American Revolution. Later, it changed names again, this time to Niagara.
Niagara was named the first capitol of Upper Canada (now the province of Ontario), and the first provincial parliament was convened at Navy Hall in 1792 by Lieutenant-Govenor John Graves Simcoe.
During the War of 1812, the capitol was moved to York (later to be renamed as Toronto) so as to be farther from the areas of combat.
The Town played a central part in the War or 1812. It was taken by American forces after a two day bombardment by cannons from Fort Niagara and the American Fleet, followed by a bloody battle.
Later in the war the Town was razed and burnt to the ground by American soldiers as they withdrew to Fort Niagara. Undaunted by this setback, the citizens rebuilt the Town after the War, with the residential quarter around Queen Street and toward King Street, where the new Court House was rebuilt out of firing range of the cannons of Fort Niagara.