Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Have you ever visited Niagara? It is a picturesque region dotted with orchards and wineries that straddles the U.S./Canada border not far from Toronto. Whenever I go, I think of how the Falls must have looked to the native people and the early settlers before all the über-building took place.

Niagara-on-the-Lake travel

Because we’ve seen Niagara Falls before, we tend to bypass it and go straight to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Here you can have a walk or bike ride through the strip of parkland on the Niagara parkway. Along this long stretch from the Falls, and Queenston Heights to Niagara-on-the-Lake, you can have a picnic; look at the Niagara River gorge; buy local fruit and vegetables from the orchards; visit one or two wineries; and when you get close to the town, have an elegant lunch or dinner at a restaurant or a small hotel like the Riverbend Inn.

Niagara-on-the-Lake,Niagara-on-the-Lake garden
A discreet peek through the shrubbery at a private garden with a fountain

Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL), then known as Newark, was the original capital of Upper Canada (Ontario) having the first Upper Canada legislature in 1792. The first anti-slavery legislation in the British Empire was passed here in 1793. At the end of the American Revolution it was settled by Loyalists coming to Upper Canada. Later during the war of 1812 fierce fighting took place here.

Charles Inn Niagara-on-the-Lake,Norbridge Tableware Collectors' Circle
The perfect place for dinner, The Charles Inn built in 1832

The Charles Inn Niagara-on-the-Lake,Norbridge Tableware Collectors' Circle
The verandah at The Charles Inn

The Charles Inn Niagara-on-the-Lake,Norbridge Tableware Collectors' Circle
The view from the verandah at The Charles Inn

PhotobucketTurn over the plate,Niagara-on-the-Lake,Niagara travel,Norbridge Antiques
As a member of the Norbridge Tableware Collectors' Circle, I turned over the plate to examine the marks You can join here. The Charles Inn uses Tafelstern dinnerware, Germany.

We always take time to walk or ride bicycles through the quiet old streets of the town that have a predominately Georgian look and style. Some of Georgian heritage houses were rebuilt just after the war of 1812. There are also beautiful Victorian houses, as well as others of attractive mixed styles.


We like to go to the live theatre in NOTL at least once during the summer. It is the home of the Shaw Festival, a live theatre company that presents the work of George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and playwrights writing anywhere in the world during that time. This time we enjoyed Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband".

Niagara-on-the-Lake Niagara River,Queen's Landing
A view of the Niagara River from The Queen's Landing Inn at lunch on a rainy day.

Turn over the plate,Norbridge Tableware Collectors' Circle
Yes, as a member of the Norbridge Tableware Collectors' Circle, I did "Turn over the Plate". The Queen's Landing uses Oneida Espree restaurant ware, USA. Get permission to check the hallmarks wherever you go by becoming a member,
click to join--it's free.

Queen's Landing library,Niagara-on-the-Lake,Norbridge Tableware Collectors' Circle,Norbridge Antiques
The library at the Queen's Landing has a masculine décor.

Niagara-on-the-Lake,Niagara-on--the-Lake Golf Club,Norbridge Tableware Collectors' Circle

Sometimes we have a round of golf at the oldest golf course in North America on the shores of Lake Ontario near the Niagara River outlet into Lake Ontario.

Fort Niagara,Lake Ontario,Niagara River,Niagara-on-the-Lake
View from the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club patio, the outlet of the Niagara River into Lake Ontario. Fort Niagara in Youngstown NY is across the way.


  1. I'm ready for a trip to Niagara with you! I think heaven would be sitting on the veranda of the Charles Inn and sipping a cup of tea.
    So much fun to follow your blog posts, Juliane. Thanks for another great one.

  2. Catherine, I would love to go to Niagara with you one day. It would be so much fun.
    Kind regards,

  3. I visited Niagara Falls back in 2004 when I lived in Pittsburgh. It was just a 4 hour drive but an amazing one! I didn't have a digital camera then so I missed out on a ton of pictures. I hope to get back there one day soon!

  4. I've always wanted to go there; on my "list" so I appreciate the sneak peek at its beauty.


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