Noted for its beautifully maintained heritage buildings, the town is the site of the province's first newspaper, the first lending library, the first parliament of the region, and the first historical museum . It is now a favorite tourist destination, not only for such historic sites but also for the world-renowned Shaw Festival , the lovely parks, and the area's vineyards and wineries.
Niagara-on-the-Lake's Queen Street is postcard pretty and just drips with flowers in spring, summe,r and fall. It's also the main shopping area. There's a clock tower in the middle of the street built in 1922 to commemorate the 10 soldiers from there who lost their lives in WWI. Very near it is an old apothecary open to the public. Niagara-On-The-Lake, including Queen Street, has the designation of being burnt to the ground in 1813 by American forces and completely re-built with stately homes and buildings. The Town has been designated in the past as the prettiest town in Canada.
This is a great street because
- It is impeccably maintained with flower beds to rival beautiful gardens down both sides of the street
- The restaurants and hotels are some of the highest-rated in Canada
- The street is like stepping back in time with old perfectly maintained buildings and architecture. Local history (Upper Canada/War of 1812) is well represented with plaques and walking tours.
- The sidewalks are wide to accommodate lots of visitor traffic
- The "candle-light" stroll occurs every December down Queen street with thousands of tourists carrying candles and singing carols.
The Town of Niagara-On-The-Lake, historical groups, and museums ensure that the historical significance is not lost. The street will be commemorated in 2013 (bi-centennial) for the Occupation of the Town by American Forces during the War of 1812. The Town will be celebrating 200 years of peace and the street will be converted to show the American influence during the occupation with American flags and soldiers patrolling the street to attract Canadian and American tourists to this significant site.
All buildings or re-builds need to maintain the historic architecture of the past. No neon lights, no street advertising, and the flowers line the street from spring to fall annually.
Queen Street is a major tourist draw to Niagara for its shopping and historical buildings, bringing 4 million visitors annually. It is like stepping back in time at each visit.