Niagara on the Lake

Travel Guide North America Canada Ontario Niagara on the Lake



Niagara on the Lake

Niagara on the Lake

© stevieh

No visit to Niagara Falls should be considered complete without a short trip to the town of Niagara on the Lake.

Originally a settlement established by the British and populated partly by loyalists fleeing the United States during the revolution, Niagara on the Lake Ontario is now a tourist attraction in its own right, and the polar opposite of the commercialised 'in-your-face' nature of Niagara Falls. Rebuilt after being destroyed by the Americans in 1812, the town retains its historical feel, and was voted the Prettiest Town in Canada in 1996.




  • The Old Town is the central area running north and south from Queen Street. Here you'll find the main shopping area, two theatres, the lakeside park/beach and many historic homes.



Sights and Activities

  • Shaw Festival Theatre - This is the town's biggest tourist attraction. The theatre company produces around 10 shows per year, running from April to October. Many of the plays are the works of George Bernard Shaw, but other playwrights are produced as well, including contemporary Canadian writers.
  • Art galleries - Scattered around the Old Town are several private art galleries featuring the work of local artists.
  • Ice Wine Festival takes place in the heart of the Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake in January every year. Sample wines, taste local cuisine and listen to jazz musicians playing in the street. Events at local wineries as well.




Niagara on the Lake enjoys warm summers from May to September with temperatures usually between 20 and 25 °C during the day and about 10 degrees colder at night. Highs of 35 °C are possible though and sometimes it can be downright humid during summer. Heavy rainshowers are possible as well.
Winters last from December to February though it's normally not as cold compared to places more to the north of Ontario. It's mostly around zero during the day and frost at night is common though it rarely gets below -15 °C. Snow is common during these months, though during warmer winters rain is possible as well.



Getting There

By Plane

Buffalo Airport (BUF) is the nearest airport, with a number of flights throughout the USA. Toronto Pearson International Airport has many more international flights though and is located within Canada, thus avoiding crossing borders.

By Train

The Empire Service travels from New York City to Niagara Falls in the USA. The Maple Leaf continues to Toronto. In both cases you need to get onward transport to Niagara on the Lake by bus/car.

By Car

Niagara-on-the-Lake is about a 15 minute drive north of Niagara Falls, and a little over an hour by car from Toronto.

By Bus

There is no direct public transit from Toronto or Niagara Falls.




The Old Town has many restaurants and wine bars. For a summer lunch on a backyard patio, try the Epicurean, or for a pub lunch try the Angel Inn (reputed to be haunted).




Niagara-on-the-Lake is in the heart of wine country. Guided wine tours are available by van, private car or even bike. Maps are available for independent travellers.




Keep Connected


Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.


See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.


Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.

The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 43.254999
  • Longitude: -79.077262

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This is version 28. Last edited at 3:02 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 2 articles link to this page.

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