Niagara Falls is known for its natural attractions, there are also several well-maintained heritage and historical structures in and around the city. Those looking to explore the region’s history can take an educational and inspirational tour of these places.
Old Fort Erie
A National Historic Site, Old Fort Erie has a connection with the War of 1812 and was the location of Canada’s Bloodiest battle. The fort was destroyed in 1814. Many years later, the reconstructed fort was reopened in 1939.
There are daily tours with costumed staff who share interesting information and stories about the fort and that era. Go back in time as you walk on the ground that was once the site of a bloody battle. Every August, there is a re-enactment of the Siege of Old Fort Erie. At the Welcome Center, you can further explore the fort’s history through the exhibits.
A wonderful Georgian structure built in 1800, the McFarland House played an important role in the War of 1812. It was the house of a Scottish immigrant John McFarland and his family. During the war, it was used as a hospital for British and American troops. The British troops initiated their capture of Fort Niagara in 1813 from a ravine behind the house. You can take a tour of the renovated house accompanied by a costumed guide. A conservatory tea room with an excellent menu, playground facilities and a covered picnic pavilion are some of the amenities at the house.
Laura Secord Homestead
A tale of immense courage, Laura Secord’s story began at her home in Queenston on June 21, 1813. She overheard American officers planning to capture a British outpost located 32 km away. Brave Laura travelled all those kilometres on foot across hard terrain to inform the British men at the outpost. Due to her courage, the British were able to mobilize troops and defeat the Americans at the Battle of Beaver Dams.
You can take a tour of the historic Laura Secord Homestead with costumed guides for company. Learn all about Laura Secord and the history of the area. Light refreshments are served and a range of souvenirs are also available.
The printery located in Niagara-on-the-Lake was once the home of rebel leader William Lyon Mackenzie who published and edited Colonial Advocate. Go for a guided tour and take a look at 500 years of printing technology. The restored limestone building functions as a museum. It also houses the Louis Roy Press–Canada’s oldest press (an original wooden one)–dating back to about 1770. See a working linotype plus eight operating heritage presses, get a hands-on printing experience and print a bookmark as well!
Other historic sites
You can also visit the other historical sites: Battle of Chippawa, Brock’s Monument, head to Fort George or see some of the numerous plaques and markers that commemorate various historic events and people.