There is so much to see, do, and experience in Canada in 2017 as it is the country’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. Several events have been lined up across the nation and people can enjoy interesting activities during the celebrations. One such wonderful initiative is the Parks Canada Discovery Pass experience. The pass enables people to visit National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites operated by Parks Canada absolutely free of cost. It’s a great way to discover the natural and historic aspects of the country and enjoy a self-guided tour to these amazing places.
Here are some details about the Discovery Pass…
Niagara 150 Discovery Pass Details
- The pass enables people to visit only those sites managed by Parks Canada. The pass is valid throughout 2017.
- Each group visiting any of the sites requires only one pass as long as they are in one vehicle or arriving together.
- Visitors to the sites should display the pass on the rear view mirror front side up. The other option is to place it front-facing on the dashboard on the driver’s side.
- Fees for camping, separate tours and parking are not included in the Discovery Pass.
The Niagara region especially Niagara-on-the-Lake is an interesting place for people visiting the town to enjoy a Canada 150 tour.
Check out these historic sites for free by going on a self-guided tour with your Discovery Pass.
Niagara 150 Discovery Pass Locations
Fort George Battlefield
A national historic site maintained by Parks Canada, Fort George played a vital role during the War of 1812. The military structure was used to defend Upper Canada during the war. It was conquered by the American troops and was reconquered later by the British.
After it fell into ruin in the 1820s, the fort was reconstructed and serves as a museum today. A popular attraction with visitors, a tour of the fort enables you to see the various sections that were once a part of the structure. A stone powder magazine from the original fort has survived after all these years and can be seen by visitors. The reconstruction enables you to see the living quarters of the officers and other men. Back then, the fort was a hub of activity with log blockhouses, a hospital, workshops, kitchens and a guardhouse.
A major attraction for visitors today is the re-enactment of the war. You can watch as soldiers in smart uniforms listen to their sergeant talking about the Brown Bess musket used in the war. As part of the act, the soldiers also raise their guns in the air and fire. You too can join the role play by donning the uniform and firing a Brown Bess musket. Military music too is an intrinsic part of the activity, and a great place to visit during Niagara 150.
Butler’s Barracks is a symbol of hundreds of years of military history and a great site for visitors to experience a slice of history. At the site, you can also visit the Lincoln and Welland Regimental Museum and view the exhibits. Several historic displays including photographs, weapons, medals, uniforms and much more can be seen in the museum.
The original barracks were constructed in 1778 along the Niagara River. It was used by John Butler, an officer who headed the Butler’s Rangers, a military unit during the American War of Independence. In 1800, the barracks were demolished to make way for the construction of Fort George. Then, in 1818, it was rebuilt and used by British troops. It was also used by Canadian forces much later.
Fort Mississauga and Mississauga Point Lighthouse
Located on the grounds of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, Fort Mississauga is a brick fort that was used by British troops to defend Upper Canada during the War of 1812. Construction of the fort began during the war and was completed after it. It was also used by the Canadian army as a training ground.
You can reach the fort by using the pedestrian trail leading up to it. As the place is the site of a golf course, you must respect the players’ rights to complete their shots before proceeding with your visit. Stick to the marked trail leading up to the fort.
Before the fort was built, this land was also the site of the first lighthouse to be built on the Great Lakes. It was constructed in 1804 on the shore of the Niagara River. Later, it was taken down to build Fort Mississauga. Today, while there is no evidence of the lighthouse that once stood there, the archaeological remains of the same are said to be beneath a portion of the fort. Visitors can read a commemorative plaque about the lighthouse that is displayed at the historic site.
These three above sites represent just a few of the amazing locations that visitors to Niagara can experience during Niagara 150.
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