Often described as the prettiest town in Ontario
Niagara-on-the-Lake sits on the shores of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the
Niagara River. Often described as the prettiest town in Ontario, Niagara-on-
the-Lake is a well-preserved 19th-century village and the heart of Ontario
Wine Country. The flower-filled, tree-lined old town features 19th-century
buildings and landscaping, which inspires wonder in tourists from all over
the world. Known by the locals as NOTL, Niagara-on-the-Lake is bordered
on two sides by waterfront and features vibrant 8 foot planters hanging
from old-style lamp posts and lush boulevard gardens. Wander through the
Heritage District as you discover whimsical boutiques, enthralling antique
shops and delightful bistros.
Only a 1.5 hour drive or 2 hour train/bus trip south of Toronto and located
only 30 minutes from Niagara Falls and the U.S.A. border, NOTL is a must-
do over night trip if you are visiting Toronto or Buffalo.
Perhaps NOTL's biggest claim to fame is it’s location in the heart of Ontario
Wine Country. This includes both the NOTL area, and the Niagara
Escarpment and Twenty Valley areas. These regions boast 90 wineries,
most with award-winning vintages, international accolades, distinct Niagara
tastes - and of course a mention should be made of the world famous
Niagara Icewine. Whether you set out on a guided tour, hop on two wheels
and bike from each winery, or dine at one of the many delectable winery
restaurants, Ontario Wine Country has something for every grape lover.
As well as wineries, in recent years the area has become home to some
exceptional distilleries. Niagara-on-the-Lake is also home to the world-class
Shaw Festival . Each season more than ten productions are performed for
over 250,000 people across three theatres in the centre of town: Festival
Theatre, Royal George Theatre, and Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre.
With it’s exceptionally well manicured and preserved quaintness and
stunning vintage hotels, Niagara-on-the-Lake is without a doubt the
prettiest town in Ontario, and arguably all of Canada. Combined with it’s
wineries, restaurants, vineyards and lakefront, it is easily this writer’s
favorite Canadian small town.
~ Jeff Kirkwood