The Greater Fort Erie area has a rich and colorful history that can be traced back over 12,500 years.
Fort Erie, the local site of the War of 1812, is one of the most significant historic landmarks in the area. Fort Erie saw considerable action in the War of 1812 including the capture of two American ships, the 'Ohio' and the 'Somers'. Fort Erie plays an integral role in presenting Canada's history to visitors from around the world in its capacity as a museum, living history site and memorial park. Phone 905-871-0540 for more information.
The "Olde Fort" offers a taste of life during the War of 1812. Battle reenactments take place during the summer drawing thousands of visitors and participants to Olde Fort Erie and the Ridgeway Battlefield Site.
Black history is an important part of the Town's history. The Niagara Frontier was a main route used by fugitive slaves fleeing to Canada. Fort Erie's border location across from Buffalo made the Town an important station on the Underground Railroad. A few prominent members of the black community settled in this region including Josiah Henson, immortalized in Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. W.E.B DuBois initiated the Niagara Movement here laying the foundation for the NAACP. There were three main areas settled by black immigrants: Little Africa, Bertie Hill and Snake Hill.
Discover Caribbean rated sandy beaches, the cool, clear waters of Lake Erie, wonderful dining options and watersport opportunities galore...all in Crystal Beach, Ontario.
Crystal Beach has long been one of Fort Erie's favorite tourist attractions, drawing thousands throughout the summer months from across Niagara, Western New York and as far as the Greater Toronto Area - as more and more discover Crystal Beach's charms.
Come for the afternoon, the day or an extended stay, and enjoy all that the area has to offer, including countless special events and functions throughout the summer tourist season.
Go for a swim, lounge on the white sand, sail around Point Abino Bay, fish or take in a cool drink on one of the areas many restaurant patios.
For more information on Crystal Beach, local accommodations and dining options, beach rules and regulations, parking information and directions, please call 1-888-270-9151 or visit www.forteriecanada.com today.
For a printable Crystal Beach information sheet, click HERE.
Fort Erie and Niagara's newest and wildest tourism attraction. Offering more than 100 acres of parkland, Safari Niagara is home to some of the planet's most interesting and exotic animals.
Enjoy a leisurely walk, or take the trolley through this mystical habitat of animals and modern art. The all day Safari Niagara experience offers you interactive educational displays, art exhibits, family fun area, children's playground, a splash pad, restaurant facilities, picnic area, walking path, rest areas, gift shop and a personal encounter with the world's most magnificent and exotic animals.
Located at 2821 Stevensville Road in Stevensville, Safari Niagara is easily accessible from the Queen Elizabeth Way (via Sodom Road exit) and Highway 3 (via Stevensville Road.
To reach Safari Niagara call 1-866-367-9669
Located in the historic building that formerly served as Bertie Township Hall, the Fort Erie Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting local history through permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as a publicly accessible archive. Temporary Exhibitions: Friend, Foe, FIRE!: Life in Fort Erie during the War of 1812; Regency Clothing: What Fort Erie was Wearing in 1812. The Museum's gift shop features publications and other merchandise related to local history topics. The Museum is open 9am - 5pm, Sunday through Friday, September to June and daily in July and August. Admission by donation.
Visitors are invited to step back in time and experience the romance and the reality of the railway era, examining the exhibitions housed in the waiting room of Ridgeway Station, or exploring the station's telegraph office. Those seeking a little more adventure can explore the interior of the 1944 CN 79138 caboose or climb into the engine cab of 6218, the last steam engine to carry passengers along the rails in Canada. Railway memorabilia and historic books are available in the gift shop located in the historic BI, Bridgeburg Historic District. The Fort Erie Railroad Museum is open daily, 9am – 5pm, from Victoria Day through Labour Day. The Museum is located at 400 Central Avenue, Fort Erie, Ontario. Admission by donation.
This open air site marks the place where Fenian invaders met British-Canadian forces in the Battle of Ridgeway on June 2, 1866. Designated a National Historic Site, a commemorative cairn was erected on Highway 3, near Ridge Road. A cabin, which stood on Ridge Road during the battle, has been relocated to the site. Informative plaques will be officially opened in the fall of 2013 and will provide a self-guided information on the significance and background regarding the Fenian Raids.
The Mewinzha Gallery and Interpretive Centre honours the First Peoples who lived, traded and created a flint-knapping industry on the site surrounding the present-day Peace Bridge. This gallery features archaeological artifacts from the Peace Bridge Site alongside contemporary Native artwork. Also visit the exhibit, The Bridge that Peace Built, on the second floor of the building overlooking the Peace Bridge. Mewinzha is located at 100 Queen Street, Fort Erie and open Monday through Friday, except holidays, 9am - 4pm. Admission is free.
Since its inception in 1986, Garrison Little Theatre has performed over 50 great shows, ranging from murder-mysteries to an array of comedies and several children's productions. The theatre is located in the Italian-Canadian Hall at 1101 Dipietro Street in Fort Erie.For tickets or more information on performances, phone 905-871-3520 or visit their website at www.garrisonlittletheatre.com
The Dominion Repertory Theatre
DRT is a newly founded, not-for-profit theatre company based out of Fort Erie, Ontario. Their first play was The Lion and the Eagle, which was commissioned by the Fort Erie 1812 Bicentennial Committee in January 2012 to kick-off Fort Erie's Bicentennial program. Their second play Sparks From a Campfire was written and directed by Canadian playwright Sharon Pollock and performed under the stars at Historic Old Fort Erie in the summer of 2012. DRT's mission is to provide quality theatre, dance, visual arts and music, while providing arts education to students of all ages and abilities in the community. www.dominionrepertorytheatre.ca
Festivals bring the community together year-round. The Friendship Festival is one of summer's main attractions. The annual five-day international celebration of Canadian and American national holidays - July 1-4 - attracts over 100,000 visitors from Western New York and Southern Ontario. Fireworks, children's events, an air show and a line-up of world-class live musical acts make it a must see summer highlight. For more information call 1-888-333-1987 or visit their website at www.friendshipfestival.com
The Ridgeway Summer Festival is an annual event held in the downtown core of picturesque Ridgeway that features good food, good music, over 60 vendors and fun times. The event runs two days at the beginning of July and has been an annual event since 1990. www.ridgewayont.ca
There's always something happening in Fort Erie!
For a complete events listing for this month or to add an event to our calendar, click here.
Get wet and wild in Fort Erie's Hot Spots!
Fort Erie lies between Lake Erie and the Niagara River, offering 50 kilometers of water access. So if water fun is what you crave, look no further than the sandy shores of Fort Erie. Surrounded by miles and miles of sandy beaches and the clean, cool waters of Lake Erie and the Niagara River, Fort Erie is a water sports hotspot.
Windsurf at Thunder Bay. Jet ski down the Niagara River. Fish in Lake Erie. Sail around Point Abino. Kayak up Black Creek… or relax on one of the many fabulous beaches.
Windsurfing enthusiasts in Greater Fort Erie refer to the area as "paradise". Long known as a mecca for water sports, Greater Fort Erie has been blessed with over 20 miles of waterfront. The prevailing southwesterly breezes and Lake Erie's relatively shallow depth create wind and wave patterns excellent for windsurfing and sailing.
Sun, sand and water is not all that Fort Erie offers. Come on out and hit the links on one of the many outstanding golf courses located in the Fort Erie area.
During the winter months, hockey and figure skating take over the ice at Fort Erie's renowned Leisureplex. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, and skiing at the nearby Western New York ski resorts is also a great way to beat the winter blahs.
Fort Erie also boasts 25 municipally operated parks and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, with picnic facilities and nature trails. The Fort Erie Friendship Trail and the Niagara Parks Recreation Trail attract cyclists, joggers, walkers and in-line skaters. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
Discover the quiet side of Fort Erie by cycling or walking along the newly developed Fort Erie Friendship Trail. When completed, this trail will become part of the Greater Niagara Circle Route and the Trans Canada Trail System. This 13.6 kilometer scenic pathway is paved and safe for cycling and ideal for walking, jogging, and rollerblading. The trail ends at Historic Fort Erie where it meets up with the Niagara Parks Commission Recreation Trail.
Fifty-six kilometers of paved trail runs parallel to the Niagara River from Historic Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The trail was designed, built and is now maintained by the Niagara Parks Commission. Developed in 1986, this 35 mile scenic pathway is connected by nine bridges and divides into 4 scenic sections, each with its own history, adventure and unique beauty. Cyclists can expect a one to two hour ride for each section. The trail is ideal for walking, jogging and rollerblading, too. For further information on the trail, please call 1-877-NIA PARK.
The place to go for fun in Fort Erie!
The Fort Erie Leisureplex is a modern, multi-purpose facility consisting of:
• the year-round Kinsmen & Jaycee arenas
• spacious dressing rooms
• banquet hall
• Family Sports Store
• D & D Amusements
• Madison's Pub
Plus all the latest amenities, services and technology necessary to complement any sporting event or group function.
The Leisureplex is specifically designed to accommodate tournaments, hockey schools, pro and junior training camps, figure skating competitions, trade shows and conventions, sporting events, concerts and more.
The Leisureplex is part of the Town's new Municipal Centre, which also includes Central Park, Town Hall, a new, modern, fully-equipped YMCA and on-site hotel. All this is only 15 minutes from Niagara Falls and an easy 5 minutes across the Niagara River from Buffalo, New York.
For more information on the history and available services at the Leisureplex, visit http://www.town.forterie.on.ca/