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 “Old 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 Old 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.
Climb into the cab of CN No.6218 and sit where the engineers once commanded the mighty locomotive or wander amongst the other wonderful exhibits. The Ridgeway Station, c.1910, and the 1837 B-1 Station feature railroading exhibits and a reference library. The site is located on Central Ave. near Gilmore Road, next to Oakes Park. It is open daily June to Labour Day, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Designated as an historic site located in an 1874 former Town Hall., the feature exhibit is a 4,000-year-old archaeology collection, with pottery and flint points dating back to the Genesee culture of 200 B.C.; a mere sampling of the one million artifacts uncovered at the Peace Bridge site. The century-old Crystal Beach Amusement Park is brought back to life with photographs, memorabilia and video footage. An extensive genealogy and reference room includes 23 original watercolour paintings done by a soldier depicting the 1866 Battle of Ridgeway. The gift shop specializes in Fort Erie mementos. The museum is located at 402 Ridge
Road. It is open daily from mid-June to Labour Day and weekdays for the balance of the year, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Ridgeway Battlefield Site is located on Highway #3 (Garrison Road), east of Ridge Road. The historic site is a park that commemorates the early stages of the Battle of Ridgeway. In the park and built in the early 1800’s is a home that stood amidst the Battle and during the 1866 Fenian Raids. A federal plaque marks the site. Artifacts pertaining to the Battle can be viewed at the Fort Erie Historical Museum located within one minutes drive at 402 Ridge Road, Ridgeway.
All sites can accommodate bus groups and school tours. For further information call the head office at 905-894-5322.
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
The Dominion Repertory Theatre will unveil two productions in 2012. The first production will kick off the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebration: "The Lion and the Eagle", an original period piece, will premier in January in Historic Fort Erie. Guests will step back in time and enjoy music and dance while celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. But not all are cheering: recent events and news of conflict have reached this Loyalist outpost and few are saved the worries of potential war between the Lion and the Eagle. Be a part of history! We'll save you a seat by the pickle barrel.
The second adventure, "Sparks From a Campfire," will run July through August in Historic Fort Erie. This production is a memory play written by Brian Coatsworth in collaboration with nationally renowned Canadian playwright and dramaturg, Sharon Pollock. Against the backdrop of one of the bloodiest battles of the war, the Loyalists' desperately wage battle night and day in an effort to retake the Fort. The scenes take place each evening when the bugle signals a break in fighting and each side tends to its wounded and dead. Soldiers and farmers alike sit by the camp fire to rest and renew their fighting spirit. One by one they reach back into their memories and recall their personal stories of what brought them to this fateful day. Against a dazzling panorama of smoke and bombs in air, you will be touched by that human desire that connects us to God, family and country.
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
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.
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
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/