4 minute read

The Full Niagara Experience

The Niagara Parks Commission, commonly shortened to NPC is an agency of the Government of Ontario. In total, the Commission is in charge of about 16.19 square kilometres (6.25 sq mi) of parkland along the river, in addition to the Niagara Parkway which spans 56 kilometres (35 mi). In this corridor, the NPC manages numerous trails, historic sites, picnic areas, and attractions.

Chris Giles, Sr. Manager Communications and Marketing

is very excited about the upcoming season. “We are hopeful that 2023 will bring a more typical tourist season for us, although last season was very encouraging, with better numbers than our original projections. It’s clear we are on the road to recovery.”

The Niagara Parks Commission offers a host of attractions to suit the interests of just about anyone. Guests can ride 3500 feet across the Niagara Gorge and over the Niagara

Whirlpool and the river’s Class 6 rapids suspended high in the sky on the Whirlpool Aero Car. Golf enthusiasts can play NPC’s two award-winning courses, Whirlpool Golf Course and Legends on the Niagara. Those favoring gastronomy can venture into any of NPC’s restaurants, but awards for the best views while dining on some of Niagara’s finest cuisine and VQA wine pairings, no doubt go to Table Rock Restaurant right at the brink of the Falls, and Queen Victoria

Park Restaurant just across the street which features indoor and outdoor dining. Both restaurants are boasting new chefs and new menus!

The closest you can get to the Falls is with a visit to the Journey Behind the Falls. Chris Giles says, “There have been significant renovations at the Journey to enhance visitor experience!” I can’t imagine how this exciting attraction can be enhanced any more than it already is. Chris is also excited about the reopening of NPC’s heritage sites. “Our focus continues to be giving the best visitor experience at all of our attractions and we are happy to be reopening our heritage sites which include Old Fort Erie, Laura Secord Homestead, the Mackenzie Printery, just to name a few.” For nature lovers, NPC offers biking trails from one end of the Niagara Parkway to the other. Cyclists can literally bike from Fort Erie right to Niagara-on-the-Lake, following the mighty Niagara River all the way. Hiking trails are also bountiful with access to a variety of paths. Butterfly afficionados will be mesmerized by the number of species at the Butterfly Conservatory. Horticulture enthusiasts will revel at the sight of the Floral Clock, the Floral Showhouse and the Botanical Gardens.

Chris Giles is very proud of the fact that the NPC was able to open Phase I of the Power Station in the summer of 2021 despite the province still being under numerous Covid restrictions. “This was a big deal! The adaptive reuse of this century old power station is amazing. Guided tours are offered, and guests can enjoy an immersive light show.”

Even more exciting, is the Tunnel Experience at the Niagara Parks Power Station which opened to the public on July 1, 2022. Apart from a visit to Journey Behind the Falls, this is as close as visitors can get, on land, to the base of the Falls. “Visitors descend 180 feet in a glass-paneled elevator and explore the 2200 foot-long tunnel, leading to an observation deck at the river’s edge.This tunnel was originally excavated in 1901 with only lanterns, basic dynamite, pickaxes and shovels! There was a lot of media attention when this attraction opened.” says Giles.

It’s obvious that Chris Giles is very hopeful and excitedly anticipating the 2023 season. “We are looking forward to this season. The biggest thing for us it to build momentum with all of our current attractions and to ensure that all of our visitors get the best experience ever.” niagaraparks.com