NIAGARA-ON-THE NIA NIAGA RA-ON-THE
Shaken! Stirred and Straight Up COLOUR ME HAPPY
ANGIE STRAUSS WINTER 2013
+The Great Walls of Niagara-on-the-Lake +Six Generations of Winemaking
+The Story of the Burning of the Town of Niagara
WINTER 2012 $9.99 $19.95
VOL 1 | ISSUE 3
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Message from the Lord Mayor Welcome to the historic Town of Niagara-on-theLake, named the First Capital of Upper Canada in 1792. We are delighted you have chosen our town as your special getaway. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a beautiful place to visit during the winter months. From our charming countryside setting and pristine agricultural lands to the world-renowned Shaw Festival Theatre and Queen-Picton Heritage District, there is something for everyone. During your stay, be sure to take a walk along the Niagara River Parkway, and visit our many quaint shops, local wineries, and outstanding restaurants. Here you will also find some of the finest visitor accommodations, from local bed and breakfast homes to five-star hotels and spas. Our heritage and historical landmarks play an important role in our community, and we hope you will join us as we continue the commemoration of the War of 1812 Bicentennial. Some of this yearâ€™s 4
feature events include Niagara under Occupation (June to October) and Niagara on Fire (December 6 & 7). You may also wish to take in the exhibitions and events put on by the Niagara Historical Society & Museum in our Heritage District. For further details about our War of 1812 Bicentennial commemorations, please visit www.1812niagaraonthelake.ca, or visit us at www. notl.org for more information about our town. We hope you enjoy your stay and look forward to welcoming you back again. Best wishes, Best wishes,
Dave Eke Lord Mayor
PUBLISHER Rev Publishing Inc. PRESIDENT & CEO Dan Pasco V.P OF SALES & MARKETING Nicole Guerin EDITOR Megan Pasche HEAD OF CREATIVE Rob Petrullo ADVERTISING DESIGNERS Amberlee Clarke Nikolas Karpetas SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING Nicholas D. Gentilcore CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angela Aiello Lynn Ogryzlo Sandra Ozkur Andrea Kaiser WEBSITE www.today-magazine.com
Niagara on the Lake is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Niagara on the Lake are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Niagara on the Lake, its employees or owners. All unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs submitted are assumed to be intended for publication or republication in whole or in part. The right to alter, edit or refuse photos and/or manuscripts intended for publication is assumed. All unsolicited material submitted to Niagara on the Lake are submitted at the authorâ€™s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Niagara on the Lake does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
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A LOOK INSIDE
48 Straight Up Colour Me Happy 20 ANGIE STRAUSS MCFARLAND 10 Shaken, Stirred, and
14 The Great Walls of Niagara-on-the-Lake 56 Six Generations of Winemaking 44 The Burning of Niagara
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Buffalo, N.Y.’s first-ever casino has arrived. The new Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino celebrated its official grand opening in late August 2013 to rave reviews. The $130 million gaming facility became the latest attraction in the rapidly developing Cobblestone District along Buffalo, N.Y.’s Inner Harbor, located just minutes from the Peace Bridge to Fort Erie, Canada, and a half-hour from Niagara Falls. The sparkling new property – the third Seneca Casino in the Western New York region – features 808 new slot machines, 18 table games, two restaurants, a sports bar, a safe and secure fourlevel parking ramp with 725 spaces and surface parking for nearly another 400 cars. Officials project more than 3 million visitors to pass through each year. Like the other two Seneca Casino properties, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino offers exceptional service and the very latest slot machines. The facility features both smoking and nonsmoking areas, and guests will receive complimentary beverages while playing. Comp points through the free Seneca Player’s Club rewards program can be earned at both slots and table games. Currency exchange rates also are extremely favorable on site. The casino includes many visible signs of its partnerships with the Buffalo community. One of the most prominent is Buffalo Savors Grill, a 102-seat restaurant that includes some of the region’s favorite foods. Just some of the many items on the menu include: chicken wings from Duff’s Famous Wings; beef-on-weck from Charlie the Butcher; Italian sandwiches with family-recipe
sauces from Ilio DiPaolo’s; pizza from Franco’s Pizza; desserts and pastries from Chrusciki Bakery, and gelato from Sweet Melody’s. Steps away from Buffalo Savors Grill is BC Café, a smaller 24-hour eatery featuring locally-made soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, baked goods, local coffee from McCullagh Coffee and a small retail area. Stixx Sports Bar serves as a central gathering spot with signature cocktails and hometown beers on tap, and features hockey and lacrosse sticks – representing two of the sports which professional teams play nearby – as part of the architecture. Native American culture is also prevalent throughout the building’s design, including a floor-to-ceiling “Tree of Peace” structure at the main entrance as well as an illuminated and animated electronic feather marquee atop the roof outdoors. The casino’s address is 1 Fulton Street, near the intersection of Michigan and Perry Streets and in between exits 5 and 6 of the Interstate 190. It is within walking distance of other major waterfront developments, such as Canalside and HarborCenter. Make Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino part of a larger night out on the town in downtown Buffalo! After you attend an event at the nearby First Niagara Center or Shea’s Performing Arts Center, bring your ticket stub to the casino and receive $10 in Free Slot Play! Visit www.senecabuffalocreekcasino.com to learn more about downtown Buffalo’s first-ever casino.
McFarland House: At the Heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake History by Richard Nicol
Photos by Rebecca Pascoe
While it has been nicknamed, “The Loveliest Town in Canada,” Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of our region’s most historic towns, with a rich and vivid history, from its stint as the first capital of Upper Canada to its central role in the War of 1812. To the present, the town has come a long way from its growing tourism to being the perfect location for on-site film or TV shots. There’s a reason why a town so steeped in history becomes a destination location for those both wanting to visit, and to live within the beauty and grace of Niagara-on-the-Lake. A perfect example of this refined beauty and grace lies in the Georgian-style manor, first built and owned by John McFarland. Take a trip back in time to colonial Niagara through Niagara Parks’ oldest property, McFarland House, which dates back to the year 1800 when John and his sons first built it from bricks made in the property’s kiln. An engineer and Master Shipwright with the British Navy, procuring timber supplies in terms of ship-building, John McFarland travelled from Scotland in 1776, spending most of his time here in the colonies during the American Revolution. He settled in Newark (now NOTL) and married Margaret Wilson, who passed away in 1809; however, McFarland re-married, outliving both of his spouses, parenting five children. In 1875, John added a back wing to the property, which included a new kitchen, servants’ quarters, and more common area or living space. A wealthy family like the McFarlands would have expanded the property to accommodate more servants or butlers to maintain the stately home.
In December of 1812, after the infamous burning of the town (Newark), the McFarland house survived, boasting one of the only structures, to this day, pre-dating the War of 1812. How did it survive? The building was used as a hospital and officers’ headquarters by British and American troops. Due to its strategic location, the property (including the ravine behind the homestead) was the perfect place to launch a raid and capture, initiated by the British on Fort Niagara on December 19, 1813. Of course, the ongoing saga had taken its toll on the property, and the house did experience some damage, which was said to have left John heartbroken; he eventually took ill in 1815, and passed away shortly after. His two eldest sons, John Jr. and James restored the home after the war ended. Descendants of the McFarland clan resided on the property until 1942, where it had begun to fall into disrepair, needing a lot of work. It was then purchased by The Niagara Parks Commission, renovated in 1955, and then opened as a historic site in the spring of 1959. Manager - Curator Rebecca Pascoe brought me on a quick tour of the property, which currently features original architecture and interior, as well as modernized additions and renovations to preserve the past, and establish a comfortable atmosphere for those wishing to catch a glimpse of colonial antiquity. According to Pascoe, by early 19th-century standards, the McFarland House was a very fine manor home, and one can just imagine the surrounding 30 acres of parkland once filled with outbuildings, whether a kitchen, outhouse, storage shed, or stable. niagara-on-the-lake 11
In lieu of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812,
McFarland House received more renovations in 2011, including a new historically inspired conservatory, modern washroom facilities, and renovated interior spaces in the back wing of the home, allowing for easier access to visitors. The conservatory provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire park, and hosts table seating for guests to enjoy treats from the a la carte luncheon or afternoon tea menu, while relaxing to background classical music. Baked goods are made fresh daily from scratch in the kitchen. “We’re all history Martha-Stewart types, but we’re very good at what we do,” relates Pascoe. “We’re like the microbrewery of tea houses.” The McFarland House hosts two holiday events, the Rotary Holiday House Tour, which took place over the first weekend of December, and the Christmas Tea Weekend over the second weekend. Due to its popularity, guests are asked to book reservations for the Christmas Tea Weekend, taking place on December 14 and 15. The property is truly a sight to see, as it is suitably decked out for the holiday season with the help of The Garden Club of Niagara, who decorates the house with wreaths on every window and doorway, bannister decorations, and mantle and table displays. Members from The Garden Club also maintain the kitchen garden, which adorns the front of the house during the summer. If you can’t make it in time for the last afternoon tea, the McFarland House is available for private functions, bridal showers, and intimate weddings — a perfect backdrop for your special event. For more information and contact info, check out 12
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THE GREAT WALLS OF NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE Written and photographed by Sandra Ozkur 14
This year, Willowbank School of Restoration Arts launched their first annual Stone Festival in the village of Queenston, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Calling it a ‘celebration of stone’, the Festival highlights the art of building and carving with stone. Gathered together were master stonemasons, stone-carvers, and students from Canada, USA, the British Isles, and Australia who shared experiences, techniques, and wisdom. During the festival, instructors, students, and volunteers engaged in learning the ancient crafts of stone carving and dry-stone wall building, while visitors enjoyed demonstrations, workshops, a street festival, and an evening gala as part of the annual fundraiser for the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts. Willowbank School of Restoration Arts operates within a designated 13-acre National Historic Site. The School is housed in a 19th century villa, which also functions as a museum and cultural center. The large estate, which was built by Alexander Hamilton in 1834, overlooks the historic village of Queenston. It is situated next to a ravine that was once used as a portage site by the First Nations and fur traders. The grand mansion, with its pillared façade, is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture and building techniques from that period. The Hamilton family occupied the opulent home for nearly a century until it was sold to the Bright family. The Brights, who were pioneers of the wine industry, made several modifications to the building. The property later passed through several hands until the final owner, who was unable to sell the vast holding, had it slated for demolition. A local historian and member of the Niagara-onthe-Lake conservancy, Laura Dodson, was determined to save the historical landmark and initiated a fundraising campaign to purchase the heritage property. Laura proposed turning the property into a school of restoration arts, using the estate as a working laboratory. The students could learn hands-on building and restoration skills with a focus on traditional techniques. With much community support, her dream was realized and the property purchased in 2002.Together with local architect, Victor Tarnoy, Laura spearheaded the development and unique programming of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts. The school has grown significantly and today offers a diploma program that has garnered international recognition. The growth has been impressive and the school has expanded by purchasing a second property, the old Laura Secord Public School in Queenston Village. Stone artisans from all over the world came to the Festival to share their knowledge. John Philippe-Smith and Daniel Barber, two professional stone-carvers who create sculptural stone details for conservation projects across Canada, were on hand to demonstrate their talent along with other great carvers. The carvers donated their finished pieces to be auctioned off at the gala. Master masons Andrew Loudon, Andrew Mason, and Peter Isherwood, all respected instructors and examiners from the International Dry-stone Wallers Association of England, came to the Festival to instruct and certify North American participants in the skill of dry-stone walling. The school’s instructors and professors were also on hand to assist and inform visitors about what was going on. Stone is a fundamental element of earth, and every civilization has used it to build its most important buildings and monuments. Stone’s permanence and beauty make it a most desirable building material; however, stone is used less and less in construction as man-made building materials have become more affordable. Luckily, the love of stone still remains, and its allure is growing in the area of landscaping, building adornments, and art installations. To see some fine examples of the ancient technique of dry-stone walling, travel along the Niagara Parkway between Niagaraon-the-Lake and Queenston where you will see some grand stonewalls from the 19th and early 20th centuries. These great walls of Niagara-on-the-Lake were made from local stone and are
The resurgence of dry-stone walling is about a traditional art form being translated into contemporary life and culture
beautiful and intricately constructed. Many of these stone walls have fallen into disrepair due to a lack of trained craftsmen. But now, thanks to the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, a new generation of stonemasons are learning the skills needed to bring these walls back to their grandeur. Julian Smith, the executive director of Willowbank School, says, “The resurgence of dry-stone walling is about a traditional art form being translated into contemporary life and culture. It’s all about sharing stories, experiences, and local traditions and putting them into a global context. Our school emphasizes the reconnection of working with the hands and with the mind. These design and build projects give an opportunity for the public to get involved in what we are doing.” So, very early on the Saturday morning of the Festival, a pile of limestone rocks began to take shape. Volunteers and students sorted the stones into piles according to size. First, a small trench was dug and leveled, then filled with gravel to set the base for the wall. “You’ve got to get it right at the start,” says master stone mason Andrew Mason. “Keep the courses level. You can’t rush it or you’ll pay for it in the end. If you are out by one inch at the beginning, it can result in being 20 inches out at the end!” Peter Isherwood, examiner from Lancashire England, explained the steps of building a dry-stone wall: “A dry-stone wall is a free standing structure with nothing to hold it together, except gravity. Because we don’t use mortar, it can withstand extreme temperature variances and will last for hundreds of years. You begin with a gravel base onto which you put your foundation stones, which are generally flat and broad, to bear the weight of the upper layers. A frame is placed at each end, and strings are attached at different levels to act as guides to keeping the wall straight and true. The wall gets narrower toward the top to accommodate the laws of gravity, and is capped by a ‘coping’ stone, a stone placed vertically to give the finished wall more height and a decorative touch. Each craftsman has his/her own style of finishing a wall in order to highlight the beauty of the stone. It generally takes a two person team a full day to achieve only 6 metres of wall.”
The festival is also leaving a permanent legacy in the form of a new dry-stone wall building on campus. Dean McClellan, who is the coordinator of the project and instructor for dry-stone building at Willowbank, explained, “We’ve done several builds throughout the province but this is our biggest so far. We are constructing an entire blacksmith shop using the dry-stone wall technique. It is the first structure of its kind to receive a stamp of approval by engineers and architects.” His project manager, Geordie Manchester commented, “It is so exciting to be working on this project. People have come from all over the world to be a part of this build. Tourists are welcome to visit the site and ask questions of the students as the building develops. We are thrilled to have such experts come from England to give us guidance: they are the best in the world at dry-stone walling!” The blacksmith building is forecast to be finished in the fall of 2014. It is a great learning opportunity for the students and visitors alike. Stone walls are not just utilitarian; they also reflect the talent and creativity of the craftsman. The stones are strategically chosen to display the grain or reflect the light. A great way to explore Niagara-on-the-Lake is to search out some examples of these stone works of art. Recently, Reif Estate Winery commissioned a ‘wine barrel fountain’ which is an extraordinary example of dry-stone art and can be seen sitting outside the front entrance to the winery. Visitors are drawn to Niagara-on-the-Lake because of its location, natural beauty, and historical buildings, which include beautiful gardens and stone walls— all remnants of Canada’s early days. These stone walls stand as witness to those who came before us, and reflect the values of the people who laid the foundations of this country—strong, stable, and everlasting with a love of the land we live on. Be sure to visit Willowbank School of Restoration Arts to see what is happening at the mansion on the hill. And don’t forget to have a look at how the dry-stone blacksmith shop is coming along!
Catastrophe or not, the true meaning of Christmas can be reclaimed.
By: Lynn Ogryzlo Photos by Jon Ogryzlo
FINDING CHRISTMAS Christmas is the most beautiful time of year. It’s a time of love, hope and happiness; it’s a time we go the extra effort to be with family and friends, it’s when we make time to spend on traditions. Christmas has the ability to take a fast, crazy, impersonal world and turn it into an oasis of pure joy and togetherness – the holiday season is magic. Yet, for many people the holidays can be increasingly challenging. For some it may be family conflict, for others it’s tragedy and for a growing number of people, it’s the hollow buying frenzy and the stress that holiday expectations imposes on us. It’s like a freight train out of control; it’s almost impossible to stop. That is, until my freight train came to an abrupt halt one year. It was the Christmas of 2011 when the wet ceiling in my living room collapsed under the weight of the water leaking from the bathroom pipes above. The living room is the Christmas room and it was the day before the arrival of our Christmas tree. Like many home repairs it wasn’t going to get done in a reasonable time, so we did the only thing we could, we cancelled Christmas. It was a drastic move to cancel Christmas; I would have never even considered it any other year. Instead I would have tried to do the impossible, but this was different; this was defeat.
It took only a few days for the trauma and hopelessness of cancelling Christmas to lift. What happened next surprised me. Feelings of despair turned to relief and a growing sense of empowerment and surprisingly - happiness. December was now an exciting time of year. So what does one do when Christmas is cancelled? After a brief family meeting, a dizzying spin around the Internet and a few bottles of delicious Niagara wine, our family was on a plane headed for Paris, France. It’s not where you spend Christmas that matters, but how you spend your time and with whom that is most important (although Paris definitely helps). In Niagara, my Christmas would have been filled with endless lists of things to do, people to buy for, food to prepare, decorating to get done, lights to string, charities to volunteer for, extra work at the office to do, friends to entertain, a house to clean, a driveway to shovel and a smile to put on my face. It was more than anyone could possibly deliver. My Christmas had become nothing short of insanity, yet the expectation was still to do it all. In Paris, there were no expectations – it was that simple. Sure there were Christmas markets to explore, concerts to attend, ancient buildings to consider, lights to admire, gloves to buy when it got cold, escargot to eat and oceans of wine to drink. It suddenly occurred to me that in Paris, I was not in charge of “doing-it-all” for the holidays. It occurred to me that I
didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. Paris was never intended as an escape from Christmas, but more of a way to find a new Christmas. And find Christmas we did. We had a little apartment across from the Louvre just behind Rue de Rivoli. We went to Christmas Eve Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral and attached a lock to the lock bridge over the river Seine. We found a little Christmas tree vendor, a butcher and fresh fruit stand. We planned Christmas dinner and decorated our little place sparsely. When it came to commercial gifts and other things, it was certainly a meager event, but it was an experience rich in love and family - the magic was back. I discovered you really don’t need a catastrophe to reclaim a great Christmas. The road to reclaiming Christmas is pretty straightforward. Don’t get caught up in the fake snow at shopping malls, Christmas songs on TV commercials or the belief that Christmas needs to be perfect. Instead, let go of everyone else’s values and expectations of what you should do. Then, learn to become a joyful and willing participant in your own version of a great Christmas. This holiday season plan on finding your very own Christmas. It’s the best gift you can give your family and friends.
Cancel Christmas - I mean it! Wipe the slate clean! What happens next is nothing short of magic. It frees you to regain a sense of excitement and confidence that you can create a holiday season on your terms.
Know there is no perfect Christmas. No matter how much you plan or try, Christmas is not about being perfect; it’s about family, about honouring generations of traditions and about finding the joy in the season. It won’t be perfect, but it will be filled with beautiful and memorable moments.
Take a minute to plan a new family Christmas. Everyone in the family has a different favourite tradition or view of what they love most about the holidays. Ask everyone to pick one thing and plan on doing them all this holiday season.
Make a list of 10 things you want to do this holiday season and let the rest go. Make sure it includes the most important Christmas activities. It could include reading the classic Christmas stories together (grandparents especially love this one), making a snowman in the front yard, tobogganing, chopping down your own Christmas tree, creating a playlist of your favourite Christmas songs, or baking Christmas cookies together. After you have the 10 most important holiday activities on your list, let the rest go! This remaining time is to be spent relaxing.
Involve the family this holiday season. If stringing the lights or baking holiday cookies is high on your priority list, involve everyone in the family, invite family from across town and have fun creating new holiday traditions. Streamline your holidays. Be creative with cutting back this holiday season, buy for a family instead of individuals in the family. Don’t be distracted by sales or the shopping frenzy, instead try shopping on-line from the comfort of your own home - if you have to shop at all.
Plan a great Christmas dinner and make it happen. The holidays are all about feasting and preparing a beautifully set table that family gathers around. It’s as much about the food as it is the people around the table, so plan both. It may mean some adjustments so make any necessary announcements early and don’t procrastinate until the last minute.
If you feel like your holiday season has become overwhelming and exhausting, here are a few suggestions to consider. Don’t do them all, but pick ones you like. Hopefully, there are some answers below to help you regain a beautiful holiday season. And if that happens, it is my gift to you. Happy Holidays!
Give the gift of your time. Instead of buying gifts, offer the most precious commodity – your time. Promise to bake together, dine at a new restaurant, plan a spa day or simply offer up an afternoon to do anything at all. Wrap your promise neatly in a card.
Be generous this holiday season. Plan on volunteering at a local soup kitchen or at the school’s Christmas performance. Getting involved in the community reminds us all of what Christmas really means.
Lynn Ogryzlo is a food, wine and travel writer, international award winning author and regular contributor to REV Publications. She can be reached for questions or comments at www.lynnogryzlo.com.
Colour Me Happy: A Glimpse Into the Wonderful World of Artist Angie Strauss By: Megan Pasche Photos by: David Haskell
Tucked away on Victoria Street in the historic Old Town district of Niagara-on-the-Lake sits a gorgeous 1860‘s Victorian house that has been lovingly transformed from a decrepit old farmhouse into one of the most beautiful homes in Niagara-on-the- Lake. As you approach, signs guide you on a twisting and turning path and through the most stunning of English country gardens. A pool sparkles, a waterfall hypnotizes and fish frolic in the pond. There are roses, iris, peonies, poppies, and most importantly, especially to its owner, artist Angie Strauss, colour, colour and more colour. It’s appropriately named “Angie’s Secret Garden and Gallery” and is one of the most popular places welcoming the public in this charming town. At the end of a rambling path and nestled amongst the trees, is the gallery and studio where this celebrated Canadian artist works her magic, helping to make the world a much brighter place, one painting at a time.
Angie is full of stories, and has lived a most intriguing life. She is a person who makes everyone feel welcome and everyone she meets a little bit happier. From the hand painted kitchen cupboards in her home, to the 40-year-old orange tree blooming in the greenhouse, she breathes life and colour into all aspects of her being: herself, her home and her work. She is a person from which creativity radiates. Angie was born in Cyprus, moved to England when she was five years old, and lived there until moving to Canada. During her early 20‘s, while working as a hairstylist in London, a gentleman stopped her on the street and asked if she wanted to be in the movies. After questioning him as to whether or not he was joking, he assured her that he was serious. She took his card, gave him a call and soon started working as a film extra in several well-known movies. One of the movies was Our Man In Havana, starring Alec Guiness and Noel Coward. At the end of filming, Alec Guiness
gave her a cherished memory when he came up to her, took her hand, kissed it and said, “it’s been a pleasure working with you and I’m sure you’ll do well in whatever you do.” Nothing like predicting the future! Following her brush with Tinsel town fame, Angie moved to Canada, where she opened her own beauty salon in Toronto, which soon blossomed to become a huge success, and the place to get your hair done. It was during this time she met the man who was to become her husband, Hartley Strauss. Angie notes, “In 1969, shortly after we married, Hartley felt strongly that my creativity could be channeled in a different direction and encouraged me enroll at the Ontario College of Art as a mature student. I thought that was hilarious, as I failed art all through school in England; but, eventually I did enroll and took to it like a duck to water.” At school, she discovered an exciting new world of creativity & freethinking, and as they say, an artist was born. After graduation, her main focus was her pottery and the couple enjoyed a happy life in downtown Toronto with their two children Caron and Robert. One summer day they all went for a drive, and without any particular destination in mind, ended up in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Angie recounts, “As we walked together hand in hand, I asked Hartley ‘I wonder what people do here to earn a living? ’ I’m still not sure why, but we instantly made the decision to move to Niagara." She shares, “It was time for us to leave Toronto, live in the country and have chickens and a huge vegetable garden. We bought the only house that was for sale at the time and still live here almost 40 years later.” Hartley spent several of those years restoring the building and grounds himself as well as building a large pottery studio for Angie. Everything was going along quite swimmingly, until one Saturday when she and her children went roller-skating. Angie tells the story: “I’d never been roller skating before, but I’d been a dancer all my life, so I thought it couldn’t be too difficult. Within 15 minutes of me being on skates, I fell backwards, putting my left arm out to stop my fall, and demolishing my elbow, which led to a dramatic downturn in my life.” The accident involved a three-month stay in traction at a hospital in St. Catharines, only then to be told that her arm hadn’t been set properly and was not healing. That same week an orthopedic specialist came to see her and realizing her plight made arrangements to immediately transfer her to the Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto, where she lived for a further three and a half months. There she endured six hours of therapy a day; but, as luck would have it, one of her therapists knew of Angie’s artistic background and arrived one day with a few tubes of paint and paper. She hoped Angie might once again want to do something creative, and give her some light at the end of the dark tunnel she was travelling through. Angie remembers, “I thought she was mad; but, I went down to the therapy room and into the kitchen with my paints. It had dreary brown cupboards and dull green walls. As there was no one around (and I don’t know what overtook me), I took a plate from the cupboard, squeezed out the acrylic paints, and
started painting the walls. A short time later, a nurse came in and asked me what on earth I was doing. I replied, ‘well, I’m painting a mural’. She asked, ‘did you get permission?‘ I answered ‘oh, was I supposed to?’ Surprisingly she said, ‘no, just carry on’. And I did carry on, and on, eventually finishing a huge floral mural around the entire kitchen. It remained there untouched for years until they renovated the hospital.”
Angie the Artist
After finally leaving Mount Sinai and eager to resume her life in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Angie soon found she was unable to continue with her pottery, due to a lack of strength from the elbow injury and turned her talents to painting full time at home in her studio. Once again her career was about to embark on a new path. That week, Hartley arrived with a pile of white sweatshirts. Enquiring as to what they were for, he explained that he’d received them as payment for a catalogue he designed for a local clothing manufacturer and wondered if she might be able to do something creative with them. Angie recounts, “I took one of those plain white sweatshirts, placed it on my art table and proceeded to paint brightly coloured flowers on it ... and it was fun, really fun!” It was also about this time her husband suggested putting a small sign in front of the house announcing her gallery was now open to the public and one spring day, Angie recalls, “A young woman came into my gallery when myself and two of my neighbours were wearing the painted floral sweats I’d just finished. She asked, ‘Do you have an agent for those?’” She was a sales rep in Toronto’s fashion business and thought her vibrant shirts would be a saleable new product and gave Angie a business card, explaining that she should get in touch with the company she worked for. Excited at this opportunity, Angie arranged an appointment and set off for Toronto. She recounts, “I went to see her agent and proceeded to lay my sweats out on his desk. He looked at them and said, ‘These are wonderful, these are delightful, how many do you have?‘ I replied, ‘Six’. He looked at me as if I was from another planet and asked, ‘Are you kidding? You can’t come to me with just six sweatshirts. You have to produce them in volume and have a complete line of clothing. You can’t just have sweats, you need pants, skirts, and more.’” She left feeling very discouraged; but, after a brainstorming session with Hartley, they were able to perfect a process for manufacturing everything he wanted, and all showcasing her colourful floral designs. In the blink of an eye, the line took off and soon she was supplying more than 100 stores throughout Canada, and even the Canadian Pavilion at the Epcot Centre, in Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida. The tremendous popularity of her clothing was amazing; but after a while Angie recounts, “It was at a time when my love really was my art; and I knew that should be my main focus.” Although she has not produced her clothing products for more than a decade, Angie says she still gets requests for them almost daily. niagara-on-the-lake 21
The Artist’s Garden and Gallery “The one thing I hear all the time in my gallery is, ‘I love your colours, they make me happy’” Angie Strauss There is a part of Angie in every painting and she demonstrates this connection with a story. “I remember the first paintings I ever sold were through a local gallery that took in four small originals. To my surprise, the owner sold three in two days. She called me to pick up a cheque. I was so excited, I ran over to collect my payment; but, when she gave it to me, I realized that the money wasn’t that important. What I really wanted to know was who had bought them, so I could write them a thank you note.” The owner explained that wasn’t possible, due to privacy issues, and Angie continues, “I was very upset and when I arrived home Hartley said, ‘“from now on you are going to have your own gallery and be able to meet the people who love your work ... and they are going to know who you are.” And it has been that way ever since, beginning with her Queen Street gallery that was open for 20 years, and continuing now with the move back to her home. Visitors are delighted to meet her when touring her garden and gallery, and, as Angie will tell you, “I really am a people person. I just love people and they feed me as much as I feed them, because of how they feel about my work, my life and their lives.” There is something special about chatting directly with the artist while you are enjoying their art and it brings a new understanding of the paintings when you can glance behind the curtain, even for just a little peek. When talking about her permanent move back to her home gallery, Angie notes, “we decided we wanted something very special ... and that’s what we did. We left the mainstream and opened our award-winning country garden and gallery to the public, and that has been a most amazing experience! It’s not something people would normally get to see, but mine is not like a “public” garden where it’s all very organized. I mean, my garden really is me. As in nature, there are no straight lines; but, it’s very endearing.”
Angie’s oil paintings cover a wide variety of subjects, including florals, landscapes, animals, and portraits. In terms of her paintings, she explains, “I am not a person who plans anything and I only paint to music. When I approach the blank canvas, I have no idea what I’m going to paint unless it’s a commissioned work. I just turn on my music and start throwing paint on the canvas. It’s like a magical thing and I seem to be able to turn musical harmony into colour harmony. The vibrations are very similar, and they touch people. I’m sure that’s the reason people relate to my work.” Angie says when she is painting, all sense of time is lost to her, and she could be up in her studio for hours; but, when she is truly engrossed in a painting, time just melts away, and she describes, “I really become the painting. I’m actually a part of it.” Angie’s Secret Garden and Gallery is a popular “destination” in Niagara-on-the-Lake and is listed as one of the top three things to do and see when visiting the town. She is especially proud of her reviews on Trip Advisor, with visitors calling it “inspirational”, “vibrant”, “beautiful” and “a wonderland”. Angie is also the winner of several awards including an International Gold Medal for label design for Kurtz Country Farm Market, the Niagara Region Business Woman of the Year, the Niagara Region Entrepreneur of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Niagara Region. It is well worth following the winding path through the garden to the gallery, not only for a chance to completely immerse yourself in the beauty that surrounds you but also to get a chance to see the work of one of Canada’s renowned impressionist painters ... and if you’re lucky, meet the artist herself. “When people say, how long does it take you to do a painting, do I count all the nights that I lay in bed, dreaming about that painting before I do it?” Angie Strauss
The Angie Strauss Garden and Gallery is located at 178 Victoria Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Admission is free and open to visitors year ‘round. You can also Mind more information by visiting www. angiestrauss.com or by calling 905468-2570 (toll free at 1-888-510-0939)
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Willow Cakes and Pastries: A Tasty Treat in Niagara-on-the-Lake By: Megan Pasche Sitting inconspicuously on the corner of Mary Street, is Willow Cakes and Pastries, a European style bakery owned by Pastry Chef Catherine O’Donnell. As you walk through the doors, the sweet bakery air hits your nose immediately. Baking breads and cakes, crispy and light croissants. It’s one of those smells in life you wish you could bottle and carry with you everywhere, just so you can be followed by an ever-lingering smell of baked goods. Huge glass cases display rows of decadent looking desserts, cakes, tarts, cupcakes, quiches, breads…the list goes on. Just some of the delicious sounding options on the menu include: chocolate caramel cheesecake, white chocolate raspberry cake, butter tarts and some of Catherine’s favourites, peanut butter Toblerone cheesecake and crème brule done between chocolate filo. Savoury items are also available, making Willow Cakes a great place to stop in for a quick lunch and coffee, in addition to getting some tasty treats. Tables are tucked into corners, and a large glass window gives patrons a nice peek into the kitchen, where all the baking magic happens. Catherine says that it took a while for the Niagara-on-the-Lake community to buy into the bakery, but now, the door is constantly opening and closing, and there is a steady stream of customers, as well as a booming wedding and custom cake business. Willow Cakes and Pastries has a unique philosophy, and as Catherine explains, “we don’t use additives or preservatives and we don’t add chemicals to anything. So yes, our shelf life for most things is a day to two days, tops. We have no canned fruits in anything. Even in winter, I don’t change to canned, it’s all fresh and during the summer, it is all local. And that’s kind of been my philosophy through it all. There are times when I know I could cut a corner and buy something that would make something rise double the height and make it cheaper, or I could use a cheaper chocolate, but it isn’t who I am.” So in short, not only can you taste the quality, but you can be reassured that whatever it is you are eating from Willow Cakes, well, it’s worth the calories.
Catherine says she knew she wanted to be a pastry chef since the age of 14, when her Nan took her for tea at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto. She set a goal for herself that day: to be the pastry chef at the King Edward by the time she was 30: a goal she achieved. While she was still in high school, Catherine worked at Chudleigh’s Apple Farm baking pies. Afterwards, she went on to graduate from Pastry Arts at George Brown College and then went to study at the Callebaut Chocolate Institute in Belgium. Since that time, she has worked at the King Edward Hotel, Vintage Inns, Hillebrands Vineyard Café and Peller Estates Winery Restaurant. And ten years ago, she opened up Willow Cakes and Pastries. Catherine has several objectives for her bakery, but above all, are uniqueness and flavour. She shares, “my goal is always that when people come in here, they don’t walk in and say, ‘oh, I’ve seen that somewhere else’. I spend most of my Sunday’s off going from bakery to bakery to make sure we are not like anybody else. I want people to come in and say, ‘that was the neatest dessert I’ve ever had.” She continues, “flavour is incredibly important to me also. I want my stuff to be mouth watering.” She is a chef constantly on the lookout for inspiration, whether that is from the latest LCBO Food and Drink magazine or through a food craze like the cronut. This is true of both the items available in the bakery everyday, and her wedding cakes. She says she loves doing wedding cakes and notes that she tries to make her cakes beautiful both inside and out. She recounts, “I’ve been to weddings where I eat the inside of the cake and can’t remember what it tasted like. Because at the end of the day, we don’t actually remember what something looks like, but if something tasted really great, then we remember.” She notes that she is the type of person who loves to learn and to investigate new ideas and she attends at least two courses every year in Chicago. She explains that “most of my friends are not chefs, so I find with going to courses, it’s inspiring to just be working with other chefs. The classes help to relight my fire, because you can sometimes become very constant, and it becomes very safe to just go along. But, I can’t do that, especially because I have young apprentices. I have to keep ahead of them.” At its core, baking really is a form of artistic expression, and Catherine explains it well when she says, “I go to bed at night and I dream up combinations. It’s like when I do a cake, I have to be able to visualize it in my head. I have to see it, and then I can make it. I’m a picture person.”
Catherine says, was definitely a passionate baker. She lived with her Nan while going to college, and they spent many nights baking together. She says her other mentors are Chef Chris Lippart, who was her coach when she was competing in pastry, and Chef John Higgins, who is the Director at George Brown Chef School. In reference to Higgins, Catherine says, “He made me cry so many times, but I think he is the one who turned me into who I am, because he didn’t allow me to have a substandard, he didn’t allow me to have an excuse, he just kept pushing.” Catherine has had many memorable moments throughout her career thus far, one of them being participating in Cake Walk, a reality show in which she competed to make the best wedding cake. And while she didn’t win the competition, she notes, “we were competing against people who were master cake decorators, that’s all they do every day. I do everything from bread to croissants to desserts to cakes, so to even be asked to be on the show was an honour. Going into it, the most important thing to me was to win the flavour; it has to be the best flavour, and we did win that. I just thought that, if I can’t win the taste end of it, then I’m not doing what I should be doing.” Other memorable moments include making the Canada Day cake every year for the parade in downtown Niagara-on-theLake. Catherine says that, “each year is trying to surpass the skills we have, the elements we have.” The Canada Day cake started out as a large Canadian flag, but the cakes have gotten more and more elaborate as the years have gone by. Catherine says that this last year they did a cake to commemorate the burning of the town, “so we made a giant town building and we had it on fire.” These Canada Day cakes need to feed between 2500 and 3000 people, so it is always a challenge to not only conceptualize it, but to then construct and transport it. Catharine shares that at the end of the day though, her biggest accomplishment is the opening and running of Willow Cakes and Pastries. She smiles as she notes that she loves every day of being there. “So much of our time is spent trying to exceed people’s expectations,” she shares. Such dedication of course, shines a light on why Willow Cakes and Pastries is and will continue to be, such a success. Willow Cakes and Pastries is located at 242 Mary Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The bakery is open daily, from 8am to 6pm. More information can be found at www.willowcakes.ca or by calling 905-468-2745
There is a difference between simply baking according to a recipe and baking, as Catherine puts it, “with passion”. She said she has learned this passion from several mentors during her career thus far, the earliest one being her Nan, someone who niagara-on-the-lake 27
Ingredients 6 oz. chopped dates 6 oz. hot water ½ tsp. vanilla ¾ tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. coffee essence 4 oz. sugar 2 large eggs 6oz. all purpose flour 6 oz. dark chocolate ¼ tsp. salt
Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toffee Sauce
Method -Pour hot water over the dates. Then add the vanilla, coffee essence and baking soda. Set aside while you work on the rest of your mix. -Cream the butter and sugar until it is pale, light and fluffy. -Add the eggs slowly. -Melt chocolate over double boiler until there are no lumps but not so warm that you can’t touch the chocolate (approx. 35 C) -Pour the melted chocolate into the above mixture, continuously mixing. -Add the chopped date mixture, followed by the flour and mix until completely incorporated. -You will need 8 X 6 ramekins -Preheat over to 350 (if convection, 325) -Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until center is firm to touch -Serve warm with pecan toffee sauce poured over top.
Toffee Sauce 1 can condensed milk 4 tbsp. 35% cream
Method -Place condensed milk in a saucepot and cover with water until can is completely submersed. -Bring the water to a boil, then turn the stove down to simmer and allow can to simmer in water for 2 hours. -If water goes below the can lid, top up with more warm water -After two hours take out and allow to cool at room temperature -Just before serving, empty can into a sauce pot and slowly add the cream until it is incorporated into the toffee. -Reheat to desired temperature.
Recipes courtesy of Pastry Chef Catherine O’Donnell
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Winter is a Cool time to visit Niagara
Written and photographed by Sandra Ozkur 30
Throughout the summer, wine country is bustling with tourists who come to take part in the numerous events, festivals, and celebrations that happen throughout Niagara. But, when the weather cools down, things begin to heat up again in wine country. There is no shortage of activities during the winter season in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The wineries, restaurants, and community events continue to offer programming throughout the winter months to brighten the days and cheer the spirit. December signals the official kick off to winter with the annual Candlelight Stroll. It has become a tradition dear to the hearts of the citizens of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Townspeople and visitors gather together in front of the historic courthouse, where the town crier heralds in the festive season. The crowd becomes a sea of lights as each hand-held candle is lit, one from another. Together, the procession winds its way through the old town, singing, sipping cider, and reveling in the joy of the season. Period costumes, horse drawn carriages, and an authentic St. Nicholas are all on hand to bring this picture to life. A Santa Claus parade and the ongoing events of the War of 1812 make for a very active Christmas season this year. As the cold winds of January blow through the town, the Icewine Festival begins with a furry. Galas, street festivals, winery events, and culinary competitions all celebrate the season when the frozen grapes are harvested and turned into that luscious sweet nectar known as Icewine. The Icewine Festival Gala, January 10th, ushers in the month long celebration. It is an opportunity to dress up for an elegant evening of food and wine. Spend the evening sipping and sampling your way through the grand ballroom of the Fallsview Casino Resort, where an array of Icewines, gourmet cuisine, and decadent desserts are yours to enjoy. The Icewine festival keeps rolling with the Discovery Pass. Purchase this pass, which allows you to participate in food and wine experiences at participating wineries. The pass is good for three weekends throughout the month of January, so plan to stay overnight at one of the local inns in order to complete all eight experiences. On the third weekend of January, the main shopping street of Niagara-on-the-Lake is transformed into an Icewine village. Ice sculptures, jazz music, wine and food, pairing seminars, comedy acts, and great music are all part of the festival. In the Icewine Village, local wineries and restaurants gather under tents to offer up their delectable wares. The hardy winter food and sweet Icewine will warm you from head to toe while you mingle among the crowd during the day and party at night when the popular Slash and Panache cocktail competition kicks into full gear. Taste some outrageous creations as mixologists vie for the trophy, given for most original Icewine cocktail.
The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake put on their Days of Wine and Chocolate. This touring event allows you to visit 27 wineries which pair VQA wines with chocolate-infused dishes. By the end of your tour you will be an expert in chocolate pairing and a raging chocoholic! Niagara-on-the-Lake has some of the best spas and inns in the province so planning a romantic weekend getaway is easy. Customize your weekend by combining several offerings—wine and chocolate tasting at the wineries, a massage and mineral bath at a spa, then dinner at your favorite restaurant followed by a romantic horse & carriage ride through the historic town. Foodies will not want to miss Fabulicious— this gastronomic extravaganza takes place at the end of February. It is a week long event hosted by Signature Kitchens, a culinary group of local restaurants celebrating the joys of local, seasonal and artisanal cuisine. Niagara-on-the-Lake has become known as the ‘culinary capital of Canada’ and this popular event gives people the opportunity to try out new restaurants. Participating restaurants offer a three-course menu for lunch or dinner, at a very reasonable price. For the wine aficionado, Cuvée takes place February 28th to March 2nd. Now in its 26th year, it highlights the stars of the wine and culinary industry at The Grand Tasting Gala. Here you will sample the best of the best, and have the rare opportunity to talk directly to the winemakers and chefs about their personal creations. For those who take wine tasting seriously, this is the perfect place to pick the brains of some of the greatest winemakers in the country. Later, shake it up to a live band at the Après Cuvée dance party. The regular theatre season in town may be over, but the Shaw Festival is by no means dark. The Shaw presents its Festival Film Series throughout the winter months. These specially selected films run on the big screen in Shaw’s Festival Theatre from November to March. Each Saturday, a sell-out crowd gathers pre-show around the food trucks, to chat with friends and get a bite to eat before heading in to see the afternoon flick. It is a very popular weekly gathering, which brightens those dreary winter days. Winter is never boring in wine country for there is always something to see and do in Niagara. Check out individual websites for more details on these events and what is happening in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake. wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com cuvee.ca niagaraonthelake.com niagarawinefestival.com culinarycapitalofcanada.com
When the month-long Icewine parties subside, Niagara-on-the Lake welcomes in the month of romance. Throughout February, several events are featured at wineries, shops, restaurants and spas. niagara-on-the-lake 31
DRINKS FOR WINTER
When the cold weather rolls around, there is nothing quite as comforting as curling up in a comfy spot with a blanket and a nice, hot beverage. Here are some options to make for a holiday gathering, or just a quiet day at home.
THE ULTIMATE HOT CHOCOLATE
THE BLIZZARD COCKTAIL
HOT ALMOND N CREAM
Ingredients 1 ½ ounce Irish whiskey or rum ½ ounce hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico ½ ounce Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey’s Dollop of whipped cream
Ingredients 1 cup butter, cubed 1 cup sugar 1 cup packed brown sugar 2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened 2 teaspoons almond extract Ground nutmeg
Directions In a glass coffee mug, stir together whiskey, hazelnut liqueur and Irish cream; top with coffee. Garnish cocktail with whipped cream and serve immediately. Source The Martha Stewart Show, December 2008 www.marthastewart.com
Directions In a small saucepan over low heat, cook and stir butter and sugars for 12 to 15 minutes or until butter is melted. Pour into a large bowl; add ice cream and extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, scraping the bowl often. Source Originally published as Hot Almond Cream Drink in Country Woman, January/February 1997 www.tasteofhome.com
EASY CHAI TEA
Ingredients 4 cups milk 1 cinnamon stick, 6 sprigs fresh mint or 2 split vanilla beans (optional) 10 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, cut into small pieces Whipped cream (optional) Chocolate shavings (optional) Directions 1) Heat milk to scalding in a medium saucepan. Add cinnamon, mint or vanilla, if desired. Let steep 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; strain and return to saucepan. Reheat milk; using a whisk, stir in chocolate until melted and milk is frothy. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream garnished with chocolate shavings, if desired. Source www.marthastewart.com
Ingredients 1 large orange 2 cardamom pods 6 whole cloves 6 allspice berries 6 whole black peppercorns 1 cinnamon stick, plus 4 for garnish 1 bottle fruity red wine ½ cup sugar ¼ cup brandy Directions 1) With a fine grater, zest, then juice the orange. 2) With the flat side of the knife, press firmly on the cardamom pods to bruise them. In a large pot (not aluminum) combine the zest, juice, cardamom, cloves, allspice, peppercorns, cinnamon, wine, sugar and brandy. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. 3) Reduce heat to low, simmer until flavours have melded, about 30 minutes. Pour through a finemesh sieve; garnish with cinnamon stick if desired. Serve immediately.
Source Everyday Food, December 2005 www.marthastewart.com
Ingredients 8 cardamom seeds 8 cloves 4 black peppercorns 2 cinnamon sticks 1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced 2 cups whole milk 4 bags black tea 8 teaspoons sugar or more Directions 1) Place the cardamom, cloves and peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet. 2) Place the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add the tea bags, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. 3) Stir into cups. To each cup, add 2 teaspoons sugar to more to taste. Source Recipe by Sara Quessenberry, March 2010 www.realsimplefood.com
AMAZINGLY GOOD EGGNOG Serves: 12
CHOCOLATE CHERRY CAPPUCCINO
Ingredients 4 cups milk 5 whole cloves ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 12 egg yolks 1 ½ cups sugar 2 ½ cups light rum 4 cups light cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg Directions 1) Combine milk, cloves, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for five minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil. 2) In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for three minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves and let cook for about an hour. 3) Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Source Recipe by “Nataliesmom” on All Recipes allrecipes.com
WARM VANILLA CIDER Serves: 6
Ingredients 6 cups fresh apple cider 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar 2 whole nutmeg seeds 1 vanilla bean (split and scraped) 6 ounces (3/4 cup) bourbon Whipped cream (optional) Honeyed walnuts (optional)
Ingredients 1 cup butterscotch chips, divided 8 cups hot brewed coffee ½ cup half and half cream 5 to 8 tablespoons sugar Whipped cream in a can Directions 1) In microwave, melt ½ cup butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry of plastic bag, insert a #4 round tip. Fill with melted chips. Pipe eight garnishes onto a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes. 2) In a large pitcher, stir coffee and remaining butterscotch chips until chips are melted. Stir in cream and sugar. Pour into mugs. Top each serving with whipped cream and a butterscotch garnish.
Ingredients 3 cups sugar 2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 1/3 cups powdered non-dairy creamer 1 1/3 cups instant coffee granules 1 cup baking cocoa 1 envelope unsweetened cherry KoolAid mix Each serving will need: 1 cup, 2% milk 2 tablespoons mini marshmallows Directions 1)In a large airtight container, combine the first six ingredients. Store in a cool, dry place for up to two months. 2)To prepare cappuccino, place two tablespoons of the mix into a mug. Stir in hot milk until combined, top with marshmallows.
Source Originally published as Butterscotch Coffee in Quick Cooking May/June 2008 www.tasteofhome.com
Source Originally published as Chocolate Cherry Cappuccino in the Taste of Home Cookbook. www.tasteofhome.com
SLOW COOKER CARAMEL APPLE CIDER
Directions Combine apple cider, dark brown sugar, nutmeg seeds and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Gently simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and add bourbon if desired. Remove and discard solids. Divide among six mugs or heatproof glasses and top weach with a dollop of whipped cream and a few honeyed walnuts.
Source Martha Stewart Living, October 2009 www.marthastewart.com
Ingredients 8 cups apple cider or juice 1 cup caramel flavouring syrup ¼ cup lemon juice 1 vanilla bean 2 cinnamon sticks 1 tablespoon whole allspice Whipped cream, caramel dip and cinnamon sticks Directions 1) In a 3qt slow cooker, combine the apple cider, caramel syrup and lemon juice. Split the vanilla bean and scrape seeds; add seeds to cider mixture. Place
the bean, cinnamon sticks and allspice on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add to cider mixture. 2) Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or until heated through. Discard spice bag-pour cider into mugs; garnish with whipped cream, caramel topping and additional cinnamon sticks if desired. Source Originally published as Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider in Taste of Home Christmas Annual www.tasteofhome.com
For when you need a little Christmas
Commemorative glass ball
All items are available at Just Christmas in Niagara-On-The-Lake, located at 36 Queen Street
Commemorative glass ball
Handpainted ornament by Alyssa Rothwell
Commemorative glass ball
Handmade Cupcake Ornament 34
Vibrantly coloured nutcrackers
Lacquered maple leaf ornament
Wine Santa and Christmas wine bag
Angel tree topper
Hand painted name balls
Personalized, hand-painted nameballs
A TOP SHOPPING “DESTINATION”… Trip Advisor
ANGIE’S SECRET GARDEN GALLERY
For more than 30 years, renowned impressionist painter Angie Strauss has been one of Niagaraon-the-Lake’s most famous and respected artists. Now, for the first time open to the public, and tucked away behind her lovingly restored 1860’s Victorian farmhouse, is Angie’s secret garden Gallery. This popular visitor destination showcases the artist’s original oil paintings, art prints on canvas & paper, cards and jewellery. All of the treasures she sells are one-of-a-kind, or handmade … and surprisingly affordable !
This unique place is a world filled with beauty and charm - which includes Angie, with a personality as bright and colourful as her art and an inspiration to all who meet her.
178 VICTORIA ST., NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE (Off Queen, down from the Bank of Montreal)
905-468-2570 | Toll-Free 1-888-510-0939 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.angiestrauss.com 36
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Shaw Festival Film Series:
Fantastic Films and Delicious Foods By: Megan Pasche
Once the actors and actresses of the Shaw give their final performance for the live theatre season, the stage doesnâ€™t really go dark, it just showcases a different artistic medium: film. The annual and much anticipated Shaw Festival Film Series gets underway once again this December, showcasing not only several feature films, but also six different documentaries. This exciting event is done in partnership with The Film Circuit, which is a branch of the Toronto International Film Festival. The Shaw Film Series first began in 2005, and has been a growing success ever since. Making this event even more unique and intriguing is a partnership with Gathering Niagara, an organization whose aim is to bring people together and make them happy. One way to do this? Organize a Lunchmarket, which provides movie buffs with gourmet food options before they attend a screening of a great new movie. Food will be available both inside and outside the Festival Theatre and vendors will rotate every week. So far, film goers will be able to enjoy food from: The Dirty South, who offer gourmet BBQ; The Salted Pig, who offers items such as pulled pork, prosciutto, smoked ham sandwiches and more; Jonny Blond, serving lots of different sauces, flatbread sandwiches, grilled meats and 38
more. The Yellow Pear will offer a delicious array of locally inspired fare. Lovin' From the Oven will be there with to- die-for comfort food such as lobster mac and cheese, as well as special film inspired foods. And there also will be tacos from Tacocat. New this year, Avellaâ€™s Wood Fired Oven will be offering take home packages of fresh, homemade, spelt pasta. With all that delicious, gourmet food to choose from, patrons will be able to try a different dish before each film!
A FILM BREAKDOWN These are just some of the films that will be screening at this years film series, a full listing is available at www.shawfest.com
FEATURE FILMS The Hunt This Danish film is directed by Thomas Vinterberg and stars Mads Mikkilsen. This movie tells the story of a man who is wrongly accused of sexually assaulting a child, and the mass hysteria that follows. Showing January 11. The Sapphires This musical-comedy-drama is loosely based on a true story, and stars Chris O'Doud, Deborah Mailman, Sheri Sebbers, Jessica Maulroy and Miranda Tapsell. It is a story about four
indigenous women who are discovered by a local talent scout, form a singing group, and travel to Vietnam to sing for the troops. Showing December 28. Don Jon This movie was written and directed by Joseph Gordon Levitt, who also plays the title role. Also starring are Scarlett Johannson, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza. The story centres around Jon Marlitto and his life, which is comprised mostly of his family, his church, his friends, his girls and his obsession with pornography. The latter leads to him having unrealistic expectations about love. Showing January 18. Blue Jasmine Directed by Woody Allen and starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Peter Sarsgaard, this movie tells the story of a troubled socialite who shows up in San Francisco on her sisters doorstep, her life in shambles and looking for help. Showing December 21. Short Term 12 This movie starring Brie Larson, Frantz Turner and John Gallagher Jr. tells the story of a 20 something woman who works as a supervisor at a foster care facility, alongside her boyfriend. Showing December 14.
The Way Way Back This movie starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Alison Janney tells the story of shy, 14 year old Duncan, who goes on a summer vacation along with his mother, her boyfriend and her boyfriends daughter. Not really fitting in, Duncan makes a new friend in Owen, who manages a water park near where the group is staying. Showing January 4. Enough Said One of James Gandolfini’s last films, the movie also stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Catherine Keener, and tells the story of a divorced woman who falls for her new friends ex-husband. Showing February 8. Inside Llewyn Davis This movie stars Oscar Issac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Justin Timberlake, and follows a singer-songwriter who is navigating the folk music scene in 1960s New York. Showing February 15.
DOCUMENTARIES 20 Feet from Stardom A documentary that looks at the lives of backup singers who often perform with the most popular bands in music, but yet no one really knows who they are. Directed by Morgan Ferrell. Showing January 3 at 6pm. Casting By This documentary examines the role of the casting director and how their choices have really influenced Hollywood through the years. This is a fascinating look at this creative part of filmmaking and has interviews with over 50 actors and actresses. Directed by Tom Donahue. Showing January 10 at 6pm. We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks This film tells the story of the creation of Julian Assange’s now famous website, which led to the largest security breach in United States history. Directed by Alex Gibney. Showing January 17. Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s This film includes interviews with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson, Rachel Zoe, Candice Bergen and more, and tells the story of this famous Manhattan department store. Directed by Matthew Miele. Showing January 24. Feature films will be screened every Saturday from December 7 to February 15, and showtime is at 3pm. Documentaries are screened on Friday evenings at 6pm, starting on January 10 and running until February 14.
THE COSTS: General admission: $12 Pass for all 12 feature films: $130 Stocking stuff for 8 feature films: $88 Documentary pass for all six documentaries: $60 More information on which films are playing on which days is available at www.shawfest.com, and for more information on what food will be available during what film, check out http// gatheringniagara.com
CHEF PROFILE Chef Chris Smythe
By: Megan Pasche Photos by: David Haskell
Chef Chris Smythe was born, raised and started his career right here in Niagara; and he loves it. With such abundance at our fingertips in the form of local food and wine, what’s not for a chef to love? Chris actually started his apprenticeship at the Prince of Wales hotel over 20 years ago, and he has now come full circle: since 2011, he has been the Executive Chef there. His entire career has in fact been spent in Niagara. As Chris explains, “I didn’t really feel that need like a lot of chefs do, to get up and go over to Europe, or go down to the States. I wanted to stay here, I just really enjoyed the area.” And so began a career that would take him to several different restaurants throughout Niagara, though most have been concentrated in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He’s put his stamp on the Pillar and Post, the Riverbend Inn & Vineyard, Queen’s Landing, and now the Prince of Wales. He is an alumnus of the culinary program at Niagara College, and he taught at the Niagara Culinary Institute for about seven years. He remains involved in the school as part of their advisory committee. He also spent two years running his own restaurant, something he cites as one of the biggest challenges of his career: “You do a bit of everything and it’s a real eye opener to how much work is really involved in this industry.” He has been a pioneer in the farm to table movement, and although it’s only recently become a trendy and marketable thing, Chris notes that he’s been doing it for years at the various restaurants he has worked at. And he’s fully committed to continuing that farmer-chef relationship at the Prince of Wales. He says, “we have a network of farms that we use throughout
the year, and they really tie us in to the farm to table. They’re great. I visit the farmers once every couple of weeks and see what they have that’s available. Farming is not easy, it’s a hard way of life, and we want to support them as much as possible. They have the best product out there, and we would rather have it from just down the street, versus it sitting on the back of a truck, coming from the other side of the country”. It terms of how he deals with this during the colder winter months, he explains, “it gets a bit challenging to work farm to table 100% throughout the year, because obviously there is not a lot available during the winter season. So we do a lot of things to prepare ourselves for that. We take in a lot of products in the fall, and we prepare it, whether it is preserving it or storing it in a way that we can use it throughout the winter months.” Chris’s job as Executive Chef is an important one. He is in charge of the culinary direction of all areas of the Prince of Wales hotel, which includes the main restaurant, Escabèche, the lounge and the drawing room, where there is a very popular afternoon tea. He oversees the restaurant at the Moffat Inn, a property that is located right next door to the Prince of Wales. He also is in charge of the catering aspect of the restaurants, and often caters at the wineries, whether it is for weddings or corporate events. A new edition, The Royal Cambridge Room, set to be open in December of 2013, is an extension of the Prince of Wales and is a room that will hold up to 200 people; Chris will be in charge of that as well. In short, he’s a pretty busy guy.
What made you decide you wanted to be a Chef? “I’ve just always sought comfort in food and trying new things. I think I was in awe the first time I worked for a chef because I’d never seen such a respectful discipline as a professional kitchen. That really struck a chord with me. When you first enter a kitchen, you start from the ground floor and then you work your way up. That really sat well with me. I liked the discipline and I liked the structure. Then of course, just the creative side of it. There is so much to work with, and the opportunity is always there for creativity. "
Do you have a cooking philosophy? “My cooking philosophy is just using simple techniques, but good ingredients. I don’t like to overcomplicate things. I try and source out the best ingredients whether it’s local produce from a farm that is just down the street, or a farm that has a small allotment of proteins. That’s something that I look for. I’m not a chef that puts 20 different elements on a plate. I put maybe three to four, and they are made up of really good ingredients that just tie in really well. Simple is best I think.”
Is there someone in your career that stands out as a mentor? “Yes, and it’s a local chef. The first chef that I worked for, when I really made the decision to make this my career, was Mark Walpole. He actually was at one time the Executive Chef here (at the Prince of Wales).”
How do you stay educated on new food trends? “I travel. I travel to the hottest and hippest cities that I can find that have the most current trends. It’s constant education. Basically, food is like fashion, if you are outdated, then you don’t exist. I’ll go to New York, Chicago, Miami…while I am there, I just absorb everything. I take in the service style, the design, the setup, plate presentation, plateware…it’s just endless. You have to stay current, you really do.”
Is there a moment in your career you are most proud of? “Yes, definitely. I would say probably walking into this role at the Prince of Wales. I started my apprenticeship here back in 1989, and I always thought at one point I would like to return to this hotel, because I had a lot of respect and admiration for what it stood for. I think this is probably my shining moment, being at the Prince of Wales.”
Do you have a favourite ingredient to use? “100%, hands down, it would be pork. I’m a really big pork fan, because it’s really versatile and there is so much flavour to it. It’s not the highest demand product out there; it’s probably the least in the way of protein. But I love pork, there are so many things you can do with the whole nose to tail situation. It’s a big foodie thing; everyone that is really into food, likes pork.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? “That would be my staff. We’ve created a great culinary brigade at the Prince of Wales. It’s taken a lot of work to train, to get people up to a level where I feel confident that I don’t need to be here 24 hours a day. It’s very important to have balance in this career, you need to be able to leave, leave everything, and then come back into it with a fresh perspective and start all 42
over again the next day. So I think my staff is something that I am really proud of as well as the product we put out. We really produce a high caliber of dining here.”
Do you have a favourite kitchen gadget? “I think one of my favourite gadgets would be my spice mill. We get all our spices in whole, then we roast them, and then we grind them in a little coffee grinder. We even use it for pepper, we get in the black peppercorns, we roast them, we grind them, it’s a fresher product. It’s just some of the little things we do to keep our standards high.”
Do you have a cooking disaster story you can share? “Where do I start…well, there is an event we do once a year that has upwards of 500 guests. One year we spent three days preparing little mini meat pies; we made the pastries, filled them, packed them, and did up about 500 portions. We were transporting them in a tower of a food warmer unit, and put them on a truck, which a new person was driving that day. We typically use pry bars to pry our warming or cooler units in so they don’t roll around in the back of a cube van. So the truck arrived on site, and I drive up and see a group of people standing at the back of our cube van, just in awe, and what had happened was, the units had toppled over, and about 50% of the tarts were unusable. I walked up and into the truck and just said, ‘everything’s ok’, so everyone kind of backed away. Luckily we were in close proximity to the hotel, so we came up with a quick backup plan where we offered a second option that was a little quicker for us to prepare and that we had an inventory of. I think everyone thought I was going to have a coronary on site, but it was fine, it all worked out, and these things happen sometimes.”
What kind of meals do you make at home? “We have four children, and as busy as life is, we try and really focus on having a Sunday supper together. That is the day that I’ll primarily cook. I really like to do a roast dinner, whether it’s chicken or prime rib. We do all the trimmings, and we just make it a very special time. There is no yelling allowed, there is no arguing, everyone has to get along. We want to build these memories for our children, so we really committed to consistently doing this Sunday after Sunday, so that’s a really special time for me. It’s just really done with love. It’s nice.”
What would be on the menu at your last supper? “I think it would probably be something more in the way of comfort food. I’m a real carnivore. It would probably be like a Chicago style pizza. Something deep dish, lost of cheese, lots of meat. That’s something that would make me very happy.”
The Prince of Wales Hotel is located at 6 Picton Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Escabèche, a 4 diamond restaurant, serves up not only delicious, French inspired cuisine, but has a beautiful dining area. The menus change seasonally. The Churchill Lounge allows for a more informal atmosphere to enjoy your food, and the Victorian Drawing Room lets you go back in time, while you enjoy their daily, afternoon tea. The Coach and Horses Pub at the Moffat provides bistro-style dining in a lovely British pub inspired atmosphere. More information on all restaurants available at www.vintage-hotels.com
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THE BURNING OF NIAGARA 44
By: Megan Pasche
December 10, 1813: as American soldiers
retreated, they left behind them the burning, smoldering remains of what was then known as the town of Niagara, but what we now know as Niagara-on-the-Lake, the loveliest town in Canada. June of 1812 saw the beginning of a war that would stretch on for years. The United States had declared war on Great Britain, and Canada, which at the time was under British possession, was the closest target and thus bore the brunt of the War. Many of the battles that followed, happened right here in the Niagara Region. Following the battle of Fort George, which took place in May of 2013, the Americans had much of the Niagara peninsula under their possession, including the Town of Niagara. They had occupied the town for seven months and on December 10, 1813, they retreated.
It was a freezing, cold night and the soldiers went door-todoor warning people of the impending burning. The pretext for this burning was to make sure that when the advancing British troops arrived from Burlington, they would have nowhere to sleep, nowhere to eat, nowhere to protect them from the elements. The residents, who were made up mostly of women and children, as practically all the men were either fighting with the British army or in local militias, were forced to abandon their homes and were allowed to take whatever they could quickly carry. At dusk, the first flames were lit. The fire spread quickly, and by the time the British arrived, all that was left of the town was glowing embers and piles of furniture in the streets. Only two buildings were left standing, and people were left desperately looking for shelter from the cold.
People found refuge in makeshift shelters in cellars, of the same year, the British under leftover debris, some people went to the torched Washington. Mississauga Point Lighthouse; some even walked as far By the early years of 1815, the as St. Davidâ€™s in the search for warmth and shelter. War of 1812 was coming to an When the British arrived and saw the destruction, end. The men from Niagara they immediately began plotting revenge, and the returned from the battlefields, repercussions for the burning of Niagara were swift: and were released from the on December 19, 1813, British troops marched on prisoner of war camps. Upon Lewiston, New York, and burned it to the ground, their return, they came across leaving only one building standing. Any pretense of a whole mass of destruction. politeness in the war was over. Not only did the British When the time came to rebuild, burn Lewiston, but all the towns along the Niagara the town officials decided to River, including Buffalo. The Americans burned the rebuild further inland in order village of St. Davidâ€™s in July of 1814, and in August to reduce the risk of the towns
core being so close not only to the river, but to American territory. A lot of the homes and stores were built on their original sites, but buildings such as the new Court House, Butlers Barracks and the Indian Council House were moved closer inland. By the time 1830 came around, all the buildings were completed and the town of Niagara was thriving once again.
ACROSS FROM THE FALLSVIEW CASINO VISIT THE CONCIERGE DESK FOR TICKET INFORMATION
& Straight Up! Shaken Stirred
By: Andrea Kaiser
is Canada’s gift of nature, a sweet nectar produced by allowing grapes to freeze on the vine and then pressing only the concentrated juice to be fermented into a luscious dessert wine. Growing up in the family wine business I had the luxury of savouring Icewine on most holidays and special occasions. However it was with the remaining mouthfuls days later that I often had the most fun experimenting and often experienced even greater enjoyment. Lucky for me a large bottle of Icewine can be a challenge to appreciate straight up all in one night, as the intensity of flavour is revealed with just an ounce or
two. So it was about two weeks after a family celebration that a bottle of ‘leftover’ Icewine first beckoned me to be reopened. I hadn’t planned on ‘wasting’ this luxurious liquid on a pie but it seemed like the perfect thing to stir into the fresh local apple filling bubbling gently on the stove; and it was. This simple act opened the door to the many recipes that would later reap the benefits of my generous hand with Icewine in the kitchen. My rationale: there are many liqueurs, brandies and whiskeys regularly stocked in restaurant kitchens across the world, so I often substitute Icewine where a sweet liqueur is called for. My summer sangria is sans the Cointreau and instead a Vidal Icewine lifts the
taste profile of my peach sangria while a Cabernet Icewine is a must for my red concoction full with local berries. My favourite discovery in the kitchen: duck a l’orange and Icewine. There are so many great ways to cook with Icewine both sweet and savoury but a special nod goes out to the one who introduced Icewine to the world of cocktails. The classic - an Icewine Martini - one and a half ounces of cold Vodka shaken with a half ounce of Icewine, garnished with a sugar coated frozen grape. Quite simply, delicious. I am also a big fan of sparkling wine with an Icewine ‘dosage’. It’s like a Kir Royal, but better.
S I H T TRY
e: at hom y r t o ng t ll ow i e o f e h Icewin pt l u a e d k i V a Sh l l in n n is k i I e c n 1 ou e au ss Cointr e c n our Pu u S y r 1 /2 o r pbe ce R a s ine be t n u o 2 1/ ge sor in icew n d a e r k o a y so poon r. 1 t e as spberrwhite suga a r h t h wi d in Garnisently rolle a nd g
And each year during the Icewine Festival in Niagaraon-the-Lake I can’t wait to bundle up for the annual Icewine Cocktail Competition when local bartenders take up the challenge to create the most amazing tribute to our Canadian gift of nature. The street is always buzzing with excitement to see who will have bragging rights. Last year Zee’s Grill won top honours with their ‘Orange Snow Berry’. Being in the wine business, admittedly my access to Icewine was and still is beyond that normally enjoyed,
but with so many amazing ways to get delight from such a small bottle, it is worth the investment. And the beauty is, unlike a table wine, it can be stored chilled for up to eight weeks as the natural sugars act as a preservative, giving home entertainers ample opportunity to extend their pleasure derived from one bottle of this opulent wine. So yes, open your Icewine and take delight in your Icewine straight up with blue cheese, stir it into your favourite sauce or shake things ups and create a new libation for your next cocktail party!
Cornerstone Estate Winery 4390 Tufford Road, Beamsville, Ontario, L0R1B1 Phone: (905) 563-6758 www.cornerstonewinery.com email@example.com
Ravine Vineyard 1366 York Road St Davids, Ontario, L0S 1P0 Phone: (905) 262-8463 Fax: (905) 262-6322 www.ravinevineyard.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Reif Estate Winery 15608 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, L0S 1J0 Phone: (905) 468-7738 Fax: (905) 468-5878 www.reifwinery.com email@example.com
Konzelmann Estate Winery 1096 Lakeshore Road Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, L0S1J0 Phone: (905) 935-2866 Fax: (905) 935-2864 www.konzelmann.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
Hernder Estate Winery 1607 Eighth Avenue Louth, St. Catharines, Ontario, L2R 6P7 Phone: (905) 684-3300 Fax: (905)-684-3303 www.hernder.com email@example.com
One of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s founding-family wineries, Reif opened in 1982, after founder Ewald Reif planted its vineyards in 1977; the property was later acquired by nephew Klaus W. Reif. Today, the large 50-hectare site produces a complete range of varietals, including Vidal Icewine, a perennial medal winner. Premium “first growth” reds from the oldest vines are turning heads as well. The winery boasts one of the most sophisticated, educational tasting room experiences in Niagara, complete with themed flights, blind tastings, food pairings and a new sensory wine garden. The neighbouring Victorian mansion is a splendid setting for weddings and other catered functions.
Honestly great wines. Re i f E s t a t e Wi n e r y | 1 5 6 0 8 n i a g a r a r i v e r p a r k w a y | n i a g a r a - o n - t h e - l a ke | c a n a d a 9 0 5 - 4 6 8 -W I N E ( 94 6 3 ) | w w w. r e i f w i n e r y.c o m niagara-on-the-lake
Every Woman is a
Wine Woman By Angela Aiello
During the Second World War, the character of ‘Wonder Woman’ was created as a warrior princess who fought for the greater good. She was tenacious, with a passion for justice, peace, love and equality. As an icon of wisdom, beauty and strength, she was considered “the new type of woman who should rule the world.” Years later, we still aspire to be like Wonder Woman – adventurous, powerful, attractive and fashionable – and with a glass of wine in hand we now call these super females the modern day ‘Wine Woman’. I’ll cheers a glass of local VQA Niagara sparkling to that!
Build Your Toolkit Wine is all about learning your preferences, sharpening your skills and enjoying the journey. A skilled Wine Woman speaks the wine talk, walks the wine walk, and masters wine tools like corkscrews, decanters and glasses. She’s on trend with new grape varieties, regions, and food pairings. And, most fun of all, she is a top-notch hostess and loves to share her wisdom and knowledge with others. Mastering the art of wine service is like completing your outfit with the perfect accessory – it gets noticed. To show off your love for the local juice in Niagara, know what VQA stands for – Vintners Quality Alliance. It’s the symbol you need to look for on the label of local bottles that means the wine in your glass is made with grapes that are 100% from Ontario.
Find Your Match Although you may not be fighting crime like Wonder Woman, you’re sure to encounter your share of wine you don’t love along your journey! Try to take the bad with the good, and learn from it. By understanding why you do or don’t like a wine, you’ll become more confident in your preferences. When it comes to Chardonnay, know and understand that they can taste very different. Some are completely un-oaked, while some spend time in a barrel for complex and deep flavour profiles. This grape variety is a tough one to ‘date’ as you might find bottles that don’t fit what you’re looking for. But don’t give up, and you’re sure to find a Chardonnay you love – it’s out there! Ontario has some of the best Chardonnays in the world – trust me I’ve been around! From our Sparkling to Icewine made from Chardonnay, there is a Niagara Chardonnay that is your perfect fit.
Discover Your Super Sense Although wine isn’t only a woman’s drink, many females love their vino. Interestingly enough, it is also said that women have super senses when it comes to smelling and tasting wine. So the next time you’re visiting a local Niagara winery or enjoying a glass in the comfort of your own home, embrace your inner Wine Woman and take the time to swirl, smell, sip and savour your wine. Trying new and different wines from across the region allows you to expand your horizons – and your senses. With attention and patience, you will continue to broaden your knowledge and your capability for tasting wine.
Photo credit: Regen Chen
These photos were originally published in Chloe Magazine, Fall 2013
Spread the Word Understanding the intricacies of wine from across the globe will make you a well-versed and balanced Wine Woman. When you’re hosting wine gatherings at home (as any Wine Woman should), try throwing themed parties around countries and regions. A Niagara/locally themed party is a great way to start! You can explore the world with friends by enjoying many great bottles of wine together. A Wine Woman who loves local Niagara wine becomes an Ambassador for the region – and there can never be too many of those! Also, when it comes to wine, people always ask friends and family for recommendations, so spread the VQA love and share your knowledge! Are you a man looking to swoon your lady? Take her to Niagara Wine Country – she’ll love the thought and the local wine too! It’s a great holiday gift, way to spend Valentines Day, or to say “I Love You” for no reason at all.
Uncover Your Wine Personality Wonder Woman had an alias, by the name of Diana Prince, who was said to work as an army nurse. Deep down in your Wine Woman soul, there might be a super wine geek waiting to be unleashed. What’s your wine identity and personality? Are you monogamous with Rieslings and have flavour flings with Chardonnay? Are you a mysterious Malbec or a fun Pinot Grigio? Are you thin-skinned like Pinot Noir, or sassy like a Sauvignon Blanc? Me, I’m a lover of local Niagara. Some call me the Robyn Hood of Wine, because I always bring wine to the people on local wine tours. But personally, I love strongly supporting Niagara wines because they really are fantastic. It’s all about finding your style!
the new type of woman who should rule the world.
Suit-up for Cool Climate Wonder Woman’s Amazon training makes her as beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, as swift as Hermes and as strong as Hercules. Use your wine knowledge and accessories as skills and resources. It’s no secret that wine is fashionable, so put your Wine Woman suit on and tackle your wine journey head on. Get to know the cool climate wines that Niagara and Ontario do best, like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, and Pinot Noir (there are more too!) and start sipping! The world, or should I say the world of local wine, is waiting for you.
Celebrate Your Conquests with VQA There is a Latin phrase worth knowing, which means “In wine there is truth.” If Wonder Woman drank, I can guarantee wine would be her beverage of choice. Wine is the drink of the Gods – and since she is the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, maybe that makes her a wine princess. She would definitely have enjoyed a glass of VQA Sparkling wine to celebrate her conquests and relax after a long day. Or perhaps, she would have savoured an Ontario Icewine martini with friends and discovered new VQA bottles each week to build her wine confidence.
Become a Wine Woman Just like fashion, wine is about accessorizing and details. Knowing how to properly use a corkscrew, serve into great glassware, decant and swirl are fundamentals. Get to know your favourite wine varieties from Niagara and begin collecting glassware for each one. When you’re hosting, the attention to detail won’t go un-noticed and will impress your guests. Wonder Woman had her accessories and they were her tools to success, so create your wine tool belt and become the Wine Woman you were meant to be! Ever heard of “#winewednesday? It’s the day of the week when a glass of wine celebrates the completion of the beginning of the week, and keeps you motivated for the days leading up to the weekend. Local wine is the perfect choice. There is an ideal bottle for every mood, every dish, every personality and every woman. Inside of you there is a Wine Woman waiting to be released, all it takes is unleashing your passion, intrigue, adventure and style. Remember to use your the #VQA hashtag to show your love for Ontario grapes and local #wine!
Take a skate at TD RINK at the Brink
December 1 - February 28 WFOL.com/TD-RINK-at-the-Brink/
In Partnership Partnership With Wit In
celebrating 30 years In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the opening of RiverBrink as a public art museum, our 2013 exhibitions are organized around the theme of collecting 2013 Exhibitions
Homer Watson, The Lothian Hills, 1892 © RiverBrink Art Museum (detail)
Sam Weir: The Consummate Collector The Battle of Lake Erie NineteenthǦCentury Views of the War of 1812Ǧ14 Norval Morrisseau: Journey with a Genius Augustus John, Works on Paper
Summer Hours (to Oct 27) Daily, 10 am to 5 pm
Winter Hours (from Oct 28) Wed to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm
RiverBrink Art Museum 116 Queenston Street, Queenston (NOTL), ON
We pour our hearts into every drop. Come in to see what makes us special! (905) 468-2882
1829 Concession 4 Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON www.rancourtwinery.com niagara-on-the-lake 55
SIX Generations of
Written and photographed by Sandra Ozkur In 2014, Konzelmann Estate Winery, located in Niagara-on-theLake, will celebrate its 30th anniversary. The owner, Herbert Konzelmann, couldn’t be more pleased as he welcomes his grandson, Fabian, into the family business. Fabian will become the latest in a long line of professional winemakers that stretches back six generations. Herbert Konzelmann, originally from Uhlbach, Germany, started Konzelmann Winery in 1984. Today, at the spry age of 76, he is still the head master, overseeing the entire production from start to finish. “I just love it,” he says with a huge grin on his face. “When I see those grapes ripening perfectly I get so excited, I can’t wait to see what kind of wine I can make from them. Only 5 years out of a hundred will have similar growing conditions. Each year presents a different challenge, and that is what keeps it interesting,” he says in a voice still tinged with a German accent. “Right now we have a 2012 Chardonnay aging in oak; you can’t believe the beauty of that wine!” His bright blue eyes light up with pride as he describes the ripeness of the fruit on the palate, the complex aromas, and the full mouth-feel of a robust and mature wine. He invites me to come back later when the wine is finished to taste this prize creation straight from the barrel. “Great wine is only made from excellent grapes, and I am very confident that our wines will turn out well year after year because I know we have healthy vines. And when the vines are healthy the fruit will be beautiful!” He goes on to explain that Konzelmann Winery takes great care in nurturing their vines. Their viticulturist, Romeo Miele, manages the vineyards and is given great credit for introducing sustainable farming methods to re-mineralize and feed the soil. Niagara produces some of the best wines in the world. Herbert explains, “This land is young and fertile; it is still rich and full of minerals that are perfect for grape growing. In Germany, the land has been farmed for thousands of years, here, only for
about 150 years.” With 40 acres of land situated on the shore of Lake Ontario, his vines benefit from the gentle breezes and moderating temperatures that come in from the lake. This prime location is definitely a factor in producing some of the best grapes around. The warming influence of the lake extends the growing period and allows the grapes to hang longer on the vine—the longer they hang, the more complex the flavours become. “When the grapes are ripe, we measure the sugar with instruments, but the final test is still my mouth— it knows best when the grapes are just right for picking,” Herbert laughs. Herbert descends from a long line of winemakers— his great grandfather started the first Konzelmann Winery in 1893, which his sons eventually took over. Unfortunately, the business was devastated during the Second World War. Production was difficult enough in wartime but then finally halted when the winery was looted. After the war, Herbert’s father, Alfred, wanted to resurrect the business, so he trained as a professional winemaker: he spent years apprenticing in France and Italy before returning home to re-start the winery. As a young boy, Herbert helped his father at the winery and eventually entered a prestigious college where he learned from some of the best winemakers in Europe. At 22 he returned home to help his father improve the winery. He married his sweetheart, Gudrun, and began a family. Herbert was driven to succeed and worked seventy hours a week; he made wine on the weekend, and then traveled the country to sell it during the week. Together with the help of his wife and father, they were able to bring the winery back to its glory days. Things were going well for Herbert: he was happily married with three children and owned a successful business. The only thing missing was a vineyard of his own. He never felt completely satisfied with his wine because he didn’t have control over the growing process. “I had to depend on local growers and co-ops to supply the fruit. I had always wanted my own land, but prices in Germany were out of reach.
"I now know for certain that Canada can hold its own against any world-class wine." Herbert first visited British Columbia in 1981 on a wilderness trip and was enchanted by the expansive land and natural beauty of Canada. He was also amazed to learn that there was a wine industry there. The following year he returned to Canada to check out the wine industry in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where he visited Inniskillin Winery. The original winemaker, Karl Kaiser, now recognized as one of the pioneers of the Canadian wine industry, spoke German. He explained to Herbert that in general only hybrids were grown in Canada because of the cold climate. Hybrids didn’t yield quality wine so Kaiser had experimented with planting some European varietals from which he had made his own wine. Kaiser offered a tasting of his Riesling, which Herbert compared to some Riesling he had brought from Germany. He was amazed that the Canadian Riesling actually had more complexity and minerality than his bottle. Herbert was so impressed that he took half a suitcase of dirt home to have it analyzed. The results were perfect—Niagara has some of the best soil in the world for grape growing! He decided right then and there to move to Canada and make wine. With the help and support of his wife, Herbert began to look for suitable land in Canada. They found a peach farm that was for sale exactly where Herbert wanted it, next to the lake. He returned home to tell his aging father that he wanted to start a winery in Canada. Although saddened at the prospect of his son leaving the business in Germany, Herbert’s father supported his son’s desire to build the Konzelmann name abroad. At the age of 47, and without speaking a word of English, Herbert moved his wife and family to Niagaraon-the-Lake where they converted the 40 acre peach orchard to a working vineyard. Herbert planted thirteen varietals of Vitis vinifera grapes from Europe. The winery now boasts some of the oldest noble grape vines in the region. Over the years, more family members have joined the winery and Konzelmann Estate Winery has built a reputation for quality wines, friendly service, and affordable prices. Although Icewine (Eiswein) originated in Germany, Canada’s climate is more suited to consistently producing Icewine year after year. Canadian wineries now have the reputation for producing the best Icewine in the world. Konzelmann Estate Winery is one of the wineries that have helped put Canada on the map as the number one producer of Icewine. Konzelmann Winery has received many prestigious awards for its Icewines, which include: a Gold at the International Wine and Spirit competition in the UK, Grand Gold at VinItaly International Wine Competition, and Best of Golds at Vinexpo-Challenge International, France. Konzelmann is also the first Canadian winery to have had its Icewine included on the Wine Spectator Magazine's Top 100 List. Visitors from all over the world come to the winery every year to enjoy this rare wine.
Herbert is very pleased with how the winery has grown from its early days as a husband and wife operation, to the large family business that it is today. Herbert had planned to hand the winery down to his son, Matthias. Sadly, Matthias passed away at the young age of 29. But the family line continues: Herbert now finds great joy in having his grandson, Fabian, join the family business to help him in the cellar. Fabian is working hard to fill the shoes as the next head winemaker in a long succession of family professionals. He is fortunate in that, through his grandfather, he has access to six generations of accumulated knowledge. Although Fabian may feel the pressure of his family’s expectations to carry the winery forward, he is confident because he shares the same passion as his grandfather for the craft. Fabian spent most of his childhood in Canada, but returned to Germany, where the wine industry is centuries old, to study oenology and viticulture. He spent 5 years at Staatsweingut Weinsberg earning his degree. Although he loved living in his homeland, he never doubted that he would return to Canada to join the family business. This year Fabian began working under the watchful eyes of his grandfather, learning all that he can from Herbert’s 54 years in the wine industry. “I want to continue to produce the fine wines that my grandfather makes, but I also would like to add my own touch by developing some new products.” Fabian’s focus will be on wine and viticulture. He explains, “The land is a living, breathing entity, which needs to be respected and cared for. The soil is what imparts the flavors in the fruit of the vine, and the fruit imparts the essence or notes into the finished wine.” Fabian continues, “From my exposure to European wines while living abroad, I now know for certain that Canada can hold its own against any world-class wine. We have a unique taste profile and I want to show the world what Canada is capable of producing!” Fabian plans to use old world methods together with modern technology to refine Konzelmann’s wines. He has classmates from all over the world whom he can call upon for advice. That gives him the confidence and knowledge to take Canadian wines to another level. “With time I will learn the business side of things too, so we can keep this family business running for future generations,” he said. 2014 will be a landmark year for the Konzelmann family; it marks 120 years since the winery was established, the Canadian winery’s 30th anniversary and also the year of Fabian’s upcoming wedding. With a marriage on the horizon, the future looks very promising for another generation of young winemakers.
FACTS ABOUT NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE • It was the site of an old Neutral Indian Village called Onghiara. • Niagara-on-the-Lake was originally known as Butlersburg, named after Colonel John Butler, who was the commander of Butler’s Rangers. • In 1781, the town got its official status and became known as Newark. It was used as a British military site, and was a popular spot for British loyalists from the United States to flee in the aftermath of the American Revolution. • It had a third name change in 1798, when it was called Niagara and named as the first capital of Upper Canada. • The capital of Upper Canada was changed to York (now Toronto) during the War of 1812. • The town was burnt to the ground in 1813, as American troops retreated and made their way back to Fort Niagara. • The town was entirely rebuilt, and they focused the residential area around King and Queen Streets, which were out of firing range of Fort Niagara. • The town was once again renamed in the 1880s, this time to what it remains today: Niagara-on-the-Lake. This change was to avoid confusion with Niagara Falls. • The town got its first school in 1859, and it was called Niagara Public School. • The majority of the military sites in town (Fort George, Navy Hall and Butler’s Barracks) have all been restored and are open to visitors. • Fort George was restored during a “Make Work Project” during the Great Depression in the 1930s. • Niagara-on-the-Lake was home to many “firsts” in the Province: the first newspaper, first lending library, first historical museum and first provincial parliament. • Niagara-on-the-Lake served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. • The town’s historic district was designated as a
National Historic Site of Canada in 2003. Specific buildings that have been designated as National Historic Sites include: the Battlefield of Fort George, Fort George itself, Butlers Barracks, Fort Mississauga, Old Court House Theatre and The Niagara Apothecary (which is the oldest apothecary in Canada) St. Mark’s Church was built in 1791 and is the oldest Anglican Church in Ontario McFarland House is the oldest surviving building in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and was used as a hospital and Officer’s Quarters during the War of 1812. Because of this, it survived the burning of the town in 1813. Niagara-on-the-Lake is the only town in Canada whose elected official is known as Lord Mayor. This title is much more common in Britain. The historic old town is a popular film location, and films such as The Dead Zone, The Experts, The Ref, Canadian Bacon, That Old Feeling and Amelia have all been filmed there. The picturesque gazebo that sits on the shores of the lake was actually built for the filming of The Dead Zone and donated to the town when filming wrapped. In addition to the main area of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the town also encompasses several different villages: Glendale, Homer, McNab, Queenston, St. David’s and Virgil. In 1996, Communities in Bloom, a national beautification program, named Niagara-on-the-Lake the “prettiest town in Canada.” In 1974, Inniskillin was given the first estate winery license since the days of Prohibition. This was the start of what would become a huge industry in Niagara.
Embrace winterâ€™s chill in
Niagara-on-the-Lake Our vineyards sparkle and our events calendar shines during Winter in Wine Country. Experience frosty fun at 27 wineries with delicious experiences like the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival and our Days of Wine and Chocolate touring program.
Discover 27 wineries, just minutes from your hotel. Visit us online for more information about our wineries, a year-round events calendar and a downloadable Winery Touring Map.
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www.wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com @NiagaraWine #NOTLwine
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Experience Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Country! We’re 27 wineries nestled below the Niagara Escarpment amidst a landscape of vineyards and orchards stretching from the picturesque Niagara River Parkway to the shores of Lake Ontario. We’re a close-knit neighbourhood of wineries each with a unique personality. You’ll see this when you step up to our doors and you’ll taste it in our wines. Visit our large estates, medium-size operations and boutiques (we recommend that you mix it up) and you will see that when it comes to our wines size does not matter. Behind the doors to each winery you’ll find friendly staff, stylish and relaxed tasting rooms and a wide range of wines to sample. Here you can experience the life of a winery. Sign up online to receive regular e-updates from wine country. BETWEEN THE LINES GPS: N43° 11.579’, W079° 6.475’ 991 Four Mile Creek Road Niagara on the Lake 905.262.0289
JOSEPH’S ESTATE WINE INC. GPS: N43° 13.961’, W79° 6.511’ 1811 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 1.866.468.1259
CATTAIL CREEK ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 12.053’, W79° 8.129’ 1156 Concession 6 Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.988.9463
KONZELMANN ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 15.007’, W79° 8.473’ 1096 Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.935.2866
CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES GPS: N43° 9.458’, W79° 7.508’ 1025 York Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.262.4219 COLANERI ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 9.751’, W079° 8.058’ 348 Concession 6 Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.682.2100 COYOTE’S RUN ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 9.751’, W079° 8.058’ 485 Concession 5 Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 1.877.269.6833 DIAMOND ESTATES GPS: N43° 12.339’, W79° 8.594’ 1067 Niagara Stone Road Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.685.5673 HINTERBROOK WINERY GPS: N43° 15.074’, W79° 8.214’ 1181 Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.646.5133 INNISKILLIN WINES GPS: N43° 12.702’, W79° 3.902’ 1499 Line 3 Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 1.888.466.4754 ext. 5400 JACKSON-TRIGGS NIAGARA ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 14.689’, W79° 5.560’ 2145 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.4637 Ext. 3
RAVINE VINEYARD ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 9.513’, W79° 6.299’ 1366 York Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.262.8463 REIF ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 3.037’, W079° 3.615’ 15608 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.9463
LAILEY VINEYARD GPS: N43° 13.914’, W79° 3.706’ 15940 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.0503
RIVERVIEW CELLARS ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 12.348’, W79° 3.545’ 15376 Niagara Parkway RR # 1, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.262.0636
MARYNISSEN ESTATES WINERY GPS: N43° 12.346’, W79° 4.254’ 1208 Concession 1, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.7270
SMALL TALK VINEYARDS GPS: N43° 13.448’, W79° 10.296’ 1242 Irvine Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.935.3535
NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY GPS: N43° 9.034’, W79° 10.003’ 135 Taylor Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.641.2252 ext. 4070
SOUTHBROOK VINEYARDS GPS: N43° 11.469’, W79° 9.713’ 581 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 1.888.581.1581
PALATINE HILLS ESTATE GPS: N43° 14.704’, W79° 9.060’ 911 Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.646.9617
STRATUS VINEYARDS GPS: N43° 14.473’, W79° 5.847’ 2059 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.1806
PELLER ESTATES WINERY GPS: N43° 14.512’, W79° 3.839’ 290 John Street East, Niagara-on-the-Lake 1.888.673.5537
STREWN WINERY GPS: N43° 15.160’, W79° 7.484’ 1339 Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.1229
PILLITTERI ESTATES WINERY GPS: N43° 13.749’, W79° 6.807’ 1696 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.3147
SUNNYBROOK FARM ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 15.168’, W79° 7.233’ 1425 Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.1122
PONDVIEW ESTATE WINERY GPS: N43° 13.054’, W79° 7.673’ 925 Line 2, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905.468.0777
TRIUS WINERY AT HILLEBRAND GPS: N43° 12.765’, W79° 8.015’ 1249 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake 1.800.582.8412
One of the most historical towns in Niagara, Niagara-on-the-Lake set the stage for the War of 1812 more than 200 years ago. Visiting NOTL is kind of like stepping back in time, and there are numerous shops, restaurants and RE more to discover. The town slogan is, “the loveliest Gtown ST E in Canada.” NT
SHAW S ROYAL GEORGE T D VIC F L T S I N E R UE RE
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Customs House Cigars (126 Queen St.)The only registered
Maple Leaf Fudge (114 Queen St.)Find so many delectable and
tobacconist in NOTL, founded in 1996. Customs House offers a wide variety of cigars, pipes, tobaccos, accessories, and humidors. Also available: the Lampe Berger air purifying system. www.customshousecigars.com
delightful fudge flavours, the likes you’ve never seen or tasted before! All homemade daily, Maple Leaf also makes brittle in addition to fudge, and offers a large selection of imported candies, specialty chocolate and Canadian Maple products. www.mapleleaffudge.com
Bella Grace Boutique (118 Queen St.) Looking for high-end designer fashion and accessories at an affordable price? Look no further than Bella Grace. This destination for fashionistas will have you styling for the season.
Angie Strauss Gallery (178 Victoria St.) Visit the art gallery of renowned Canadian Impressionist painter, Angie Strauss. Stroll through Angie’s English country garden, and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings before you enter the gallery and studio. angiestrauss.com/gallery
Just Christmas (34 Queen St.) It’s never too early to shop for the holiday season, and you can start checking off your list with Canada’s oldest year-round Christmas store. Just Christmas has over 5000 different items available, including many personalized items. www.justchristmas.ca
The Audio Loft (91 Queen St.) Looking to upgrade your home theatre? Knowledgeable consultants at The Audio Loft can help you perfect your home entertainment setup, or integrated audio. If music and cinema are a big part of your life, make a stop at The Audio Loft. www.theaudioloft.com
The Romance Collection Gallery (177 King St.) One can’t leave Niagara-on-the-Lake
Cheese Secrets (38 Market St.) Discover a wide assortment of rare, handmade, and farm-fresh cheese from across Canada. Boutique cheese at its best, Cheese Secrets also offers popular and unique cheeses and accouterments from Europe and around the world. cheesesecrets.com
without a stop at celebrated artist Trisha Romance’s Gallery and Gift Shop. Check out some prints and original art works of this Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award winner. www.romancecollection.com
Irish Design (75 Queen St.) It’s no luck of the Irish; it’s the stylish and trendy products offered at Irish Design! If you’re looking for Irish-made merchandise like clothing, jewellery, perfume, and other gifts, stop by the store and take a look around. www.irishdesign.com
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Ristorante Giardino (142 Queen St.): Authentic Italian cuisine in a beautiful,
Oban Inn Restaurant (160 Front St.): The dining experience at the Oban
The Charles Restaurant (209 Queen St.): Located within The Charles Inn’s old
Bistro Six One(61-63 Queen St.): Enjoy a casual atmosphere with some of the most unique culinary dishes in Niagara. Everything is prepared fresh to order — experience Bistro 61 for yourself! www.bistrosixone.com
Historic Fort George offers many special events and tours, including commemorating the anniversary of the War of 1812. Tours are available daily, but tickets move fast, so get yours soon before they sell out! www.friendsoffortgeorge.ca
The Epicurean (84 Queen St.): A wonderfully delicious combination of seasonal fare with Niagara wines in a comfortable diningroom, or exclusive garden patio. Casual by day, extravagant at night. www.epicurean.ca
Niagara Wine Tours International (92 Picton St.)
Corks Winebar & Eatery (19 Queen St.): An eclectic menu, featuring a mix of
Experience the Niagara Wine Region through individual, corporate, or group tours by bicycle, passenger van, or coach through Niagara Wine Tours International, an award-winning wine tour and travel entrepreneur! www.niagaraworldwinetours.com
Escabeche (6 Picton St.): Make a stop at this “Four-Diamond” award winner,
Coach & Horses Pub at Moffat Inn (60 Picton St.): Experience that cottage feel
Tiara Restaurant at Queen’s Landing (155 Byron St.): Sunlight spills through the dining room, as you are bathed in a panoramic view of Niagara-on-the-Lake Harbour. An appetizing bounty of fresh ingredients from local farms in a formal environment. www.vintage-hotels.com
The Haunted Shop & Ghost Walks (126 Queen St.) Deemed Canada’s Only Paranormal-themed shop, this gift shop features some of the most unique and bizarre gifts to satisfy your dark side. The Haunted Shop is also the destination for Ghost Walks of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Fort George (26 Queen’s Parade)
Shaw Festival Film Series (10 Queen’s Parade) World-class theatre drawing in crowds year after year, the Shaw is a mainstay of Niagara-onthe-Lake, and one of the most celebrated cultural attractions in town. Check out the winter film series — Get your tickets now! www.shawfest.com
Meridian Credit Union Arena (1565 Four Mile Creek Road) Get out your skates and join in during the public skating days, which take place every Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 to 2:50pm. The cost is $2.75 per person. Visit www.notl.org for more information.
lavish setting. Relax and enjoy an intimate meal within the European-styled interior, or chill on the patio, taking in the lovely sights and sounds of Niagaraon-the-Lake. gatehouse-hotel.com
Inn is a tradition traced back to the early 19th century. Savour the flavours of Oban’s “Four Diamond” award-winning creations in a gorgeous and elegant atmosphere. www.obaninn.ca parlour, enjoy a traditional dining ambience coupled with modern culinary flare from Chef de Cuisine, Steve Sperling. www.niagarasfinest.com/properties/charlesrestaurant
Canadian, Mediterranean and American cuisine. Corks also hosts the Playhouse Theatre, as well as live entertainment weekly. www.corksniagara.com
Escabeche features seasonal menus inspired by France’s culinary traditions. Check out the wine list, featuring wines from around the world. www.vintage-hotels.com
in the historic Moffat Inn, and enjoy bistro-style dining with Coach & Horses Pub’s flavoursome pub fare, fine wines, and a large selection of draft beer. www.vintage-hotels.com
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4 Queen St, Niagara-on-the-Lake (beside the Prince of Wales Hotel) 905.468.4648 68