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K I N G CA M P GILLETTE:

C E L E B R AT I N G FRUIT IN N I AGA R A

T H E S TO R Y B E H I N D THE RAZOR TYCOON

HORNBLOWER: GET UP CLO SE WITH N IAGARA FALLS

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Live Entertainment Nightly Niagara’s Largest TV Open Daily From Noon Located in Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites directly across from Fallsview Casino Resort 6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9 +1 905 354 7887 spycelounge.ca |

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Complimentary parking for our dining guests.

authentic italian cooking — and brick oven pizza — located in hilton niagara falls/fallsview hotel & suites directly across from fallsview casino resort 6361 fallsview blvd, niagara falls, on L2G 3V9 +1 905 353 7174 pranzoniagara.com |

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complimentary parking for our dining guests.

children eat free restrictions apply. ask server for details.

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 3


Best View of the Falls Illumination Every Evening

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All You Can Eat Beef brisket • Pork ribs • fried Chicken Burgers • Sausage • baked beans Potato Bar • salad bar • corn bread

frontierniagara.com 6519 Stanley Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7L2 +1 289 296 6367 TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 5 frontierniagara | frontier_niagara


//CONTRIBUTORS

LAUREN CHARLEY

SHERMAN ZAVITZ

ANDREA KAISER

Lauren is a Copywriter and Journalist with a passion for travel and sharing stories. Born a tropical baby at heart, Lauren spent a year working for a magazine in the British Virgin Islands after graduating from The University of Western Ontario. Niagara-on-the-Lake will always be her home base as continues to allow her vocation take her on adventures and discover the world.

A retired teacher, Sherman Zavitz has had a fascination with the history of Niagara Falls and area for many years. Active in many history-related organizations, he has authored five books and he was a columnist for the Niagara Falls Review for over 20 years. He has been recognized for his historical expertise by being appointed official historian for both the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario and the Niagara Parks Commission.

Grew up in Niagara, and is no stranger to the Ontario wine industry.You could say she was born into a life of food and wine and now shares this passion for Niagara Flavours through her writing, teaching and work. Well, we will call it work for lack of a better word.

GABRIELLE TIEMAN-LEE

JULIE TANOS

VICTORIA GILBERT

A writer for REV publishing for over three years, Gabrielle has written for numerous REV publications including Taste, Shopping & Travel. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Journalism program and has written for a variety of newspapers including the National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette.

Julie’s love of reading good books and writing was sparked at a very young age. After earning her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Guelph, majoring in Hotel and Food Administration, she returned home to Niagara Falls. While Julie considers the hospitality industry the meat and potatoes of her career, freelance writing is the delectable dessert. When she’s not busy enjoying her three kids, she and her hubby are root, root, rooting for the Blue Jays.

Victoria is a print journalist, a documentary filmmaker, a writer of fiction and a lover of adventure. Based in Niagara-On-the-Lake, she spends much of her time wandering the world as a scuba diver, cyclist, skier, thrill seeker and wanderer.

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 7


2017/2018

GET RECOGNIZED Reach tourists and locals all in one place. Advertise with us and be where they work, live and play.

PUBLISHER PRESIDENT & CEO ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER EDITOR

Rev Publishing Inc. Daniel A. Pasco Alexandra Mills, John Fillion Miguel Mori David Mace Megan Pasche

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K I N G CA M P GILLETTE:

C E L E B R AT I N G FRUIT IN N I AGA R A

T H E S TO R Y B E H I N D THE RAZOR TYCOON

HORNBLOWER: G ET UP CLO SE W ITH NIAGA R A FA L L S

54

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 1

On The Boulevard is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in On The Boulevard are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Rev Publishing, it’s employees or owners. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by On The Boulevard for any errors, omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees that are contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of On The Boulevard. 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 On The Boulevard are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Today On The Boulevard does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.

LET US HELP PUT YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD To advertise in our next issue* or for more information call one of our account executives @ 905.356.7283 or 1.877.888.2825.

TODAY MAGAZINE NIAGARA EDITION IS PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY.

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//INSIDE

FOOD & DRINK

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

ABOUT TOWN

HERE. SEE. DO.

11

25

35

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Sometimes in the summertime, the last thing you want to do is spend tons of time toiling away in the kitchen. Check out these great time saving freezer meals, that’ll let you spend less time cooking, and more time enjoying the sunshine!

The whirlpool has been a witness to a number of dramatic happenings over the years, it is after all, one of the most powerful natural phenomena in Canada.

A look at Niagara Falls newest tourist attraction, Niagara Speedway, opening thiis summer on Clifton Hill.

SERIOUSLY GOOD FREEZER MEALS

17

CELEBRATING FRUITS IN NOTL

With a long history in the economy and tourism industry of the region, over 90% of Ontario’s tender fruit crops are grown in the orchards of Niagara’s Fruit Belt.

23

OUT OF THE ORDINARY

Andrea Kaiser was 19 the first time she attended the now annual Cuvée. It was a new concept, a celebration of Ontario Winemaking. A one-of-a-kind event at the time, where you could not only taste the wines, but meet the winemakers.

THE NIAGARA FALLS WHIRLPOOL

28

FAST TRACK ON THE STREET OF FUN

39

FLYING HIGH

KING CAMP GILLETTE

A glimpse at the life of the razer tycoon, and the vision he once had for Niagara Falls.

Glide down towards the falls or challenge yourself to a sky-high ropes course while overlooking the Niagara River.

31

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FOR FACTS SAKE

Find out some fun facts about Niagara Falls!

NIAGARA’S BEST TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Whether you like heart-stopping adventures, or strolling leisurely through nature, Niagara has an attraction that will suit your needs!

51

UNDERWATER NIAGARA

Scuba diving is not the first activity a person may think of when they come to the Niagara Region, but there are actually a ton of great diving sites to explore around the area!

EVENT LISTINGS

Check out what’s happening in Niagara this summer!

62

CARNIVAL

From June 1st until June 17th, you can experience a Carnival spectacular that will take your breath away! You’ll see acrobats, contortionists, and other amazing carnival acts, as world-class performers come together for this performance at Fallsview Casino.

63

FRIGHTMARE IN THE FALLS

Dubbed “North America’s most intimate & interactive horror festival,” the second annual event is held over two days at the spacious Scotiabank Convention Centre, on Saturday, October 27th and Sunday, October 28th.

66

FIREWORK SCHEDULE

Make sure you don’t miss any of Niagara Fall’s beautiful firework displays.

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 9


CANADA'S MOST ICONIC EXPERIENCE ONLY IN NIAGARA FALLS, CANADA

BUY ONLINE AND SAVE WWW.NIAGARACRUISES.COM


//FOOD & DRINK

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TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 11


Mascarpone Key Lime Mini Pies These mini pies are truly my biggest addiction. The refreshing light, sweet flavor of Key limes and the creamy, airy mascarpone are the obvious stars, but the real surprise lies in the unique taste of cardamom in the graham cracker crust. It’s a magical combination! Makes about 12 mini pies.

Image by: Charity Burggraaf

Blueberry Orange Smoothie Kits

Let’s just get this out of the way: I’m not a morning person. I may have to rise but I don’t exactly shine. However, there is one morning item that provides me some bliss: this smoothie! It seriously tastes like an orange Creamsicle kissed with a touch of fresh blueberries. Makes 2 servings 1/4 cup (60 mL) plain Greek yogurt 1/4 tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract 1/4 cup (60 mL) frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed 1/2 banana 1 cup (250 mL) frozen blueberries 1/2 cup (125 mL) water 1. In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, vanilla and orange juice. Pour 1 tbsp (15 mL) each into 8 cups of an ice-cube tray. Freeze for about 2 hours, until solid. 2. Meanwhile, slice banana into 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) slices and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for about 2 hours, until solid. Make It Now Place the 8 orange juice cubes, frozen blueberries and frozen banana pieces into a blender. Add water. Blend on High until smooth. Add more water if necessary to get desired consistency. Pour into 2 glasses and serve cold. Make It a Freezer Meal Place the 8 orange juice cubes, frozen blueberries and frozen banana pieces in a labeled quart-size (1 L) freezer bag. Seal, removing as much air as possible, and freeze. Make the Smoothies Add contents of freezer bag and water to blender. Blend on High until smooth. Add more water if necessary to get desired consistency. Pour into 2 glasses and serve cold.

Filling 8 oz (250 g) mascarpone cheese, softened 1 can (14 oz or 300 mL) sweetened condensed milk 3/4 cup (175 mL) freshly squeezed or bottled Key lime juice 2 cups (500 mL) frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), about 6 oz/175 g Crust 11/4 cups (310 mL) graham cracker crumbs (about 41/2 oz/130 g) 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cardamom or ground cinnamon Garnishes Additional frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), optional Sliced Key limes (optional) 1. Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer), beat mascarpone cheese on High for about 1 minute, until creamy. Add condensed milk and lime juice; beat on Medium for about 1 minute, until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping, until blended. 2. Place 12 silicone muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Scoop mixture into cups until three-quarters full. 3. Crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and cardamom, stirring well. 4. Sprinkle crust mixture evenly over each mini pie. Press gently with the back of a spoon to flatten. Freeze for about 2 hours, until firm. Make It Now Remove from freezer. Gently remove silicone liners and invert mini pies onto a serving plate, crust side down. Top with additional whipped topping and a slice of Key lime, if using. Serve frozen. Make It a Freezer Meal Remove from freezer. Transfer mini pies, in their silicone liners, to 2 labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bags. Seal, removing as much air as possible, and freeze. Serve Remove from freezer. Gently remove silicone liners and invert mini pies onto a serving plate, crust side down. Top with additional whipped topping and a slice of Key lime, if using. Serve frozen.

Courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.


Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites

When I need a showoff-worthy hot appetizer, I bust out these tempting bites. Sometimes I make them with green beans and sometimes without, but either way they are always a huge hit. Makes 18 bites. 8 oz (250 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/4 cup (60 mL) tamari sauce 2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar 2 tbsp (30 mL) unseasoned rice vinegar 1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced garlic 1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated fresh ginger 9 French green beans, trimmed (optional) 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise in thirds 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch 18 toothpicks Garnish Sesame seeds (optional)

1. Slice chicken into pieces 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick and about 2 inches long (you should have about 18 pieces). Place chicken pieces in a medium bowl. 2. Add tamari sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger to chicken; stir to combine. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 24 hours. 3. Meanwhile, if using green beans, bring about 2 cups (500 mL) water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add beans and cook for one minute, then quickly remove with a slotted spoon to an ice-water bath. When cooled, cut each bean in half crosswise; set aside. 4. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a small saucepan; pour chicken and marinade into sieve. Drain chicken so that all the liquid falls into saucepan. Set pan aside. 5. Place each piece of chicken on top of a bacon piece. Add a green bean half (if using) and wrap bacon around both. Pierce through the center with a toothpick to secure. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing apart. 6. Whisk cornstarch into marinade in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over mediumhigh heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 7 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat; set aside. Make It Now Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

French Dip Sandwiches After years of trying to figure out the perfect blend of seasonings and flavors for homemade French dip sandwiches, I finally got it right. Dipping the tender beef sandwich into this delightfully flavorful jus is out of this world. Even though I say all my recipes are good, this one is really amazing — seriously, try it. Makes 8 servings. 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground black pepper 3 lbs (1.5 kg) boneless beef shoulder roast, trimmed 4 cups (1 L) beef broth or Homemade Beef Stock (page 350) 11/2 onions, puréed or minced 1/2 cup (125 mL) tamari sauce 1/3 cup (75 mL) Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp (30 mL) yellow mustard 11/2 tsp (7 mL) minced garlic 4 bay leaves To Serve: 8 buns or rolls, Cooking spray or olive oil, 8 slices provolone cheese 1. Using your hands, rub salt and pepper generously all over the roast. 2. In a labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag, combine broth, onions, tamari sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic and bay leaves. Add roast and seal, removing as much air as possible. Make It Now Marinate beef in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour

Bake chicken bites in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside and bacon is crispy and browned. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle sauce over bites, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. (You can also serve the sauce on the side for dipping.) Make It a Freezer Meal Using kitchen shears, snip off any pieces of toothpick that are showing. Let sauce cool completely, then place in a labeled quart-size (1 L) freezer bag and seal. Place baking sheet with uncooked bites in freezer; place sauce bag separately in freezer. Freeze for 1 to 2 hours, until solid. Transfer frozen bites to a labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag. Add frozen sauce bag and seal together as a kit, removing as much air as possible. Freeze. Cook from Frozen Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place frozen bites on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside and bacon is crispy and browned. Meanwhile, run hot water over frozen sauce bag until thawed enough to pour into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat sauce in microwave on High for 30 seconds or until heated through. Remove chicken from oven and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle sauce over bites, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. (You can also serve the sauce on the side for dipping.)

or up to 12 hours. Pour contents of bag into a large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker. Cook on Low for 7 hours, until beef is tender. Remove roast, reserving jus left in slow cooker. Discard bay leaves. Transfer roast to a cutting board and, using two forks, shred. Preheat broiler. Slice buns in half, spray with a little cooking spray or brush with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil for 1 minute or until golden and toasted. Remove from oven, place shredded meat on bottom half of bun and add a slice of provolone cheese. Broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and cover with top half of bun. Skim any fat off top of jus in slow cooker and ladle liquid into small bowls. Serve sandwiches with jus on the side for dipping. Make It a Freezer Meal Freeze roast and marinade in bag. Thaw and Cook Place bag in refrigerator for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours to thaw. Transfer contents to a large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker. Cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours, until beef is tender. Remove roast, reserving jus left in slow cooker. Discard bay leaves. Transfer roast to a cutting board and, using two forks, shred. Preheat broiler. Slice buns in half, spray with a little cooking spray or brush with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil for 1 minute or until golden and toasted. Remove from oven, place shredded meat on bottom half of bun and add a slice of provolone cheese. Broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and cover with top half of bun. Skim any fat off top of jus in slow cooker and ladle liquid into small bowls. Serve sandwiches with jus on the side for dipping. TM

Courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.


YOU’RE JUST A SHORT DRIVE AWAY FROM

Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Country While you’re in town, plan a visit and experience the life of a winery. Nestled below the Niagara Escarpment, we’re a close-knit neighbourhood of wineries each with a unique personality. With over 20 distinctive locations to choose from and a series of Signature Events and Experiences throughout the year, it’s a good thing we’re just around the corner!

Purchase passes to our Signature Events and Experiences and gain access to over 20 unforgettable wineries

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Have a taste of all that we have to offer with over 20 unique wineries to choose from

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TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 15


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The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars. - Benjamin Franklin circa 1700s

KONZELMANN ESTATE WINERY

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1096 Lakeshore Rd. | NOTL, ON konzelmann.ca

1067 Niagara Stone Rd | NOTL, ON LakeviewWineCo.com

1366 York Rd. | St. Davids, ON ravinevineyard.com

Visit Konzelmann Estate Winery and discover why they are heralded for providing one of the most friendly, informative and educational experiences in Niagara’s wine country. Family owned and operated since 1893, the lakefront winery is located on the pristine south shores of Lake Ontario and known for producing high quality award-winning VQA crafted wines.

The combination of the unique cellar floor experience, state-of-the-art winemaking facility, plus a brand new retail and tasting centre, make this a must-visit destination in Niagara. Under the watchful eyes of award-winning winemakers Scott McGregor, Jessica Wallace and Tom Green this one-of-a-kind winery produces some of the most popular VQA wines in the province, including EastDell, 20 Bees, FRESH and Lakeview Cellars wines.

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery is a timeless destination that is steeped in family legacy and agricultural heritage. Through the generations of the Lowrey-Harber family, who have proudly farmed this land since 1867, Ravine offers our guests ever-evolving experiences, providing a fabric of tastes, scenes and sounds across our 34 acres of beautiful rolling vineyard in the historic village of St. Davids, Ontario.


CELEBRATING

FRUITS in niagara BY LAUREN CHARLEY

CRUISING THROUGH THE NIAGARA PENINSULA DOWN THE COUNTRY LANES YOU’LL NOTICE PLENTY OF MARKETS, SHOPS, AND STALLS ALL SELLING LOCAL SEASONAL FRUIT PICKED FRESH FROM THE FARM.

With a long history in the economy and tourism industry of the region, over 90% of Ontario’s tender fruit crops are grown in the orchards of Niagara’s Fruit Belt. Strawberries, peaches, cherries, plums, pears, apples, and grapes — when in season, these fruits are celebrated by the locals. We invite visitors to the region to visit the farms and join the events in celebration of the area’s sweet and delicious produce.

THE HISTORY OF FRUIT IN NIAGARA The Niagara Region has a rich history in growing fruit. Rows of straight vineyards and thousands of acres of berries and tender fruits have played an

integral role in making Niagara a summertime destination spot for visitors from around the world. Niagara is Canada’s most heavily populated rural area, with over 45,000 acres of rich soil, which have been put to work over the past hundreds of years by the area’s skilled farming community. The only other areas in the country that could be considered rival to this industry are the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, and the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. A warm and temperate climate with hot summers and milder winters, well-drained soil, and sufficient year-round rainfall are the prime essentials for fruit cultivation, all which the region is blessed to have. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 17


Since the late 1800s Niagara has been a prosperous area for tender fruit growing. The railway system gave growers access to the commercial markets, leading to a highly successful canning industry by the early 1900s. The land which came to be known as Virgil in Niagara-on-the-Lake was cultivated to become one of the most productive fruit bearing areas, leading to a canning factory, now the site of a local winery. The town of St. David’s was home to the CanGro Foods Plant, which produced peaches and pears under the Aylmer, Del Monte, and Ideal labels for 112 years, closing in 2008. Unfortunately, its demise meant that the fruit for these brands would no longer come from Canada. Today, you will find that fruit farming is much less commercial, but there are still plenty of family-owned farms continuing to grow the freshest fruits you can find in season.

PICK YOUR OWN FRUIT IN NIAGARA All throughout the Niagara Peninsula, the rural country lanes are home to many family-owned fruit farms, some who open their land to the public. Out in Pelham, Jordan, Vineland, and the countryside heading towards Toronto, there are plenty of small farms, which welcome families to pick fruit straight from their orchards. In Niagara-on-the-Lake, a trip down the Niagara Parkway, and various concessions and lines, will invite you to see many fruit stands, markets, and pick-your-own fruit farms, each with their own signature products and special charm. Visit pickyourown.org/CNONniagara.htm for an extensive list of farms in the region. Some welcome guests to bring a picnic to their property to enjoy during their day out.

73 Picton St, Niagara-on-the-Lake (Sunday) Get ready for the biggest celebrations of the three events, the two-day 28th Annual Peach Festival. On Saturday, the main downtown area of Queen Street from Victoria Street to King Street will be closed off, so shops can present their merchandise on the street and welcome guests inside. The street is filled with live music and food stalls, selling fresh peaches, pies and jams, and an array of barbecued favourites. This year, five bands will perform on stage throughout the day, with the Toronto All Star Band being featured at noon. In the evening, dance to a live Salsa band, and enjoy culinary creations from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Signature Kitchens, local wine and craft beer. Sunday, the festivities continue at St. Vincent de Paul Church, with a fair set up with treats, food, and entertainment like Strawberry and Cherry Festivals. In the evening, be a part of the exclusive 1,000 guest event, an on-street dinner in the Heritage District with live music, food and wine. Visit niagaraonthelake.com to learn more about the festivals.

PEACH TRIVIA Peaches in the Niagara Peninsula account for 98% of Ontario’s peach crop, and 81% of Canada’s peach harvest. This delicious tender fruit has been grown since the prehistoric ages, first being cultivated in China. Peaches are considered a symbol of friendship and immortality.

SUMMER FRUIT FESTIVALS IN NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE With a proud history in growing fruits including peaches, pears, prunes, plums, cherries, raspberries and strawberries, it’s no wonder the town of Niagara-onthe-Lake holds annual festivals for some of the major fruits. This summer be sure to take in take in the Strawberry, Cherry and Peach festivals.

STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL WHEN: Saturday, June 16th WHERE: St Andrew’s Church | 323 Simcoe St., Niagara-on-the-Lake Every year on the third Saturday in June, St. Andrew’s Church welcomes visitors to the Strawberry Festival on their property, located by Simcoe Park in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake. Strawberry pies, crepes, shortcakes, jams, and of course, fresh strawberries, are for sale by local farms. Guests love the delicious barbecue and their famous corn-on-the-cob to eat while watching local entertainment. There’s also a silent auction, bake sale, children’s area, plus tours of the historic church, built in 1831.

CHERRY FESTIVAL WHEN: Saturday, July 7th WHERE: St. Mark’s Church | 41 Byron Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake In the peak of the summer weather, St. Mark’s Church hosts the Cherry Festival each year. Both a BBQ breakfast and lunch is served to accompany fresh baked cherry pie, a favourite of locals. An array of vendors selling designer wares, gently used clothes, handmade jewelry, and other treasures will be set up on the grounds, along with a bouncy castle for kids. New this year, the silent auction will feature premier gifts including vacation packages, concerts, and fancy dinners.

PEACH FESTIVAL WHEN: Saturday, August, 11th & Sunday, August 12th, 2018 WHERE: Queen Street (Saturday) & St. Vincent de Paul Church

NIAGARA HOME GROWN WINE FESTIVAL & THE NIAGARA GRAPE AND WINE FESTIVALS If you’re a wine enthusiast and appreciate the lively spirit of a summer festival, be sure to partake in the festivities of the Niagara Home Grown Wine Festival and the Niagara Grape & Wine Festivals, celebrated in St. Catharines. Kick off the summer with the Niagara Home Grown Wine Festival. Over the weekends of June 16th-17th and June 23rd-24th, wineries host food and wine pairings at their properties. The festival is inaugurated by the TD Tailgate party at 13th Street Winery in St. Catharines, where over 30 wineries come together in one night, for an evening of VQA wines, farm-to-table cuisine, and entertainment. From September 15th to September 30th, the 67th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival will be celebrated. With two parades, over 100 wineries participating in food and wine pairings, and the ultimate Niagara Grape & Wine Festival Montebello Park Experience, there’s fun for all to enjoy during this truly Canadian celebration.

STAY ON TOP OF THE SEASONAL FRUITS IN NIAGARA The best fruit comes straight from the stands and farmers markets. Be sure to know when your favourite juicy treats are in season. STRAWBERRIES: June and July CHERRIES: First three weeks of July PLUMS: Mid July- Mid August APRICOTS: Mid July - Mid August PEACHES: Mid July- Late August NECTARINES: July through September PEARS: Mid July - October. Select varieties of pears are harvested throughout the winter. TM


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WEEKEND GOALS UNCOVER IT YOURSELF. Wrapped Up in the Valley: November 10-25, 2018 Winter WineFest: January 11-13, 2019 Get Fresh in the Valley: April 2019

TWENTYVALLEY.CA

THE TWENTY VALLEY WINE REGION Take a break from the hustle and bustle of your daily life, the crush or tourists, or the repetitive weekends. Bring your friends, bring your love, or even just yourself. Experience instagram-ready views, food and shopping that you didn’t know existed so close to home. You might find something new about yourself in the experience. Just outside of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Toronto lies a secret within Niagara peninsula, previously known only to a few-a world-class wine region to rival Bordeaux in climate and terroir. A place to get away from those “who are trying to get away”. Unspoiled views, hikes, wineries, bed and breakfasts, and botique shopping all await you. We’re just too great a place to stay hidden for long, so we’re inviting people who want to appreciate what we’re offering to experience it for themselves. To share with your friends what Niagara’s Wine Region has to offer-or to uncover Twenty Valley for yourself.


REDSTONE WINERY

CORNERSTONE ESTATE WINERY

UPPER CANADA CHEESE COMPANY

4245 King St. | Beamsville, ON redstonewines.ca

4390 Tufford Rd. | Beamsville, ON info@cornerstonewinery.com

4159 Jordan Rd. | Jordan Station, ON uppercanadacheese.com

Stop by for a taste of our award-winning VQA wines or spend the afternoon. Enjoy a fl ight of wines in our Tasting room, perhaps a farm tour, maybe enjoy a fabulous meal on our outdoor terrace or ideally all of the above; Redstone Winery is your one-stop-shop for authentic Niagara wine country experiences.

Our family owned brand caters to wine enthusiasts of the modern era. Established in 2002, we strive to create the most exquisite quality of wine from our own vineyards. Each bottle of wine is made with handpicked and methodically sorted grapes. We aim to carry on the legacy of wine culture in our country with a modern blend.

In wine country, cheese is also treasured The Upper Canada Cheese Company is dedicated to crafting additive free, artisan cheeses from pure A2 milk of the Guernsey cow. Using only the finest ingredients, we craft our cheeses to the highest industry standards Drop by all year to sample, see our cheese makers at work, and choose from our handcrafted cheeses and a wide collection of local gourmet items!

HERNDER ESTATE WINES

GRAND OAK CULINARY MARKET

CREEKSIDE ESTATE WINERY

1607 Eighth Ave. Louth | St. Catharines, ON hernder.com

4600 Victoria Ave. | Vineland Station, ON grandoakculinary.ca

2170 Fourth Ave. | Jordan, ON creeksidewine.com

From rolling vineyard to wine press, barrel cellar to bottling line, a tour of Hernder Estate is a fascinating excursion. Open 7 days a week for complimentary tastings and weekend public tours at 1pm. Hernder’s also houses two banquet rooms available for private lunches, dinners, events and weddings. Visit www.hernder.com for more information including pricing. 905.684.3300.

You’ll enjoy visiting, and experiencing the easy access from the QEW, the fresh-baked wares, and Locally sourced produce! With its elegant Post and Beam design, the Grand Oak Culinary Market has become a favourite with locals and visitors alike, a relaxing place to enjoy lunch, coffee or a snack. The Cheese Bar and Salad Bar have fantastic selections, perfect for light lunches or a spur-ofthe-moment picnic. It’s all Good! Open 9 AM – 6 PM. Closed Sundays. 289.567.0487.

Awarded Ontario’s Best Red Wine in 2016. Creekside Estate Winery has been making premium wines in Jordan for 20 years. Our winemaking team defies convention and our chef relishes in preparing honest and rustic local cuisine. At Creekside we’ve uncorked the perfect way to shop, dine, taste and tour all Niagara has to offer. Open daily 10am to 6pm.


“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” FLAT ROCK CELLARS 2727 Seventh Ave. | Jordan Station, ON flatrockcellars.com Our winery sits atop the escarpment with an incredible 360° view of our beautiful vineyards and Lake Ontario so we love to show it off. Let us introduce you to our state-of-the-art 5 level gravity-flow winemaking facility where we will reveal the secret to our consistently exceptional wines. 10am-6pm daily. Open until 7pm on Saturdays. 905-562- 8994.

ROCKWAY VINEYARD 3290 Ninth St. | St. Catharines, ON | rockway.net Rockway Vineyards is a family-owned VQA craft winery located on premium grape growing land in the Twenty Mile Bench sub-appellation. It is the only winery in Ontario which also features an 18-hole Championship Golf Course. It also houses Ontario’s only Antique Wine Museum, a collection of artifacts from 19th Century France. Guests have the option to enjoy a self- guided tour, or guided tours can be booked by appointment. It also features a restaurant and banquet facilities where you can take in beautiful views of the surrounding scenery while enjoying a delicious meal prepared by our Chef.

- Paulo Coelho -


Out of the

Ordinary

I

t is hard to believe it has been thirty years. I would have been 19 at the time I attended the first annual Cuvée. It was a new concept, a celebration of Ontario Winemaking. A one-of-a-kind event at the time, where you could not only taste the wines, but meet the winemakers. I did sometimes wonder what the fuss was all about. I mean why would anyone care so much to meet my Dad? Debi Pratt, long time friend of our family, founding member of Cuvée and Director of Public Relations at the time for Inniskillin, insisted however that people wanted to meet the winemakers at the heart of the rebirth of Canadian winemaking. She explained that people were intrigued to understand the changes that were happening in Ontario. Debi understood that what my father was doing was different and that his commitment to quality in winemaking was visionary at the time. But for those of you who knew my father , Karl Kaiser, he was a quiet, reserved man, just as happy to be behind the scenes working in his cellar. It often took some coaxing by Debi to get my Dad to attend the annual celebration but when someone would take a moment to ask him about his wines, you could tell from that somehow embarrassed smile he often had, that he truly enjoyed sharing his knowledge and passion with others. Perhaps what made him so charming was the fact that he was so humble and unaware of the contribution he was making to Canada. My brother recently shared a story when he asked my Dad what it felt like to have changed the face of Ontario wines - his response - “What did I do?” This year’s Cuvée Celebration in March was bitter sweet as I did lose my Dad this past November and the sting of this personal loss is still fresh. However, it was also a point in time that I finally grasped the number of lives my Dad has touched and understand the inspiration he has been to so many people. He was quite simply a great man who believed in great things. Always proud to share his wines from Canada, even in times that many were not keen to even try let alone be proud to drink them. His gift to Niagara, Ontario and Canada was his vision for excellence in winemaking. His gift to me, aim high and never accept the ordinary. This past March at the annual Cuvée Celebration we celebrated the 30th milestone of excellence in winemaking and tasted out of the ordinary wines; so be proud and raise a glass this summer to Niagara’s exceptional wines and winemakers! TM

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 23


THE NIAGARA RIVER WHIRLPOOL By Sherman Zavitz

The Niagara River Whirlpool has been a witness to a number of dramatic happenings over the years. One of those took place on an August day in 1934. A spectacular and popular sight, the Whirlpool is a unique geological formation. Around 60 acres in size and 126 feet deep, here the gorge walls tower some 250 feet above the water. During peak volume flow, such as during the summer months, the river, having just escaped from the turmoil of the Whirlpool Rapids, roars into the Whirlpool where the water is then swept around in a counter-clockwise motion. Forced down under the incoming stream, the water then reaches the pool’s outlet, having now changed direction from north-northwest to north-northeast. During lower water periods, as is the case during the winter months, the water flows in and out of the Whirlpool in a clockwise direction. One of the best ways to appreciate the Whirlpool is to cross it on the Aero Car. Inaugurated in 1916, this popular cable car ride is operated by The Niagara Parks Commission. >>


//LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 25


NOTHING IN THE WOMAN’S APPEARANCE OR ACTIONS GAVE MCKINLEY ANY HINT AS TO WHAT WAS ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE. On the morning of Sunday, August 12, 1934, Mrs. Ruth Hyde, 30, of Bradford, Pennsylvania, visited the Whirlpool as part of an extensive tour on both sides of the Niagara River. At 3:25 that afternoon, she hired another cab, this time on River Road close to where the Canadian end of the Rainbow Bridge is now. The driver, James Abell, was asked to go to the Aero Car. After arriving there, Mrs. Hyde handed Abell a five-dollar bill, told him to keep the change and not to wait for her. She then bought a ticket to the Aero Car. As she was boarding, she gave her purse to the operator, Harold Brooker, asking him to hold it for her until the ride was over. Among the other passengers were Arthur McKinley and his six year old daughter Catherine. They were seated directly across from Mrs. Hyde who McKinley later described as having “bright red hair and a light complexion. She wore a reddish plaid dress.” Nothing in the woman’s appearance or actions gave McKinley any hint as to what was about to take place. The crossing began. When the car was right over the centre of the Whirlpool, the unthinkable happened. As it was later reported in the local press: “McKinley paid no attention to Mrs. Hyde until Catharine, in a shocked voice, pointed out that the red-haired woman was smoking a cigarette. She appeared to be nervous and fidgety. Suddenly standing, she threw away her cigarette and, before a move could be made to stop her, stood on the seat and leaped over the safety gate, going over as gracefully as a diver. McKinley saw the body hurtle through the air and strike the water, the impact being clearly heard.” The Whirlpool quickly consumed the woman, the powerful undertows dragging her out of sight. Later, when the purse Harold Brooker had been holding was opened, the police learned the victim’s identity. There was also a letter. Addressed to her husband, it said she intended to end her life and that her car could be found in Niagara Falls on the American side. When contacted, William was stunned and could offer no reason for his wife’s suicide. Four days later, Mrs. Hyde’s body, with most of the clothing ripped away, was recovered by the U.S. Coastguard near the mouth of the Niagara River. Early visitors to the Whirlpool were invariably awed by the wild phenomenon. One of them was Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada’s (Ontario’s) first lieutenant-governor. In her diary entry for April 23, 1793, Elizabeth notes how she “rode to the Whirlpool.” She described it as “a very grand scene halfway between Queenston and the Falls,” and having a “wild appearance.”

Thirteen years later, Thomas Cooper, from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, visited the Whirlpool, calling it a “truly picturesque scene….narrow, rapid, foaming…it is an object not to be passed on such a tour. “ While still an exciting, memorable sight, the Whirlpool is obviously not something to be toyed with – getting caught in its iron grip could easily be fatal. The story of Niagara stunter Maude Willard underscores that. Originally from Ohio, Maude was entertaining at a Buffalo theatre when she was asked if she would be interested in doing a barrel stunt on the Niagara River. She agreed. At 3:40 p.m., September 7, 1901, she and her pet terrier were placed in a barrel at a docking area just below the Falls. The barrel was then towed out into the Niagara River and set adrift. The plan was to have her barrel shoot the Whirlpool Rapids (one of the most dangerous stretches of white water in the World) and then enter the Whirlpool. Once she had shot clear of it, the barrel would drift downriver to Lewiston, New York, where it would be brought ashore. It took only 25 minutes for the barrel to reach the Whirlpool. From that point on, however, the plan quickly unraveled. Instead of escaping from the Whirlpool, Maude was trapped in it for almost six hours before two men were able to capture the barrel and bring it ashore. The cover was frantically ripped off and the rescue crew peered inside. Their worst fears were confirmed. Maude Willard was dead. Her pet dog, however, was alive and well. It had apparently survived by putting its nose into the barrel’s only air hole, thereby getting air for itself but cutting off Maude’s supply so that she eventually suffocated. While Maude’s experience with the Whirlpoool was horrendous and tragic, William Kondrat had an even closer encounter with its wild waters. It was July 1933. A native of Chatham, New Jersey, Kondrat, 18, and a friend were hitchhiking to Chicago that summer. Arriving in Niagara Falls, New York, they asked a restaurant owner where they could have a swim. The young men were told of a pathway that went down the side of the Niagara River Gorge to an old landing just a short distance upstream from the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge. Easily finding the spot, Kondrat, a powerful swimmer, stripped and entered the water, unaware that the mighty Whirlpool Rapids were just a short distance downriver. He soon found himself in a very swift current and decided to return to shore. This, he quickly found out, was impossible to do and moments later Kondrat was shot into the Rapids. A steady nerve, his outstanding ability as a swimmer and incredible luck saw him through. Then came the Whirlpool. As Kondrat later described it: “Three times I was carried into the vortex and pulled 40 or 50 feet beneath the surface. As I tried to fight my way to the top, I could see immense bubbles and the sun, filtered through the green water, being transformed into all the colours of the spectrum. Somewhere I had read that the way to escape an undertow was to swim with it. I tried that and suddenly was tossed 30 feet into the air.” After several desperate attempts to reach land, he finally caught hold of a rock and pulled himself out. Kondrat later described his condition at this point: “My arms were virtually useless. My lungs were full of water. I had the worst headache I have ever experienced. My brain was in a fog and I fell over but didn’t faint. And the strange part of it was, when help reached me, the first thing I wanted was a drink of water.” Witnesses to the swim later verified his story. William Kondrat had accidentally achieved what no other swimmer had ever done. Wearing no safety gear whatsoever, he had gone through the Whirlpool Rapids and then the Whirlpool itself - and lived to tell about it. TM


By Sherman Zavitz

METROPOLIS AND THE GREAT DYNAMIC PALACE: Visions For Niagara’s Future Amazing! Unbelievable! Extraordinary! These words could easily be used in describing two mega projects once proposed for Niagara. Conceived by innovative, idealistic visionaries, had either one of the projects achieved reality, the appearance and the future of Niagara Falls would have been profoundly affected. During the summer of 1887, the City of Buffalo offered $100,000 to anyone who could come up with a practical method of utilizing the Niagara River’s water power. Leonard Henkle, an entrepreneur and inventor from Rochester, New York, leaped at the opportunity. He set his mind to the challenge, carefully developing an elaborate plan, the details of which were made public in 1895.


His idea was to construct a large, lavish building that would stretch across the entire width of the Niagara River close to the crest of the falls. Named the Great Dynamic Palace and International Hall, it would be a half mile in length and more than 50 storeys high. Most of the building was to be used for commercial and manufacturing interests. However, the top floor – the International Hall – was to be a special place. Accommodating some 10,000 people, it would be something like a United Nations where, as Henkle explained: “Nations of the world would be welcomed to assemble…to be taught to cease the conflicts of war and love one another. The social distinctions between poverty and wealth would then be destroyed.” Responding to Buffalo’s challenge, Henkle planned to use all of the water flowing beneath his grandiose building for generating electricity, confident there would be enough power produced to supply the needs of every community in the United States and Canada. The powerhouse would be in the lowest part of the building and would have “122 pairs of twin turbine wheels.” Revenue from the sale of electricity would be used to finance two other projects. Henkle first planned to build a large fleet of steamships which would sail out of the St. Lawrence River “to every major port in the world.” The second project would involve the construction of two transcontinental railways: one extending from British Columbia to the St. Lawrence River and the second from California to Maine. The two lines would cross at Niagara Falls, using a tunnel through the Great Dynamic Palace and International Hall. While Leonard Henkle’s ideas undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows, especially here in Niagara Falls, his plan paled in comparison to a much different, even more elaborate vision for Niagara’s future revealed a year earlier by another late 19th century “thinker.” However, this other individual is little remembered today for his Niagara connection but rather for his invention – an invention he first saw in an entirely separate vision. On a summer morning during 1895, a 40-yearold travelling salesman with a well-lathered face picked up his straight razor, looked into a mirror

and began to shave. He quickly stopped, however, when he realized the razor was too dull to do a proper job. It was even beyond stropping. The frustrated shaver was King Camp Gillette, a man who had always dreamed of inventing something that would be needed by a large percentage of the population and would have to be purchased again and again. As he stared at his straight razor that fateful

morning, a picture of what we know today as the safety razor came into his mind. He later wrote, “I saw it all in a moment and stood there in a trance of joy.” This vision depicted a thin, uniform steel strip with opposite edges sharpened and held in place with a clamp and handle. A great deal of work and experimenting followed. It was 1903 before he was able to market his new product, selling 51 razors and 168 blades that year. By 1917 he was selling a million razors and 120 million blades annually. Beards were rapidly disappearing. King Camp Gillette was more than an inventor and salesman, however. He was also a utopian socialist who believed that the

competitive system brought about greed and waste. He concluded that society was ready for a great industrial change that would bring about economic order and efficiency. This would then create ideal social conditions and so a perfect world would be achieved. “Under a flawless economic system of production and distribution,” Gillette explained, “there can be only one city in North America and possibly in the world.” Because of its unlimited natural source of power, he felt that the site of this city, which he named Metropolis, should straddle the Niagara River. Gillette’s ideas were detailed in a book he wrote titled “The Human Drift,” published in 1894, the year before his safety razor vision. In the book he explained that Metropolis would be a rectangular city 45 miles by 135 miles. It would stretch from just beyond Rochester, New York in the east to Hamilton, Ontario in the west. The residential section of Metropolis would extend from Rochester, New York to a point about 10 miles east of the Niagara River. Here he envisioned some 60 million people, virtually the entire population of the United States at that time, would live in thousands of 25-storey apartment buildings. All other cities would be abandoned. The industrial district of Metropolis would be centered around Niagara Falls. A logical and orderly system of production and distribution would be established. This would be achieved by each manufacturing industry having only one plant. Therefore, there would be only one steel mill, one shoe factory, one paper mill and so on for the whole continent. All the consumers and workers would be living nearby. With no competition and practically no transportation, distribution and marketing costs, Gillette reasoned there would be a great deal of excess wealth. This money would be used to improve social conditions, creating equality in society. This achievement, in turn, would mean that problems like crime would be eliminated. None of these plans ever materialized, of course. In fact the very competitive system he criticized helped him earn a fortune with his safety razors and blades. Gillette could sell them - but not his vision for Niagara. TM

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 29


FOR FACTS SAKE: Niagara Falls trivia for inquiring minds.

Niagara Falls, is a city in the Regional Municipality of Niagara, southeastern Ontario, Canada, and a port on the Niagara River opposite Niagara Falls, New York. The city overlooks the Horseshoe (or Canadian) Falls cataract of Niagara Falls; the crescent-shaped cataract is 54 M (177 ft) high and carries nine times more water than its United States counterpart. Niagara Falls is an enormously popular tourist destination, and it also serves as a major source of electricity for Ontario. (From City of Niagara Falls) The city is connected to the U.S. side of the falls by several bridges, including the Rainbow, Whirlpool, and QueenstonLewiston bridges. Principal manufactures include processed food, abrasives, chemicals, automotive parts, metal and paper goods, and wines and alcoholic beverages. Logistics, i.e. storage and warehousing and information technology/call centres are also important to the city’s economy. (From City of Niagara Falls) Originally called Elgin, the community merged with Clifton in 1856 and was known by that name until 1881, when its name was changed to Niagara Falls. It was incorporated as a city in 1904. In 1963 the city was greatly expanded when it merged with Stamford township. The flourishing tourist industry enables Niagara Falls to continue to grow commercially and culturally. (From City of Niagara Falls) >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 31


The Falls at Niagara are about 12,000 years old. Falls were formed when melting glaciers formed massive fresh-water lakes (the Great Lakes) one of which (Lake Erie) ran downhill toward another (Lake Ontario). The rushing waters carved out a river in their descent and at one point passed over a steep cliff like formation (the Niagara Escarpment). From the original falls going over the Niagara Escarpment, the water began to wear its way back up the river. The path that it left is known today as the Niagara Gorge (a deeply-cut and very scenic river path). (From City of Niagara Falls) Currently, Niagara Falls wears its way back another approximately 1 foot/year. (From City of Niagara Falls) The Niagara River flows at approximately 35 miles/hour (56.3 kilometers/hour). (From City of Niagara Falls) The Horseshoe Falls are 180 feet (57 meters) high and allow 6 million cubic feet (168,000 cubic meters) of water over the crestline every minute during peak daytime tourist hours (that is about a million bathtubs full of water every minute!). (From City of Niagara Falls) The word Niagara comes from the word “onguiaahra” which means “a thundering noise”. (From City of Niagara Falls)

ANNIE TAYLOR “QUEEN OF THE MIST”, A SCHOOL TEACHER FROM BAY CITY MICHIGAN WAS FIRST PERSON TO TRAVEL OVER THE FALLS IN A BARREL ON OCTOBER 24, 1901. (FROM CITY OF NIAGARA FALLS)

Water is redirected from traveling over the Falls in order to drive large hydro-electric turbines that produce electricity for Southern Ontario and Western New York State. (From City of Niagara Falls) Water that flows over the Falls at Niagara ultimately ends up in Lake Ontario - from there, water drains by way of the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. (From City of Niagara Falls) AN “OLD SCOW” (A STEEL BARGE) REMAINS STRANDED A FEW HUNDRED METERS ABOVE THE FALLS AND HAS BEEN MAROONED THERE SINCE AUGUST 6, 1918 WHEN A NEAR TRAGEDY WAS AVERTED BY THREE MEN WHO OPENED THE DUMPING HATCHES OF THE BARGE TO LET WATER IN AND GROUND THE OUT-OF CONTROL BOAT. (FROM CITY OF NIAGARA FALLS)

One of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812 took place on July 25, 1814 at Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls, Ontario. A total of 7500 Americans and Canadians fought for six hours. At the end, 1,000 soldiers lay dead or wounded. (From City of Niagara Falls) Depth of Falls: Before the upper waters were used for the generation of power, the depth of the water on the rim was about 3 m (10 ft). Today, the water over the Falls measures an average of 0.6 m (2 ft) along the entire rim. (From Imax Niagara) TM


Join Us For The Best Stand Up Comedy Comedy Every Weekend Thursday 8:00pm Friday & Saturday 8:00pm & 10:30pm Located across from the Fallsview Casino and Connected by Indoor Walkway Free Parking • Food & Drink Menu Available

Purchase tickets: yukyuksniagarafalls.com More information: info@yukyuksniagarafalls.com • 1-800-899-9136 6455 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 33


//ABOUT TOWN

By Gabrielle Tieman-Lee

The newest attraction to join Niagara Falls’ excitement lined Clifton Hill has drivers living out their wildest Mario Kart racing dreams – minus the bananas and turtle shells. This isn’t your old school, tire lined, birthday party go kart track; HOCO Limited is putting the finishing touches on their Niagara Speedway – a massive, multi-level go kart raceway featuring a four story corkscrew, undulating ramp and over 1800 feet of twisting and varied track. >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 35


When the track opens, HOCO says Niagara Speedway will be North America’s largest elevated go-cart track and the first of its kind in Canada. “It is the largest [track] in North America and there is nothing like it in Canada,” said marketing director Joel Noden. Only steps away from the falls, this marriage of traditional go-karts with an elevated roller coaster style track is going to pack a rush like no other attraction; at its peak, drivers will reach 40 feet of elevation as they spiral down, racing against the clock and their following race car drivers towards the checkered flag finish line. Noden said there is only one other go kart track that compares in North America and it can be found in Branson, Missouri – a park with three different elevated go-kart courses modelled around the famous Mario Kart video game. But the track is simply not to scale of the new Niagara Falls attraction. So why exceed the popular Missouri track in size? Well that was a simple answer. “Because we do everything big,” said Noden. “We have Canada’s largest mini putt course, we have Canada’s largest arcade, we had Canada’s only SkyWheel until this year. Everything we do is big.” Noden said along with building the best and the biggest attractions, HOCO strives to bring repeatable attractions to Niagara Falls for visitors who continue to return to the city again and again. “People are coming back [to Niagara Falls] more frequently - three, four times a year,” said Noden. “Our largest audience is from the GTA and the Golden Horseshoe – that is our customer – so we want to give them more things to do. They don’t really need more places to stay, we have lots of hotels, but what we keep hearing from surveys we have done on our properties is people are looking for more things to do.” With a planned price set at a reasonable $9.99 dollars per five to six minute ride, HOCO has made it quite possible for riders to take multiple spins around the track. “[The Speedway] is a repeatable attraction,” said Noden. “It is not

going to be a one and done. You will want to return and race your family and friends again and beat your scores from last time. Just like mini putt – we have people come back year after year with their old score cards, trying to beat their previous scores.” The Speedway will also have lower set fees for riders accompanying the driver in the two-person car. Along with the Speedway, HOCO recently opened the well-received ride 3D Zombie Attack – a multi-sensory attraction created by TrioTech which has riders fight and attempt to survive real-time 6D brain-hungry zombies. Zombie Attack can be found right next to the Speedway. “We were working to create a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Canada,” said Noden. “We try to do that with everything; you won’t find another mini putt course with a volcano in the center of it and waterfalls and life sized dinosaurs. Everything we do we try to put a unique twist to it so it’s different. “You kind of do the Falls, look at it, and go ‘Okay, what now?’” said Noden. “And then you turn around and look behind you and we are that what now.” The Niagara Speedway is only a portion of HOCO’s longterm ten acre redevelopment project for Clifton Hill – with the goal to create not only more attractions, but more open space. The plan went underway over a year-and-a-half ago with the demolition of the Comfort Inn Clifton Hill building – which created a large site for expansion for fresh entertainment facilities. This also opened up over 20 thousand square feet of renovations and 30 thousand square feet of new buildings and extensive streetscape site work. HOCO as well recently completed a complete gut, redesign and outdoor dining expansion of the Kelsey’s on Clifton Hill – which has set a new standard for dining amongst the attractions. “Next we are looking at reworking the Boston Pizza, Tim Hortons and Wendy’s,” said Noden. “We want to continue to make everything bigger and better for visitors to the Falls.” TM


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AT WILDPLAY NIAGARA FALLS

BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN

Two high-adrenaline attractions have been added to Niagara’s diverse portfolio of eco-adventure tours for this summer. The world class Zip Line experience and Aerial Adventure Courses will captivate both the young and young at heart when visiting Niagara’s entertainment district. >>

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YOU’RE FACING YOUR FEARS AND OVERCOMING YOUR SELFPERCEIVED INHIBITIONS AS YOU BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE AS YOU GET THROUGH THE COURSE.


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rought to life by WildPlay Niagara Falls in partnership with the Niagara Parks Commission, both aerial attractions offer a hybrid adventure and educational experience for groups wishing to explore and learn about the Niagara Parks in a hands-on fashion. Both human-powered eco-attractions feature guided historical tours and an education on the surrounding eco-systems along with a new and thrilling visual perspective of Niagara Falls. Light on intensity but overflowing with excitement, Wildplay’s Mist Rider Zip Line to the Falls is fun for guests of all ages who wish to glide through never before seen perspectives and breathtaking views of the Canadian and American Falls, the Niagara Whirlpool, Gorge and Niagara Parkway all in one fell swoop. This sky-high attraction guarantees an experience that will have visitors appreciating the power of Niagara’s waters unlike ever before. The four side-by-side high-speed zip lines descend 2,200 hundred feet from the base of Clifton Hill at the Niagara Parks Commission’s Grand View Marketplace into the Niagara Gorge below at the decommissioned Ontario Power Generating Plant – looking up to the Horseshoe Falls above. Zip liners can travel down one at a time or race their family and friends to the bottom. “[The Zip Line] is another way to experience and appreciate Niagara Falls,” said Lindsay DiCosimo, Marketing Manager for WildPlay Niagara. “The zip line is right front and centre to Niagara Falls; you can’t get this view from anywhere else in Niagara. It is completely new and a fully guided adventure. If you want to get up close and personal, there is no other way in the city for you to do this.” Individuals who don’t wish to participate in the zip line can enjoy the sights and watch their friends and family take-off from the viewing area at the top by the launch platform. The first of its kind in Niagara, Wildplay’s Whirlpool Aerial Adventure Course is located on the north side of the Whirlpool at Thompson Point along the picturesque Niagara Parkway. This recreational activity is said to improve physical skills and strengthen mental courage; all while providing awe-inspiring vistas of the Niagara gorge. “It features a little bit of everything; wobbly bridges, mini zip lines, rope swings, cargo nets,” said DiCosimo. “The obstacles that are hanging from the trees will increase in difficulty as you go through the course. So everyone starts off at the same level and as you go through things get a little more challenging. You’re facing your fears and overcoming your self-perceived inhibitions as you build your confidence as you get through the course.”

Open to all ages, the fully guided nature-based course is self-paced and will feature three separate courses that will range in level of intensity, difficulty and height. The Family, Classic and Extreme courses will take approximately two hours to complete and take participants up to 60 feet in the air. The Family Course, targeted towards children ages 5-12 years-old, will be lower to the ground and feature smaller scale course obstacles; creating a perfect attraction for birthday parties, after school groups and field trips. “It is easily manageable for the younger demographic,” said DiCosimo. “For parents that maybe don’t want to do the full course themselves, this kid’s course is specifically designed for them.” But the aerial course is not only attracting young audiences. DiCosimo says this unique attraction is ideal for families, couples and all groups in-between because it strengthens and builds trust while encouraging team work and mutual support – all while getting everyone outside and working up a sweat in the fresh air. “You’re in a group setting, you are doing challenges that you might not think you can overcome but with group encouragement and by working together you can figure out the best way to approach the different challenges,” said DiCosimo. “…by getting outside and completing a course like this people can shine in a different light,” said DiCosimo. “You can play off of different people’s strengths and bond as a group.” Guides are also in place every step of the way to lend support and encouragement to anyone who is struggling and wishes to bypass an obstacle. They also provide historical anecdotes as you enjoy the attractions, with a focus on the surrounding landmarks including: the formation of the Niagara Falls, the previously active power generators, wildlife and plant life in the area and the early explorers who settled in and helped develop the region. The grounds surrounding the aerial course remain open to the public and feature picnic tables and lots of greenery to enjoy even when you do not feel like participating in the course. “The aerial course will help get people to explore the parkway a little bit more and get out of that downtown core area,” said DiCosimo. “It will keep them in the area a little longer than a quick trip into Niagara Falls will.” Aerial course prices range between $40-$50 dollars per course with additional add-ons of $10 dollars available for extended courses. The zip line runs approximately $60 dollars per person. Waivers are required by all participants and are available electronically online or by email and fax. Tickets are available to purchase in advance online and on location depending on availability. More information at wildplay.com/niagarafalls TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 41


INDOOR SKYDIVING 6357 Stanley Avenue • Niagara Falls ON Canada 6357 Stanley Avenue • Niagara Falls ON Canada (Steps from Fallsview Casino) (Steps from Fallsview Casino)

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N I AG A R A’ S

TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

A rundown of the best Niagara has to offer: whether you like exploring nature, daring adventures or scaring yourself silly…Niagara has something for everyone!

IN TH E SK Y N I AGA R A S KY W H E E L You’ll get a most unique view of Niagara Falls from this giant ferris wheel. Located on Clifton Hill. More info at cliftonhill.com >>

Editorial credit: Toronto-Images.Com / Shutterstock.com TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 43


Enjoy the ride to the top and the indoor and outdoor observation decks. Also view the 3D/4D movie, The Falls. More info at skylon.com Located at 5200 Robinson Street.

Editorial credit: Labrynthe / Shutterstock.com

S KY LO N TOW E R

N I AGA R A H E L I C O P T E R S Take a thrilling ride over the Falls! Located at 3731 Victoria Ave. More info at niagarahelicopters.com

N I AGA R A F R E E FA L L I N D O O R S KY D I V I N G Defy gravity! Try a highflying indoor skydiving adventure. Located at 6357 Stanley Ave. More info at niagarafreefall.com

W I L D P L AY N I AGA R A Wildplay has two ways you can fly through the air! On the zipline, which features an amazing view of the Falls as you fly down the line, and in the aerial course, which will test your bravery and endurance, all while you are up in the air! More info at niagarafalls.wildplay.com

IN THE WATE R W H I R LP O O L J E T B OAT Take a thrilling ride down the Niagara River in either the jetboat or the wetjet. Located at 61 Melville Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake. More info at whirlpooljet.com

J O U R N E Y B E H I N D T H E FA L L S Travel through the tunnels behind Niagara Falls for a unique perspective. Located at 6650 Niagara Parkway. More info at niagaraparks.com

W H IT E WAT E R WA LK Follow the boardwalk along Niagara’s stretch of white water rapids. Located just off the Niagara Parkway. More info available at niagaraparks.com

H O R N B LO W E R A must do when visiting Niagara Falls, as this is the best view of the Falls you’ll get. Located at 5920 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls. More info at niagaracruises.com.


GREG FREWIN T H E AT R E

Photo by Mike Farkas for G3 Designs

Enjoy dinner while you watch some magic unfold by Niagara’s best magician - Greg Frewin. Located at 5781 Ellen Ave. More info at gregfrewintheatre.com

FAM I LY FUN M YST E RY M A Z E Have a fun adventure in the Mystery Maze and see how long it takes you to find your way out! More info at falls.com Located at 4943 Clifton Hill.

N I AGA R A G O - K A RTS Enjoy one of the fastest tracks in North America and a game of mini putt afterwards. Located at 7104 Kinsmen Court. More info at gokartniagara.com

N I AGA R A S P E E DWAY This is Niagara Fall’s newest attraction, and North American’s largest elevated go-kart track, and the first of it’s kind in Canada. Test your driving skills along the straight away, negotiate the hair -pin turns and climb the elevated ramp as you head for the checkered flag!

T H E C RYSTA L CAV E : A Mirror Maze Adventure Get lost in a maze of mirrors, but make sure you don’t end up lost… forever! Located at 4967 Clifton Hill. More info at crystalcaves.ca

WAV E S I N D O O R WAT E R PA R K Enjoy a wave pool, slides, hot tubs and more. Located at 8444 Lundy’s Lane. More info at americananiagara.com

R I P L E Y ’ S B E L I E V E I T O R N OT ! This museum of the absurd has over 700 exhibits of various oddities, curiosities and illusions. Located at 4960 Clifton Hill. More info at ripleysniagara.com

D I N O SAU R A DV E N T U R E G O L F Play mini golf in a prehistoric world amidst an erupting volcano, moving dinos and more. Located on Clifton Hill. More info at cliftonhill.com

CA P TA I N JAC K ’ S P I R AT E C OV E Enjoy 40,000 square feet of fun! Arcades, rides, mini golf and more. Located at 4955 Clifton Hill. More info at piratescoveniagarafalls.com

G U I N N E S S WO R L D R E C O R D S M U S E U M Meet the world’s record setters for everything you can imagine! Located at 4943 Clifton Hill. More info at falls.com

THE FUN HOUSE This is Niagara’s only fun house! You’ll be climbing, crawling and more! More info at falls.com Located at 4943 Clifton Hill.

O H CA N A DA E H Enjoy some dinner theatre and sing along with a huge cast of Canadian characters. Located on Lundy’s Lane. More info at ohcanadaeh.com

FA L L S V I E W I N D O O R WAT E R PA R K Canada’s largest entertainment resort with 16 slides, hot tubs, wave pool and more. Located at 5685 Falls Avenue. More info at fallsviewwaterpark.com >>

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Editorial credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

B R O N TO’ S A DV E N T U R E P L AY L A N D Clifton Hill’s newest and biggest outdoor/indoor attraction. Ball city, jungle gym and more. Located at 4943 Clifton Hill. More info at falls.com

Z A P ZO N E N I AGA R A This place is located in downtown Niagara Falls, and is played in a 2500 square foot arena. It’s dark, smoke swirls, lights flash, and music plays. It’s some of the most fun you’ll have on your vacation. Visit their website at zapzoneniagara.com

N I AGA R A FA L L S F U N ZO N E Their Galaxy Guest Laser Tag arena is a 2000 square foot space with a space battle theme. It allows for a great way to have fun with friends or family when you are on vacation. More info at niagarafallsfunzone.com

C L I F TO N H I L L If it’s fun you are looking for, then look no further than Niagara Fall’s “Street of Fun”, Clifton Hill! The carnival like atmosphere appeals to the kid in all of us, and it is full of arcades, rides, fun houses, haunted houses, mini golf, gift shops, restaurants, bars and more. If it’s late night entertainment and dancing you seek, you’ll find somewhere on Clifton Hill to party all night. A Clifton Hill Fun Pass is available for purchase on cliftonhill.com and you can receive a discount by purchasing the tickets online in advance.

W E L L A N D CA N A L C E N T R E

R I P L E Y ’ S M OV I N G T H E AT R E

Editorial credit: debra millet / Shutterstock.com

This state of the art simulator ride will take you on the ultimate adventure. Located at 4960 Clifton Hill. More info at ripleysniagara.com

Learn all about the Regions marine history and watch as ships make their way through the canal. Located at 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines. More info at stcatharines.ca

N I AGA R A I M A X Take in the movie Niagara: Miracles, Myths & Magic and also check out the daredevil museum. Located at 6170 Fallsview Blvd. More info at imaxniagara.com >>

LO U I S T U S SAU D’ S WA X WO R K S You will get to view an impressive collection of famous faces with new additions every year. Located at 5709 Victoria Ave. More info at ripleysniagara.com


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GET SCARE D T H E H AU N T E D H O U S E Test your bravery, challenge your nerves, and try to take a walk along the darker side of Clifton Hill. Located at 4943 Clifton Hill. More info at falls.com

N I G H T M A R E S F E A R FAC TO RY One of the scariest haunted houses in the area, boasting over 140,000 people who’ve chickened out so far…will you be one of them? Located at 5631 Victoria Ave. More info at nightmaresfearfactory.com Editorial credit: gvictoria / Shutterstock.com

S C R E A M I N G T U N N E L S H AU N T E D H O U S E Named after Niagara Region’s own real-life Screaming Tunnels. This haunted house features many deadly monsters, killer clowns and some of Hollywood’s most notorious slashers. Located at 5930 Victoria Ave. More info at screamingtunnels.com

THE HOUSE OF F R A N K E N ST E I N Filled with abominations that move and scare at every chance they get. Have a good scare from monsters lurk in the House of Frankenstein. Located at 4967 Clifton Hill. More info at houseofrankenstein.ca

D R AC U L A’ S H AU N T E D CAST L E Recent winner of “Haunted Attraction of the Year”, there are 3 levels of fear for you to explore. Located at 4933 Clifton Hill. More info at darkinthepark.com

N I AGA R A’ S H AU N T E D H A L LWAYS One of Niagara’s newest and spookiest haunted houses. See if you have the stomach to make it through. Located at 6455 Fallsview Blvd. More info at niagarafallsfunzone.com

CHALLE NGE YO U R M I N D E S CA P E R O O M S

A DV E N T U R E R O O M S

T H E C R U X E S CA P E R O O M S

The popularity of escape rooms in Niagara only continues to grow, and luckily for us here in Niagara (and those visiting), we are home to some pretty great ones. These games are real life interactive puzzles that you and your team work to solve so you can escape the room in under an hour. Each room usually has a story or a theme involved as you work your way through the game in stages.

Located in downtown Niagara Falls, they currently have two games available: The Missing Finger and The Collector. Visit their website at adventurerooms.ca to book.

The Crux Escape Rooms: Currently has four games. Located at Victoria Ave in Niagara Falls. More info at thecrux.ca.

CA P T I V E E S CA P E R O O M S

Currently has three games: Grandpa’s Study, Homeroom & Synergy. Located on Queen Street in Niagara Falls. Book online qubeemporium.com.

They currently have two games: Dracula’s Library and Cabinet of Curiosities. Located on Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls. Book online at captiverooms.com.

Q U B E E S CA P E R O O M S


E NJOY NATURE BIRD KINGDOM You’ll see tons of different birds during a visit to this free flying aviary. Located at 5651 River Road. More info at birdkingdom.com

BRUCE TRAIL This is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, and the Niagara portion of it stretches from Queenston to Beamsville. Planned hikes are available on pre determined days, or you can hike solo whenever you want. Badges are given if you register and then complete the entire Niagara section of the trail. If you are extremely ambitious, you can sign up to hike the entire trail from end to end. To put it in perspective, if you hiked for 8 hours a day, it would take approximately 30 days to finish the entire trail. There is no set time limit for doing an end-to-end hike, you could take thirty days or thirty years, and either way, you still get the coveted badge at the end. Maps are available online from the Bruce Trail Conservancy.

LO U T H C O N S E RVAT I O N A R E A Located along 16-mile creek in Lincoln County, the trails in this conservation area are lined with rock formations, some impressive waterfalls and if you are lucky, filled with the sound of singing songbirds. There is a small parking lot located on Staff Ave.

N I AGA R A G L E N These hiking trails run right along the Niagara Gorge, and through four kilometres of Carolinian forest. There are three different trails: white, blue and red, and they are all clearly marked. Some of the trails in this area are on rough terrain, and you’ll find yourself climbing up and down slopes, over trees and around boulders. Be prepared for an elevation change of 200ft, and make sure to stay safe with proper footwear. And though it may seem tempting, especially in the hot summer sun, don’t venture out into the water, as swimming is prohibited. Parking can be found in a lot along the Niagara Parkway, but keep in mind this place can get very busy in the summer time, so if you are looking for solitude while hiking, this might not be your best bet.

WAT E R F R O N T T R A I L The Waterfront Trail stretches from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Quebec, following the shores of Lake Ontario. The Niagara portion begins in Niagaraon-the-Lake and goes through St. Catharines, Lincoln and Grimsby. The trail varies between off road paths and streets in residential neigbourhoods. It is a multi use trail and is good for cycling, walking or rollerblading. Trail maps are available online from the Waterfront Trail official website.

ST. J O H N ’ S C O N S E RVAT I O N A R E A There are four different trails here, all marked by different colours. You’ll be able to see the old growth forest, a large collection of Tulip Trees, a large pond with fish, turtles and frogs, and lots of other beautiful scenery. Some of the paths have wheelchair accessibility. Located at 3101 Barron Road, between St. Catharines and Pelham.

R O C K WAY C O N S E RVAT I O N A R E A Protecting a portion of the Niagara Escarpment, this conservation area is a great spot for hiking, as it’s not too busy, and is hidden halfway between Jordan and St. Catharines. Parking is available on 9th Street or Regional Rd 69 at the Rockway Community Centre. You can hike along the 15-mile creek and enjoy the views of many different kinds of trees, as well as two different waterfalls.  There is also the remnant of a salt spring that makes the area quite historically significant as the spring was thought to be used as far back as 1792.

S H O RT H I L L S P R OV I N C I A L PA R K Short Hills is a huge 735-acre natural environment park, which covers parts of St. Catharines, Pelham and Thorold.  It’s a great place for hiking and mountain biking, and trails are marked according to which activity is permitted on the trail. This is an area where it is extremely important to stay on the marked path, as it’s very easy to get lost in Short Hills. Parking is available off Pelham, Roland and Wiley Roads.

B U T T E R F LY C O N S E RVATO RY Thousands of colourful butterflies float around in this rainforest setting. Located right on the Niagara Parkway. More info at niagaraparks.com

B A L L’ S FA L L S This beautiful area set in Twenty Valley got its name from the family that originally lived there. In addition to being able to see the original home, restored church, an operating flour mill, a lime kiln, a black smith shop and carriage shed, there is also a recently opened Centre for Conservation, which has many interactive exhibits and programs. Several trails run through the area, and maps are available online, which will lead you to the various points of interest, as well as the upper and lower falls. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 49


Photo by: Fawn Messer


By Victoria Gilbert

T

he water looked fast. “Let’s jump in at the same time so we don’t lose each other,” says Coral, my dive partner who at this moment, eyes smiling through her mask, looks very confident. Or was it crazy? Standing on the edge of the Niagara River as it gushed toward the world’s most impressive waterfall, I wasn’t sure, but with thick black flippers on my feet and a couple of heavy tanks between my shoulders, backing out wasn’t an option. Chewing hard on the chewy plastic of my breathing device, the oxygen from my Regulator tastes sweet as I take a big breath in and step off the edge of the pier into the Niagara River a millisecond after Coral. An incredible force immediately pulls us along and before I can even form the words “oh shit,” my dive buddy is giving me the ‘OK’ signal to go down. The Darth Vader sound of drawing air in and out as calmly and steadily as possible fills my head as the swirling water becomes clearer and we drop slowly downdown-down into the depths of the river. The stringy, bent river weeds come into sight along the bottom at about 40 feet under and I stretch my arms out, relax my body and settle into the relentless pull and rhythm which makes this drift dive as effortless and thrilling as Peter Pan flying off to Neverland. Scuba diving is not the first activity a person may think of when they come to the Niagara Region. I certainly did not, even though diving has been part of my life for many years. The square building on Welland Avenue in St. Catharines painted red with a white diagonal stripe – the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) logo and DAN’S DIVE SHOP in bold letters, must be for divers looking to buy gear for their vacation down south, or at least that’s what I thought. The young man who first greeted me at was busy arranging a rack of what appeared to be astronaut suits as I entered. “So will you come out on Wednesday night with us?” he asked after a brief chat. “Come out where? You can’t dive here.” I recall saying confidently. After all, this was Ontario and the waters here aren’t exactly balmy. He smiled kindly and gave me a piece of paper with “Wednesday night dives”

in bold at the top and a long list of locations and dates below. “You’d be surprised,” dive master Chris Foisey said, “Come out with us one night. You just bring your gear and a full tank and it’s free.” Dan’s has been operating since 1974 and is one of the world’s oldest established dive shops. They service, train and sell gear for warm waters but also specialize in cold water diving, which is what we have here in Ontario. According to their website “Ontario is a top 10 scuba diving destination in any major scuba diving magazine.” I wasn’t convinced, but I was curious. Now, on the banks of Chippewa, a few kilometers from the Falls, before the hydro dam, drifting down the Niagara River from 40 feet below, flying past river reeds, rocks and the occasional fish, I was starting to become a believer in the underwater world of this region. Simply knowing you are being pulled forward by one of the world’s most famous waterfalls is an indescribable rush. That night after the dive, at the bare-bones bar, “Chippewa House” over beers and fried pickles, the divers trade tales about their local adventures. Stories of wrecks from the 1800s off of Port Dalhousie or of discovering an old beam from the remnants of an 1812 war ship of off Navy Pier in Niagara-On-The-Lake make my heart race. “I love the exploratory aspect of it. Seeing what is around the next corner or being where nobody has ever dove before,” says Matt Mandziuk, a seasoned local diver and the owner of Dan’s Dive Shop. Matt’s dad, Dan, hooked him up to scuba gear when he was five years old. His first dive was in Sherkston Quarry on the coast of Lake Erie. Sherkston became a dive site in 1917 when the water pumps quit working and was flooded. Today it’s a prime spot to learn how to dive and also to explore the random items 40 feet down such as train engines, golf carts, fish and boats. “I have the heart of an explorer,” says Matt. I love going places few people have seen. It gets me jacked. It’s part of why we train so that we can do new and amazing things.” Diving in Ontario begins in April and continues to November when the water is at its warmest and has the clearest visibility. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 51


Local Diving Sites According to Matt it’s best to dive June–October when bottom temp is always around 2C. In the right equipment, diving locally is not cold. A dry suit is just that—dry—so you can wear your fleecy PJs underneath while you take in a shipwreck or watch a school of prehistoric Sturgeon spawn in the fall. It was a stormy hot evening when I met Matt and a handful of divers at the docks in Port Dalhousie. The boat rocked mercilessly as we headed out over dark waters to where a wreck, affectionately called “The Tiller” because of the large tiller at the back of the ship, lay silently since it sank in the mid 1800’s. The boat slumbers 95-110 feet down. It was most likely a freighter, which sank while headed to Toronto, although not much is known about it. “Hold the rope on the safety stop back up,” Matt tells us as we spit in our masks and position our bodies on the edges of the boat. “It can get a little rough near the surface on a night like this.” Rain has begun to fall in little patters on the water as we fall backward off the boat and slowly descend. There is no talking underwater, no cellphones, no thought of what you didn’t finish at work that day or whatever plays on your mind on the surface. There is only silence and the constant breath in your ears as a large boat comes into view before you and the whole world slips away and you glide by sunken history. “You face your fears,” Dan Mandziuk, of Dan’s Dive shop, told me much later on dry land. “It’s pushing yourself, but safely.” At 72 years of age, he’s still a fixture at the shop and dives locally regularly. “If you think you can, you can, if you think you can’t, you can’t,” he says with a twinkle in his eye. He likens diving to driving—experience makes the difference. “It is investing in yourself. If you can reach 8-10 dives, that’s a thresh-hold to saying ‘you are a diver.’” Do it for the thrill, do it for the post dive beer and the fried pickles, or do it for the friendships, which inevitably come after each dive, but if you do venture into the depths of waters in the Niagara Region, it will be an experience you will never forget. TM

Navy Hall, Lower Niagara River, Niagara-On-The-Lake: Depths range from 20-98 feet with good visibility after periods of no rain or low wind (8-10 feet). The fall is the best time to dive Navy Hall as the sturgeons come in to spawn during that time of year. Sturgeons are an incredible prehistoric fish that are endangered and can grow to lengths of up to 7-12 feet.

Chippawa Creek Dive Site: Kings Bridge Park to Boat Launch Drift Enter at Kings Bridge Park or at the Tim Horton’s by Kings Bridge and drift down to the Chippawa Creek public boat launch. Max Depth 40 . Visibility 10-20 average. Look for bikes, guns, bottles. Duration 35-45 mins.

Welland Scuba Park in the Old Welland Canal: Welland Scuba Park offers some fabulous shore dives for the beginner diver and diver who wants to work on skills in a shallow, and controlled environment. A favourite spot in the Canal is the Welland Swing Bridge with plenty of dock pillars and fish, as well as generally better visibility.

Tiller Wreck Dive Charter, Port Dalhousie: This is beautiful and fragile wooden schooner 100 long by 25 wide. The ship is in great shape and features two beautiful masts, a rudder, cargo holds that you can access, a picturesque bow, windlass, anchor and stove. This is an advanced dive for experienced divers. For more Niagara Region dive sites and information about getting certified go to www.dansdiveshop.ca


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Experience Niagara Falls in a whole new light! Featuring $4 million enhanced multi-coloured lighting of the American and Canadian Falls. With an onboard licensed bar, light snacks and music these 40-minute cruises are Niagara’s ultimate nighttime entertainment and value. Set to the backdrop of starry skies, the dazzling city skyline and the amazing coloured illumination of the Falls, these intimate cruises are without a doubt the best way to view the Falls at night. The Falls Illumination Cruises operate on select dates from May 4 to October 27. Visit niagaracruises.com for full Falls Illumination Cruise schedule details. This is a Light Mist nighttime cruise experience.

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ABOUT Events happening this summer throughout Niagara This season, there are tons of things to do in Niagara; from festivals celebrating food to ones exploring the areas beautiful gardens to entire days filled with music, there are many ways for you to get out and really make the most of the summertime!

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Springlicious

June 1 to 3 Downtown Niagara Falls Springlicious is the biggest Street Festival in Niagara Falls! Featuring food vendors, live music, artisans, and much more! This family friendly event will run from June 1st to June 3rd on Queen Street, Niagara Falls. More info at springlicious.com

Niagara Falls Comic Com

June 1 to 3 Scotiabank Convention Centre Niagara Falls Comic Con features more than 150,000 square feet of exhibitors, comic books, movie cars, cosplay contests, celebrity autographs and photo-ops, workshops, and more! Some of this years guests include Michael Rooker from The Walking Dead, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister, Jaleel White from Family Matters, Sean Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy, Dean Cain from Lois & Clark and many more. More info at niagarafallscomiccon.com/

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Floral Showhouse Royal Geranium Show June 2 to 10 Floral Showhouse The Regal Geranium Show at the Floral Showhouse runs for the month of June, featuring regal geraniums, fuchsia, caladiums and more! More info at niagaraparks.com

Canadian Pet Expo

June 7 to 10 Scotiabank Convention Centre The Canadian Pet Expo will be presenting its responsible pet ownership message to over 175,000 pet attendees and their pets throughout Canada. With the addition of some exciting elements, your family including all pets, will enjoy the weekend. Some new events include the Small Animal Village – Parade of Breeds – CPE Disc Competition – Weight Pull – Breeders Village – Reptiles on Display – our largest Bird presence ever – Celebrity appearance including Hulk the real Life Gentle Giant, and more! More info at fallsconventions.com

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Shaw Garden Tour

June 9 Shaw Festival A spectacular annual garden tour in Niagara-onthe-Lake organized by the Shaw Guild that you won’t want to miss, begins at 10:00 am. Ponds and waterfalls, views of the Niagara River, hundreds of varieties of perennials, magnificent specimens of trees and shrubs will all delight our visitors. As an added bonus, several of the gardens surround beautiful historic homes. Marvel at the dry stone wall built by one of the owners. Purchase tickets at www.shawfest.com/beyond-the-stage/all/shawgarden-tour or by calling 1-800-511-7429

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Twain’s Niagara Show

June 14 Niagara Falls History Museum History is alive in Niagara... Be a part of it! Come join Mark Twain on an adventure through the world of Niagara. The World Famous storyteller and author comes to life on stage. Learn about the war of 1812 and the Underground Rail Road. Listen to the tales of Twain’s first visit to Niagara in 1869. It’s an evening you will never forget.

White Effect Dinner

June 14 Niagara on the Lake One of the ultimate outdoor social events of the summer combining culinary, friendship and wine admist the backdrop of beautiful Queenston Heights and the Brock Monument. Visit www.niagaraonthelake.com for full event details or phone 905-468-1950.

Niagara Homegrown Wine Festival

June 16 to 24 | Niagara on the Lake The best way to kick off the summer is with a tailgate party in the vineyard and a warm Niagara welcome! Join over 30 Niagara wineries at 13th Street Winery for the TD Tailgate Party June 23, 2018– one amazing night featuring VQA wines, fresh produce and farm-to-table favourites. It is one of the most unique wine and food events with fabulous entertainment, a truly Canadian experience! Included in the celebrations are two weekends of Homegrown Discovery Pass experiences to enjoy, with special events and wine and culinary pairings at wineries throughout Niagara.


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Day of 1000 Musicians

July 21 | Fireman’s Park This will be Niagara Region’s version of Rockin’ 1000, an ambitious attempt to gather 1000 musicians to perform simultaneously for the largest Canadian rock show ever.  Amateur and professional musicians will join forces performing 6 songs in one big production, while raising money for local charities including music for therapy programs in the region. Musician Sign Up: Please visit the website above and fill out the form as a musician.  They are looking for 250 guitarists, 250 drummers, 250 bassists and 250 singers. Public Admisssion: Free (cash donations or non-perishable food items gratefully accepted in support of Project SHARE) More info at www.dayof1000musicians.com

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Niagara Lavender Festival

July 7-8 | NEOB Lavender A day of everything lavender. There is a tasting tent full of culinary delights like lavender ice cream, lavender pizza, lavender lemonade and these are just a few of the items to be offered for the day. Roam the flowering lavender field and pick your own lavender. Shop and eat in the market place with many unique vendors. Tour the facility and see how essential oils are made with the NEOB Niagara distillery. Cooking and baking demo’s on how to cook with lavender and its culinary uses. Every year we add something new. Sit back and indulge in a NEOB Niagara experience. More info at niagaralavendarfesival.com

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Peach Festival

August 11 | Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake In celebration of the local peach harvest, come join us for the 28th Annual Peach Festival on Queen St.! Enjoy live music from 5 bands including The Toronto All Star Big Band (performing at 12:00), David Hoy, St.Catharines Pipe Band and The Local Fife and Drum, who will start the morning off at 10:00 am. The Ben Show, a fantastic street performer for all ages, will also be attending this year. The festival will feature a sidewalk sale of the merchants from the Queen St. area as well as lots of tasty, “Peachy” delights from local bakeries and restaurants and (of course!) local growers selling their delicious fresh peaches. The day runs from 10:00am – 5:00pm on the blocks of Queen St., from Victoria St. to King St. On Sunday, the festival continues at St. Vincent de Paul Church. If you have any questions please contact our office at 905-468-1950.

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Cherry Festival

July 7 | Niagara on the Lake Come for the freshly baked cherry pies and stay for the fun at this family friendly event. New this year is a destinations and events silent auction including concerts, dinners and vacation homes. BBQ breakfast and lunch served, designer and nearly new clothing, treasures, jewelery, music, bake table, children activities and bouncy castle. Event runs from 12 to 3.

Simcoe Days

August 6 MacKenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum Celebrate the Civic Holiday, also known as ‘Simcoe Day’, or ‘Emancipation Day’ in the African Canadian community, which honours the first Lieutenant Governor of this province. Join us as the Mackenzie Printery will be featuring the works of Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant Governor, John Graves Simcoe and his contributions to shaping the future of Ontario. Admission is $6.25 for adults and $4.15 for children six to 12 years of age. Children five years and under are admitted free at all Niagara Parks attractions. The Mackenzie Printery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free parking available.

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Shades of Summer

August 12 | Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake A delightful Niagara-on-the-Lake celebration of the peach harvest — tables will be set up in advance on Queen Street in the Heritage District and provide the inspiration for a memorable evening. Tables are for 8 people and will be reserved with your name. You bring dinner, tablecloth, dishes, cutlery, table setings, napkins, glassware and table décor. Wine can be preordered and will be waiting at your table. There will be live music. Cost per table is $280.00. More info at niagaraonthelake.com

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Sip, Sizzle and Savour

August 26 | Queenston Heights Restaurant The annual Sip, Sizzle & Savour Harvest BBQ is back at Queenston Heights Restaurant. This outdoor food and wine tasting event features creations from Niagara Parks Culinary team, along with select VQA wine, spirit and beer tastings. Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children under 12 and include our full BBQ menu, three drink sample tickets and raffle. 4:00pm - 9:00pm For tickets and further details please visit www.niagaraparks.com TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 59


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rom June 1st until June 17th, you can experience a Carnival spectacular that will take your breath away! You’ll see acrobats, contortionists, and other amazing carnival acts, as world-class performers come together for this performance a Fallsview Casino. This age old form of entertainment has its roots in the late 19th century, with tons of travelling carnivals and fairs popping up all over the world; chief among them was the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. More than 25 million tickets were sold to the fair, and soon after, a phenomenon was born. People were hungry for everything new, crazy or bizarre. Carnivals have evolved from having “freak shows” or displaying ‘oddities’, from around the

world, wild west shows and more to showcasing feats of human strength and endurance, as you’ll witness in Carnival. After the success of the world fair, travelling shows became all the rage. By 1937, there was approximately 300 travelling shows making their way around North America. As the number of shows grew, so did the demand for carnival entertainers, which drove performers to aim higher and higher with their talents. One of the most wonderful things about circuses and shows like Carnival is that their popularity stretches across languages and borders. There isn’t really a language component involved; a lot of it is purely visual. Companies can easily bring shows like these country to country, and they can be enjoyed all over the world. TM

For more information about Carnival, please visit www.FallsviewCasinoresort.com/entertainment/event/carnival


Frightmare BY JULIE TANOS

IN THE FALLS

W

hen the damp chill of autumn descends and the smell of wet leaves fill the air, the desire for all things creepy emerges. While it’s natural to seek out a haunted house attraction, or local ghost tour, those who have a deeper appreciation for the horror genre have a new and exciting event to experience: Frightmare in the Falls. Dubbed “North America’s most intimate & interactive horror festival,” the second annual event is held over two days at the spacious Scotiabank Convention Centre, on Saturday, October 27th and Sunday, October 28th. This year the event has been moved ahead one month and fittingly takes place just days before the scariest night of the year, Hallowe’en. Event co-creator and organizer Chris Dabrowski, shares why it’s an event not to be missed by those who love everything horror! TM: How was Frightmare in the Falls conceived? CD: Based on the success of Niagara Falls Comic Con, and through that event, it’s morphed into four or five satellite events, which include: a legends of wrestling reunion, a specific video game expo/arena, and a successful Falls horror festival section, which draws a lot of our comic con fans to the event. So we knew there was a demand for the horror genre within that fandom. We thought it would be a great idea to work as a stand alone event, to bring Frightmare in the Falls to Scotiabank Convention Centre. >>

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Who makes this event take off, along with yourself? I have a partner in Comic Con, James Ponce; him and I work together on Niagara Falls Comic Con specifically, so him and I are a tag team. We also have a really strong base of volunteers through the Comic Con community. They are very loyal and we couldn’t do it without the volunteers. How was attendance last year and how do you anticipate it will be this year, now that word has got out? It was great last year! Attendance was definitely strong for the first one - over 3,000! In terms of our marketing strategy and approach, we were able to utilize the strong network of fans, customers and contacts through the Comic Con brand. We’ve had six years of comic con fans and horror fans coming to the event, so we were able to tap into that network and community. Horror festivals in other parts of Canada tend to do well, so I’m confident with the success of Comic Con, that Frightmare in the Falls will be an event that’s still here five or ten years down the road. Do you see a lot of crossover between the Comic Con fans and the Horror enthusiasts? There is a lot of crossover and a lot of horror fans are loyal to that genre. I think there’s a lack of horror-type events in Ontario and Canada, that are specific to horror, so for those folks it was a no-brainer to come and check it out. Are there any unique, interactive parts of the show? Of course we’ll have the celebrities and the artists, but there’s also an educational component. There will be make-up seminars, so those looking to get into special effects make-up can check that out! Last year we had mummies, and someone doing a tutorial on how to mummify a body - it was quite interesting! Have you always been a fan of horror yourself? I have! I think growing up in the 80s, Friday the 13th was iconic; I still have memories as a child of staying up and watching that movie on CityTV. Walking around on Hallowe’en as a child in the 80s and 90s, one of the top costumes I think was always Jason Voorhees (main villain from Friday the 13th movie franchise.) I’ve always been interested in horror, so I think it’s more of a nostalgic factor as well. There have been some great horror movies that have been produced and released in

the past 10 to 15 years, but I think horror movies that were made in the 70s and 80s have a different feel and vibe that the people are attracted to. I also recall the red and black striped sweater, associated with Nightmare on Elm Street, as a very popular Hallowe’en costume, for kids in the 80s. That’s another one! We had Robert Englund (actor who portrayed villain Freddy, from Nightmare on Elm Street movies) at Niagara Falls Comic Con last year, and I think in the past seven years at Niagara Falls Comic Con, he was THE most popular guest. So I think that was a contributing factor to doing a horror-specific convention as well. What sets Frightmare in the Falls apart from the the Falls Horror Fest at your annual Comic Con? At Comic Con, we try to celebrate as many genres as we can, so the horror section at Comic Con is definitely limited to a certain space (we cap it at 5,000 square feet). So this event allows us to bring in more vendors, more memorabilia and provide fans with a full (two) days of Q & A, seminars and educational components that are horror specific. What can horror fans expect to find when coming to this event? Some of the exhibitors that we get travel from hours away throughout Ontario, bringing memorabilia and movie props that anyone who is a horror fan will definitely find something they enjoy, or see that’s rare. Last year, we had a movie called The Gate, with a whole exhibit filled with props and memorabilia from that movie. This year we have one celebrating the horror movie The Thing, so it will be 1,000 square feet of movie props from that movie. Also this year we have the actor who played Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: Part 2 and Part 6 and he’ll actually be dressing up in costume for the first time ever in Canada, for photo ops with fans. That’s an interesting and rare treat! Some final thoughts on why Frightmare in the Falls is such a devilishly fun event … Even if you’re not a huge fan of horror, it’s still an interesting and fun event. Give it a try! It’s definitely something new for the Niagara area, there hasn’t been one like it in terms of this type of event in the region, so it’s worth giving it a shot. I’m confident people will enjoy it! TM While Frightmare in the Falls is a family-friendly event, some factors might be too much for a younger audience to handle. The recommended age is 14 years and older, as parental discretion is advised. To find out more about this year’s event, visit frightmareinthefalls.com.

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FALLS ILLUMINATION SCHEDULE May 19 | Lyme Green-Light Up Lyme for Lyme Disease Awareness Month May 20 | Blue and Purple-#WeHaveAFace for Huntingtons Disease May 22 | Purple-Victoria Day May 29 | Red, White and Blue-Memorial Day June 5 | Green-World Environment Day June 29 | Blue-International Scleroderma Awareness Day July 1 | Red and White-Canada Day July 4 | Red, White and Blue-Independence Day July 28 | Green-World Hepatitis Day September 22 | Purple-Chiari Awareness Month October 5 | Green-World CP Day November 5 | Orange-Colour the World Orange Day November 11 | Red-Remembrance Day

FIREWORK SCHEDULE In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the annual Falls Fireworks Series, the 2018 series will consist of 111 displays, including daily shows throughout the Summer. From May 18th until June 17th, 2018, enjoy a spectacular fireworks display every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and Holiday Monday’s) at 10 p.m. in Queen Victoria Park. June 18th, 2018 straight through to September 3rd, 2018, the Niagara Falls fireworks shows will resume daily at 10 p.m. Fireworks will also be presented on Holidays. In addition to those dates, the Niagara Falls Fireworks will be extended this year to include Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and Holiday Monday’s) from September 7th to October 8th, 2018. TM


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On the Boulevard Summer 2018  

On the Boulevard Summer 2018