I have setup this page to give you our view on some of the attractions you might likely encounter when visiting the area. As this may take sometime to put together I will start by one of the most famous attractions in Ontario the CN Tower.
Well in fact I am not really going to mention what you can do once you get in or up the CN tower just yet as the first thing we like to recommend to any of our visiting guests is to have a meal at the top in the rotating restaurant. Then after the meal you can walk down to where the rest of the tourists are and look through the glass floor etc.
However here is my facebook comment that I put up on our B&B page…. (www.facebook.com/CreeksideBurlington )
For our guests we always recommend the restaurant at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. What was until recently the tallest free standing structure in the world has now been taken over by a building in Dubai. However its still an amazing spot to have lunch or dinner at 1151 ft in the air…. Lunch has a set menu this year (2017) with a price fix of $56 for a 2 course and $69 for a 3 course meal but included in that is your ride to the top in a private elevator. Supper has a set menu this year (2017) with a price fix of $65 for a 2 course and $79 for a 3 course meal. Knock off the elevator ride of $36 (online info) and as you can see the meal is a bargain….plus you get to see Toronto in a rotating restaurant, (not sure if it still the highest in the world or not…) one trip around takes about 70 minutes. Our favourite time is one hour before sunset…you get to see the city both in daylight and nightlight……we try to recommend that, but as the summer days draw longer its too late to eat…unless of course if you are Italian….our Italian friends don’t start their meals until after 9pm normally.
Reservations and Menu link
Overview – CN Tower | La Tour CN
- Niagara Falls and area
Everyone has heard of Niagara and if you are staying at Creekside you are only 40 minutes away, therefore a visit is a must.
There is a lot more to the area than just the Falls. We like to make a suggestion to our guests to visit the Falls later in the day. The morning starting point that we recommend is to visit Niagara on the Lake… referred to as the loveliest town in Ontario. This is the point at which the mighty Niagara river flows into Lake Ontario.
However most people don’t even go to see the river at this point. They head to Niagara on the Lake, and wander no further than the central shopping street. The town is very nice but check out the river area as well.
The main street is lovely, and in the summer season is very colourful with flowers everywhere. It consists of shops and restaurants / pubs, and many small theater playhouses. It is well known in the local area for plays by Bernard Shaw, a festival that lasts all summer long, from April until November.
We certainly would recommend a stroll around the town but make sure you check out where the mouth of the river connects with Lake Ontario. The area adjacent to the river is also a good place to find parking. (Don’t illegally park, the parking attendants will get you….) If you start your visit by the river you can walk to the main street and later return to your vehicle to have a picnic lunch. Adjacent to the river is parkland with access to picnic tables, an area for kids to run around, or even have a walk along the riverside. You can gaze across to the other side of the river and view Fort Niagara state park, in the USA; its so close you forget you need a passport to get there.
Fort Niagara (USA) was the site of many a battle against the British, its colonies and Indian allies in 1812 a 32-month battle. The British were based at Fort George which is located upstream on the edge of Niagara on the Lake on the Canadian side. The Fort is open to visitors also, but as I have never had the opportunity to pay a visit I cannot give any advise on this.
After your morning visit and have eaten your lunch its time to head to Niagara Falls itself….(we recommend having lunch here as there are ample places to eat, and far more relaxing than Niagara Falls)..
Don’t follow the GPS if you have one….most of them want to take you back to the highway as time wise it may be quicker. However if you go the way of the GPS you will miss a lovely drive along the Niagara River. Its far more relaxing than the QEW highway, and you can take in the scenery of the river as you drive. You can check out the big houses, wineries, and various fruit farms along this stretch. You can even stop and sample some of the local produce. Keep your eye open for a small white church located on the side of the road. Probably the smallest church in the world. You can pay a visit and sign the guest book. As you continue your drive and get closer to Niagara Falls you start to see golf courses, the butterfly museum, the gorge, a clock face made with flowers (seasonal of course)… helicopter rides and this is the start of everything where they try to make money from you. Commercialism starts to appear. There are so many things to list here for tourists that it would be wise to check out a Niagara Falls website.
You have arrived in Niagara and need to park. There are many places to park, some cheap and some quite expensive, but be warned you will have to do a lot of walking unless you don’t mind paying the higher price. However, the alternate to walking is to use the green people mover buses…operating spring to Fall…adults $10 for 2 days. ( I have just found out about a new bus service around Niagara that is $7 adults and $4 for children under 13 yrs. Its called WEGO and can be found on this link )
If you are up to walking and want to avoid the commercial side of Niagara (known as Clifton Hill – many wax museums, fair type rides etc), then park up stream, past the falls in a conservation type area. Here the parking is free. As you walk past the swans and geese swimming in the Dufferin Islands ponds, you can forget you are just a short walk from the mighty Niagara river. Continue to walk towards and adjacent to the river and see the rapids as they approach the Falls. A short distance from the edge of the falls you will see a stranded, a rusted out boat, that in 1918 broke loose and floated downstream. Luckily for the 2 workers on-board, the boat got caught on a rock shoal about 750 meters or so….from the edge of the falls, beached in the middle of the raging Niagara River. They managed to be rescued and escaped their impending death. There is a plaque nearby explaining the story.
It is now a short walk to the Falls. The power of the falls is amazing, but what many people don’t know is that during the winter and at night time a lot of the water going over the Falls is diverted to make electricity. In fact 50% of the water is used during these times. At some point during your walk you will get wet from the spray misting up from the power of the Falls. However it’s a short distance and you will be back in drier air. Hopefully it is nice and sunny out, and you can dry off quickly.
There are a couple of touristy things to do that require money. One is located at the Falls, and our personal opinion….and its just our opinion…is its is not worth going behind the Falls. Each time we have done it, once in winter and once in the summer, that its not worth the time or money. However we do recommend walking along the river for about 10 or 15 minutes and taking the Maid of the Hornblower tour. (Updated: October 2014- The Maid of the Mist was replaced this year with a new concession called HORNBLOWER. By all accounts our guests who have been on it this past summer loved it. Apparently the boat is more powerful so is able to go further into the Falls…). This is well worth the cost as you get up close and personal to the power of the Falls. Warning … even though they provide plastic souvenir rain coats you will get wet…take spare socks if you wear them… sandles without socks preferably…also a plastic clear bag for your camera. The one thing we hear from guests as a reason to not go on the maid of the mist are the line ups / queues… However we have been on it, over the years, with visiting family members many times and can say that they have the system down pat, and the wait is never more than one boat load….15 minutes at max.
After you have finished you are now conveniently located to climb Clifton Hill and see the very commercial side of Niagara. This is great for the kids, but I have to admit not my favourite part of Niagara. Although I do have one fond moment of when our kids visited The Haunted House. They were terrified !!!….I felt quite guilty for a moment that I didn’t go with them….check out a search for it online, some of the photographs they produce for their website are hilarious…highly recommended if you like to be scared…
Clifton Hill and area is a good place to eat supper with many family type restaurants. As it gets dark the area becomes lit up.
At 10pm on Fridays, Sundays, and Holidays there are firework displays over the Falls.
The Falls are also illuminated come dusk, during the summer from about 9.30pm until midnight.
It can be a full day if you take all this in, with lots of walking, so expect the kids to get tired by days end….
There are way too many things to do in the area but here is a recommendation by previous guests….Whirlpool Jet boat Tours.
We haven’t experienced this ourselves as yet, but one day we will get round to it, most guests say its worth it.. 2 locations at Niagara on lake, and at the Aerocar at the whirlpool : check their website to see a video : the link can be found on our attractions page.
Hope this is of some help…Enjoy.
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