Niagara-on-the-Lake is Upper Canada’s first capital and was home to many firsts for what today is Ontario. Included are the first:
- Post Office
- Apothecary (fancy word for pharmacy)
- Two of the first churches in all of Canada
That’s what the British had accomplished in Niagara-on-the-Lake during the short time after Colonel John Butler, his men and their families settled the area. Butler and his group fled the American Revolution into British Upper Canada and Niagara so they could remain loyal to the crown of England and avoid the violence.
Progress would be halted with the War of 1812. When the British were marching back for their previously lost capital, and to chase the Americans out of Niagara-on-the-Lake, everything would be burned. The McFarland House just outside of town (being used as an American post)and the Power Magazine at Fort George (because it was full of explosives) both survived and remain of only a few pre-war examples of Niagara-on-the-Lake history.
The people of Newark, also called Niagara, and finally Niagara-on-the-Lake (to avoid confusion with Niagara Falls) rebuilt their town. This is why most “original” houses and buildings date to 1814 until 1830, the time of rebuilding.
One of the first symbolic structures to be put together was the Freemason Lodge on King Street. It was built back up in 1816 using the rubble of other houses and structures in town. This was a symbol of rebirth and taking the negativity of destruction and putting into the creation of something great.
Being in town at night
The Ghost Walks of Niagara-on-the-Lake are unique. The rich ghost stories of Niagara-on-the-Lake coupled with the experience of walking through a quiet and historic town at night, make this a most memorable attraction.
The calm of a sleeping town, as you walk along the darkened streets only surrounded by the beauty of Canada’s prettiest town. The Ghost Guide’s voice echoes off the buildings and quiet landscape, giving you a feeling of calm… only interrupted when the ghosts come out, in the stories and on the tour of Niagara-on-the-Lake.