Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Known at various times as Butlersburg, West Niagara, and Newark, its first permanent settlers, Butler’s Rangers and other Loyalist refugees arrived in 1778 when they began crossing from Fort Niagara to settle the west bank of the Niagara River.  A town was laid out in a grid pattern of four-acre blocks and grew quickly, gaining prominence as the first capital of Upper Canada from 1792 to 1796.  The town was captured by American forces on May 27, 1813; upon their withdrawal on December 13, 1813, the American forces burned the town.

Following Niagara’s destruction, the citizens rebuilt mainly in the British classical architectural tradition, creating a group of structures closely related in design, material and scale.  Spared from redevelopment, the town’s colonial buildings eventually became one of its greatest resources.  Beginning in the 1950s, residents rehabilitated and restored old structures, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to the preservation of local heritage.

The Prince of Wales Hotel is a historic Victorian hotel located at King Street and Picton Street.  Built in 1864, the three storey 110 room hotel went by several names (Long’s Hotel, Arcade Hotel, The Niagara House) and was renamed with the current name after famous guests The Duke of York (and Prince of Wales) and The Duchess of York in 1901.  Queen Elizabeth II stayed at the hotel during her visit to the area in 1973.

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

6 Picton Street – The Prince of Wales Hotel established 1864 – Second Empire style, mansard roof, dormers, window hoods, dichromatic brickwork, cornice brackets, second floor balcony – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

26 Queen Street – Niagara Court House built in 1847 for the united counties of Lincoln, Welland and Haldimand – This is the third and only surviving court house erected for the former Niagara district. Constructed between 1846 and 1848, it is in the Neo-classical style. Though the courts were moved to St. Catharines in 1862, this building continued to play an important role in the life of the community. It served as the Town Hall and later as the founding home of the Shaw Festival.

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

17 Byron Street – Queen Anne style, cornice brackets, pediment, tower, third-storey balconies, ionic capitals – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

209 Queen Street – The Charles Inn c. 1832 – Georgian style – The house was constructed in 1832 by Charles Richardson, a barrister and Member of Parliament. He used the house as his principle residence and later as his summer house. -Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Victoria Street – Marrakech Mansion – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, pediment, bay window – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

177 King Street – The Romance Collection Gallery featuring the exclusive works of Trisha Romance and Tanya Jean Peterson – Queen Anne style home – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

132 Prideaux Street – c. 1832 – Book 3