Wednesday, 28 December 2011


NOTL's New Year’s Day levee to kick start 1812-related events

Starting off 2012 with a bang. The New Year’s Day Levee in Niagara-on-the-Lake has been moved from Navy Hall to the grounds of Fort George. This year the levee also marks the start to War of 1812 Bicentennial commemorations. Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley will be receiving visitors in the Fort’s officer quarters. Above, organizers Lyle Williams (left) from the NOTL 1812 Bicentennial Committee, Dan Laroche from Parks Canada, Jim Alexander also from the committee and Erika Alexander from the Friends of Fort George gather in front of the quarters.

Niagara-on-the-Lake knows how to start a new year off right. 
Each year, on Jan. 1, residents and local dignitaries gather at Navy Hall for a New Year’s Day Levee. It’s a time to reflect on the year that has past and toast the year ahead of them. It’s a chance for politicians to send greetings to the people they are charged with representiing and above all, it gives one lucky cannoneer the chance to make a big “bang” during the artillery demonstration. 

The annual event, organized by the Friends of Fort George along with Parks Canada and some help from the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, has become a tradition for many families in town. This year, however, the event is about to get much bigger. It has been named a War of 1812 Bicentennial Signature Event and will mark the official start to bicentennial-related events. 

“This really kicks off the Bicentennial of 1812 commemorations that are set to take place around the region, and the country, in the coming years,” said Dan Laroche from Parks Canada. “This is it. This is the first event.” 
In addition to the change in location, there will be a few other things different at the event. For starters, it’s called the Lieutenant Governor’s New Year’s Day Levee and David C. Onley will be on hand, receiving visitors in the officers quarters as well as acting as commandor during a battery guns demonstration. 

Jim Alexander, a volunteer with the Niagara-on-the-Lake War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee, said things will be a lot more formal this year. “This really kicks off the Bicentennial of 1812 commemorations that are set to take place around the region, and the country, in the coming years,” 

Fort George will be open to the public, for free, during the event and people are invited to check out some of the displays in addition to the events related to the levee. 

Fort George is located at 51 Queens Parade in Niagara-on-the-Lake. There will be free parking on site. 
For more information related to 1812 Bicentennial events, visit or  For  more information call 905-980-0346.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011


I am personally inviting anyone who wants to enjoy a relaxing time during this busy Christmas and New Year's season to spend a day in Niagara on the Lake.

It's wonderful to walk through Niagara on the Lake and be enveloped and surrounded with Christmas music. Christmas music is piped daily, in downtown Niagara on the Lake during this Xmas season.

For the cyclists and walkers, you can cycle and walk safely throughout Niagara in December!!  What a delight and surprise.

I look forward to meeting you at one of our charming cafes sipping on a hot chocolate or cappuccino watching the world going by.  If you have any questions regarding Niagara on the Lake, please don't hesitate to call me at 905-980-0346 or 1-866-226-4730.

May I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

May you and your families have a safe and peaceful season.

Warmest Regards,

Maria Rekrut

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Fireworks supported by Fallsview Casino Resort & Illumination
Enjoy spectacular fireworks displays explode high over the mighty Falls! You can enjoy them while skating at the TD RINK at the Brink, from many local restaurants, or from the comfort of your hotel room. Fireworks over The Falls are supported by the Fallsview Casino Resort. 

  • Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 6:30PM & 8PM (approx.)
  • Friday, November 11, 2011
  • Friday, November 18, 2011
  • Friday, November 25, 2011
  • Friday, December 2, 2011
  • Friday, December 9, 2011
  • Friday, December 16, 2011
  • Friday, December 23, 2011
  • Friday, December 30, 2011
  • Saturday, December 31 - 9PM & Midnight
    (as part of the New Year’s Eve Party in Queen Victoria Park)
  • Friday, January 6, 2012
  • Friday, January 13, 2012
  • Friday, January 20, 2012
  • Friday, January 27, 2012
All performances take place at 9:00PM unless otherwise noted. Dates and times are approximate and subject to change. As always, fireworks performances are weather permitting and may be cancelled due to poor weather conditions like high winds or rain.

Falls Illumination:Every evening from November 5 to February 29 beginning at dusk the Falls are illuminated in the colours of the rainbow - don't miss the unmatched beauty of Niagara Falls at night!  Did you know that since 1925, illumination of the Falls has been financed and operated by the Niagara Falls Illumination Board?  

As always, illumination are approximate and subject to change according to light conditions.
Lighting the Falls to allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of the mighty Niagara even at night, was first attempted more than 140 years ago. In 1860, a spectacular illumination of the falls celebrated a visit by the Prince of Wales. 

About 200 coloured and white calcium, volcanic and torpedo lights were placed along the banks above and below the American Falls, on the road down the bank of the Canadian side of the gorge and behind the water of the Horseshoe Falls. The lights were called Bengal lights and were the kind used at sea to signal for help or give warning.

Illumination of the Falls using electricity first occurred in January 1879, during a visit by the Marquis of Lorne, Governor-General of Canada and his wife Princess Louise. The lights had an illumination power of 32,000 candles, just a fraction of the intensity used today.

In 1907, W. D’Arcy Ryan of the General Electric Company designed lighting that provided far more power than ever before. Thirty-six projectors illuminated the Falls with a combined candlepower of 1,115,000,000. The display ran for several weeks.

For more than a decade after that, different attempts were made to raise financing to install permanent lighting. Some efforts were prevented by the First World War, but in 1925, a group of interested businessmen finally created the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, to finance, operate and maintain a new, permanent illumination system. Today’s contributing members are the City of Niagara Falls, NY; the City of Niagara Falls, ON; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Ontario Power Generation; and The Niagara Parks Commission.

The Board’s first installation in 1925 was twenty-four carbon searchlights each 26 inches in diameter, emitting a total of 1,320,000,000 candlepower. The Falls have been illuminated most nights since that time - except during World War II when the lights were turned off to conserve power and during subsequent years when generating facilities could not keep pace with electrical requirements of the construction boom. It was not until January 1950 that the Illumination Board was able to guarantee enough power to operate the lights on a regular basis.

In 1997 and 1998, new fixtures replaced the outdated lamps and fixtures at the Illumination Tower, doubling the intensity of the lights on the Falls without doubling the hydro bills. Currently a total of 21 xenon lights, each with a 76-cm (30 in) diameter, are used to illuminate the Falls. Eighteen are located at the IlluminationTower, beside Queen Victoria Place and three are located below street level in the gorge opposite theAmerican Falls. Each of the xenon spotlights produces more than 390 million peak beams and has a brilliance of 250 million candlepower.