Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Create Memories in Niagara

Create Memories

IN NIAGARA

The most fun you can have in 48 hours

From glow-in-the-dark golfing with wizards to getting good and wet behind the Falls, we’ve packed every kind of amazing into this sample two-day family itinerary.

Day 1

Start with a Blast

You may not need your cup of coffee this morning, because there’s nothing sleepy about the world-famous Street of Fun by the Falls at Clifton Hill. It’s Niagara Falls’ top destination for attractions, restaurants, entertainment and more. Start by getting your bearings atop the 175-foot Niagara Skywheel, then get in a few laps at the Niagara Speedway. Bring your cameras to the Ripley’s Museum where your kids can get up close and personal with over 100 life-like wax figures, an art motion simulator ride and the almost unbelievable Odditorium. Or engage in some family-friendly competition in the 70,000 square feet of crowd-pleasing fun that makes up the one and only Great Canadian Midway.

Even Lunch is Fun

When you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s plenty of family-friendly options, including the Rainforest Caféwhere meals are shared with lively, animatronic animals in a wild jungle setting. There’s also a nearby Boston Pizza complete with Arcade, located right in the heart of Clifton Hill. If you’re interested in trying some local favourites, a short 5 minute walk will transport you to Mama Mia’s Italian Eatery or Four Brothers Cucina, both with 50+ year history of serving locals and tourists alike. 

There’s also adult fun to be had at day & night at the nearby Niagara Brewing Company and the Niagara Distillery

The Falls Up Close

Next, rattle your bones with a thunderous journey deep below and behind the heart of Niagara with Journey Behind the Falls. Kids will love putting on the rain ponchos provided and experiencing the power and the mist of the mighty Horseshoe Falls, crashing down from 13 storeys above.

Magic, Music, and Dinner

Kids love a buffet dinner, but a buffet dinner with entertainment is even better. Head to the Greg Frewin Theatre for a Vegas-style spectacle, as one of the world’s premier magicians, Greg Frewin, performs his family-friendly illusions. Check the calendar before your visit, because concerts and comedy are also on the menu.

A Rainbow Before Bed

On your way to or from the theatre, enjoy a different kind of magical experience. Witness the Falls as they’re lit up in the colours of the rainbow for Niagara Falls Illumination, beginning every evening at dusk.

Water, Water Everywhere

For families staying at Americana Waterpark Resort, Skyline Hotel & Waterpark or Great Wolf Lodge, you may want to skip the evening show and get to these activity-packed hotels early. With some of the best indoor water parks in the country, plus restaurants, games, live-action adventures and more, your kids will be entertained from the moment you check in. And you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to visit! You can purchase tickets to Waves Indoor Waterpark & Fallsview Indoor Waterpark in advance of your trip or on location. The rest of Niagara will just have to wait.

Day 2

Funicular Fun

After a great breakfast, head back to the Falls for another look, this time from the Falls Incline Railway. This cable-style car (sans cables) will delight the young ones of your crew with a ride down to the “Bridge of Flowers” pedestrian crossing over the Niagara Parkway into Table Rock Welcome Centre, where you can grab a quick lunch, or pick up some souvenirs.

Just down the road is one of the area’s newest attractions, the Niagara Parks Power Station. Explore the first major power plant on the Canadian side of the Niagara River with immersive exhibits, restored artifacts and interactive storytelling

Get up Close and Personal with the Falls

What really sets Niagara Falls apart from other world attractions is just how close you can get. First board a Niagara City Cruise to get into the mist of the Falls. These state of the art boats take you right next to the Horseshoe Falls for an experience unlike any other.

And afterwards it’s time to get a different vantage point on the thrilling Wildplay Niagara Zipline to the Falls. Zipline adjacent to the Falls and feel the rush of heading towards this majestic waterfall.

A Walk in the Woods

Now that you’ve gotten up close and personal with the Falls, it’s time for a different kind of escape. The Niagara Glen is just the place to spark your kids’ inner awe of nature, with 4 km of hiking trails winding through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest. This designated nature reserve will have them exploring thousands-year-old boulders on some rugged terrain, so be sure to wear suitable footwear. Or, for cycle-loving families, bikes are available for rent seasonally.

Butterfly Love

About a kilometre from the Northeast corner of the Niagara Glen (about a 13-minute drive from the Falls) you’ll find another natural paradise…although this one is tropical. The Butterfly Conservatory, situated on the grounds of the beautiful Botanical Gardens, is home to more than 2000 butterflies, gliding freely through lush, exotic greenery. Kids of all ages will be entranced at the up-close sight of these colourful creatures, 45 species in total, feeding, fluttering, and sipping nectar. You can fuel up for the trip home at the Butterfly Café, and discuss which colourful friend is the one you’ll miss the most.

It’s never easy to please both kids and adults, especially on a trip, but Niagara manages to bring about a happy balance of approvals.

Original From the Ground Up

Original From the Ground Up

Where the Scenery Becomes the Scene

Think you know the Niagara Culinary & Wine scene?
Think again.

Sure, many of us know the Niagara Region as the home of the world-famous Falls, but there’s so much more to the region.
Here we’ll feature Niagara restaurants, wineries, farms and more… to encourage you to discover new flavours and experiences, made with love, throughout the seasons.

Harvest Season in Niagara

Farm stands loaded with diverse harvests operate at full throttle early in the season. By the time they shutter for the year, the leaves have started turning and the Niagara Escarpment becomes a breathtaking swath of technicolour boasting every shade of copper and gold. Wineries buzz with activity as grapes are harvested and the region’s world-class winemakers tease out the story of another vintage. Niagara sparkles at this time of year and there are more than a few places where it really — and rightly — shows off.

Meet the Makers

Ryan Corrigan of Rosewood Estates

I really enjoy taking the superfluity out of wine and seeing customers discover a style or taste that they didn’t know about before.

David Sider

“What you do in a restaurant is equally important as where it is,” Sider said motioning to the Redstone vineyards. “It’s unique …”

Adam Hynam-Smith Profile

“…national and international media outlets, including Condé Nast Traveler, which sent a reporter to cover the rebirth of St. Catharines…”

FRUITS OF CURATION

Cory Linkson

“We wanted to get closer to farmers. I wanted to change the paradigm of how we eat our food.”

James Treadwell

“From day one, our restaurant has always tried to showcase the many artisanal producers of the region.”

George Ward

“Growing up and seeing all of the orchards, farms and vineyards has inspired me”.

MY Niagara Experiences

Wineries

Two Sisters Winery

Two Sisters Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake

“Niagara is the perfect place to experience with loved ones, family, children or friends.

We love Niagara and want to be sure everyone visits because it’s so easy to get hooked on the beauty, friendly people, history and agriculture that it offers.”

Ann Sperling Southbrook Vineyards

Southbrook Vineyards, Organic Canadian Wine

If you’ve ever had the chance to experience Niagara-on-the-Lake, you’ll know it as a picturesque paradise where less is more and where the lush green landscape and rolling hills are enough to enchant you on their own, even before you try the wine born out of this renowned grape-friendly microclimate.

Explore 100+ Niagara Wineries

5 Niagara Hikes Including Canada’s First Hike

5 Niagara Hikes

INCLUDING

Canada's First Trail​

While you may not be able to venture outside of Canada anytime soon—let alone Ontario—there’s now no better time to make the most of the fall season within our own beautiful backyard. If you’re longing to get out and about in the great outdoors (while socially-distanced of course), there’s no better place than Niagara. While you may have only considered a trip to the region in the past to take in the famous falls, or to head to a winery or two in Ontario’s very own wine country in Niagara-on-the-Lake—you’ve likely been missing out on adventures big and small in Niagara region’s hiking hotspots, including Canada’s First Trail (number 5 on our list).

Only a short drive away from the city can feel like miles when hiking Niagara’s over 400,000 acres of vast, outdoor space. In fact, Niagara was made for socially-distanced, memorable adventures for friends and family to explore together. From high-intensity hiking to more leisurely strolling through scenic park trails, it’s easy to stay 6-acres apart in Niagara, but up close and personal with nature and the ones that you love (and that are within your bubble!).

With thousands of acres of parks and trails, where do you even begin? We invite you to Niagara to go “take a hike” with our top 5 hiking trails for your next socially-distanced adventure. Here’s where to start:

5 Niagara Hiking Trails

Ball's Falls Conservation Area, Lincoln

An off-the-beathen-path hike

Niagara Falls aren’t the only waterfalls you need to visit on your next trip to Niagara. Popular with locals, Balls Falls is perfect for those looking for a hike through history and off-the-beaten-path! Once a nineteenth-century settlement, this stunning trail runs along the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. Take a walk back in time as you hike by (and can even tour!) historical buildings including an operational mill, church, blacksmith shed, carriage house and more on the property originally owned by the Ball brothers.

The conservation area’s three trails include the Forest Frolic Trail, Switch Back Trail and the favoured Cataract Trail for those looking to take it all in. Hike or stroll this simple trail through the historical village along the Twenty-Mike creek, which eventually cascades over the upper and lower Balls Falls, a breathtaking sight to see! Be sure to pack a lunch for a scenic stop at one of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the area.

Address: 3292 Sixth Ave, Lincoln, ON L0R 1S0

URL: Npca.ca/parks/balls-falls

Woodend Conservation Area, Niagara-on-the-Lake

A short hike with sips and sights

Another local favourite, if you’re looking for a short hike, with sips and sights, check out the Woodend Conservation Area. Discover this unique section of the Escarpment, which was thought to be a lookout point during the War of 1812. You’ll be met with incredible views of Lake Ontario, vineyards and orchards. Hike the area’s two short trails—the Hardwood and the Silurian Trial—that’ll take you on either side of the edge of the Escarpment.

A hiker’s paradise, the iconic Bruce Trail and Trans Canada Trail also run through the area if you’re up for a longer journey. You’ll also find the 32 km Wetland Trail that is part of Laura Secord’s Legacy Trail here. As this trail runs through Niagara College’s Teaching Winery & Brewery, be sure to visit the award-winning destination for distanced wine, cider, spirit and beer tastings from up and coming talent.

Address: 1 Taylor Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada

URL: Npca.ca/parks/woodend

Niagara River Recreational Trail

A paved action-packed path

If paved paths that are action-packed are more your style, the Niagara River Recreational Trail is for you. This leisurely 56 km trail runs beside the Niagara River from historic Fort Erie through Niagara Falls in the south, ending at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake in the north. Perfect for strolling, cycling, dog walking—you name it! Start by taking in the roar of the Niagara Falls up close. Later on you’ll be passing through some of the most picturesque countryside to see. The trail runs parallel to the Niagara Parkway, described by Sir Winston Churchill as “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world.” Along the way be tempted by local famer’s markets, fruit stands, artisan shops, restaurants and world-renowned wineries such as Peller Estates and Two Sisters Vineyards. There’s no shortage of things to see, taste and delight in on this trail!

Address: 3351 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

 

Niagara Glen, Niagara Falls

An adventure seeker’s hike

For adventurous hikers looking for jaw-dropping scenery, including million-year-old rock formations, marine fossils as well as endangered plant and animal life—look no further than this hidden gem. The designated nature reserve has 4 km of rugged trials located in the Niagara Gorge itself. Hike eight fascinating trails along the edge of the Niagara River, while getting close enough to feel the rush of the river and the swirling 4,200-year-old Niagara Whirlpool. Spend as little as a few hours or a full day getting lost in the natural beauty of this area, home to one of Canada’s last pockets of Carolinian Forest. The turquoise waters of the river as well as astounding natural cliffs and boulders, make for awe-inspiring surroundings on one of the best hikes you’ll find in Niagara Falls. Be sure to visit the onsite Niagara Glen Nature Centre to talk through what trails to tackle with an expert or even take a guided tour.

Address: 3050 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

URL: Niagaraparks.com/visit/nature-garden/niagara-glen-nature-centre/

Bruce Trail, Niagara Region

A Bucket List Hike on Canada’s First Trail

No list of Niagara hiking trails would be complete without the Bruce Trail. The oldest and longest marked trail in Canada is a must for avid hikers to knock off their bucket list. The trail is 900 km long (not to mention its 440 km of side trails) extending from Queenston Heights Park to Tobermory along the Niagara Escarpment. In Niagara, the trail begins near Niagara Falls on the west side of a gorge along the Niagara River and continues to Grimsby and includes both the Balls Falls Conservation Area as well as the Woodend Conservation Area trails mentioned above.

Walk alongside some of the most beautiful scenery in Ontario, with the Niagara section of the trail alone offering more than 130 km to explore. Pass by the picturesque Decew Falls, the valleys of Short Hills Provincial Park, as well as nearby wineries such as Henry of Pelham and 13th Street Winery. Take in panoramic views overlooking Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Niagara River and out to Lake Ontario and Toronto, explore limestone caverns, historic buildings, monuments and more. From day to multi-day trips, check out https://brucetrail.org/ to plan your monumental Bruce Trail trek in Niagara.

Address: Throughout Niagara Region

URL: Brucetrail.org/trail-sections/9

From hidden gems, historical hikes and iconic trails, we invite you to distantly discover all that Niagara has to offer with our boundless outdoor beauty. Just try not to get hooked on our hiking trails! They’re an exhilarating mind, body and soul experience that’ll be sure to reconnect you with nature, as much as your loved ones, and have you making your way back for more in no time.

November in Niagara

Things to Do November 2019 in the Niagara Region

 

Winter Festival of Lights

A Holiday tradition for over one million visitors from around the globe. Featuring spectacular light displays, the Fallsview Sound and Light Show, Holiday Lights Tours and over 3 million lights displayed along the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and Niagara Falls. The Festival kicks off with an amazing opening ceremony on November 16th, and continues to January 12th, 2020

Restaurant Week On Lundy’s Lane

Restaurants on Lundy’s Lane feature special lunch & dinner menus at incredible prices. Take advantage of this special opportunity to sample many of the best restaurants in Niagara Falls during Restaurant Week, taking place October 24th to November 7th.

 

Restaurant Week on Lundy’s Lane

 

Taste of the Season

Taste the Season on weekends this November in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This tasting passport features expertly paired wine & food tastings at 20+ Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries. For more information visit http://wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com/event/taste-the-season/

 

Wrapped Up in the Valley

Experience wines perfectly paired with culinary treats from top local chefs at 20 craft wineries during Wrapped Up in the Valley Visit Twenty Valley 3 weekends in November. Visit: https://www.twentyvalley.ca/site/wrapped-up

Shaw Festival Christmas Plays

The world famous Shaw Festival is once again hosting Christmas plays, offering two holiday classics. Tip: These plays sell out in advance, so make sure to buy tickets while they are still available.

Christmas Carol

See the beloved Dickens classic on stage at the Royal George Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the perfect setting to experience a Victorian winter wonderland. Starting November 13th

 

Holiday Inn

A beloved musical, perfect to ring in the holiday season! Starting November 16th

 

White Water Walk

Niagara Parks White Water Walk is one of Niagara’s most visceral attractions. It’s season closes on November 3rd.

Meridian Centre Concerts

St.Catharines Meridian Centre is home to three headline concerts in November.

 
 
 
 
 
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Arkells – Rally Cry Tour ~ November 9th

Offspring / Sum 41  ~ November 15th 

Johnny Reid: My Kind of Christmas ~ November 27th 

Holiday Markets

Niagara has numerous shopping options, including boutique stores and large outlet malls. Additionally, large Holiday Markets take place in November

A Very Mori Christmas Palooza: Christmas Market Niagara-on-the-Lake ~ November 15th – 17th

Handmade & Artisan market in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. For more details visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/541543689709213/

 

Holiday Handmade Market – Niagara Falls ~ November 22nd – 24th

Featuring over 200 vendors inside the Scotiabank Convention Centre, the Handmade Market is Niagara’s largest market of the season. http://www.handmademarket.ca/

 

 

Award Winning Dinning

Dispatch restaurant in downtown St. Catharines was just named one of Canada’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants by Air Canada’s EnRoute Magazine. Taste for yourself why this restaurant is gaining national praise. Read the full EnRoute review of Dispatch at: Dispatch EnRoute Review

 

Award Winning Attraction

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Hornblower Niagara Cruises’ Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour was named the Best Water Adventure and Top Fan Choice in North America in the second annual GetYourGuide Awards for incredible travel experiences. See why the awards, known for incredible travel experiences, choose Hornblower Niagara Cruises. Cruises continue into the month of November. For more information visit: https://www.niagaracruises.com/

 

Ryan Crawford

Once a year, Chef Ryan Crawford cranks Roxanne by The Police and takes a shot of bourbon in honour of his most loyal and longest running help in the kitchen.

Her name, fittingly, is Roxanne, and she’s been with Crawford, proprietor of Backhouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake, since he graduated culinary school in Stratford in 1999. The duo have travelled Canada together, journeying to Fogo Island and Prince Edward Island to work magic in kitchens there. And they’ve forged a strong partnership here in Niagara, where Crawford has garnered national and international accolades over the past 15 years  — the last four at Backhouse — for his innovative approach to regional, seasonal cuisine.

No matter the attention he gets, Crawford always honours his tireless kitchen aid with a course of wood oven-baked sourdough on both his chef’s menu and à la carte. Roxanne, you see, is his 20-year-old sourdough starter, figuring prominently in baking at Backhouse, and in the homes of diners gifted some of the fermented flour that makes up Roxanne’s being.

“Roxanne is a mom and she has babies all over North America,” Crawford said proudly. “I’ll get pictures once a month of (other people’s) sourdough. It’s very exciting.”

Crawford is the father of cool climate cuisine here in Niagara

As much as Roxanne is the prolific mother of bread loaves everywhere, Crawford is the father of cool climate cuisine here in Niagara. It’s his unique take on using Ontario — and Niagara — produce almost exclusively, save for the lemons required by Backhouse’s bartenders, or the chocolate that appears in the petits fours. Even the salt Crawford uses to season dishes, such as wood-fired squab with rutabaga gratin, 90-day dry aged beef, or the duck liver mousse beignet with apricot compote, comes from close to home. He sources it from Goderich, Ont., which boasts the world’s largest underground salt mine, or from New York’s Finger Lakes.

Crawford’s dedication to showcasing local never wavers, even during dessert when many bakers reach for vanilla from far-flung places to flavour nearly anything sweet that follows dinner. Backhouse’s vanilla ice cream? It’s only eggs, cream and sugar but they come together to produce intense, authentic flavour, Crawford explained.

“Take vanilla out of your baking and you’ll taste what everything should taste like,” he said. “It’s not making things with other flavours. It’s letting things speak for themselves.”

That’s easy to do here in Niagara. Crawford cooks in the cradle of the region’s finest farmland. He has connections galore to local producers, but he also has a farmer on staff, Ashley Burnie, who grows fruit and vegetables on three acres behind Crawford’s home, a two-minute drive from Backhouse.

Crawford and Burnie sit down together in the winter to map out planting and harvest schedules, which helps the kitchen with menu planning. An additional unheated greenhouse starts the growing season early and prolongs it come fall. The goal is to get nearly all of the restaurant’s produce from the Backhouse farm, which grows everything from peas, bok choy and asparagus in spring to berries, apricots, cherries, and tomatoes from 800 plants in summer, and squash, rutabaga and other storage vegetables in autumn.

What isn’t served fresh is preserved to see the restaurant through winter.

“We planted everything we could. It was ‘Hey, what do you want to cook? We’ll plant it,’” Crawford said.

It’s not as though farm and restaurant only meet in the kitchen when harvests are ready. Everyone who works in the restaurant spends time on the land, learning about the ebb and flow of the bounty through the year.

“You’re sitting there with your hands in the dirt and feeling the energy and life of what’s growing there,” Crawford explained.

That desire to put in such effort comes from when Crawford helmed the kitchen of the former Stone Road Grille, under different ownership but in the same unassuming strip mall location that’s home to Backhouse. Back then, Crawford got his hands dirty raising heritage pigs with Paul Harber at Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery.

“It is so much work,” he said about the endeavour. “It taught us a lot about how much work farmers really put in. It really got me thinking about sustainability and waste. My thing about sustainability here, I’m giving Ashley, a young farmer, a job. It’s helping the restaurant. If it all works out, it’s less money for us in vegetables, it’s fresher, and it’s giving younger chefs and apprentices the opportunity to respect the vegetables because they know Ashley grows it.”

It’s also giving Backhouse diners an experience. They hear the story of 4 o’clock asparagus — quite literally harvested at 4 p.m. the day it’s served — with 24-month house-cured prosciutto and Ontario-grown saffron. They’re exposed to flavours like white asparagus and rhubarb in a savoury soft serve garnished with seed asparagus and served as an amuse bouche.

“They want to hear the story. We’re trying to tell the story of food in Niagara,” Crawford said. “It’s having that interaction with people and giving them something special.”

There was a time when it looked like Crawford would fulfill his dreams of such an endeavour elsewhere. He spent three years searching for the perfect location to open a Canadian version of an agritourismo, those farmhouses that combine gastronomy and overnight stays in Italy, after he left Stone Road Grille. He was close to inking a deal on land elsewhere in Ontario when his former bosses let him know they were closing the restaurant.

Coming back to the location where he repeatedly earned praise from out-of-town media for his inventive take on fine dining made sense. The relationships and his reputation were established in Niagara, but it’s also where Crawford could work with grape growers and vintners to make his own wine, a hobby he hopes to pick up again this fall after a few years’ break.

Really, though, cooking with local produce — and, of course, baking sourdough bread starring Roxanne — over wood fire in a space that belies its strip mall location is about something else, something more intrinsic.

“For me, it’s being true to my world, Crawford said. “It’s teaching the general public about respect (for the ingredients) and giving people jobs and and opportunities. Profitability, for me, is rooted in happiness. It makes me happy serving people. My staff comes first, making them happy and energized to be here, excited to be and work, and that comes through in the food.”

 

• • • • •

CONTACT

Backhouse Restaurant
Phone: 289-272-1242
Website: backhouse.xyz
242 Mary St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0

Niagara Farmers’ Markets

Savour Niagara’s bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables & a whole lot more at one of the several farmers’ markets in the Niagara Region! It is a great way to experience local community life as well as encourage the ‘buy local’ philosophy.
 
Here’s a look at the various markets that offer a wide range of farm food and other products…
 
 

Pelham Farmers’ Market

Head to the municipal parking lot at Pelham Town Square on Thursdays to enjoy high quality local food and other products.
 
Fresh vegetables are available as are a wide variety of fruits:
  • peaches
  • apples
  • cherries
  • plums
  • pears
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
 
Also available for purchase are chicken, duck eggs & meat products.
 
Vendors also offer:
  • baked goods
  • breads
  • pies
  • chocolate
  • honey
  • sweet corn
 
Relish cooked food such as tacos, samosas, chicken patties & Pad Thai. Besides the delicious food, VQA wines, flowers & jewellery are available at the market.


Open

  • Spring to October 10, 2019
  • 4.30 p.m. until dusk
 
 

Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday morning, the Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market buzzes with activity. Eager customers and friendly vendors buy & sell fresh produce.
 
Located behind the Niagara Falls History Museum, the market has been running for more than 50 years.
 
It offers a fantastic range of vegetables, fruits & meat. The market has 4 indoor shops as well as up to 15 outdoor stalls. depending on the weather and time of the year. It is a feast for the senses, as the colours and the aroma of the fresh produce will draw you in.
Food-themed workshops are also conducted at the market!
 

Open

  • all year round on Saturdays
  • 6a to 12p
 

Port Colborne Farmers’ Market

There’s plenty to buy at the Port Colborne Farmers’ Market –
fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, & craft items!
 
Locals & visitors alike throng this open air market with over 60 vendors.
 
Shoppers can buy a range of seasonal produce and other goodies such as:
  • honey
  • cheeses
  • breads
  • charcuterie
 
You can pick up some lovely flowers at the market and buy a few craft products at the Guild Hall. Mingle with the crowd, shop, eat and come back for more at this farmers market!

Open

  • Fridays
  • All year round
  • 6a to 1p

Ridgeway Farmers’ Market

Experience the freshness and flavour of local produce at the Ridgeway Farmers’ Market. It operates out of the municipal parking space in downtown Ridgeway.
 
Besides seasonal fruits & vegetables, you can buy:
  • breads
  • jams
  • honey
  • gourmet salad dressings
  • fish
  • meat
  • cheese
  • vinegar
  • dairy products
You can purchase fresh produce direct from the farm, sold by the farmers themselves. Plants and flowers are also available.
 
Art by the Market encourages local artisans, so you can pick up a few art and craft items too. Enjoy some live music from local talents while you shop or relax at the market.

Open

  • Every Saturday
  • May 6 to October 14, 2017
  • 7:30a to 12:30p
 
 

St Catharines Farmers’ Market

The St Catharines Farmers’ Market has been operating since the 1860s. Located at Market Street, it is always bustling with customers. Fill your shopping bags with healthy agricultural food direct from the farms.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There is always an array of vegetables and fruits that are in season. Other wonderful food & beverage choices include:

  • Seafood
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Dairy products
  • Baked goods
  • Jams
  • Honey
  • Spices
  • VQA wines
 
If you are looking for crafts and other knick-knacks, the market has them too!

Open

  • Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays
  • 6a to 2p
 
 

Niagara-on-the-Lake Farmers’ Market

Located in the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, The Market at the Village is a charming farmers’ market.
 
Farmers & vendors sell fresh, locally grown, produce and other items at the market.
 
Get loads of:
  • farm fresh strawberries
  • beets
  • potatoes
  • asparagus
 
Besides seasonal produce, select from:
  • jams
  • jellies
  • breads
  • pickles
  • deli meats
  • butter
  • cheese
  • bath products
  • craft items
 
Relish a delicious breakfast made from local ingredients while enjoying some lovely music. The farmers’ market is a great way to buy some healthy produce and interact with the locals as well as visitors.


Open

  • Spring to October 5, 2019
  • Saturday mornings
  • 8a to 1p
 
Support local farmers, experience the vibrant community life & enjoy the taste of fresh farm produce at the farmers’ markets across the Niagara region!

Nicolette Novak

Nicolette Novak has an amazing ability to strike up a conversation with anyone. It can be your first time meeting her but you immediately feel at ease, like with an old friend. There’s no formality, but a sense of familiarity instead.

Take the cool, wet day in early June when two women sat down at a table under the covered patio in the bistro of Novak’s Good Earth Food and Wine Co. in Beamsville. They started wrapping themselves in fleece blankets when Novak cut in to empathize — even apologize. It’s June, after all, but one that could easily be confused with late October for its lack of sunny, warm weather that normally makes Niagara shine at this time of year.

The women shrugged at Mother Nature’s confused ways. It’s cosy, they assured, which led Novak to ask the obvious: “Where are you from?”

“Georgia,” one woman answered. It was the perfect segue into Novak telling them peaches grow here, though the growing season is about a month behind this year. She points to the swath of trees beside the bistro.

“Those are all peach trees,” Novak said, sensing the women’s disbelief that peaches grow in Canada. They marvel. But that’s typical. Marvelling is what happens at The Good Earth — as Novak intended — the moment a visitor turns down the gravel laneway, through a welcome mat of vineyards and orchards, to the winery, bistro and cooking school that borders Beamsville. It serves as a bucolic reminder that, despite the promise of condo high-rises being built around the corner, this is still Niagara farm country.

It’s also still Novak’s home. The bistro table where those women sat was little more than a 100 metres from her front door.

“One of the things I set out to do to differentiate from other places… I really think of this as an extension of my own home,” Novak said. “It has that feel of someone’s places. It still has warts, there are weeds, our driveway isn’t paved. But once you turn onto that driveway, you really are transported somewhere different.”

Ultimately, that’s what happened to Novak when she returned home after her father had been killed in a car accident 32 years ago. A twenty-something at the time, Novak had been carving a career path in Toronto, working for a Member of Provincial Parliament. But with news of her dad’s death coming on the first day of peach harvest, she knew she had to return to Beamsville to help the farm and her family — it was Novak, her mother, Betty, and her grandmother — carry on.

“There were no options,” Novak recalled.

The farm was 220 acres at the time, a mammoth swath by Niagara standards. But she enjoyed it until a streak of bad years compelled her to sell most of it. She kept 55 acres, which she leased out, and returned to the city to work in public relations.

But in 1998, she was beckoned back to Beamsville. Niagara was on the cusp of something new and more convivial than the hotels with their expansive and formal dining rooms in Niagara-on-the-Lake that had been serving as the region’s calling card for tourists seeking something more refined than waterfalls and wax museums.

Wineries with inviting tasting rooms and restaurants were opening and a new culinary identity was being forged for the region, thanks to a crop of big city chefs who’d come here seeing the potential of cooking in the middle of one of Canada’s most unique agricultural areas.

 

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Novak contributed to the effort by opening a cooking school on the property.

“It was so long ago, there were only five wineries,” she recalled.

That eventually led to catering events, and in 2008, the next natural progression in rural Niagara: a winery.

“I made the fateful decision to make wine, which was an awful decision,” Novak said. “It’s hard. It’s very capital intensive and there’s still a threshold of what people are willing to spend. And in Toronto, there’s still a perception that Ontario wines suck.”

Still, The Good Earth is clearly a good place to be, even on a cold, rainy June day.

People come, and when the first sunny days that hint at summer and stone fruit harvests arrive, they come in droves. They come to attend a session at the cooking school that’s more edutainment than hands-on. They come to sample some of The Good Earth’s vintages, made by winemaker Ilya Senchuk, who has a talent for teasing out the best in Niagara grapes. And they come to wrap themselves in a fleece blanket and eat lunch on the bistro patio.

 

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Despite the challenges, Novak admitted it’s been a successful venture. She has a classically trained chef, St. Catharines native Andrew Thorne, doing monthly seasonal menus in the kitchen. She’s surrounded herself with staff with the same salt-of-the-earth vibe as their boss.

“I’m really fortunate. They all have personality and they’re not afraid of showing it with people. They’re real,” Novak said. “I can say with confidence the food is excellent and we try to keep it as seasonal as possible. It’s a wine and food environment that isn’t foreboding. It isn’t pretentious. And it’s pretty. We work hard to make it pretty.”

All that’s changed over the years is the audience. Novak sees more twenty- and thirty-somethings attending the themed cooking classes, or arranging private dos, that run three hours, feature three courses plus an amuse bouche, and wine.

“It’s laid back and there for you to enjoy,” she said. “You take away from it as much as you want. We don’t like to micromanage it because the idea behind (the culinary school) is to expose people to what they might not normally have ordered (to eat).”

They’re still Novak’s favourite part of her entire endeavour. Within moments of gathering in the small outbuilding dedicated to the instructional sessions, strangers become friends. It’s also not uncommon to find Novak cleaning up afterward instead of relegating the task to her staff. But then, that’s all in keeping with The Good Earth’s MO of feeling like a visit to someone’s home.

“To me, it’s like after a really good dinner party,” Novak said. “It gives me time to reflect, to come down.”

And perhaps remember that there’s only one place she can do this.

“The driver for this whole business was that this is home,” Novak said. “I had a strong foundation in agriculture and an understanding of what this place called Niagara has here.”

• • • • •

CONTACT

Good Earth Food & Wine
Phone: 905-563-6333
Website: https://goodearthfoodandwine.com/
4556 Lincoln Ave, Beamsville, ON L0R 1B3

Barb Honsberger

Meet Barb Honsberger, Owner of Honsberger Estate Winery, one of Ontario’s smallest boutique wineries, known for producing nationally award-winning wines. Nestled in the quaint Jordan village along the Niagara Escarpment, Honsberger’s family-run farm showcases the unique agriculture and welcoming hospitality of the Niagara Region.

Amidst blooming orchards, lush vineyards, wandering livestock and tail-wagging rescue dogs, Honsberger Estate Winery is a rural oasis set on farmlands exuding charm and family tradition. With Honsberger’s farming roots dating back to 1811, the land’s heritage and history are very much a part of now-owner Barb, a sixth-generation farmer.

“The bounty that Niagara has to offer is embedded in me,” she said. “It comes from generations of farmers loving this land before me and seeing the care for the generations ahead of me.”

Having grown up in Jordan watching her father tend diligently to their family farm from sunrise to sunset, Barb credits her upbringing for instilling her with the passion she has for her work today.

“I spent my childhood just like generations before me, running between fruit trees and riding the tractor on my father’s lap,” said Barb. Eventually, Barb’s past would lead her to her future calling—“after stumbling through a variety of careers, opening Honsberger Estate Winery is exactly what I was meant to do.”

 

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Initially only selling barrels of grapes to other wineries, in 2002, they began planting Riesling and Cabernet Franc vines. Only in 2012, did Honsberger Estate eventually start keeping a small portion of grapes for their own label, simply for the love of winemaking.

While the art of making wine is far from easy, being backed by heart, history and the support of the local winemaking industry confirmed their decision to become a small-batch winery.

“Even though Honsberger Estate is one of the oldest farms in Niagara, I’m always humbled by the support of the community and how we were welcomed into the industry,” she said. “The community has a common goal. We all want to see Niagara at its best. When we all work hard in our own backyard, yet also lift and support our neighbours, everyone becomes inspired.”

 

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Today Honsberger Estate Winery continues to be steadfast in their decision to remain small and craft offerings that are a testament to the quality farm-grown grapes they are made from.

“By working with the motto of ‘quality over quantity’, we can offer a product that we are proud of,” said Barb. “That’s why we put ‘from our roots to your table’ on every bottle of wine.” Their philosophy has enabled the winery to stand confidently on its own, alongside fellow award-winning wineries in the area.

Whether you stop by Honsberger Estate Winery for a sip or a bite from one of their two restaurants, or simply to say hello, one thing’s for sure—there’s no doubt it’s a uniquely Niagara experience that will make you feel right at home, no matter where you’re from.

“Niagara is home. It’s family, it’s friends, it’s giving and it’s a gift to all of us,” Barb shares. She invites guests to the region the same way she would invite someone into her home – with a smile and with outstanding hospitality.

For more on Honsberger Estate Winery, visit www.honsbergerestate.com

• • • • •

CONTACT

Honsberger Estate Winery
Phone: (905) 562-4339
Website: honsbergerestate.com
4060 Jordan Rd, Jordan Station
ON L0R 1S0

Cory Linkson

Cory Linkson knows he’s going to be judged when he’s at work today.

It won’t be for anything he says. It certainly won’t be for his outfit — Linkson wears the mandatory chef’s whites every day. Instead, strong opinions will be cast about what the executive chef does behind the burner at AG Cuisine in Niagara Falls, which is to be expected when yours is a four diamond-rated restaurant 11 years running.

“Who goes to work every day and gets judged on everything they do?” Linkson asked rhetorically. “Not too many people. You can’t have an off day in a restaurant. It’s not an easy environment to work in, for sure.”

Still, it’s one he loves. The proof is in that consistently high rating Linkson and AG Cuisine, set in the Sterling Inn just off the well-worn tourist path, have received every year since the restaurant opened in 2007. Not only are there four diamonds, awarded by CAA/AAA, to live up to, there are other reputations to uphold, including being one of OpenTable’s 100 most romantic restaurants in Canada, or residing on the reservation app’s best overall list.

 

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That success is rooted in Linkson’s talent as a chef, which he began honing as a teen while working in the commissary of his parents’ St. Catharines pizzeria. But it can also be attributed to something else: Linkson’s passion for showcasing Niagara du jour on a plate.

“We try to take seasonal and local to a hyper-extent,” Linkson explained.

 

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The reason is simple. It’s not only because Linkson cooks in one of the most fertile regions in Canada, whose microclimates make it easy for almost anything to grow here. It’s because ingredients from far-flung places have passed their four-diamond prime by the time they make it to a professional kitchen.

They simply aren’t good enough for Linkson’s calibre of cooking.

“All food in the grocery store is designed for you to eat in the last 30 per cent of its life,” he said. “By the time it gets to a restaurant, there’s really no life left in the stuff. We wanted to get closer to farmers. I wanted to change the paradigm of how we eat our food.”

He does that by having land and a staff farmer who uses permaculture, farming that “goes in the way of nature,” to grow vegetables harvested the same day they appear on an AG menu.

Linkson’s drive to be a good steward of nature led to the addition of bee hives at the farm three years ago, and with it, the birth of the AG Busy Bee Honey Factory. The honey and pollen the bees provide inspire creativity in the kitchen, but they also do the heavy lifting during a growing season that no farmer can: they pollinate crops on the AG farm and those surrounding it.

“It’s sort of a circle of life that we’re trying to develop,” Linkson said. “It’s not just singular. It’s many things that we’re doing to be good stewards to the land and planet.”

What they don’t grow themselves is easily sourced on other local farms whose names and stories are shared with diners, he noted.

“We should be highlighting the farmers in this area. The terroir of this soil is really special in this area and this is why we should be doing it.”

It was also the next logical step after 30 years working in an industry with a black eye for being wasteful.

Linkson, who travelled throughout North America to climb the ranks in a professional kitchen, could have taken his cues from some of those mentors in the early days of his career, who called suppliers across the globe for ingredients. That was when imported was de rigueur, and little thought was given to how food was grown in other countries, or farm labour conditions.

The years spent in kitchens operating this way wore on him, and Linkson didn’t want to be part of what he saw as a significant problem.

He was struck by a chef he worked with out West who did “Rocky Mountain cuisine,” featuring local bison and berries on the menu. Returning to Niagara in 1996 to help usher in the farm-to-table movement that spawned the region’s wine country cuisine also inspired him to forge a solution to the restaurant industry’s largesse.

At that time, Niagara was importing chefs bringing a new approach to fine dining. The first winery restaurants were opening and big city cuisiniers, including Tony de Luca at Hillebrand in Niagara-on-the-Lake (now Trius), were hired to begin a shift away from the quantity over quality mentality that drove many kitchens in tourist hot spots here.

Linkson worked as de Luca’s sous chef for five years before moving down Niagara Stone Road to the restaurant at Peller Estates. In both winery kitchens, he fell into the rhythm of Niagara’s seasons and it moved him.

“You get into this rhythm year over year. You gravitate toward that rhythm of nature. I was really glad I could come (to AG Cuisine) and do the same. Maybe I was a farmer in another life,” he said with a laugh.

Those rhythms of the growing season set the tune for the daily menu changes that happen at AG to show diners “this is Niagara Falls right now.”

“Whatever is ready at the farm has to go on the menu, so we just change, change, change,” he explained. “We sort of fly by the seat of our pants. The goal is to keep the same quality level menu change after menu change. It doesn’t matter what you order, we try to have the same quality, the same freshness. We try to let the area speak to you.”

And then let diners speak about the experience — something that drives Linkson “to get to that level of expectation I need to meet.”

“It’s a creative endeavour,” he said. “You have to be a person who enjoys having a creative idea, turning it out on a plate and seeing guests’ reactions.”

Tiffany Mayer, My Niagara Profiles

• • • • •

CONTACT

AG Inspired Cuisine
Phone: 289.292.0005
Website: agcuisine.com
5195 Magdalen Ave.
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
L2G 3S6

Yoga in Niagara Wine Country

Operators are beginning to resume socially distanced Vineyard Yoga Classes as of late June, 2020. Please visit respective links below to see the most up to date status of Niagara Vineyard Yoga Classes.

COVID-19 Update

Relax, recharge and experience Yoga in Niagara Wine Country.

Here are some of the Yoga classes available at wineries throughout Niagara, for the calendar year of 2019


Westcott Vineyards

Yoga in the Vineyards, with Modo Yoga St. Catharines
Every Thursday night until August 29th 7-8pm
https://www.westcottvineyards.com/products/yoga-in-the-vineyards

 
 
 
 
 
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Redstone Winery

Yoga Uncorked, with The Energy Lab
Thursday, August 15th 6:30pm
https://www.theenergylab.ca/

 
 
 
 
 
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Small Talk Winery

Cider and Baby Goat Yoga, with Fox Den Yoga
Saturday, August 17th & Sunday, August 18th
http://www.foxdenyoga.com/events.html

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Château des Charmes

Yoga by the Vines, in partnership with Liberty Life Yoga
Sunday, August 18th 10am – 12pm
http://wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com/event/yoga-by-the-vines/

 
 
 
 
 
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Pondview Estate Winery

Yoga & Wine
Wednesday, Aug 21st, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
https://www.ashleyavisyoga.com/book-online


Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

Yoga & Wine, in partnership with Elev8 Events
Thursday, August 22nd & Thursday, September 26th
http://www.elev8events.ca/shop/


Fielding Estate Winery

Yoga Uncorked, with The Energy Lab
Saturday, September 7th 11am
https://www.theenergylab.ca/yoga-wine

 
 
 
 
 
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Andrew McLeod

Andrew McLeod

Take a seat with a view of the kitchen at Bolete and chances are you’ll see chef and owner Andrew McLeod wearing a button-up shirt with the sleeves casually rolled up, jeans and a canvas apron to protect from the hazards of the job.

There are no starched and pressed chef’s whites, no towering, pleated hats. And yet, it was those formalities of kitchen life that captured McLeod’s attention as a teenager while dining at Toronto’s iconic Canoe, ultimately inspiring him to pursue a career behind the burner.

“I remember seeing the chefs with all their tall Bragard hats. I thought it was awesome,” McLeod recalled. “Everyone knew their jobs and what they were doing. It was just a really gorgeous room and I thought I’d like to explore that. It was a cool thing to watch.”

Now McLeod and his chef Jayde Burton are the ones to watch as they cook at Bolete, creating elegant dishes inspired by the seasons in an entirely casual atmosphere.

“Just the way the kitchen is set up, we want it to appear like we’re cooking in our house,” McLeod said. “It’s just like a house party. Everyone wants to be in the kitchen. It’s just where everyone ends up.”

 
 
 
 
 
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It’s where McLeod, who grew up in Whitby, found himself as a 15-year-old in need of a job. The aspiring culinarian took a gig washing dishes at a small Italian restaurant, and eventually worked his way into cooking. It wasn’t fine dining — McLeod was a short-order cook — but he learned to be fast and efficient, skills that would prove essential when what started as just a pay cheque morphed into a career after that fateful dinner at Canoe.

McLeod headed to cooking school at George Brown College. He stood out among his classmates, some of whom had no idea how to hold a chef’s knife never mind ever setting foot in a professional kitchen. It was the dawning of the age of the celebrity chef, brought about by the polished cooking shows on TV, and those drawn to culinary school by the prospect of fame rather than a passion for food saw their 15 minutes evaporate before the clock even started ticking.

“It was interesting to see. Then they found out it wasn’t what they expected, like on the cooking shows. They were dropping like flies,” McLeod recalled.

After graduation, McLeod stayed in Toronto, testing his skills as a newly minted cook at La Bodega, a highly rated French bistro on Baldwin Street. McLeod didn’t stay relegated to the entry-level garde manger, responsible for creating salads and cold dishes. He got to do dessert, trying his hand at classics like crème brulée, and had opportunities to practise butchery.

He also learned — perhaps the hard way — not to make mistakes. McLeod’s roommate was the restaurant’s chef. “If I did something wrong at work, I’d hear about it all night at home, so that pushed me to do everything right,” McLeod said.

From there, he graduated to coveted posts at the high-volume Auberge du Pommier in the Oliver & Bonacini restaurant family. There he worked under one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs, Jason Bangerter. They were intense jobs, but McLeod, set on being an executive chef, was keen to push himself professionally in those early days.

He was also eager to learn, so when he got thirsty for more than a cursory knowledge of pairing food and wine in 2005, McLeod, then 27, took to the Queen Elizabeth Way. His first few interviews at winery restaurants didn’t go as hoped. But then he knocked on the door at Peller Estates where Chef Jason Parsons, a fellow alumnus of an Oliver & Bonacini restaurant in Toronto, hired McLeod as sous chef. It was a busy job that he did and loved for six years, not only for the education in winemaking it provided, but also for everything else Niagara taught him. There were the farms producing stone fruit and vegetables, opportunities to raise animals, and a collaborative spirit among chefs in the region. And Parsons was the ultimate leader after which McLeod could model himself — constantly checking in on the morale of his kitchen staff.

“There are a million things you can get your hands into here,” he said. “We didn’t have access (in Toronto) to the products you have here. You can’t get in your car and be two minutes away from vegetables or beekeeping.”

McLeod has immersed himself in every opportunity to learn about food and wine production that has come his way in Niagara, either in those early days or since opening Bolete in 2016. He’s spent time with beekeepers at Rosewood Estates Winery in Beamsville, and has willingly stepped into the pen with Paul Harber at Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery to learn more about raising pigs.

Executive chef jobs presented themselves after Peller Estates but they took McLeod away from the region. He helmed the kitchen at Edgewater Manor in Stoney Creek, then at the landmark Spencer’s on the Waterfront in Burlington.

But being a boy from the ‘burbs in Toronto, McLeod didn’t want to hang around Burlington. He loved St. Catharines, being close to vineyards, and market gardens. He also dreamt of owning a restaurant.

He searched for a time before finding Bolete’s home on a stretch of St. Paul Street that was the epicentre of downtown revitalization in St. Catharines. Other restaurants serving beautiful, thoughtful food were opening along the artery and yet no one was stepping on anyone’s toes, McLeod noted.

All of those relationships he cultivated along the way are apparent at Bolete today, be it on the wine list, dominated by world-class Niagara vintages, or the roster of artists in residence whose work has hung on Bolete’s walls over the years.

And, of course, a menu that takes its cues from what’s available in Niagara, complemented by ingredients, such as East Coast oysters or Prince Edward Island beef, from elsewhere in Canada.

The spectacle of Burton and McLeod at work — even without those Bragard hats — makes the experience all the better.

“I love being here on a Saturday night, taking plates over to a table, saying ‘Hi’, telling people what we’re doing,” McLeod said. “I don’t like to create a pretentious atmosphere… . It’s more about making people feel comfortable and at home.”

Tiffany Mayer, My Niagara Profiles

• • • • •

CONTACT

Bolete Restaurant
Phone: 905.641.9559
Website: bolete.ca
176 St. Paul St., St. Catharines, ON, Canada L2R 3M2

My Niagara Profiles – James Treadwell

James Treadwell

Since 2006, James Treadwell, Sommelier and Owner at Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, has been delighting taste buds with flavours that are uniquely local, uniquely Niagara. Think dishes infused with seasonal ingredients from artisan producers within the region, paired with world class Ontario wine. Needless to say, there’s no better place to sink your teeth into all that Niagara has to offer.

Why did you choose to work and live in Niagara

Over the past 13 years, Niagara has been a wonderful place to have our business as it is a growing tourist market, especially for gastronomy, while providing easy access to Toronto.

My wife and I currently live in Grimsby and find it a terrific mid-point between the restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Toronto, where she works. There seem to be a lot of things changing around the region and there are now many activities and businesses that suit our lifestyle.

What makes you passionate about your role?

I’m equally passionate about wine and providing hospitality to guests at Treadwell. I’m inspired by the professionalism and work ethic of our team and feel positively challenged to go above and beyond our guests’ expectations. A lot has been made of how challenging the restaurant industry is (and it is), but I’m proud of what our business has accomplished up to this point and will continue to push myself and our team to be better.

 
 
 
 
 
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How does Niagara inspire what you do?

From day one, our restaurant has always tried to showcase the many artisanal producers of the region. Many of our suppliers from the area are listed on the back of our lunch and dinner menus and we’re delighted that we have been able to continue those relationships today. Seeing the quality and freshness of the product being produced just minutes from the restaurant inspires me the most.

Following the focus of the kitchen, our wine program has been built on showcasing what we felt was the very best of Ontario winemaking, with a specific focus on Niagara. Over the past 13 years, we have built what many believe to be the finest collection of Niagara wines in Canada. Seeing the success of the Niagara wine industry, both on a national and international level, inspires my team and I to continue promoting these diverse and exciting wines.

What does Niagara mean to you? What is ‘Your Niagara’?

Niagara has been my home, off and on, for the past 22 years. It’s an unbelievably beautiful region with an eclectic mix of individuals and businesses.

It’s safe, affordable and tolerant. While it has changed quite a bit over the past decade, I feel there is so much more potential and I’m excited by the opportunities being presented to not only my business, but other likeminded locals as well.

Why should people make a trip out to Niagara?

Niagara is unique in that it presents a diverse mix of experiences throughout the region. Whether that be sport, arts, wellness, gastronomy, or history— this region accommodates the interests of many. Its location from Toronto and the major cities of the Northeastern US, makes it accessible to those looking for a multiday vacation that is not too far from home and unlike any other.

• • • • •

CONTACT

Treadwell Restaurant
Phone: 905.934.9797
Website: treadwellcuisine.com
114 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, L0S 1J0, Canada

Niagara Supper Markets

Mingle with the local community, relish scrumptious food and enjoy live music at the supper markets in the Niagara Region. These evening gatherings are a great way for locals & visitors to celebrate summer, enjoy the outdoors and have a whole lot of fun.
 
Take a look at some of the wonderful Niagara supper markets taking place in 2019:
 
 
Fonthill, in Pelham, is an idyllic area known for its scenic landscape and fruit orchards. It also hosts the Pelham Supper Market, held at Peace Park. Eat all you want as there is an assortment of delicious food and drinks from local vendors.
 
The locally prepared lip-smacking fare includes:
  • burgers
  • hot dogs
  • perogies
  • sandwiches
  • pizzas
  • salads
  • roast pig
  • chicken coleslaw
  • beef
  • bacon
  • tacos
  • nachos
  • fries
  • popcorn
  • ice creams
 
Wine & beer from local wineries & breweries are also offered. Take a stroll to visit each colourful stall and discover the foodie spread in each. The music at the Market showcases Niagara’s local bands, energizing the atmosphere with their foot-tapping tunes.

 
Eat, drink and unwind with your family and friends at this supper market.
 
Visiting Times:
  • All Thursdays
  • June to September
  • 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm
 
 
Make your way to Lakeside Park for the Port Dalhousie Supper Market, in St Catharines. With its lovely waterfront location, the park is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the supper market in the evenings. Good company & great food is a combination that is hard to resist. So while you bring your family & friends, local vendors ensure a steady supply of mouth-watering fare.
 
A vast range of foods to choose from include:
  • pizzas
  • hot dogs
  • pies
  • schnitzel
  • pulled pork
  • ice creams
 
Kids too can have a fantastic time here–they can hang out with their friends, eat some delicious food and enjoy fun activities. Pets are also allowed. You can bring your own picnic mats or chairs to truly enjoy the outdoor ambience. A good supper market becomes even better when there’s some amazing music, and the Port Dalhousie Supper Market has fabulous local talents as part of the live entertainment each week.

 A truly fun experience!

 
Visiting Times
  • All Tuesdays starting July 9th until end of August
  • 4.30 pm onwards till dusk (about 9 pm)

 

 
The Supper Market in Welland offers amazing food, drinks and community bonding, ensuring a delightful experience.
 
Located on Merritt Island, the market buzzes with a lively energy as people relish the fantastic array of fabulous cuisines prepared locally. Feel the breeze and the charming vibe as you walk around.
 
Food vendors & food trucks offer:
  • Canadian food
  • barbecued food
  • burgers
  • sandwiches
  • hot dogs
  • Italian cuisine
  • ice creams
  • vegan dishes
  • vegetarian food
 
Drinks are available as well so you can savour local wines, craft beer, cider or the tipple of your choice. Non-alcoholic beverages too are available.
 
The Supper Market is a great place for families with children as there are plenty of fun activities for kids. Musical entertainment in the form of solo artistes, duos, as well as bands, will make the evenings even more enjoyable. Support these local talents from Niagara while they perform live every week. There is a lot of parking space for cars and bicycles at the venue.
 
So drop in at the Welland Supper Market to have a great time this summer.
 
Visiting Times
  • Every Friday in July and August (except July 12th & July 19th)
  • 4:30 pm to 9 pm
 
 
Celebrate summer at this delightful Supper Market with your family & friends. It is always great to be outdoors when the weather’s sunny and this market provides an amazing blend of food, drinks and live entertainment all through summer. The Niagara-on-the-Lake Supper Market has been in existence for more than 5 years and this year too offers a wonderful community experience to locals and visitors alike.

A vast range of food and beverages served by over 20 food vendors and food trucks makes this supper market a very appetizing affair.
 
Dishes offered include:
  • pizzas
  • nachos
  • corn
  • perogies
  • Asian cuisine
  • vegetarian
  • vegan dishes
 
Wine, beer, cider and other beverages too are available. Savour your food and drinks at one of the picnic tables or bring along a picnic mat or chairs to enjoy the foodie delights. Live music and other entertaining acts performed by local talents will keep you enthralled all through summer. The Supper Market also conducts various contests and encourages donation in the form of non-perishable food items.
 
Visiting Times
  • All Wednesdays
  • May 22, 2019 to September 18, 2019
  • 4:30 pm to 9 pm
 
Experience food, fun & entertainment at the Supper Market!

Cycling in Niagara

Cycling is one of the best ways to experience the Niagara Region.
 
Several trails along different routes in the Region offer a chance to see:
  • varied flora
  • historical sites
  • natural beauty
  • wine country
  • …and so much more

Here are some of the major routes that you can navigate through cycling.

So push those pedals and explore the Region!
 

Welland Canals Parkway Trail

 
Cycle your way through the trail in Welland Canal. It runs between St. Catharines and Port Colborne for a distance of 45 km.
 
This interesting trail enables you to take a closer look at the shipping activities in the historic Welland Canal. You can view massive ships moving through the water to transport goods. A major attraction are the locks that lift these ships and lower them again enabling a smooth passage through the canal. Lock 7 at Thorold involves the highest climb for ships in the canal. Lock 8 at Port Colborne is one of the world’s longest locks.
 
There are viewing platforms at St. Catharines, Thorold and Port Colborne so you can stop by to take a look at these engineering marvels. The trail offers a comfortable ride for cyclists along with scenic views.

 

Niagara River Recreation Trail

 
This 56 km route offers some of the most picturesque views along the way. Pedal through the Fort Erie area where you can halt at historic sites as well as beaches. There are several natural & historical attractions throughout the trail, including the scenic Niagara Parkway.
 
Stop in Niagara Falls and walk along the sidewalk with your bicycle to admire the lovely views of the Niagara River and the Falls.
 
There are several other attractions including
 
At Queenston, you can see dramatic views of the Niagara Gorge and the Whirlpool.
 
Along the route, the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake offers wonderful views, historic sites and several lovely wineries. The recreation trail is a bicycle friendly route. There are many restaurants on the route that have bicycle racks and well-maintained washrooms.

Pelham Route

 
Explore the wonderful farmlands, orchards and community life along the Pelham route. Pelham also hosts a farmers’ market and supper market. The town offers a wonderful glimpse into its natural beauty & agricultural bounty along the 34 km route. You can enjoy soothing views of the Welland River and make a halt to enjoy some good food.
 
Visit North Pelham to see an ancient church founded in 1828, or stop by the Lookout Point Country Club, for a panoramic view of Niagara as well as the Toronto skyline.

 

West Lincoln and Wainfleet Route

 
If you wish to see the coastal areas of Niagara, this is a great trail to go cycling. Rivers, wetlands, beaches and some amazing flora & fauna are the rewarding sights on this 49 km route. You can see small animals and birds along a part of a sub-trail known as Gord Harry Trail. If the weather’s sunny you can also stop at the Long Beach Conservation Area and Campground to relax at the beach. Scenic vistas welcome you in West Lincoln and several other places on this trail.
 

Grimsby and Lincoln Route

 
Cycle your way through the towns of Grimsby and Lincoln stopping to take in the views.
 
The 40 km route includes
  • parks
  • vineyards
  • charming cottages
  • museums
 
You will also pass through a section of the Niagara Escarpment on this route. There are several places where you can enjoy a meal and enough restrooms to freshen up at various places along the route.
 

Niagara Wine Route

 
Exploring Niagara’s wine country through cycling allows you to truly enjoy the spectacular scenery and the charming wineries.
 
If you wish to understand Niagara’s contribution to the wine industry, and the winemaking process that goes into making award-winning wines, this route will help you do that.
 
Feel the wind on your face as you ride past vineyards, farmlands and wineries. The town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has several wonderful wineries where you can stop and take a tour. Jackson-Triggs  Estate Winery and Inniskillin Winery are two such fantastic wineries that offer a varied range of red and white wines as well as icewines, dessert wines & more. Buy a bottle or two of your favourite drink as a keepsake of your cycling tour along the route!
 

Niagara Greenbelt

 
The Greenbelt consists of 1.8 million acres of protected land, stretching across various territories in Ontario. It also includes the 48 km Niagara section. Farmlands, forests, wetlands and the Niagara Escarpment are a part of the Niagara Greenbelt.
 
It offers an opportunity to understand the beauty of the region as you cycle through St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake and other areas. The area is rich in agricultural produce and you can see plenty of fruits and vegetables grown in the farmlands here. Navigate country roads and rustic settings as you discover, vineyards, wineries and fruit farms. There are plenty of places to relax and you can also halt at one of the restaurants along the way to grab a bite.

Best Places to Treat Mom this Mother’s Day in Niagara

Mother’s day is right around the corner. What better way to treat Mom than to take her out for a forgettable experience she’ll never forget. Instead of buying another bouquet of flowers, take her out to a Jazz Concert, a wine & culinary tasting pass, an artisan market or a special Mother’s Day Brunch at one of OpenTable’s Top Brunch Restaurants.
(more…)

OpenTable Awards Niagara As The Most Romantic Dining Location In Canada

Niagara continues to be Canada’s most romantic destination and the recently announced OpenTable Top 100 Romantic Restaurants in Canada confirms it. The Niagara Region led all of Canada with 11 award winners. These romantic Niagara restaurants are the perfect place to unwind, and share an unforgettable experience.

Niagara Region’s OpenTable Top 100 Romantic Restaurants

AG Inspired Cuisine
AG Inspired Cuisine serves regionally and seasonally inspired cuisine. This acclaimed fine dining restaurant has received the CAA 4 star rating every year since its inception.  The intimate dining room at AG is best described as chic and romantic, and is the ideal choice for couples looking for a romantic dining experience. TripAdvisor User @LuluReview
We visited for dinner to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, and were treated to an amazing evening! The atmosphere while sophisticated, is relaxed and inviting, and certainly conducive to a romantic dinner. The service – especially Darren – was excellent. We started with lovely creative cocktails… Everything was delicious!!! This is definitely a new favourite and we can’t wait to return!
Cannery Restaurant Get carried away in the beauty of exposed brick and beams that transports diners to a romantic respite in the Tuscan region. TripAdvisor User @Desmond C
My wife and I celebrated our 50th at this wonderful location. The service was exceptional. We had the traditional Slow Roasted Prime Rib and the Beef Tenderloin. Both choices were excellently prepared to perfection. For dessert the Baileys and Salted Caramel Brulee completed the perfect celebration.
The Drawing Room at Prince of Wales Treat yourself to a taste of Victorian elegance in the Drawing Room of the Prince of Wales hotel. Take your little prince or princess back in time with ornately decorated tea sets, tasty scones and over-the-top royal treatment. The Victorian Tea Room and English delicacies are fit to be enjoyed by guests who appreciate regal treatment with an imaginative twist. Honsberger Estates Winery
 
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TripAdvisor User @Laurie N
Honsberger is a little magic piece of paradise. Outside on the patio in the summer or inside in the Samll Barn in the winter……it is just magical. Great food, ambiance, service…..nothing is overlooked at Honsberger. They know how to make your experience very special…..please don’t miss it – also their wine is amazing!
Inn on the Twenty On The Twenty was envisioned as a place where Niagara’s food and wine bounty could be presented in an innovative and inspiring way. The restaurant aims to deliver freshness and sophistication to meals that will harmonize well with the wines of Cave Spring and its colleagues in this unique wine region. All in all, Jordan Village makes a great destination for a day trip, special event, or a romantic getaway. OpenTable User @winemusiclife
A wonderful evening in a charming dining room with great service from our waiter. The food was different, tasteful, exciting and extremely delicious. Certainly not a disappointment but was exceptional which is what we wanted for the evening we were there.
Kitchen 76 @ Two Sisters
Kitchen76 offers delicious, elegant menus showcasing produce from local farmers, as well as seasonal produce from the on-site property – in beautifully-presented dishes with authentic Italian ingredients that pair perfectly with wines from Canada’s #1 Small Production Winery. OpenTable User @ Chellabella000
This was a wonderful dining experience. The decor is phenomenal, elegant classy place and still has a comfortable feel. Would recommend this restaurant for any occasion.
Lake House Restaurant Enjoy the ambient charm of dining in an old Niagara home with an unparalleled view of Lake Ontario. Dine on excellent Mediterranean cuisine at a cozy table by the fireplace, with a lakeside view in the sun room or “al fresco” on the outdoor patio. The Restaurant at Pearl Morrissette A restaurant located at Pearl Morissette, serving an ever changing multi-course menu of the best ingredients of the Niagara region; inspired by seasonal French cooking. OpenTable User @PatK
Culinary artists, excellent staff, visually pleasing room with soft music gently adding to the overall relaxing atmosphere. You are meant to savour not only the amazing flavours but also the warm yet professional attention. Trust them – they have a culinary vision and they are achieving it!
The Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge Peninsula Ridge Estates is truly a world class wine and culinary destination catering to guests who are looking to pair a relaxed and casual atmosphere with an incredible dining experience. The property is stunning, with breathtaking views of the Niagara Escarpment, Lake Ontario including the Toronto Skyline and of course our pristine vineyards. Trius Winery and Restaurant Trius Winery Restaurant celebrates the relationship between Niagara’s local land, people, wines and food.  Toronto Gold Medal Plates winner, Chef Frank Dodd showcases locally inspired cuisine made with ingredients from the bounty of Niagara Wine Country. Winemaker Craig McDonald pairs them with wines made from grapes that grow in the same soil. TripAdvisor User @816daveym
Reservations were easy, greeted quickly and friendly. The presentation, the quality, ambiance was diamond quality. I don’t want to describe every single detail because it would spoil your experience I will guarantee if you go today, you’ll plan your next visit before you leave.
The Restaurant at Vineland Estates Restaurant
As one of Niagara’s first winery restaurants and a forerunner of Niagara’s flourishing wine and culinary scene, Vineland Estates offers cuisine featuring ingredients from local purveyors. Guests dine indoors in the beautifully appointed locations such as the renovated 1845 farmhouse or outdoors under the new shade sails. Wherever you are seated, take in the views of rolling vineyards, the forests of the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario and Toronto in the distance. TripAdvisor User @Lauriet447
This was a first visit on a recommendation from an acquaintance. Although the weather was overcast it did not deter from the scenery and outstanding food. Wherever you sit in the restaurant you will have views of the vineyards…The entire Estate is beautiful and a romantic setting to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or any occasion. We will definitely return in early summer on our next visit to Ontario.
See the entire list of: OpenTables Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in Canada

Frozen Niagara Falls

It has been a really cold winter in Niagara Falls

The City welcomed 2019 with record breaking temperatures, and a seemingly frozen falls.

Many parts of Canada, including Ontario, were in the icy grip of winter around the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, while Niagara Falls prepared to welcome a brand new year, temperatures recorded were in the range of -14°C to -17 °C, and -26 °C to -27 °C with the wind chill. These have been among the lowest recorded temperatures in the area on New Year’s Eve and those who welcomed the New Year in Niagara Falls did so with these historic minimum temperatures. In fact, thousands of people attended the New Year’s Eve Concert at Queen Victoria Park braving the freezing temperatures, and were rewarded with a night of amazing live entertainment.

In spite of the weather, visitors still flocked to visit Niagara Falls around the New Year. The falls had seemingly frozen over due to a major dip in temperatures and it made for an incredible sight. People still continue to pour in from all over the world to see the stunning waterfall in all its winter glory. And what a spectacular sight it is!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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  • Blankets of ice & snow cover the landscape including the ground, the river and the falls
  • Ice sheets on the ground, icicles formed by the water from the falls and frozen mist are attracting visitors like never before
  • It is a wondrous sight to see something as massive as the Horseshoe Falls seemingly frozen over in ice with beautiful icicle formations

But despite the appearance of having completely frozen, the waterfalls actually keep flowing beneath the surface. The immense volume of water continuously flows while mist and spray on the outer surface develop an icy crust giving the appearance of frozen waterfalls. It gives the illusion that the waterfalls have stopped flowing but in fact, they haven’t. The entire winter landscape with the ‘frozen’ falls is something that you cannot see at any other time of the year, and makes it all the more special. It’s a white winter wonderland! You can see this magnificent sight from close quarters at the Journey Behind the Falls attraction at the Table Rock Welcome Centre. While the lower deck is closed during extreme temperatures, you can still get a superb view of the falls from the upper deck.

It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the Niagara Falls during winter, and you can make the most of the season by visiting this natural wonder!

14 Romantic Restaurants in Niagara

Celebrate the day of love with a romantic meal for two in the Niagara region this Valentine’s Day! February 14 is a great time of the year to make the special person in your life feel even more special.  Lunch or dinner at one of the several splendid restaurants in the region would be the perfect treat.

You can dine at any of these 14 restaurants for a romantic February:

AG Inspired Cuisine

AG Inspired Cuisine, in Niagara Falls, is a great choice for couples who wish to enjoy a meal together. Located in the basement of the Sterling Inn, the restaurant offers farm to table cuisine blended with French techniques. Savour varied dishes prepared using meat as well as vegetarian food with ingredients straight from the farm in a special Valentine’s Day menu. Complement your meal with Niagara VQA wines, beer, cocktails, and other drinks.

Skylon Tower

Skylon Tower Dining

Dine at the 360 degrees revolving dining room atop the 775 foot Skylon Tower! It is a fabulous location in Niagara Falls for a romantic dinner for two. Relish continental cuisine as you take in the views of the falls. The waterfalls will be illuminated in pink and red lights to celebrate Valentine’s Day from 7 p.m. till midnight. In fact, the Skylon Tower too will be illuminated on this day.

Massimo’s Italian Fallsview Restaurant

Another restaurant in Niagara Falls with spectacular views of the Falls and a delectable cuisine is Massimo’s Italian Fallsview Restaurant. The restaurant is located on the Fallsview Dining Level of the Sheraton Fallsview hotel. Experience the tempting menu and extensive wine list for a perfect meal with your partner.  All seats provide an exceptional view of Niagara Falls which enhance the dining experience inspired by celebrity chef Massimo Capra. Anticipate great food, great wine and spectacular views! 

Milestones on the Falls

The food, and the view of the Niagara Falls from the Milestones on the Falls restaurant are an unbeatable combination. You can try the dishes from a Valentine’s week special menu. Situated inside the Marriott on the Falls hotel, lunch or dinner at this restaurant includes amazing appetizers, salads and soups, a diverse main course with meat and seafood, as well as desserts. Savour a selection of Niagara wines, beer as well as a popular favourite – the Original Bellini.

Weinkeller

Weinkeller in Niagara Falls is a restaurant and craft winery offering superb red and white wines off the tap as well as in bottles. It also has a range of beers. The lip-smacking fare includes soups, salads, appetizers, entrées, and desserts. You can also enjoy a 3 or 5 course dinner at a set price. You can also choose from the special Lovers Menu available from February 12 to 15. With its intimate ambience inside a brick wall basement, Weinkeller is the place to be if you are looking for something different. It is open from 5 p.m. until midnight.

Kitchen 76

Famous for its wineries and vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a charming and picturesque place to celebrate Valentine’s Day. And there are several restaurants with a romantic ambience such as Kitchen 76 at Two Sisters Vineyards. Savour authentic Italian cuisine paired with fine wines for lunch or dinner. Pastas, paninis and pizzas are some of the delicious offerings that you can enjoy at this lovely vineyard locale.

Peller Estates Winery Restaurant

Peller Estates Winery Restaurant

One of the most popular wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the beautiful Peller Estates is also home to a wonderful restaurant. Various dishes are prepared using regional ingredients and you can taste some fabulous wines as well. Order à la carte or go for the four course or five course menu accompanied by wine. Celebrate the special day of love at this charming winery!

LIV Restaurant at White Oaks

A wonderful restaurant situated at the White Oaks Spa and Resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, LIV has a chic and relaxed ambience that is perfect to celebrate a romantic outing. Enticing dishes with large portions produced with the finest local ingredients, and a fabulous Niagara wine list make for an enjoyable meal. Head there for dinner to relish a scrumptious meal for two!

Trius Winery Restaurant

Located at the famous Trius Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Trius restaurant has everything you need for a memorable meal! You can also order from a special Valentine’s Day menu. Expect delicious food paired with excellent wines that you can enjoy in the beautiful ambience of the restaurant. There are tempting desserts as well!

Cannery Restaurant

Cannery Restaurant

With its delightful interiors, the charming Cannery Restaurant is a lovely place located at the five star country inn Pillar and Post in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The warm and cosy Tuscan ambience, and a seat by the fireplace makes it even more romantic! Choose from an array of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes, and drool-worthy desserts. There’s a Valentine’s Day special dinner menu as well. Pair your food with Niagara or international wines to complement your meal.

Treadwell Restaurant

Enjoy food that celebrates the farm to table concept at in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Fresh ingredients are used to craft delicious dishes that you can team up with organic or biodynamic wines. The seating inside the restaurant overlooks an open kitchen so you can watch as the chefs prepare your meal. Beautifully plated with fabulous flavours, the food is cooked to perfection–just what you need to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Lake House Restaurant

In addition to a beautiful waterfront setting, Lake House Restaurant in Twenty Valley has a lovely ambience and beautiful decor. Enjoy a variety of dishes for dinner including steak, seafood, risotto, pasta, pizzas and salads. A special Valentine’s Day dinner menu is available too. The food is tasty and the atmosphere is amazing – it’s the perfect way to dine with the one you love.

Inn on the Twenty Restaurant

With its peaceful location overlooking the Twenty Valley, the restaurant at Inn on the Twenty is an elegant place to enjoy a Valentine’s meal if you happen to be in the area. The ambience and décor are wonderful and the food is full of flavours. Relish the regional cuisine and the Ontario wines at this restaurant.

The Keg Steakhouse and Bar

If you go to St Catharines on Valentine’s Day, visit the Keg Steakhouse and Bar for some good food. With its history and architecture, the building that houses the restaurant provides for a very interesting ambience for an intimate meal for two. Settle yourselves at a booth and enjoy a delectable variety of steaks, seafood, other dishes, desserts, and wine. Although it does get busy on special days, it is worth the wait.

 

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