6 Can’t-Miss History and Culture Stops To Add To Your Next Niagara Getaway


Posted on August 31, 2023

“I had NO idea!”

Visitors drawn to Niagara by the region’s picture-perfect waterfalls, world-class wineries, and scenic shorelines are often surprised to discover that the area is also home to a diverse collection of museums, galleries and landmarks that showcase Canadian culture and history in very engaging ways. Here are some visitor favourites that are well worth adding to your must-see list on your next Niagara getaway.

Lock 3 Viewing Platform and Discovery Park

Lock 3 Viewing Platform and Discovery Park

Watching a massive ship float up the lift lock to continue its Great Lakes journey on the Welland Canal is something every visitor to Niagara must see at least once. Lock 3’s expansive elevated viewing platform offers the perfect perch for a bird’s eye view of all the action! The nearby outdoor ship-themed play area is a fun place for little ones to work out their wiggles before going inside to discover more of the Welland Canal story.

Plan your visit

While You’re In The Neighbourhood

Enjoy an authentic feast of Greek favourites with a fantastic view of the Welland Canal at George’s Greek Village.


 

St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre

St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre

In addition to showcasing the fascinating history of the Welland Canal through an informative video and thoughtfully curated exhibits, the St. Catharines Museum offers visitors the chance to step back and time and really get to know the Niagara region. A range of permanent and rotating exhibits celebrate the people, passions, and pastimes of those who helped shape today’s Niagara, including refugees and Freedom Seekers. The facility is also home to the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum. The Museum hosts a wide range of programming throughout the year, including summer hikes, guided spirit walks in local cemeteries, and special holiday programming.

Plan your visit

While You’re In The Neighbourhood

Feast on an old-fashioned breakfast platter in a diner that will transport your crew back to the 50s at Dohboy’s Diner.


 

Salem Chapel BME Church

Salem Chapel BME Church

See the historic church that legendary Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman attended when she came to Canada following the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. Group tours are available by appointment and must be booked in advance. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, the small congregation, which consists of descendants of the African American founding fathers as well as other Methodist worshippers, welcomes everyone.

Learn more

While You’re In The Neighbourhood

Make your way to nearby St. Paul Street for authentic Caribbean food with some added fusion flair at 7 Mile Bistro.


 

Lakeside Park Historic Carousel

Lakeside Park Carousel

Climbing aboard one of the Lakeside Park Carousel’s 68 hand-carved animals and going for a spin should be on the bucket list of any kid or kid at heart making the trip to Niagara. The Port Dalhousie treasure, which was built by Charles I.D. Looff, is one of only nine hand-carved carousels in Canada, and still costs just five cents a ride! Try to spot the original Looff lion, one of only five in North America and the only one with a head that’s turned to watch onlookers as it circles by! The Carousel is open weekends and holidays from mid-May to July 1, daily between July and Labour Day, and weekends between Labour Day and Thanksgiving.

Learn more

While You’re In The Neighbourhood

A carousel ride calls for ice cream! Try Old Port Dairy Bar’s delicious hand-scooped cones, milkshakes, sundaes, and banana splits.


 

13th Street Gallery

13th Street Gallery

There’s so much more to enjoy than award-winning wine at 13th Street Winery! The 2022 Canadian Winery of the Year is also home to the 13th Street Gallery, which specializes in historical and contemporary Canadian fine art. This beautiful 6,000-square-foot space welcomes visitors to expand their relationship with art. In addition to featuring some of Canada’s most celebrated artists, including members of Les Automatistes, The Painters Eleven and Issac’s stable of artists, the gallery also showcases the work of exciting young, entry-level and esteemed senior artists.

“Meet The Artist” sessions allow visitors to get to know up-and-coming artists. The gallery is open year-round from Tuesday through Saturday, and in the summer months from Monday through Saturday. While visiting the gallery, be sure to take a wander around outside as well to enjoy the spectacular outdoor sculpture collection. The collection, which includes works by Karoly Veress, Floyd Elzinga, Dan Solomon, Ken Hall, Douglas Bentham, Ronald Boaks, Ilan Averbuch and Chaka Chikidzi, features QR codes on each piece to help visitors learn the stories behind the sculptures.

Learn more

While You’re In The Neighbourhood

Don’t miss the delicious meals and treats on offer at 13th Street Winery’s on-site Vineyard Kitchen and Bistro and Bakery.


 

First Ontario Performing Arts Centre

Celebration of Nations

Culture-curious travellers will also want to browse the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre calendar before their trip to see if an upcoming event coincides with their visit. From the annual Celebration of Nations Indigenous arts gathering each September to art-house film screenings, concerts, and theatrical and dance performances, this world-class performing arts venue has a jam-packed roster of diverse arts events.

While You’re In The Neighbourhood

Try our Foot-To-Fork Walking Tour of Downtown St. Catharines.


 

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