Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Queenston, Ontario: Brock's Monument

Are you sick of going to historical markers in which the Americans are the good guys?

This is your place.

Brock's Monument towers 185 feet over the countryside on top of a hill in Queenston, Ontario, just north of Niagara Falls and near the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. It's a tribute to Major General Isaac Brock, a British military leader who died during a battle in the area during the War of 1812.

The Americans had crossed the river in October 1812 in an effort to gain a little ground in British territory. The Brits came fighting back and threw the evil Americans back into the sea ... well, they did force a retreat to the U.S.

The monument went up in the 1850's. You can climb to the top if you want, but there is a charge of a few dollars.

Damn yankees.

Niagara Falls, Ontario: Floral Clock

It's a little difficult to get people to stop at an area by a power plant. However, the good folks at Ontario Hydro came up with a solution. "We'll build a big floral clock," someone must have said.

Well, 59 years later and counting, it's still here.

Niagara Parks now runs the area, complete with a snack bar and rest rooms nearby. It's one big clock, the second-largest of its kind supposedly. The design is redone every year, and it is surrounded by a "water garden" which is nice as well.

You wouldn't want to make a special trip to Niagara Falls just for this, but it's a nice 10-minute stop on the bus route.

Niagara Falls, Ontario: Whitewater Walk


Don't tell anyone about this attraction. Not many people seem to know about it.

It's the Whitewater Walk. Tourists get in line for a little line to go down 70 meters in an elevator. Then they walk about that same distance through a tunnel. They come out right next to the gorge, a bit down river from the Falls and the Whirlpool Bridge.

As you can see, this is just past the Whirlpool Bridge. The rapids are class 6, as nasty as they come. The Whitewalk Walk has a boardwalk that goes along the river for about a quarter-mile. It's been open in one form or another since 1876, although the tunnels have been around merely since 1935.

The area sells a package of attractions, and this is one of them. Bring your camera.