Fort Erie is a community of communities that includes the small villages of Ridgeway, Crystal Beach, Stevensville and Bridgeburg. Located at the point where Lake Erie enters the Niagara River, this busy border town sees more than 4.7 million passenger vehicles cross the Peace Bridge annually. When the summer is in its prime, visitors flock to lakefront cottages to soak up every moment of the blissful solitude.
With the radio turned up and the wind blowing in your face, surrender to the Niagara Parkway. Famously described by Sir Winston Churchill as “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world”, there’s more to its stunning scenery than meets the eye. From there, a leisurely detour to one of several recreational trails is the perfect excuse to admire nature’s beauty.
About Fort Erie
A backyard playground full of pleasant surprises
Fort Erie is a reflection of its colourful heritage, starting with Indigenous peoples over 9,000 years ago and continuing through European colonization and the migration of United Empire Loyalists and African American slaves looking for a new life. Today, this heritage stands proudly on display at many historic sites, museums and re-enactment events. Fast forward to the present, where old-fashioned service meets modern-day style. Shop at a wide array of specialty retailers and make time for a quick bite or sit-down dinner along the way. The food scene in Fort Erie is steadily on the rise and trending towards unforgettable.
Fort Erie Highlights
Featuring a 42 km-wide window to the Lake, freshwater beaches vary in character from sandy to rocky to naturalized and grassy. Lounging in the sun is the only duty for the day, of course, next to setting afloat in a canoe, kayak, kiteboard or paddleboard. Frolic in the blue waves, build sandcastles with the little ones and settle in for a fiery sunset that puts everything at peace.
An ever-changing calendar of arts and culture events make days in Fort Erie anything but dull. Sometimes it’s applauding the cast at a dinner theatre show, and other times there’s cheering for the encore of a favourite song or getting inspired by the creative work of artisan craftspeople. Generous doses of spirited local culture ensure there’s plenty to remember about Fort Erie.
Fort Erie Racetrack
Home to the famous Prince of Wales Stakes―the second jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown―this picturesque oval track has offered the excitement and pageantry of live thoroughbred racing for 123 years. Operating from late May through mid-October, catch the action in the grandstands and take advantage of the delectable dining options at the Turfside Dining Room or Tiki Bar.
Old Fort Erie
Walk in the footsteps of nineteenth-century soldiers on the grounds of this National Historic Site. Relive the War of 1812 through demonstrations, re-enactments and stories of what it was like to be under siege on Canada’s bloodiest battlefield. Visit the interactive exhibits in the Welcome Centre to dive deeper into this significant moment in North American history.
Safari Lights at Safari Niagara is an awe-inspiring three kilometer drive that will quickly become a family tradition. Complete with your favourite holiday scenes and displays, this is a once-in-a-lifetime viewing experience that you will remember long after the holidays. The event runs until January 8, 2023, with tickets available for purchase online.