A wrong route that turned into a wonderful memory

Shweta Minocha/ July 1, 2020/ Canada, Travel/ 0 comments

In the year 2018, Canada was visited by 21.1 million people making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It was in third place after the United States and Mexico, according to Wikipedia.

Canada is so diverse and so beautiful that there is no wonder how many people visit Canada every year. With its numerous cultural and natural attractions, Ontario is the most visited province in Canada among all other provinces. It attracts not only foreign tourists but also domestic traffic throughout the year. 

Owing to the fact that there’s little something for everyone, on our last summer vacation we visited Toronto. So like any other tourist whose plans are entirely around popular landmarks, such as CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Graffiti Alley, and so on, our plans were the same. “Niagara Falls” was last on the list.

Next few days, there was a good mix of sightseeing, understanding culture, shopping haul, taking several photos, tasting the local delicacy as well as time to ourselves, we were near the end of the journey. And finally, the day came when we went to “Niagara Falls”.

We had a lovely meal at Chipotle, Front street: delicious food, good company. Front Street is where you would find lots of trendy restaurants, bars, shops, and trams rattling past on their way into town. Everything was perfect until we got in the car and head for the city of Niagara Falls.

We didn’t know at that time that we were heading towards “Niagara on the lake” and not “Niagara Falls”. We set the location on the google map to reach the destination but accidentally we set it to Niagara on the lake instead of Niagara Falls (they both are two different places).

As we were getting closer to the town, our eyes were desperately looking for the signs of Niagara Fall, albeit, no trace of the falls. Nonetheless, we decided to stay there for some time, have some snacks, have a bit of a walk, and leave for Niagara Falls.

Sometimes the wrong path can lead us to the right road.” ― Jay McLean

And as we walked towards the lake after parking the car, I would rather call it a Super comfy car. Why? We drove almost 1,800 km (yes, you heard me right) from Nova Scotia to Ontario and it was a smooth scenic ride through the lush green countryside that felt a blissful haven.

Back to the topic: To our utter amazement, we felt an instant connection with the town. The town was a mix of French and North American cultures that was so appealing. We saw gorgeous homes, antique shops, lush boulevard gardens, and many beautiful landscapes as we walked towards the Queen’s Royal Park Gazebo. Indeed, It was love at first sight.

The weather equally played an important role in being just perfect for a walk and enjoy the city. We spent the entire day in the town commonly known as “NOTL” by the locals without even knowing. The town of NOTL is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Brief history

Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of Canada’s most historic and picturesque towns. Located at the tip of the Niagara Peninsula and nestled along the shores of Lake Ontario. Niagara-on-the-Lake includes Old Town, Virgil, St. Davids, Queenston, and Glendale.

Established as a settlement for the United Empire Loyalists in 1781, the town was incorporated and became the first capital of Upper Canada in 1792. It was then rebuilt after the war of 1812.

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a town of many firsts: the first capital of Upper Canada; home of our nation’s oldest printing press – which published the first newspaper in Upper Canada, the Gazette; and home to the first circulating public library in Upper Canada.

Things to do

The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is located where the Niagara River enters lake Ontario. Although the pace is much slower in NOTL, the town is a tourism Mecca.

It has elegant hotels, restaurants, wineries, B&B’s and cachet. Serene tranquillity in a historic setting, surrounded by miles of fresh fruit orchards.

Niagara on the lake is a small heritage community, though it is also known for its acclaimed Shaw Festival theatre and quaint shops. Besides, it is just 30 mins drive from Niagara Falls.

There are so many options for you to chose what fits your idea of a vacation here.

All in all

The town is majestically surrounded by landscapes, an extremely beautiful scenic place to visit. I am glad that we took the wrong route which brought us to the most memorable place in the entire trip.

It’s time for us to wave a sad farewell to the region of Niagara. Spending time there helped me dispel my homesickness.

Our stay was short in NOTL, yet it was quite refreshing, as well as a wonderful experience for all of us. We got out of the region the same day late in the evening.

Niagara on the Lake is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. The majority of travelers plan their trips to places such as the CN Tower, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and Niagara Falls in Ontario e.t.c. Not many know about this hidden gem “NOTL”.

I had great memories from the trip, our accommodation was good, the food was delicious, the locals were nice and the places we saw were spectacular especially the CN Tower, Canada’s Wonderland, and NOTL.

Has it ever happened to you as well? Share your story in the comments section.

If you have never been there, you must go and see the beauty, meet friendly people, enjoy wineries (most with award-winning vintages) as well as to see the famous Summer Shaw festival and more.



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