A perfect winter road trip to Niagara Falls in the 2017 Toyota Sienna

byPopi Bowman  | December 22, 2016

We left Toronto mid-afternoon on Saturday to avoid peak traffic (which resulted in a speedy one-hour drive). This was my daughter’s first trip to Niagara Falls, and rather than spending our time in cheesy haunted houses and a chain hotel, we enjoyed some of the less-touristy charms of the region, starting with a lovely bed and breakfast a short walk from downtown. After a quick check-in at Greystone Manor Bed & Breakfast, we were out the door on foot and spent the early evening exploring downtown. Even with the sidewalks icy and sometimes ankle deep with snow, the jaunt along River Road was a highlight thanks to the incredible views into the Niagara Gorge, downstream from the falls. Sure, our boots ended up damp at the end of the night, but thankfully we each brought two pairs (because, um, winter in Ontario), and our hostess Barbara Grumme offered the warmest radiator in her 100+-year old residence for the drying of socks. Just like home.

To view Popi's complete article, click here.

Natural Niagara Tours

Boulder at Niagara Glen

Boulder at Niagara Glen

Natural Niagara Tours offer daily guided Nature tours through the Niagara Glen Nature Preserve where the mighty Niagara River (slowly) tore through rock and stone.

Experience the lesser known hidden treasures of Niagara Falls. See for yourself the massive boulders left behind by the rock-carving river and hear some of the stories of First Nations past and present

  • Explore the places once carved by the mighty Waterfall.
  • Experience one of the only Guided Nature Tours in Niagara Falls.
  • Learn of the fascinating and Lesser known history of the area (including First Nations history).  Experience something New. Book your tour now or ask us a question in the box below!  Niagara is a Magical place. Come and Explore it with us today.

For full details and to book a tour, go to their website at:  www.naturalniagaratours.com/

New Parking Offers in Niagara Parks

The new 12 month parking pass can be used by visitors to enjoy unlimited parking at selected lots throughout Niagara Parks, for a one time fee of $50.00 tax inclusive.  This pass is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase and can be obtained online at niagaraparks.com/parking, directly at either NPC Rapidsview Licensing Office, the Niagara Parks Parking Office at 1-905-356-0943. 

Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre

In 1875 Archbishop Lynch of Toronto offered the Carmelite priests and brothers the Shrine Parish of Our Lady of Peace at Niagara Falls along with its mission stations, as well as 100 acres of property on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment with the idea that the Carmelites would hopefully develop a retreat ministry at their monastery. By 1897 a hospice was opened to pilgrims with the revolutionary idea for its day that the laity, as well as clergy, would come to Mount Carmel for a spiritual retreat.

Today the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre welcomes people of faith who seek spiritual growth and personal enrichment. A variety of workshops, retreats and conferences are sponsored for people of faith seeking an environment of silence and solitude in which to pray and reflect. As a conference centre, the Carmelites host various religious and educational groups who seek a beautiful setting in which to learn and to grow.

Click here for their official website www.carmelniagara.com

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

4.0 km

Walking time:

52 minutes

Driving Time:

7 minutes

 

Cham Shan Buddhist Temple

The Ten Thousand Buddha Temple of Peace is a Mahagana Buddhist temple rising seven stories towards the heavens, while sitting on 3 peaceful acres. Dedicated to the furtherance of Buddhist principles, the structure is adorned with a variety of statues and paintings.The building is not only an example of Asian architecture but also functions as a place of worship. Services are held morning, midday, and afternoon, and visitors are asked to respect persons of faith paying reverence at Cham Shan.

Open to the public. Morning and evening services daily. Free guided tour of the 7 story Stupa on Saturdays and Sundays from June to October. Gift shop of Buddhist arts and crafts.

Free Admission!

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

1.0 km

Walking time:

14 minutes

People Mover transit:

5 minutes

Shopping

Canada One Factory Outlet
7500 Lundy's Lane
Niagara Falls, Ontario
L2H 1G8

Ph: 1-866-284-5781

Driving Distance from
Greystone Manor:

6.8 km (10 minutes)

 

www.canadaoneoutlets.comThe Shops on Queen Street
Queen Street 
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada

Driving Distance from
Greystone Manor:

1.0 km (2 minutes)

www.queenstreetniagarafalls.comFashion Outlets of 
Niagara Falls, NY, USA

1900 Military Road
Niagara Falls, NY
United States 14304 

Ph: 1-800-414-0475

Driving Distance from
Greystone Manor:

12.6 km (20 minutes - depending on USA border crossing)

www.fashionoutletsniagara.comNiagara-on-the-Lake
Queen Street 
Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario
Canada 

Driving Distance from
Greystone Manor:

21.0 km (27 minutes)

www.niagaraonthelake.com/page/tripplanning/Shopping

Welland Canal & Lock Museum

The St Lawrence River and the five Great Lakes constitute the greatest inland waterway in the world. From the Atlantic Ocean it extends 3700 kilometers (2300 miles) into the very heart of North America, forming a vital commercial shipping route. The only problem, a major obstacle called Niagara Falls prevents ships from sailing between Lakes Erie and Ontario. The solution: the Welland Canal, by-passing the Falls and lifting vessels over the Niagara Escarpment.

You won't get any closer to a Great Lakes ship unless you're a sailor yourself! See ships from around the world - UP CLOSE - as they navigate Lock 3 on their way through the St. Lawrence Seaway System. The Observation deck is always FREE. Step inside the Lock 3 centre for a fascinating look at the history and engineering behind the Canal that opened up North America's industrial heartland.

For more information visit their website:http://www.thoroldtourism.ca/canal.html


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Distance from Greystone Manor:

17.3 km

Driving time:

21 minutes

 

 

 

MacKenzie Printery and Museum

The Best Hands-on Museum in Upper Canada The restored home of rebel publisher William Lyon Mackenzie reveals 500 years of printing technology, amid the authentic ambiance of a period print shop.

Rarest in the museum's collection is the Louis Roy Press, oldest in Canada and one of the few original wooden presses remaining in the world! A hands-on experience is encouraged with a working linotype and 8 operating heritage presses.

Check out their official website: www.mackenzieprintery.org

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

10.1 km

Driving time:

14 minutes

Laura Secord's Homestead

During the war of 1812, a brave woman set out on a perilous journey in the service of her country, and stepped forever into the history and folklore of Niagara. Travel back in time to her lovingly restored homestead and be enchanted by stories of her adventures and surroundings as interpreted by authentically costumed guides.

Guided tours are provided by qualified costumed interpreters, providing information about this historic house and the history of the area. Light refreshments, ice cream, Laura Secord chocolates and a selection of quality souvenirs are available. The year is 1812. You're far from home in the unknown wilds of Upper Canada. The place is Fort Erie and war is in the air. All around you are the exciting sights and sounds of men preparing for battle. Step back into a time of red coats, black powder and gray fortress walls. Over 200 years of living history resides within, at Old Fort Erie.

Check out their official website: www.niagaraparks.com/heritage-trail/laura-secord-homestead.html

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

10.2 km

Driving time:

14 minutes

Fort George

During the War of 1812, Fort George served as the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army. These forces included British regulars, local militia, aboriginal warriors, and Runchey's corps of freed slaves. Major General Sir Isaac Brock, "the saviour of Upper Canada" served here until his death at the Battle of Queenston Heights in October, 1812. Brock and his aide-de-camp John Macdonell were initially buried within the fort.

Fort George was destroyed by American artillery fire and captured during the Battle of Fort George in May 1813. The U.S. forces used the fort as a base to invade the rest of Upper Canada, however, they were repulsed at the Battles of Stoney Creek and Beaver Dams. After a seven month occupation, the fort was retaken in December and remained in British hands for the remainder of the war.

After the war, the fort was partially rebuilt, and by the 1820's it was falling into ruins. It was finally abandoned in favour of a more strategic installation at Fort Mississauga and a more protected one at Butler's Barracks.

Visit their official website at www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/index.aspx

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

20.4 km

Driving time:

26 minutes

Fort Erie

The year is 1812. You're far from home in the unknown wilds of Upper Canada. The place is Fort Erie and war is in the air. All around you are the exciting sights and sounds of men preparing for battle. Step back into a time of red coats, black powder and gray fortress walls. Over 200 years of living history resides within, at Old Fort Erie.

Check out their official website: www.niagaraparks.com/old-fort-erie/index.html

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

34.6 km

Driving time (scenic or direct):

46 minutes
or
33 minutes

Brock's Monument

At the entrance to this historic Park you will be greeted by carpet bedding displays, along with formalized annual bedding schemes that surround both the Brock and Laura Secord Monuments.

Nestled high atop the Niagara Escarpment, this is the birthplace of Niagara Falls - garden and nature lovers, hikers and picnickers have used this park for generations.

Facilities include two picnic pavilions, washrooms, children's splash pad, tennis courts, a bandshell, snack bar, children's playground and fine dining at Queenston Heights Restaurant with its award-winning VQA wine cellar.

Queenston Heights Park is also a terminus point of the Bruce Trail, which winds it way northward over several hundred kilometers to Tobermory. This trail passes through the Niagara Escarpment, which has been recognized as a world biosphere by U.N.E.S.C.O. Finally, Parks Canada oversees the operation of Brock Monument and also has a walking tour of the historic sites associated with this important battleground.

Visit their official website atwww.niagaraparks.com/garden/qh_park.php

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

9.0 km

Driving time:

12 minutes

Golf

Beechwood Golf Club

4680 Thorold Townline Rd 
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2E 6S4

Ph: (905) 680-46531872 - 6550$27 - $52

www.beechwoodgolf.com/

Eagle Valley Golf Club
2334 St Paul Avenue
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2E 6S4

Ph: (905) 374-21101863 - 3253$18 - $26

www.golfeaglevalley.com/

Niagara Falls Golf Club
6169 Garner Road
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2E 6S4

Ph: (905) 358-58461872 - 6135$22 - $35

www.niagarafallsgolf.com

Oaklands Golf Club
8970 Stanley Avenue
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2E 6T8

Ph: (905) 295-66431872 - 6280$17 - $33

www.oaklandsgolfclub.ca/

Rolling Meadows Golf & 
Country Club

12741 Montrose Road
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2G 5R9

Ph: (905) 384-98941870 - 6500$19 - $48

www.rollingmeadowsgolf.ca/

Whirlpool Golf Course
3351 Niagara Parkway 
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2E 6T2

Ph: (905) 356-11401872 - 7019$26 - $69

www.niagaraparksgolf.com/

Legends on the Niagara
9651 Niagara Parkway 
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2E 6S6

Ph: (905) 295-95954572 - 7308$47 - $99

www.niagaraparksgolf.com/

Grand Niagara River Course
8547 Grassy Brook Road
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L0S 1K0
Ph: (905) 384-46531872 - 7560$65 - $99

www.grandniagararesort.com/

Thundering Waters Golf Club
6000 Marineland Parkway 
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2E 6X8

Ph: (905) 357-60001872 - 7322$50 - $100

www.thunderingwaters.com

White Water Walk

Stroll along a boardwalk at the very edge of one of the world's wildest stretches of whitewater! Marvel at the relentless power and beauty of nature and see how the deep and narrow Great Gorge was created. Trillions of gallons of water are forced into this accelerating trough - the sight will take your breath away!

The White Water Walk features a photo gallery that reviews the stunters and daredevils from years past that tried to conquer Niagara's dangerous whitewater rapids.

Click here to visit their official websitewww.niagaraparks.com/nfgg/whitewater.php

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

1.0 km

Walking time:

14 minutes

People Mover Transit:

4 minutes

Oakes Garden Theatre

Originally constructed in 1936, Oakes Garden Theatre was built in the form of an amphitheatre. By capitalising on the contours of the landscape, a fan shaped curved pergola was constructed.

Rock gardens, lily ponds, and shrub borders have all been built around formalized gardens. Queenston limestone was extensively used around the perimeter of the property.

Attractive ornamental iron gates were incorporated into the design for aesthetic and functional purposes.

Click here to visit their official websitewww.niagaraparks.com/garden/oakesgarden.php

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

1.6 km

Walking time:

20 minutes

People Mover Transit:

5 minutes

Niagara Glen and Whirlpool

The Niagara Glen is a unique spot of beauty deep in the Great Gorge that has been a designated Nature Reserve since 1992. Stairways lead to 4 km (2.5 mi) of paths that wind through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest, past boulders left behind as the Falls eroded through the area thousands of years ago.

Visitors should be aware that hikes through the Niagara Glen involve an elevation change of over 60 m (200 ft). Proper footwear suitable for steep and rugged terrain is required. The trails are well laid out and easily negotiated if you take your time! There's lots of interesting geology and biology to explore.

For more information, please go to their official website:http://www.niagaraparks.com/nature-trails/niagara-glen-whirlpool.html

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

5.0 km

Driving time:

6 minutes

People Mover Transit:

15 minutes

Floral Showcase

For over 60 years visitors have come to Discover Paradise at this lush oasis, just a short walk from the Falls. Collections of orchids, succulents and other tropical plant species are on display throughout the year, along with floral shows that reflect the changing seasons. Flying throughout the greenery are colourful tropical birds that may sing for your entertainment!

During the summer months, don't miss the spectacular gardens surrounding the Floral Showhouse, including one of Niagara Parks' extensive rose gardens, ponds and a fragrance garden where plants are identified in Braille for persons who are visually impaired. Wander along the paths or rest on a bench in the peaceful Artists Garden - you won't believe you are in the centre of the city!

Click here for their official website www.niagaraparks.com/garden-trail/floral-showhouse.html

 

Distance from Greystone Manor:

4.1 km

Walking time:

52 minutes

People Mover Transit:

15 minutes