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Fort Erie, Ontario

Fort Erie, located on the shores of Lake Erie was first settled in the 1790’s by United Empire Loyalists.

British forces established a post here at the end of the war with France in 1746. Early forts were wooden but a stone fort was begun in 1805.

Early settlers sought refuge in this area from the Americans.

Today Fort Erie is a major point of entry into Canada via the Peace Bridge, built in 1927 and opened by the then Prince of Wales and later King Edward VIII, the bridge links Fort Erie with Buffalo New York.

The Mather Memorial Archway and park was built in memory of an American philanthropist named Alonzo C. Mather. Today the park plays hosts every year to The Friendship Festival from July 1 – 4 which commemorates 175 years of peace and friendship between the two countries.

Old Fort Erie is open to the public daily during the summer season.

No visit to Fort Erie is complete without a drive along the Niagara Parkway. This 56 km (35 mile) scenic drive, along the Niagara River extends from Fort Erie to Niagara on the Lake and features a walking and bicycle trail the entire length of the Parkway. Picnic areas are interspersed along the parkway.

One of the top fishing events in Canada, the Lake Erie Can Am Challenge Walleye Tournament takes place in Fort Erie in August. Children and adults alike will enjoy the Mildred M. Mahoney Dolls’ House Gallery located 2 kms north of the Peace Bridge on Niagara Blvd. The collection consists of over 150 dollhouses built between 1780 – 1980 decorated and furnished to period.

Spend a leisurely day exploring Old Fort Erie and learn about the forts’ historical significance in the founding of Upper Canada. The fort was originally built in 1764, damaged by flood and ice in 1779 and destroyed by a storm in 1802. A second fort was begun a short time later but was unfinished when war broke out in 1812. In July 1814 the fort, being defended by only 170 British soldiers was captured by 4500 Americans under Gen. Jacob Brown who later abandoned it.

Old Fort Erie was restored in 1939 and today contains relics of the war of 1812 and military equipment used by both the Canadian and American soldiers. Battle re-enactments take place the second weekend in August. From Canada Day, July 1st to Independence Day July 4th, the Fort Erie Friendship Festival celebrates the Canada/U.S.A. partnership with concerts, fireworks and colourful festivities on both sides of the border.

Fort Erie Racetrack and Slots have a racing history of over 100 years in the area. Here the excitement of thoroughbred racing can be experienced between April and early November. The track hosts one of the racing seasons most prestigious events - the second leg of Canada’s Triple Crown, The Prince of Wales Stakes. Some excellent restaurants and lounges make the Fort Erie Racetrack and Slots an impressive gaming destination.

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