Skyline Hotel & Waterpark Niagara Falls

Nowhere Else on Earth: a Wine Tour of Chateau des Charmes

image001For many visitors to the Niagara region, a tour of a winery or two is a regular and popular part of any self-respecting Niagara vacation itinerary. After all, Ontario wines, and Niagara Peninsula wines in particular, are recognized as some of the finest and most distinct in the world. However, not all wine tours are created equal.

Sometimes, a winery or winemaker goes the extra mile to see to it that guests learn about a place and process in a way that far exceeds what a standard tour offers. The Nowhere Else on Earth Wine Tour at Chateau des Charmes is underway right now, and it provides visitors with that kind of uncommon experience. Here is a little bit about Chateau des Charmes and the family that founded it to whet your appetite for the tour should you plan on visiting Niagara during the month of June.

Founded in 1978 by fifth generation winegrower and Frenchman, Paul Bosc, Chateau des Charmes is a Niagara-on-the-Lake winery that is a rare jewel among the many gems in Niagara’s wine country due to both the expertise in winemaking and farming that is practiced there and to its vitis vinifera — a species of grape vine native to the Mediterranean region, southwestern Asia, and central Europe that also happens to be the species used in the production of some of the finest European wines.

The winemaking undertaken at Chateau des Charmes follows an Estate Winery model, which holds that the best wine is made by winemakers who also grow their own grapes. To that end, Chateau des Charmes sits amidst 220 acres of vineyard, where over 30 vintages of grape are grown and cultivated, and over the years, the Bosc family has worked tirelessly to find which spots throughout their vineyard work best for which grapes, a process that has resulted in exceptional wines of remarkable character.

image003Committed since the very beginning to sustainable and land-centered growing practices, the Boscs are charter members of the organization, Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario, a consortium of wine growers who believe that large-scale, industrial farming and the use of pesticides and herbicides is not only harmful to the environment, but that it’s also harmful to the character of the grapes used to make wine, because it compromises the integrity of the unique soils and waters that nurtures them.

The “Nowhere Else on Earth Wine” Tour is an opportunity to experience Chateau des Charmes and the Bosc family in a more intimate way. A guided tour that lasts approximately one hour and 15 minutes, attendees will learn the history and practices of the family and the winery, while getting an exclusive look at the vineyard and the winery’s winemaking process. There will also be a tasting at the end of the tour of three of Chateau des Charmes’ finest wines. Running now throughout the month of June, the Nowhere Else on Earth Wine Tour takes place every day at 2 p.m. Get your tickets early, because spots on the tour do sell out.

4 Reasons to Bring Your Bicycle to Niagara Falls

image001Cycling is becoming almost as popular in the Niagara region as touring vineyards and rubbernecking at waterfalls, as more and more visitors to the region discover the hundreds of miles of trails that meander throughout the area.

Regardless of what kind of cyclist you are, there are scores of opportunities to experience the place, whether you’re looking for a unique way to sightsee or you’re looking for a genuine challenge. For the tourist who wants a vacation unlike any other, here are four reasons you should bring your bicycle with you — or rent one when you get here — when you come to Niagara Falls.

1. Family Fun

As long as your children aren’t too little to put in some mileage, there are trails throughout the region that are safe and fun for families. One of the best parts of a family vacation is undertaking a new experience together, and even if you’ve never gone on a group bike trip before, Niagara is a great place to try your hand at your first one.

Head out on the Friendship Trail if your children can put in at least 10 miles. Part of the Trans Canada Trail, this wide, paved path runs between Port Colborne and Fort Erie along a former Canadian rail trail. There are plenty of stops and detours along the way to lakeshore beaches, restaurants, and the like, too, so you can easily make a day of it. If your children are younger, consider biking just part of the way along the Niagara River Recreational Trail.

2. It’s Built-In, Fun Exercise

For some reason, bicycling through lush and fertile farmland doesn’t feel much like exercise, and that’s part of the beauty of biking Niagara: The sights, sounds, and smells of the region come alive when you’re enjoying them in the open air. It’s a great way to get around and experience the place, and because it provides such a rich, fun, and exciting experience, the fact that it’s also exercise will rarely cross your mind.

3. It’s a Bicycle-Friendly Place

image003More and more, bicycling throughout all of Canada, and especially Ontario, is getting easier as more and more people participate in cycling and more and more trails and routes open up. Whether you prefer mountain biking, road cycling, or sticking to paved, specialty trails, the Niagara region has opportunities for you, as well as tours, group rides, and bicycle shops.

4. The Pace Suits the Place

One of the best parts about exploring a region by bicycle is that doing so invites a pace that allows for a totally different experience than what can be had when you travel by bus or car. Instead of racing through the countryside, passed ditches of wildflowers, and acres of ripening vineyards, you’ll actually notice the colors and textures within the scenery. You’ll spy birds in nests, and see and hear farmers at work in their fields. Instead of treating specific parts of the region as worthy of being destinations, you’ll experience it all as worthy of attention due to the slower and simpler pace that traveling by bicycle affords.

So, bring your bicycle to Niagara the next time you book a stay, and experience the region in a completely brand-new and revelatory way.

4 Reasons to Spend Canada Day in Niagara Falls

image001Canada Day is arguably the most important national holiday on the Canadian calendar. Marked and celebrated every July 1, it’s the day Canadians across the country gather together to shoot off fireworks, attend parades, wave flags, eat poutine, and otherwise cultivate an intense amount of pride in their homeland and heritage.

While the nation has many notable places to celebrate the day of Canada’s independence, including its major cities, Niagara Falls is, without a doubt, one of the finest. Not only does it maintain more of a small-town feel, but because it’s one of the top tourist destinations in the world, Niagara Falls really does know how to throw a party. Whether you’re a fifth generation Canadian or you’ve never before set foot on our friendly soil, here are four reasons you should spend Canada Day this year in Niagara Falls.

1. The 5K Run/Walk for St. John Ambulance

Just in case you need to start your day of revelry out with some exercise or an act of good citizenship or charity, the 5K Run/Walk for St. John Ambulance has you covered. St. John Ambulance is an organization that trains people in first aid, safety, and health in order to improve communities all across Ontario. Trainees routinely assist with disaster response, therapy dog services, search and rescue, and more. Registration for the run/walk is at 8 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m.

2. The Parade

Any Canada Day Parade is worth attending, but the Niagara Falls’ parade is one of the country’s more notable ones. Starting at 11 a.m., you’ll see classic cars, marching bands, floats, costumed characters, and more Canadian flags than you can shake a stick at for over an hour as the parade runs along Victoria Avenue and finishes up on Queen Street.

3. The Free Stuff

image003One of the best features of celebrating Canada Day in Niagara Falls, is that it can be enjoyed without spending hardly anything. From the free parade and free fireworks to the free, live entertainment that takes place on multiple stages throughout the afternoon and into the evening, the day’s celebrations are truly for everyone, but the free stuff doesn’t end with those usual suspects. You can also eat free birthday cake at City Hall at noon, enter a free raffle for prizes, get free caricatures done of you and those traveling with you, and you can also enjoy the free water station set up near the free children’s inflatables, free rock climbing wall, and free face painting located at Queen Street and Erie at the former Rosberg Family Park.

4. Extreme Entertainment

In addition to live music on the main stage at City Hall, the parade, a car show, and the free birthday cake, Niagara Falls is bringing an extreme form of entertainment to its Canada Day festivities. Music by Eclipse and DJ Boogie will form the soundtrack to some impressive extreme sports demonstrations including BMX bike stunts performed by the Krusher BMX Stunt Team, jaw-dropping skateboarding tricks from the people at Niagara Falls’ Antigravity Skate Shop, and basketball aerial acrobatics by the gentlemen at Slam Dunk Entertainment.

For an unforgettable Canada Day experience, head to Niagara Falls this July 1.

What’s Happening at the 2015 Niagara Literary Arts Festival

image001Niagara Falls and the region surrounding it are well known throughout the world thanks to the impressive display of Nature’s power that exists in the Falls and the remarkable breadth and depth of world-class wine grown throughout the Niagara Peninsula. For most people visiting Niagara, these two attractions are almost always near the top of their must-see and must-do lists, which is as it should be — the wine and roaring waterfalls are second to none.

But Niagara is a place that is rich in other ways, too, which is why, in the winter of 2010, the people behind the Niagara publishing house and magazine “Grey Borders” decided to start up an annual event held throughout the Niagara region that would not just celebrate Canadian literature, but also the literature of Niagara. If you love literature, readings, book signings, and being introduced to new writers, you need to book a visit to Niagara Falls during the month of June so you can take in the annual Niagara Literary Arts Festival.

Now in its fifth year, the NLAF is a 100 percent volunteer-run literary festival that spans the month of June and Niagara and offers free or nearly-free events the entire month. While it has not yet reached its long-term goal of being able to feature one event a day in every Niagara municipality for the entirety of the month of June, its current offerings are still impressive.

From poets and novelists to collaborative arts initiatives on the cutting edge, this year’s literary arts festival will take place in cafes, malls, museums, and pubs throughout the Niagara region as the NLAF continues its upward and forward momentum. Here are just some of the authors you can look forward to at this year’s festival:

  • image003Stuart Ross. A Canadian poet, fiction writer, creative writing instructor, and editor, Ross was born in Toronto but grew up in New York. His work has won numerous awards including the 2010 ReLit Award for Short Fiction, the Elaine Mona Adilman Award, and the Exist Through the Gift Shop Award.
  • Shirley Camia. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Camia is a broadcaster and journalist, who just released her debut collection of poems, “The Significance of Moths,” to rave reviews.
  • Lindsay Jack. A performance artist and community organizer from St. Catharines, Jack is a poet who specializes in slam poetry. Jack founded the Kitchener Waterloo Poetry Slam and Brock Pride’s Outspoken series. He has received a Word of Mouth grant and was a finalist at 2013’s Canadian Individual Poetry Slam.
  • Keith Henderson. A Montreal native, Keith Henderson is the author of three novels and an award-winning collection of short stories. He teaches English Literature in Montreal at Vanier College.
  • John Terpstra. A Hamilton, Ontario native, Terpstra is a poet, artist, woodworker, teacher and cabinetmaker, whose collections of poetry have won numerous awards.
  • And many more!

Whether you love poetry, fiction, romance novels, or travel writing, the Niagara Literary Arts Festival has something for you somewhere in the Niagara region throughout the entire month of June.

Relax! 5 of the Best Spas in Niagara

image001One of the primary reasons people head out on vacation is to leave the stress and demands of everyday life behind, and while there are scores of ways to effectively relax — lay by the beach, shut off your cell phone, and take a yoga class, to name a few — one of the most popular and straightforward ways to get stress and tension to dissipate is to spend a day or afternoon at an excellent spa.

If you’re planning a trip to Niagara to get some much-needed R and R, make sure you check out these five fabulous Niagara spas.

1. Christienne Fallsview Spa

Located at the Sheraton on the Falls in Niagara Falls, this world-class spa offers tremendous packages for total relaxation that can be experienced in full view of an amazing view of the Canadian and American Falls.

Whether you partake of a massage, a pedicure, or a total body treatment, this spa’s unique location and view of the Falls provides for a spa day truly unlike any other.

2. Spa on the Twenty

Located in Jordan, this spa sits jus across the street from the much-loved and regaled On the Twenty Restaurant, which means you won’t have to travel far after your day of pampering to enjoy a world-class meal.

Surrounded by a garden with a gazebo and a well, the spa specializes in vino-therapeutic treatments thanks to their relationship with Cave Spring Cellars Winery. From body wraps and facials to massages and reiki, you can easily spend the day here in total bliss.

3. Secret Garden Spa

Located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Secret Garden Spa is one of the finest spas in all of Canada. Contemporary and sleek, the spa has been designed for true relaxation from the chocolate and earth tone color scheme woven throughout the space to the Relationship Packages offered to couples looking to rejuvenate together.

Secret Garden makes use of all natural products, including green, white, and red teas for some of the finest beauty treatments available.

4. Serenity Spa by the Falls

image003One of the highest-ranked spas in all of North America, this Niagara Falls spa offers services and packages that include body treatments, manicures, pedicures, facials, and much more. Most of their services are undertaken with rich, restorative Moroccan oil, which leaves skin supple, soft, and youthful-looking and feeling.

Be sure to partake in one of their signature treatments: The Waterfall Bliss is a 90-minute, one-of-a-kind facial that involves double exfoliation and multiple masks that will leave your skin fresh and revitalized.

5. 100 Fountain Spa

Ranked as the highest ranked spa in all of Canada in 2013, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s 100 Fountain Spa places guests in the ultimate lap of luxury with a hot spring, salt water pool and high-end services and treatments.

At over 13,000 square feet, this spa ensures you and your loved one or friends can enjoy a day of ultimate pampering without ever feeling rushed or cramped. Scrubs, wraps, facials, massage — whatever it is you’d like to indulge in can be had at this luxury spa.

Recover your equilibrium at any one of the five fine spas the next time you make your way to Niagara.

Friday Night Flicks

image001Starting up once again this May on the 22nd, the Niagara Parks Heritage Association will be presenting movies on Friday nights at 7 p.m. for just $5 a person at historic Old Fort Erie. From award-winning classics to new releases, the film series is an easy Friday night pick for anyone visiting Niagara, and is looking to experience a bit of the place’s history and charm while being thoroughly entertained.

While some would consider it highly unusual to choose when to visit Niagara based on what movie is showing, for those who take films seriously, it isn’t strange at all. Here are the themes for the films that will be showing over the next three months, as well as a list of the films themselves and a brief description of each one.

May Is Royalty Month

To celebrate and honor Britain’s royal family and the obsession most Canadians and Americans have with it, the month of May will see two recent and award-winning films depicting the British monarchy. The films are:

  • The Queen, May 22nd. The Queen is set just after the death of Princess Diana and it depicts Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (played by a fabulous Helen Mirren) and her reaction to that and other unexpected and difficult events.
  • The King’s Speech, May 29th. This film shows the sudden ascension to the throne of King George VI, whose stutter — among other uncertainties — makes him feel unworthy of his new role. It stars Colin Ferth, Helena Bonham Carter, and Geoffrey Rush.

June Is Aboriginal Month

The two films chosen for June’s aboriginal month depict First Nations people and storylines. One is a story set in contemporary times, while the other hearkens back to the days of the French and Indian War. The two films are:

  • Smoke Signals, June 19th. Written, directed, and co-produced by Native Americans, this film is a coming of age story that starts out on a reservation and becomes a road trip. Smoke Signals stars Canadians Adam Beach and Evan Adams.
  • Last of the Mohicans, June 26th. Daniel Day Lewis stars in this film that follows three frontier trappers who are called on to protect a British colonel’s daughters at the height of the French and Indian War in 1757.

July is Bi-National Blundering Month

image003In celebration of blundering on both sides of the border, July’s movie theme is bi-national blundering, and the two films chosen to represent Canada and the United States are both well-loved for the zany foolishness each portrays. The films are:

  • Tommy Boy, July 24th. Tommy Boy follows the efforts of ne’er-do-well Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) and super-nerd Richard (David Spade) as they set out to save a factory and a town, while ridding Tommy’s family of con artists.
  • Strange Brew, July 31st. Strange Brew was released back in 1983, but thanks to its cult following, it’s never really gone out of fashion as movie lovers continue to laugh at the antics of Bob and Doug McKenzie — beer lovers who seek to get jobs at Elsinore Brewery only to find that something strange and unseemly is afoot. The film stars Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas.

Come to Niagara for the world-class waterfalls and fun, and make sure you check out the Friday Night Flicks, while you’re at it.

See Niagara via Ontario’s Bike Train

image001Cycling continues to grow in popularity around the world as a way to practically get around, while also experiencing a new land or culture in a one-of-a-kind way. Because it’s has a much slower pace than motorized transport, bicycling provides travelers with a unique experience of a place.

But very few people want to have to spend every minute on their bicycle when they’ve headed out to see a new part of the world. For the visitor to Niagara, who’d like to see the area on a bike without always having to be on her bike, Ontario’s Bike Train is the perfect way to explore the region.

The Initiative

Select passenger trains now have bike racks installed onboard so that anyone embarking on a cycling holiday can hop on and off the trains with greater ease. A project of a non-profit called Transportation Options, the goal of Bike Train and similar initiatives is to promote and stimulate transportation systems that are sustainable.

Over 2,500 riders have utilized the Bike Train since it started in 2007, and it has proven itself to be an economic, environmentally friendly, and flexible way for people to see Ontario by bicycle, especially as route options throughout the region continue to expand.


image003Depending on how much biking you’d like to do, where you’d like to go, and how much time you have in which to do it, there are a number of different routes the biking enthusiast can take when traveling via the Bike Train. During the summer months, train service is offered between Toronto’s Union Station and Niagara Falls Station with a handful of stops, including one at St. Catharines.

There is also Bike Train service from Windsor to London to Toronto, as well as a route that will take cyclists between Toronto and Montreal with numerous stops in between. It’s on this last route that cyclists can gain access to the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail that follows the coastline of Lake Ontario from the United States border at Niagara-on-the-Lake all the way to the Quebec border just off Cornwall.

For the biking enthusiast who wants to see some of Niagara’s famed wine country, Ontario’s stunning countryside, and quaint villages and border towns, it’s 559 miles of beauty, culture, history, and fun, and the Bike Train provides connection to many portions of it.


The benefits of cycling are many. From great exercise and stress relief to saving money on gas and saving the environment, utilizing your bike to get around makes sense. And when you add in the option of getting further faster with Ontario’s Bike Train, you can bicycle without being totally at the mercy of the speed at which your bike can travel.

So take the train to Toronto and bike back to Niagara Falls, or catch a ride to St. Catharines so you can spend the day in wine country. Whatever you choose, Bike Train lets you and your bike travel easily throughout the region.

A Primer for Newcomers to Niagara’s “Liquid Gold”

image001Ever since 1991 when Inniskillin Winery traveled to Bordeaux France with their 1989 icewine and won the Grand Prix d’Honneur at Vinexpo, the Niagara Peninsula has been known and heralded around the world for its excellent icewines.

Known as “liquid gold,” the resonant sweetness of a good bottle of icewine is without parallel in the wine world, and in Canada, it’s as common and as essential as bread and butter. If you’re planning a trip to Niagara, it’s essential that you know a little about the history and painstaking process that first put Canadian wine on the international map. Especially since every harvest still results in some of the world’s finest icewines.

Here is a short primer on Niagara’s most famous wine for newcomers to the area’s “liquid gold.”

The Origins

Most people credit Germany with the happy and accidental invention of icewine back in the late 1700s, when an early freeze caught grape growers off guard. Undeterred, a stubborn winemaker went ahead and harvested the frozen grapes, pressed them, and fermented them. The result was a delicious sweet wine that was so good, the process was repeated again the next year so that now, icewine is sold in 59 countries all over the globe.

While Germany continues to make icewine — or eiswein as they call it — conditions in Ontario have turned out to provide a more ideal climate with the region’s warm summers for grape ripening and cold winters that freeze the grapes without being cold enough to damage the vines.

The Process

Icewine production in Niagara is a labor of love. During the fall, when the grapes are starting to ripen, the vines are put under nets to offer some protection for the fruit from birds. Then, every November, winemakers register their grapes with VQA Ontario inspectors so that when the wine is made, the bottles can bear the VQA distinction.

From that point on, the grapes are left on the vine, causing them to dehydrate so that the remaining juice becomes very concentrated. Once -8 degrees Celsius (or 17 degrees Fahrenheit) is reached and sustained, which tends to happen anytime between December and February, the winemakers and growers watch the temperature gauge to find a temperature stretch between -10 and -12 degrees Celsius (10 and 14 degrees Fahrenheit). These low temperatures produce the optimum amount of sugar in the juice, and they often hit overnight so that the harvest and pressing occur in the dead of night.

image003Handpicked over about a six-hour period by people dressed as warmly as possible, the grapes are immediately pressed, yielding a small amount of very concentrated juice. Juice yields for icewine are usually only about 15 percent the amount extracted for other wines, a disparity due to dehydration, birds and animals, and the frozen pressing.

The Taste

Niagara’s icewine is notably sweet, but it can also be very complex. The high sugars in the juice stop the yeast from being able to grow for long so fermentation is brief, which results in a wine with low alcohol and a lot of sugar. Some icewine is oaked, which yields a more robust and complex flavor, while unoaked icewine maintains a bright fruitiness.

Head to Niagara to taste the wine that proved Ontario could compete with the best wines in the world.

Niagara Wineries Where Eating and Drinking Go Hand in Hand

image001Niagara wine is some of the finest on earth, and each year finds more and more people flocking to the region to experience it firsthand. From award-winning chardonnays and pinot noirs to the icewines that put the region on the world’s winemaking map, any trip to the Niagara Peninsula would be incomplete without some time spent in and around a vineyard.

Of course, drinking excellent wine is only enhanced when you eat an excellent meal along with it, which is why some of the area’s wineries have on-site restaurants. And, because agriculture has long been practiced and practiced well in Niagara, these excellent restaurants make a point of showcasing local vegetables, fruits, cheeses, meats, and fish on their menus. An ideal marriage of taste and presentation, the next time you come to relax and unwind in Niagara, be sure to snag a reservation to dine at one of these four wineries’ restaurants.

1. Ravine Vineyard

This vineyard is family owned and operated and strives to be organic. The 34-acre Ravine Vineyards practices sustainable farming in the sub-appellation known as St. David’s Bench. Producers of a number of excellent wines, they make especially remarkable Chardonnay, and their restaurant is more than up to the task of providing meals that live up to their wines’ reputations. A true farm-to-table restaurant, Ravine does almost everything themselves: They bake their own bread, grow their own organic vegetables, and raise their own pigs. Beyond that, they also plan a menu with the help of their winemaker for meals that always have wine at their center.

2. Trius Winery

Trius is a winery that makes every type of wine from cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir to sparkling bruts and icewines. A winery that features some of their finest offerings in person at the winery only, their restaurant’s selection is vast enough to satisfy almost any oenophile. They use as many local ingredients as possible, and of course, their servers are excellent at assisting diners with pairings.

3. Peller Estates

image003A family-run winery that has been in operation for over 50 years, Peller Estates has achieved plenty of international recognition, especially for their rieslings, chardonnays, and icewines. In fact, London’s International Wine & Spirit Competition recently named them the Best Canadian Winery of the Year. Their award-winning restaurant centers its menus around their wines and the changing seasons. Each dish has been paired with a wine under the guidance of Peller’s winemaker, but the staff is knowledgeable, too, should you want a different option.

4. Strewn Winery

Award-winning wines are commonplace at Strewn, an unusual winery that includes a winery cooking school in addition to its vineyards and restaurant. Their wines focus on the most traditional grapes: cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, riesling, sauvignon blanc, gewurztraminer, pinot blanc, and chardonnay. Their restaurant, Terroir La Cachette, recently closed, and they are about to open another one on-site called OLiV in mid-April. A casual fine dining restaurant and tapas bar, OLiV will feature fare that allows the winery’s exceptional wines to shine through.

Whether you love red wine or white, seafood or lentils, eating and drinking in the Niagara region is an exquisite pleasure when done at these four wineries’ restaurants.

You Know You’re in Canada When…

image001Canada is a unique place with a cultural flavour all its own and a history that spans hundreds of years. The second largest country in the world, the vast majority of the population lives in southern Ontario—including the Niagara region—but even though Niagara Falls and the surrounding area are remarkably close to the American border, Niagara has maintained a very distinct personality from our neighbors to the south.

Whether you’re staying in Niagara Falls for the first time, or you’ve been making the trek annually for years, there comes a point when it’s clear you aren’t in the U.S. anymore. From impressive and unyielding politeness to the Terry Fox Run, here are some ways you can tell you’ve arrived in the land of the Canucks.

The Terry Fox Run

Every fall, the vast majority of Canadian students participate in the Terry Fox Run — an all-volunteer-led, non-corporate fundraiser and run that raises money for cancer research. Named after Terry Fox and his eponymous foundation, Terry was just 18 when he was diagnosed with cancer and had his right leg amputated. Moved by the suffering of the cancer patients around him, he pledged to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Called the Marathon of Hope, Terry — running on a prosthetic leg — ran an average of 26 miles a day once he started his run across the country. After 143 days, increased attention, and 3,339 miles, Terry had to stop short of his goal, because cancer had reappeared in his lungs. He died at the age of 22 in 1981, and his foundation and the Terry Fox Run have garnered over $650 million dollars since he first ran.

The Manners

Canadians have a reputation for being some of the nicest people on the planet, and for good reason. We say, “please” and “thank you” at every appropriate opportunity, and we even say “sorry” at inappropriate ones — like when someone else bumps into us. We hold doors for each other, and if we spy a tourist with a puzzled look on their face, we’ll ask if we can be of any help. If you drop something on the street, we’ll pick it up and run after you to return it, and angry horn honking in traffic hardly ever happens.

The Food

image003Canadian food is oftentimes similar or identical to what you’ll find in other places, but there are some notable exceptions. And while these exceptions are starting to show up across the border here and there, we think they taste best in Canada. Here are some examples of food that is distinctly Canadian:

  • Ketchup-flavored potato chips
  • Poutine — French fries covered in fresh cheese curds and gravy
  • Beaver tails — a deep-fried pastry with sweet toppings
  • Butter tarts — a sweet, buttery dessert tart with nuts or raisins

So, enjoy the Canadian culture when you visit Niagara, where people are nicer, the accent is charming, and the French fries are covered in gravy.