I drove out to Niagara-on-the-Lake recently, a small town in Southern Ontario with a big history. Founded in 1782 by Empire Loyalists fleeing the newly created United States of America, Niagara-on-the-Lake became a battle ground between the Americans and the British during the War of 1812.
Today, Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the Shaw Festival (summer theatre) and wine, wine tours, and wineries.
I stopped by McFarland House for tea and a tour.
Built in 1800, McFarland House was unusual in its day in that it was constructed from brick instead of wood. It served as a hospital for both American and British troops during the War of 1812 and thus became one of the few houses to survive the period.
The front door was, and still is, painted red — a sign of welcome.
As you can see, the door could use some work. Probably because no one uses it anymore, all guests entering through a side door that opens onto the tea room.
Unfortunately, while I can’t claim Norm’s camera skills, I did find myself reaching for my phone on a wander through the Old Town.
Fun fact: Niagara-on-the-Lake boasts the oldest surviving golf course in North America, Niagara Golf Club circa 1875.
Funnier fact: The town is home to the oldest operating inn in Ontario, The Olde Angel Inn established in 1789. If you’re ever in the women’s washroom, think twice before you lift the privacy leaf on the Statue of David — a bell will ring in the main dining room 🙂