The Niagara Park’s Commission



NiagaraNiagara Falls, Canada, became a major tourist attraction in the mid-1830s. By this time, roads, canals and railways were able to bring people from urban centers, like New York and Boston. However, the chance for big profits attracted dishonest businessmen. One hotel in the 1860s was popularly known as the “Cave of the Forty Thieves.” There were many complaints from tourists about tricks that were used to get their money. Some businessmen tried to put up fences around the Falls, so that all visitors would have to pay them to see the Falls.

In time, these complaints reached the ears of important people. In 1873, Lord Dufferin, the Governor-General of Canada, proposed that the government buy all the land around the Falls. On the American side, New York State bought 412 acres around the American Rainbow Falls in 1885. In the same year, land was bought near the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and named Queen Victoria Park.

A commission was formed to obtain control of all land along the Niagara River. This was made easier because a narrow strip along the river was already government land. However, the Commission wanted to preserve all the beautiful scenery along the river and near the Falls for the general public. The first commissioner of the parks was Sir Casimir Gzowski, a distinguished engineer of Polish birth. Before the Queen Victoria Park Commission began to buy up land besides the Falls, tourists had to pay for everything. There were no public washrooms, no drinking fountains, and no safety barriers around the Falls.

As a result, it was not uncommon for tourists crowding close to the Falls, or hypnotized by the flow of the river, to step too close and fall in. The commission took care of these problems and also set up parks and picnic areas. In 1927, the Commission’s name was changed to the Niagara Parks Commission. It now supervises numerous attractions and parks from Niagara-on-the- Lake on Lake Ontario, down to Fort Erie on Lake Erie.

Each section of the 56-kilometer stretch of Niagara Parks has its own places of interest. These are joined by the Niagara Parkway, a road that runs the whole length of the river. Sir Winston Churchill called the parkway, “The prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world.” The Niagara Parks Commission operates restaurants, parks and gardens, rides, museums and historic houses, golf courses, native sites and gift shops. Near the Falls are restaurants, parks, greenhouses, the “Journey Behind the Falls” and the “Maid of the Mist” boat ride.

North of the Falls, at Niagara Gorge, are the Spanish Aero Car Ride and the Great Gorge Adventure. The Commission also operates a School of Horticulture, with large gardens. Queenston Heights is a park commemorating one of Canada’s heroes, General Isaac Brock. In nearby Queenston are historic houses connected with two other important Canadians, Laura Secord and William Lyon MacKenzie.

The Commission also operates two historic forts, dating from the War of 1812 – Fort George and Old Fort Erie. The Niagara Parks Commission has played a major role in making Niagara Falls and the Niagara River one of the leading tourist areas in the world. The Commission shows how governments can work to make visits to natural wonders like Niagara Falls a good experience for the general public.

1 thought on “The Niagara Park’s Commission

  • mid

    literary
    among or in the middle of


    urban

    relating to towns and cities
    ᅳopposite rural
    unemployment in urban areas
    the deprived sections of the urban population


    propose

    ▶SUGGEST◀
    [transitive] formal to suggest something as a plan or course of action
    ᅳsee also proposal the changes currently proposed by the local planning authorities the proposed budget cuts
    propose that
    In his speech he proposed that the UN should set up an emergency centre for the environment.
    propose doing something
    The report also proposes extending the motorway.


    acre

    a unit for measuring area, equal to 4840 square yards or 4047 square metres
    They own 200 acres of farmland.

    a 200-acre wood

    commission

    a group of people who have been given the official job of finding out about something or controlling something
    a commission was appointed to investigate his murder  
    the European Commission on Human Rights
    The Government set up a commission to investigate allegations of police violence.
    commission on
    the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution


    preserve
    to prevent (someone or something) from being harmed or destroyed:

    The ancient Egyptians knew ways to preserve dead bodies (from decay). | I think these interesting old customs should be preserved. | (humor) Lord preserve us from these so-called experts!
    We must encourage the planting of new trees and preserve our existing woodlands.
    in order to preserve a historical house. 
    they gave their lives to preserve this republic.  
    wax polish preserves leather.


    scenery

    the natural features of a particular part of a country that you can see, such as mountains, forests, deserts etc
    The best part of the trip was the fantastic scenery.
    mountain scenery  
    the scenery around Ghamsar is beautiful  

    What a beautiful scenery!
    What beautiful scenery!
    Scenery is an uncountable noun


    commissioner a member of a commission

    distinguished
    having excellent quality or great fame and respect:
    a distinguished performance/politician | distinguished for his scientific achievements | a distinguished-looking old man
    Another Source:

    successful, respected, and admired
    a long and distinguished career


    washroom:

    washroom
    American English
    a room in a public building where you can wash and use the toilet


    drinking fountain

    drinking-fountain
    a piece of equipment in a public place that produces a stream of water for you to drink from


    barrier

    barrier
    a physical object that keeps two areas, people etc apart
    barrier between
    The mountains form a natural barrier between the two countries.


    took care of
    _______________________________

    superviseto be in charge of an activity or person, and make sure that things are done in the correct way
    Griffiths closely supervised the research.


    numerous

    many
    Numerous attempts have been made to hide the truth.
    The two leaders have worked together on numerous occasions .
    too numerous to mention/list
    The individuals who have contributed to this book are far too numerous to mention.

    ____________________________________
    golf course
    golf_course
    an area of land where golf is played

    greenhouses

    greenhouse
    a glass building used for growing plants that need warmth, light, and protection


    commemorate

    commemorate
    to do something to show that you remember and respect someone important or an important event in the past
    a parade to commemorate the town’s bicentenary

    we are gathered here to commemorate his services  
    a statue to commemorate those killed in the war


    fort

    fort
    a strong building or group of buildings used by soldiers or an army for defending an important place

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