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.



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