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Our Food Truck Scene

Hamilton is steering food in a new direction. Like so many urban centres, this city, located a 45-minute drive from Toronto,is home to a blossoming food truck scene, offering some truly tempting treats.

Watch for the hot pink Cupcake Diner on wheels, parked in the downtown core of the city as well as at special events. Owner Natalie Ravoi tapped into her love of baking and took it to the streets, literally, and created Canada’s first mobile cupcake shop. She bakes gourmet cupcakes daily with a retro twist.

People line up for varieties like caramel apple pie, chocolate and peanut butter, the 1950s Classic (à la Hostess cupcakes), lemon meringue and raspberry white chocolate. Plus she offers gluten-free and vegan variations, too.

But before diving into dessert, there’s heartier fare to be had. You can’t miss Canada’s only grilled cheese food truck. Look for the gorilla. It’s a sign that you’ve found Gorilla Cheese, owned by Graeme Smith and Scott Austin.

Smith went to Liaison College to become a professional chef and Austin is a grass roots foodie himself. They came up with the idea for a grilled cheese truck, a perfect fit for comfort-food craving urbanites. These aren’t just any garden-variety sandwiches, but gourmet, grilled-to-order ones, made with real cheese from Jensen’s, an Ontario cheese maker based in Simcoe. They’re gooey and wonderful, served alongside tomato soup and baked beans, all made from scratch.

Roving the area called the Golden Horseshoe, stretching from Toronto to Niagara Falls, is El Gastronomo Vagabundo. It’s a joint Australia-Canada project, thanks to its owners Tamara Jensen and Adam Hynam-Smith, a professionally trained chef from Down Under.

They have been serving up tantalizing mobile eats, like heirloom tomato and watermelon salad, Asian specialties, and gourmet tacos like Thai coconut red curry and tempura salmon. Ingredients are sourced from small local producers, making this a true grass-roots operation. To catch El Gastro on the move, follow them on Twitter or Facebook. more…

Maid of the Mist Closes October 24, 2011

The last day of operation for the 2011 season is October 24, 2011.

When will the Maid of the Mist be back? Because the boat is dependent on weather conditions, we’re never certain when the first launching date will be.  As soon as we find out we’ll post the information on Niagara Blog as usual.

 

Shaw Festival launches free mobile application

Shaw Festival AppThe Shaw Festival, the renowned Canadian theatre repertory company, is thrilled to announce the release of its new mobile application — another high point to celebrate during its 50th season. Co-developed by Discover Anywhere Mobile and The Shaw’s Marketing and IT Web Teams, the mobile application offers the user one more way to gain access to all that the Shaw Festival offers, while planning their Shaw Festival experience. The mobile app is available now for iPhone users and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or at www.shawfest.com/get-your-free-shaw-app. An app for Blackberry and Android smartphones will be rolled-out in late September, early October.

This new app makes planning a Niagara-on-the-Lake theatre getaway a hassle-free experience. In addition to having the ability to purchase tickets (via direct dial), The Shaw mobile app also provides Shaw Festival theatre enthusiasts easy access to information about the season’s playbill and Niagara theatre packages, as well as information on Niagara-on-the-Lake hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, wineries and area events and attractions.

“We’re very excited to launch this mobile application during our landmark 50th season,” said Executive Director Colleen Blake. “As we look forward to the next 50 years, one of our aims is to implement consumer-friendly tools that make planning a theatre visit as easy as possible. This new application brings the mobility of technology to the cultural experience and it all begins on the screen of a smartphone or tablet computer.”

Commenting on Discover Anywhere’s involvement with the Shaw Festival and the development of its mobile app, David Janes, President of Discover Anywhere remarked: “The Shaw Festival is synonymous with great theatre so when we were asked to create their app, our goal was to create an exceptional experience connecting theatre-goers to all things ‘Shaw’. The app presents all relevant information about The Shaw optimized for mobile, including the current playbill, the performance schedule, ‘getting here’, and ticket and box office information. Additionally, the app invites visitors to discover Niagara-on-the-Lake, its attractions, hotels, wineries all presented using advanced features such as GPS, itinerary planning, social media, augmented reality and mapping.” more…

Suburban Tourist Tours Niagara Falls

The (Sub)urban Tourist is a travel blog enjoying the outdoor lifestyle and exploring good food and dining experiences.  This summer Margaret Antkowski, who pens the (Sub)urban tourist, took a Niagara Falls tour with her finacé Frank Bourne.  She rated the tour 4.5/5.  Read her review here:

Niagara by bus: sit back, relax and enjoy the tour

The Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls – part of the tour with King Tours. Photo by Frank Bourne

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to Niagara Falls, Ontario. It must be at least six or seven times since I was a small kid. With each visit over the years, I’ve noticed that traffic has become increasingly insane in the Niagara region. Driving with stop-and-go traffic and trying to find a parking spot in Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake can leave you drained, stressed out and definitely not enjoying the visit.

This past weekend Frank and I had the pleasure of trying out a King Tours bus tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls.  And it certainly was a stress-free way to enjoy a day away from Toronto.

The $79 per person ticket included the following:

  • Transportation in a comfortable, air conditioned tour bus from downtown Toronto to Niagara Falls
  • Entry into the Maid of the Mist, without having to wait in line for a ticket
  • About two hours to ourselves to explore Niagara Falls and have lunch
  • A drive along the Niagara River to stop at spots such as the Whirlpool (10 minute stop); the Sir Adam Beck Power Generation plant (a few minutes to take photos); and the Floral Clock (more photos).
  • A 45 minute visit in Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Wine-tasting at Pillitteri Estates Winery

 

People lining up for the Maid of the Mist. We didn’t have to wait to get tickets but went straight to the line-up for the tour itself. Photo by Frank Bourne

more…

Niagara Falls Tour Top Tour on Tourism TO

Niagara Falls is only 2 hours away from Toronto.  It’s no surprise that Toronto tourists often incorporate a trip to Niagara Falls in their vacation itinerary. Tourism.to, a Toronto Travel website, says that their statistics show exactly that.  This past summer their featured Niagara Falls tour that departs from Toronto, has out sold their Toronto Sightseeing tours. Toronto to Niagara Falls tour

Japanese Tourist Goes Over the Falls

A tourist, visiting from Japan, slipped and fell over the railing today while sitting on a railing posing for a picture. She is presumed dead. See the WIVBTV’s news report.

When the Rain Stops Falling

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, August 10, 2011…When the Rain Stops Falling, Andrew Bovell’s stirring generational story, begins previews Thursday at The Shaw’s Studio Theatre.

An apocalyptic torrent of rain. An unexpected phone call from an estranged son. A fish falls from the sky. So begins a journey that delves back across time, space and four generations exposing two family’s multilayered history and their unexpectedly intricate connections. A complex contemporary mystery, When the Rain Stops Falling is epic in its scope, yet surprisingly intimate and desperately moving.

Directed by Peter Hinton, When the Rain Stops Falling features Donna Belleville as Elizabeth Law (older), Wade Bogert-O’Brien as Andrew Price, Krista Colosimo as Gabrielle York (younger), Jeff Meadows as Gabriel Law, Peter Millard as Joe Ryan, Ric Reid as Gabriel York, Tara Rosling as Elizabeth Law (younger), Graeme Somerville as Henry Law and Wendy Thatcher as Gabrielle York (older).

The creative team includes set and costume design by Camellia Koo, lighting design by Kevin Lamotte, music composition/sound design by Richard Feren. Stage managed by Dora Tomassi and assistant stage manager Kristopher Weber.

First produced as part of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts at the Scott Theatre, University of Adelaide, Australia, in 2008, When the Rain Stops Falling has premiered at London’s Almeida Theatre and New York’s Lincoln Center Theater. This production of When the Rain Stops Falling is its Canadian premiere and marks the first time an Australian play has been performed at the Shaw Festival.

When the Rain Stops Falling begins preview performances Thursday, August 11; opens Friday, August 26; and plays in repertory until Saturday, September 17. more…

Niagara Science Museum Hosts Free Community Open House

Niagara Falls, NY – The Niagara Science Museum is hosting its first Community Open House on Saturday, August 13, from 11a.m. – 2 p.m. The museum is located at 3625 Highland Ave., Niagara Falls, NY. The event is free and open to the public.

Nick Dalacu, the museum’s founder and director, and several community volunteers will give live demonstrations of scientific experiments using artifacts from the museum’s large collection of historic scientific instruments, including high-voltage electronics, solar technologies, meteorology, and a demonstration of the museum’s turn-of-the-century printing press studio. Adults, children, families, and community members are all welcome to attend.

“The Open House is designed to open our doors to the community,” says Dalacu. “We’re a different kind of museum, and we’re relatively new. It’s not really like the other attractions in the region, and we want to show the local community that there are great things happening in Niagara Falls.” Dalacu adds, “Our goal is for visitors to walk away with a sense of wonder about the world they live in,and to have fun doing it.”

In the spirit of the museum’s community roots, free hot dogs and drinks will be provided for visitors. Dalacu, a former physicist, founded the museum in 2009 after a lifetime of collecting over 2000 historically significant scientific instruments and technologies. Located in the former Union Carbide Building built in 1910, the museum’s unlikely location pays homage to the region’s scientific and industrial history. Dalacu has restored the formerly derelict building and converted the museum to run off an array of solar panels on the building’s roof.

Despite its off-the-beaten-path location at the corner of Highland and College Roads, this unique museum has experienced some excellent recognition lately. It is currently the #1 Niagara Falls attraction on Tripadvisor.com, as voted by the site’s users. It has been the subject of recent stories in the Buffalo News, Niagara Gazette, and other local media. Furthermore, it was recognized by Listverse.com as one of the nation’s ‘Top Ten Museums for Geeks,’ an award the museum wears with pride.

“I think there’s not a big difference between what philanthropies do and what we’re doing,” says Dalacu. “Philanthropies want to share their wealth with the community, but what we have to share is mental wealth on science and education. If a visitor can see an experiment with their own eyes and think ‘cool!’ then we’ve done our job.”

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Niagara Falls New York’s First Gay Wedding

Longtime partners Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd tied the knot in front of Niagara Falls at the stroke of midnight Sunday, becoming the first same-sex couple to be married in New York.

Are you from Canada? Can’t see the video? Continue to see the video from an alternative source… more…

Woman Rescued from Niagara Whirlpool Rapids (video)

Video report about a hiker who was sucked into Niagara Falls Whirlpool rapids.  She was rescued by Corey Ziraldo, the Captain of Niagara Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour.

If the video above is not available, you may be able to view it here:

Seattle Visits Niagara Falls

Last week Seattle Dredge, who pens the popular travel blog Seattle’s Travels, visited Niagara Falls.  Check out some of fantastic photos and what she did during her visit.

In our last post, we talked about ways to see Niagara Falls from above. Now it’s time to get up close and personal with North America’s Natural, roaring wonder with views from below, behind and beside. Visitors beware : You ARE going to get soaked!


Wise Guys Charity Auction

Where:
Coppola’s Ristorante

When:
Starts at July 19th, 2010 – 6:00pm
Ends at July 19th, 2010 – 12:00am

Address:
203 Carlton St, St. Catharines

Website:
http://www.wiseguyscharity.com

Bring your appetite! Sample some of Niagara’s finest italian cuisine. A delicious assortment of delicacies will be served hors-d’oeuvres style all evening. Start off the evening by enjoying the complimentary wine and cheese cocktail hour. Be sure to try the one and only ice wine/vodka martini, compliments of Creekside Estate Winery. Indulge in the chocolate fountain. Bid on fabulous trips, sports memorabillia, spa days and more alongside some of your favourite sports celebrities. Tickets for this memorable event are only $40 and sell quickly.

For tickets to this event, please call (905) 687-4063 or email smith.financial@sunlife.com

The Wise Guys have been instrumental in raising funds for many worthy causes within the Niagara Region. Over the past 20 years our efforts have been responsible for raising in excess of $1,700.000.00. Last years event raised a record of $130,000.00.

 

Our Favourite 2011 Canada Day Photo

Canada Day - July First
Niagara Blog’s favorite Canada Day 2011 photo.

On this day in Niagara Falls History – July 2, 1903

On July 2, 1903, Baseball Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who compiled a .346 lifetime batting average, dies after mysteriously falling off a railroad bridge connecting Buffalo with Fort Erie.  According to some witnesses, a conductor had ordered Delahanty to disembark the train because of disorderly behavior.

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Top 5 Niagara Falls Summer Adventures

Here are Niagara Blog’s Top 5 Niagara Falls Summer Adventures.

1. Whirlpool Jet Boat

Warning! You will get wet. Since 1992, traversing the rapids of the Niagara River Gorge with Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours has become the world’s single most popular whitewater tour. With safety as our premise, millions of Niagara visitors embark on our specialized jet boats to witness first hand the truly world-class whitewater rapids on the Niagara River. Our team of whitewater professionals thanks you for your patronage and trusts your memories of Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, the Devil’s Hole Rapids, and the Niagara Whirlpool will be with you forever as they will be with me

2. Maid of the Mist

For a thrilling 30 minutes you’ll experience the magnitude and magnificence of the Falls thundering down from the water below. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to rock your boat!

Debuting in 1846, the Maid of the Mist is North America’s oldest tourist attraction. Ridden by dignitaries and celebrities such as Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbechev and Brad Pitt, a visit to the base of the falls is a priority for all who visit the region.

All passengers are given a recyclable poncho to keep clothing dry, as they are exposed you to a extraordinary experience that can only be described as awe-inspiring.

3. Winery Tour

See the rows of grapevines, sprouting buds, heavy with fruit or in hibernation, create a tranquil countyside view-and hint at the marvellous wines that await you, crafted with care and passion by our renowned winemakers. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend escape, a summer winery tour will capture your heart for Niagara.  Here, the wines, the food, the scenery and the personal stories conspire to engage your senses in every way.  You can visit Niagara Winery on your own by following the Wine Route or simply join a tour.

4. Journey Behind the Falls

At Journey Behind the Falls, you’ll experience the awesome spectacle of one-fifth of the world’s fresh water crashing down to the basin below. During summer daylight hours, over 2,800 cubic meters of water thunders over the brink every second, traveling 65 km per hour!  Yes, you will get wet.

5. Butterfly Conservatory

Do you have young children? This is an excellent adventure for you. This magical attraction features over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. Paths wind through the rainforest setting, past a pond and waterfall and the Emergence window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight!

 

 

CityLine Live in Niagara Falls June 24th

Join Tracy Moore and some of your favourite Fashion Friday guest experts as CityLine broadcasts live from Niagara Falls from 9am-10am on Friday, June 24.

If you’re interested in joining the fun, the Sheraton on the Falls and the Crown Plaza Niagara Falls are offering special room rates to CityLine viewers coming in to town to see the show.

Also! CityTV is looking for your stories and photos — did you get married in Niagara Falls or did you honeymoon there? Share your stories and photos with us and we may feature them in the show! Email submissions@cityline.ca and include “Niagara Falls” in the subject line.

Go the Fu*k to Sleep

This post is not Niagara Falls related but I found it hilarious enough to share it with you.

Go the F**k to Sleep is a #1 selling Children’s book written by Adam Mansbach. The audio book is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. You can preview it here in this video or download the free audio book here: http://bit.ly/iDFO6x

Niagara Falls Tour from Toronto Airport

Waiting at an airport for a flight is probably the worst part of your vacation.  The few hours seem like days and it sometimes feels like torture.  Well, a Toronto airport (YYZ) stop over does not have to be so bad. eTours offers a Niagara Falls tour with pick-up and return from Toronto airport. Its a very viable alternative to wasting your precious hard earned vacation time, especially if you have never seen Niagara Falls.  The tours cost $95 plus tax and depart daily from Toronto Airport at 8:00 am.

Famous Friday: Kevin Bieksa

Number: 3
Shoots: Right
Born: 16 Jun 1981 (Age 29)
Birthplace: Grimsby, ON, Canada

Claim to Fame: Kevin Bieksa is a defenceman for the Vancouver Canucks.  The Vancouver Canucks are currently in the Stanley Cup finals battling the Boston Bruins.  Kevin was drafted by the Canucks in 2001 and has played for the team the past 6 seasons. We wish Kevin the best of luck!

Big Becky Drills Through Niagara Falls (video)


Big Becky, the worlds largest hard rock TBM (14.4m) breaks through into the grout tunnel in Niagara Falls, Canada. Becky has 290m left to tunnel before completing the mining stage of the Niagara Tunnel Project, which will supply water to the Sir Adam Beck Power Station.