This is the place where I settled when I came to Canada with a German company. Fort Erie is a small border town with approximately 30 000 people, directly located on Lake Erie and the Niagara River. For me the attractions were the Old Fort, Lake Erie and the people. Tourists come also for Chinese food, the slots and the race track to bet on horses. Tourism became very important for this town.
Fort Erie and Crystal Beach which is part of Greater Fort Erie have some beautiful sandy beaches. The town did lots of improvements and they are a great attraction in summer. The only disappointment is the "Ontario Welcome Centre" which is completely deserted.
Waverly Beach in Fort Erie is a good example. Even when you do not want to go swimming stop there and enjoy a leisurely short walk
Waverly Beach in Fort Erie
Please do not expect that swimming is always allowed. Occasionally certain beaches are closed because of too high levels of e-collie bacteria. I am living now for almost 30 years in this area and nothing happened to clean up the mess except fruitless talks.
Other developed countries did a much better job and they were not afraid to force people living close to lakes or rivers to get connected to a proper sewage system. Why should many people suffer because of a few individuals?
At the beach in Crystal Beach which is part of Fort Erie
I hope this beach will remain open to the public
It was a wise decision to get my first impressions of Canada here. We lived in a great peaceful neighborhood and we had lots of fun to exchange culture on a small level. So many things of daily live were different. I never experienced such a friendliness before. Practicing our German style of life, me and some German colleagues were soon called the "The crazy Germans", but this did not offend us, we just laughed about it and proceeded going swimming in April, having a beer for breakfast, ordering a large pizza for every person etc. We were surprised about the size of a portion but we did not give in, we showed to Canadians what a good German can do!
We loved the Canadian style of pizza which was completely different to the original Italian pizza at this time - thick crust and lots of toppings. We enjoyed "Veal Parmesan", steaks, baked potatoes, pop in pitchers, the country music, the shopping malls, the possibility to shop until night and on weekends and much, much more.
I went with our Canadian friends to Buffalo for shopping because we could save some money at that time and I worked normally six days a week.
We had great family parties around the swimming pool. Another German company established a subsidiary within the borders of Fort Erie and we shared our experience and had more fun. It was a good time, even when we had long work days and could not travel very much.
We took mostly advantage of things which our area had to offer.
We tried baseball, we went swimming or wind surfing in Lake Erie, listened to concerts from the Legion band, went biking - me with a motor bike, participated in local festivities, did sightseeing etc.
An attraction was always a ride along the Niagara River to Niagara-on-the-Lake and natural the falls itself.
We enjoyed the "Friendship Festival" between Canada and the USA. It started out very small, today it is a big commercial event. Others went to the race tracks. For doll collectors we recommended a visit of "Mildred M. Mahoney Doll's Gallery".
Today the "Friendship Festival" is completely different. It has now an air show, many vendors and bands from many places.
Just visit Fort Erie and look around.
The old fort is certainly the main attraction. There were many exciting events which had a historical background. Please use the installed links to get some impressions of what I enjoyed.
Unfortunately, certain things changed in the meantime.
In summer do not miss the beaches!
The "Friendship Festival" includes now normally an air show. Unfortunately, we had to witness once a deadly crash into the lake.
At the "Friendship Festival"
At the "Friendship Festival"
One of the events at the old Fort
The entrance to the race track and to the slot machines
Wind surfers considered Fort Erie as one of the best places to practice this sport - even when they had to walk occasionally for many kilometers because they could not get back to their starting point.
Some of our visitors purchased even bicycles here just to bike along the Niagara River on a newly built bicycle path. Another one - a hiking fanatic - walked on a weekend from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie. No wonder that our Canadian friends where convinced that all Germans are crazy!
Fort Erie includes also Ridgeway, Crystal Beach and Stevensville. Crystal Beach was known at this time for its amusement park. Investors tore it town and built exclusive homes instead. But more investment is required to revitalize this part of Fort Erie. Many local people feel still sorry about the disappearance of the amusement park.
A demonstration in old Fort (Many thanks for the picture)
I loved the various event which took place in Fort Erie. Unfortunately, most of them were so poorly advertised that not too many people came to watch them. Despite that I met occasionally still visitors from Europe. They loved it.
I am sure that the tourism related business would appreciate people staying for few days in this little town to explore the beautiful surroundings.
Unfortunately, some events already died, such as the highland games which were a huge attraction. I am very disappointed about the responsible tourism "experts".
In this event the English were fighting against the Scots
Unfortunately, most of these great events are very poorly advertised
Every year on a weekend in August the siege of Fort Erie by British troops is being brought back to live. Don't miss this colorfully event - visit Fort Erie and stay over night. Many volunteers make this spectacle unforgettable. Don't forget your camera and your cam corder. Use the installed link to our web site which provides more information including a video.
Fort Erie played also an essential part in the so called "Freedom Trail" or "Underground Railroad".
A group of people helped black slaves to flee from the USA to Canada. They brought them to our country by following the "North Star" and crossing the "Niagara River".
To attract tourists from the USA Fort Erie has a variety of bingo halls, Chinese restaurants, a race track and for those who like it - striptease bars.
Please be aware that many Canadians volunteer to raise money in bingo halls for good purposes, such as retirement homes, hospitals etc. If you lose money - don't be angry - some of it goes always to charitable organizations.
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Watch the video: Die Belagerung von Fort Erie. The siege of Fort Erie.
Many thanks to all the participants and the organizers.
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