Discover the Charm of Fort Erie, Ontario

Fort Erie, located in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada, holds historical significance as the site of Old Fort Erie, a pivotal location during the War of 1812. The town lies along Lake Erie and the Niagara River, directly across from Buffalo, New York, and is linked by various bridges, including the International Railway and Peace bridges.


Old Fort Erie, also known as Fort Erie National Historic Site of Canada, was the first British fort built in the area after the Seven Years' War. It was crucial in the War of 1812, witnessing battles and sieges between British and American forces.


Fort Erie served as a supply depot for British troops during the American Revolution. After the war, demobilized soldiers settled the town, leading to the establishment of Bertie Township in 1784.


Fort Erie became a significant terminus for slaves using the Underground Railroad between 1840 and 1860, with many crossing into Canada from Buffalo, New York. The area saw settlements like Ridgemount, known as "Little Africa," reflecting its role in aiding freedom seekers.


Modern Fort Erie:

Fort Erie is a rapidly growing community with substantial residential and commercial development. The town's commercial hub stretches east to west along Garrison Road.


The area is also home to various commercial cores, such as Bridgeburg, Ridgeway, Stevensville, and Crystal Beach, following the amalgamation of Bertie Township and the village of Crystal Beach with Fort Erie in 1970.


Old Fort Erie is a living museum that offers visitors a glimpse into its rich history through daily tours, musket demonstrations, and special events like the Siege of Old Fort Erie reenactment. The site is a National Historic Site of the War of 1812, attracting history enthusiasts and tourists alike.


The Welcome Centre at Old Fort Erie features interactive exhibits that delve into the fort's intriguing past, providing a comprehensive understanding of its historical significance. The site also hosts events like the annual Siege of Fort Erie Reenactment, showcasing its role as Canada's bloodiest battlefield.


Fort Erie, with its blend of historical significance and modern development, is a testament to its rich past and vibrant present, attracting visitors keen on exploring its heritage and natural beauty.


History of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Fort Erie has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. Here are the key events:

  • The British built the original Fort Erie in 1764 during Pontiac's Rebellion. It served as a supply depot and port for ships transporting goods, troops and passengers via Lake Erie to the Upper Great Lakes.
  • During the American Revolution, the fort was used as a base for British troops, Loyalist Rangers and Iroquois warriors.
  • In 1803, plans were made for a new, larger fort made of flintstone behind the original fort. However, it was not quite finished when the War of 1812 began.
  • During the War of 1812, Fort Erie witnessed some of the bloodiest battles. The Americans captured and abandoned the fort in 1812-1813, then recaptured it in 1814. The Americans held it for a time, breaking a prolonged British siege. They later destroyed Fort Erie and returned to Buffalo in 1814.
  • Between 1840-1860, Fort Erie became a major terminus for the Underground Railroad, with many slaves crossing into Canada from Buffalo, New York.
  • In 1866, during the Fenian raids, between 1,000-1,500 Fenians occupied the town, demanding food and horses. They fought the Battle of Ridgeway and the Battle of Fort Erie before retreating to the U.S.
  • The fort lay vacant until it was sold to the Niagara Parks Commission in 1901. Reconstruction began in 1937 and was restored to the 1812-1814 period, officially reopening on July 1, 1939.


Today, Old Fort Erie is a living museum, offering visitors a glimpse into its rich history through tours, demonstrations, and reenactments. The fort's strategic location and role in key historical events have made it an important part of Canada's heritage.


Geography of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Fort Erie, located in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada, boasts a diverse geography, including flat terrain with low sand hills ranging from 2 to 15 meters tall. Situated at the southern entrance of the Niagara River and along the shores of Lake Erie, Fort Erie's strategic location has played a crucial role in its historical development and modern significance.


The town's proximity to Buffalo, New York, and its picturesque lakeshore have made it a favoured destination for wealthy Americans, leading to the construction of grand summer residences along the Lake Erie lakeshore. 


Additionally, Fort Erie is home to Crystal Beach Park, which occupied waterfront land until its closure in 1989, adding to the town's recreational and historical allure.


Fort Erie's transportation infrastructure is well-developed, with key highways like the Queen Elizabeth Way connecting the town to Niagara and Buffalo, New York. 


The International Railway Bridge, constructed in 1873, further enhanced transportation links between Fort Erie and Buffalo, facilitating cross-border travel and trade.


Water plays a significant role in Fort Erie's geography, with the town situated at the outlet of Lake Erie into the Niagara River. 


The lake and river serve as a playground for various watercraft, including personal yachts, sailboats, and power boats, adding to the town's scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. 


A marina at Miller's Creek on the Niagara River and a boat launch ramp in Crystal Beach cater to water enthusiasts, highlighting Fort Erie's connection to maritime activities.


Fort Erie's geography, characterized by its flat terrain, sand hills, proximity to water bodies, and well-connected transportation networks, contributes to its historical significance, modern development, and appeal as a vibrant community in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada.


Demographics of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Fort Erie, a town in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada, has a diverse population and rich history. As of the 2021 Census, the town's population is 32,901, representing a 7.1% increase from the 2016 population of 30,710. 


The town's land area spans 166.24 square kilometres, resulting in a population density of 197.9 people per square kilometre.


Ethnic Diversity:

Fort Erie's population reflects a mix of ethnicities, with visible minority groups making up a significant portion. According to the 2021 Census, the town is home to:

  • South Asian residents account for 0.8% of the population.
  • Chinese residents make up 1.2% of the population.
  • Black residents represent 1% of the population.
  • Filipino residents account for 0.2% of the population.
  • Latin American residents make up 1.4% of the population.


Income and Employment:

The median household income in Fort Erie was $60,800 in 2015, below the Ontario provincial average of $74,287. The total income among recipients in 2020 was $47,160, with an average after-tax income of $40,600. The employment rate in Fort Erie was 46.4%, with an unemployment rate of 15.4%.


Housing and Education:

As of 2021, Fort Erie had 15,875 private dwellings, 14,081 occupied by usual residents. The average value of dwellings in Fort Erie was $574,000, with average monthly shelter costs for owned dwellings at $1,267 and for rented dwellings at $1,073.


Labour Force:

The labour force in Fort Erie is diverse, with major industries including educational services, health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The labour force participation rate was 54.8%, with an employment rate of 46.4% and an unemployment rate of 15.4%.


Fort Erie's demographics reflect its growth as a community, with a diverse population, a strong economy, and a range of services and amenities catering to its residents.


Economy of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

The economy of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, is characterized by significant growth and diverse economic activities. Here are key points about the town's economy based on the provided sources:

  • Fort Erie is experiencing substantial economic growth, making it an attractive opportunity for real estate investment.
  • The region focuses on long-term economic development opportunities, including infrastructure and tourism, supported by provincial funding.
  • The town's economy is diverse, with various industries providing employment opportunities. Major sectors include business, finance, administration, health, education, law, social services, arts, culture, recreation, sport, sales, service, trades, transportation, manufacturing, and more.
  • In terms of income, the average total income among recipients in 2020 was $47,160, with an average after-tax income of $40,600. The average total income of households in 2020 was $91,400, with an average after-tax income of $78,700.
  • The town's labour force, aged 15 years and over, is engaged in various industries, with an employment rate of 46.4%, an unemployment rate of 15.4%, and a participation rate of 54.8%.
  • Fort Erie's housing market is also notable, with the average value of dwellings at $574,000. The average monthly shelter costs for owned dwellings were $1,267, and for rented dwellings, they were $1,073.


Fort Erie's economy is dynamic, with a growing market, diverse industries, and a focus on long-term economic development to support growth and job opportunities in the region.


Education in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Education in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, is supported by various institutions offering a range of programs to cater to diverse educational needs. One notable institution in Fort Erie is the Academy of Learning Career College (AOLCC), which provides over 30 diploma and certificate programs. 


These programs allow individuals to choose careers that align with their interests and goals. AOLCC emphasizes creating a safe and supportive learning environment, ensuring students balance their education with work and other responsibilities.


For those interested in pursuing education at AOLCC without a high school diploma or GED, the college offers opportunities for individuals to start their educational journey regardless of their educational background. The institution's personalized learning approach, practical experience, and community support contribute to a fulfilling educational experience for students in Fort Erie.


Additionally, AOLCC Fort Erie offers financial aid options to eligible students, including funding programs like Better Jobs Ontario, Canada Ontario Job Grant, Education Line of Credit, and Payment Plans, making education more accessible and affordable for individuals seeking to enhance their skills and career prospects. 


The institution's commitment to providing individual assistance, practical experience, and a friendly learning environment underscores its dedication to helping students succeed in their chosen career paths in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.


Transport System in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

The transportation system in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, offers various options for residents and visitors to travel within and around the town. Here are some key aspects based on the provided sources:

  • Local Transportation Services: Fort Erie provides local transportation services, including options like A Touch of Class Car Service for limos, airport shuttles, and New Boyz Transportation for taxis. These services offer convenient ways to move around the town.
  • Public Transit: The town of Fort Erie operates a public transit system to facilitate local commuting. The transit system aims to provide accessible and efficient transportation services for residents and visitors within the town.
  • Connection to Toronto: Multiple transportation options are available for those travelling between Toronto and Fort Erie. These include buses, trains, and driving, with varying travel times and costs. The bus is recommended as the best option, offering a convenient and cost-effective option.
  • Innovative On-Demand Transit System: Fort Erie has implemented an on-demand transit system, transitioning from a fixed-route bus system to a more flexible and efficient service using smaller vehicles like minivans. This system has shown increased ridership, decreased operating costs, and reduced emissions, making it a successful and sustainable transportation solution for the town.


Fort Erie's transportation system encompasses a mix of local services, public transit options, and innovative solutions like the on-demand transit system, providing residents and visitors with convenient and efficient ways to travel within the town and to neighbouring areas like Toronto.


Living in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, offers a blend of historical charm, modern amenities, and a vibrant community. Here are some key points based on the provided sources:

  • Historical Significance: Fort Erie is historically significant as the site of Old Fort Erie, a pivotal location during the War of 1812. The town's history includes being a major terminus for slaves using the Underground Railroad between 1840 and 1860, reflecting its role in aiding freedom seekers.
  • Geographical Appeal: Situated at the southern entrance of the Niagara River and along the shores of Lake Erie, Fort Erie boasts a diverse geography with flat terrain, sand hills, and proximity to water bodies, offering scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.
  • Economic Growth: Fort Erie is experiencing significant economic growth, making it an attractive opportunity for real estate investment. The town's diverse economy and various industries providing employment opportunities contribute to its growth and development.
  • Transportation: The town offers local transportation services, public transit options, and an innovative on-demand transit system, ensuring convenient and efficient travel within Fort Erie and to neighbouring areas like Toronto
  • Community and Amenities: Fort Erie is a fast-growing community with high residential and commercial development levels. The town features commercial core areas like Bridgeburg, Ridgeway, Stevensville, and Crystal Beach, offering various services and 


Living in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada provides a unique blend of historical heritage, natural beauty, economic opportunities, and a welcoming community, making it an appealing place to call home.


Healthcare in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Healthcare in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, is provided through various organizations and services. Here are some key points:

  • The Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) offers healthcare services in northern Ontario, including Fort Albany. WAHA provides quality holistic healthcare services that reflect both Western and traditional approaches to medicine.
  • The First Nations and Inuit Health Office in Fort Frances, located about 2 hours west of Fort Erie, provides community health services and assistance with non-insured health benefits to eligible First Nations and Inuit people. Services include prevention programs, communicable disease control, maternal and child health care, chronic disease monitoring, care of the elderly, school health programs, and environmental health.
  • The First Nations and Inuit Health Office also helps access extended health benefits such as dental care, medical transportation, medical equipment, medications, mental health counselling, short-term crisis intervention, and vision care.
  • Fort Erie is served by the Niagara Health System, which operates hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the Niagara Region. The nearest hospital to Fort Erie is Greater Niagara General Hospital in Niagara Falls, about a 30-minute drive away.
  • Local clinics, family physicians, and other healthcare providers in Fort Erie also support healthcare services and work to meet the community's needs.


Tourist places in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, is a town rich in history, natural beauty, and entertainment options, making it an attractive tourist destination. Here are some of the top tourist places to visit in Fort Erie:

  1. Old Fort Erie: A historical tourist attraction built in 1764 by the British during the Pontiac rebellion, Old Fort Erie is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
  2. Mather Park: Mather Park is a popular destination for outdoor activities and relaxation.
  3. Bay Beach: This beach, located in Ridgeway, is a favourite among visitors looking for a day of sun, sand, and water activities.
  4. Safari Niagara: For a thrilling experience, Safari Niagara is a great option. It offers a drive-through wildlife park where visitors can see animals up close.
  5. Mather Arch: This picturesque arch is a popular spot for photography and relaxation.
  6. Fort Erie Historical Museum: This is a great place to learn about the town's history and heritage.
  7. Waverly Beach Park: This park offers a range of outdoor activities and stunning views of Lake Erie.
  8. Windmill Point: Windmill Point is scenic for nature lovers and those looking for a peaceful getaway.


Fort Erie's attractions and entertainment options cater to various interests, from history and nature to thrill and relaxation. The town's picturesque location along the Niagara River and Lake Erie adds to its appeal, making it an ideal destination for tourists.


Local Food of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

The local food scene in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, offers diverse culinary experiences for residents and visitors. Here are some popular local food options based on the provided sources:

  1. Green Acres Family Restaurant: Known for Canadian cuisine, this restaurant offers a taste of local flavours in Fort Erie.
  2. Barrel Pizza Parlour & Spaghetti House: This restaurant is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. It specializes in Italian and pizza dishes.
  3. M&J's Restaurant: A staple in Fort Erie known for its famous broasted chicken, M&J's Restaurant offers a unique and delicious local food experience. In addition to their broasted chicken, they serve some of the best breakfast, lunch, and dinner items in town, making it a must-visit spot for those looking to savour local flavours.
  4. Local Breweries: Fort Erie boasts small-batch breweries that make it easy to drink like a local. These offer a taste of craft beers and ales brewed with all-natural ingredients.
  5. House of Parm: Celebrity chef Matty Matheson's hometown joint serves up old-school Italian comfort food, specializing in chicken, veal, and eggplant parmesan. It provides a taste of authentic Italian cuisine in Fort Erie.
  6. Mexican Eatery & Tequileria: This eatery offers a fun and lively vibe along with delicious Mexican dishes for those craving Mexican flavours.
  7. Farm to Beach: Shaka Farm to Beach offers healthy bites and good vibes with smoothies, bowls, sandwiches, and more. Its offerings showcase fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
  8. Italian Restaurant: True Italian cooking using fresh ingredients, handmade pasta, pizza, bread, and desserts, offering an authentic taste of Italy in Fort Erie.


These local food establishments in Fort Erie provide a diverse culinary landscape, allowing residents and visitors to explore and enjoy a variety of flavours, from Canadian and Italian cuisine to Mexican dishes and craft beers. They showcase the town's vibrant food scene.


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