Of the various parklands in southern Ontario and the township of Niagara Falls, few are better positioned than Queen Victoria Park. Not only is the parkland in a central location within the town of Niagara Falls, providing an easy-access patch of nature, and it runs along one of the premier vantage points for the iconic waterfalls themselves.
Running along the Niagara Gorge in a 3 kilometre (2 mile) stretch, the gardens are a pleasant and relaxed environment stretching from the main tourist hubs adjacent to the falls, and meandering north along to the Oakes Gardens Theatre at Clifton Hill.
The gardens have existed as official parkland since 1888, opening to the public on May 24 – Queen Victoria’s birthday. The city has blossomed since then, and little has changed with the park itself in the past century. The parkland is open and inviting, perfect for picnics and family activities accompanied by the steady sound of the nearby falls.
While most of the parkland is open and grassy, there’s a variety of floral features on display as well. The gardens are regularly maintained and many of the floral displays change regularly with seasonal bedding.
In spring the theme is the official flower of the City of Niagara Falls: daffodils. At least half a million of them, flowering all through the parkland’s displays.
Summer provides a spectrum of colour with lantanas and fuchsias in ornamental carpet bedding. In fall the focal flowers shift to chrysanthemums and more modest plants. When winter arrives, the freezing mist comes in from the falls comes in, creating a less colourful and nonetheless visually striking environment to enjoy in the colder months.
The Queen Victoria Parkland is only one of several prominent parks in Niagara – in fact, it is grouped with other sites in a sequence of public gardens known as the Niagara Garden Trail, including the floral clock in Queenstown and the Botanical Gardens north of Niagara Falls. Queen Victoria Park is among the eldest of the official parklands, and the one most connected to the regular lives of the Niagara Falls locals. From families enjoying a Sunday picnic to a local festival or public event, the park is the heart of Niagara and a feature of the city that is designed to complement both the urban centre of Niagara and the visual spectacle of Niagara itself.
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