Often, picturesque landmarks and structures that end up as focal points have lavish stories behind them. Old statues carry the weight of their subject matter’s tales; buildings encapsulate the vision of the architect and the toil of the workers.
For the gazebo in Queen’s Royal Park, the story is somewhat different. It was a movie prop.
Famous Gazebo & Movie Prop
Today the gazebo is a picturesque addition to the royal park, along the Niagara River and only a couple of blocks away from Niagara-on-the-lake’s commercial centre. It was built for use in the 1983 hit film The Dead Zone, adapted from the Stephen King novel and starring Christopher Walken. When filming wrapped in Ontario, the gazebo was donated to the town. It has been renovated since then for safety. Looking out over Lake Ontario, the gazebo is a popular site for proposals and public wedding ceremonies.
The park itself does have other stories. The land was originally the site of the Queen’s Royal Hotel, one of the most prestigious hotels in North America in the late 19th century and well-reputed as a playground for the rich and privileged. The hotel received guests including members of the royal family until it was demolished in the 1930s, hurt financially by a slump in tourism at the time. The grounds have been town property since then, and open to the public as parkland for almost as long.
Niagara-on-the-Lake Gathering Point
The park itself is a quiet pocket on the edge of Niagara-on-the-lake, on the shores of Lake Ontario, not far from where the Niagara River flows into the lake. It’s a small but open area of maintained grassland with walkways and tree cover, just a short walk from Niagara-on-the-lake’s town centre. The park is great for walkers and families to come and take in the views or just relax. It’s always open and there are picnic tables, washrooms and a parking lot to cover basic amenities. The walks and trails, mostly keeping close to the lakeshore, provide great views across the water to Niagara Falls New York. It’s a great backdrop to soak in, whether from the trails or the shelter of the gazebo.
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