With its cottage-style facade and kitsch outdoor statues – including a large moose just begging for photos –Souvenir City has an immediately engaging rustic feel. The shopping hub for tourists has been operating off the Niagara Parkway since it was a single building 25 years ago, and since then has grown into a hub of visitor activity.
The 15 000 square facility lives up to its name first and foremost, by offering a huge variety of trinkets, ornaments and collectibles as souvenirs for visitors to Canada. There’s a massive selection of quality goods for sale in the main shop. Another one of the hubs for interesting paraphernalia is the First Nations Craft Store, for something besides the standard tourist items. There’s a large selection of figurines and local jewellery alongside leather and wood works of art from Native American craftsmen.
The on-site marketplace, built around a food court, is always a hive of activity with a variety of meals to pick from. The most attention goes to the Fudge Factory, where the fudge is made fresh daily and on-site in over a dozen flavours – including unique seasonal fudges like Pumpkin Walnut. For anyone wanting a change of pace from fudge, the Fudge Factory leads into Chocolate World: one of the largest shops at the centre and a sweet tooth’s paradise, showcasing itself as featuring the ‘chocolates of the world’ – alongside maple syrups, ice wines and local preserves.
And finally, aside from the potential souvenirs themselves and the samples of free fudge, the main draw card of Souvenir City is the glassblowing – most tourists know about it before they arrive, and those who don’t will see samples of the glassblowing demonstrations on televisions around the facility. There’s nothing like seeing the glass shaped live, as the artisans of Rossi Glass craft their products while onlookers watch. Rossi Glass is a nationally renowned boutique manufacturer of glassware – as well as being the sole producers of a signature ‘cranberry glass’ made from 22 karat gold.
Souvenir City is one of Niagara Falls’ largest free tourists attractions, and features regularly on bus tours and various coupon offers for reduced process in the souvenir stores. There’s a variety of reasons to visit, whether for the glassblowing, the fudge or a photo with the giant moose.
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