Clifton Hill and a bit of Gambling

Yesterday morning my last full day in Niagara Falls, Ontario, had arrived. After a packed schedule the day before that had included a wonderful presentation at the Imax Theatre, my up-close encounter with the Great Falls at the Journey Behind the Falls and an entertaining show at the Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Theatre, I got ready for another full day of explorations in Niagara Falls.

View of the Kilpatrick Manor B&B

 

I already got a great start to the day when Kevin Kilpatrick, the gourmet chef and co-owner of Kilpatrick Manor, prepared an absolutely scrumptious breakfast for me: after a delicious fresh fruit platter with yoghurt and freshly made banana bread I feasted on “breakfast ravioli”, one of Kevin’s unique culinary inventions. This light yet tasty breakfast dish features scrambled eggs, bacon and old cheddar cheese surrounded by thinly rolled out pasta and a home made tomato sauce with garlic, white wine and leeks. Kevin, with his gregarious and outgoing manner, sat down with me and kept me entertained with stories from his international hospitality adventures in France when he and wife Nance were managing a large chalet in the French Alps.

Niagara Falls’ Skylon Tower, with the Illumination Tower in front

 

After this great start I rushed out to take my rental vehicle back to Budget Rent-A-Car since my husband was coming in from Toronto to join me in Niagara Falls. Although I had driven only 78 kilometers in two days, my little Toyota Yaris had served me extremely well in getting around Niagara Falls at a reasonable price.

View of the American Falls on a crisp sunny day

 

On this sunny yet very cold day we started with a nice walk at the foot of Clifton Hill, strolling westwards along the Niagara Parkway towards the Canadian Horshehoe Falls. A brilliant blue sky bathed the Niagara River in bright light, and some of the metal railings next to the walkway were covered in sparkling ice formations from the mist that is formed by the Horseshoe Falls. Dozens of other tourists were also taking a noon-time walk and were snapping pictures of their friends and families against the backdrop of the mighty Niagara Falls.

Frozen mist

 

Our real destination for today was the Clifton Hill area – Niagara Fall’s main tourist promenade. Clifton Hill, the street, extends from the Niagara Parkway next to the Niagara River to Victoria Avenue on top of the hill and features dozens of restaurants, gift shops, fast food outlets, hotels and various attractions such as haunted houses, wax museums and other tourist entertainment. This popular tourist trap is often packed to the gills with people strolling up and down, soaking in the boisterous carnival atmosphere of this area.

Louis Toussaud’s Waxworks

 

Clifton Hill has a long-standing history as an entertainment area: hotels have been in existence here since the late 1800s. During the 1920s this area developed into a popular tourist destination and several additional inns and tourist camps were constructed nearby over the next few decades. Since the 1960s several museums have been built, which include the Houdini Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Wax Museum, the House of Frankenstein, the Guiness World Records Museum, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and several others.

Ripley’s Moving Theater and House of Frankenstein

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