Museums & Interpretive Centres
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Niagara Historical Society Museum
Established in 1895, the Niagara Historical Society is dedicated to understanding the history of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The most important aspect of the work of the Society is the maintenance of the Museum collection which began in 1896 and is one of Ontario's most important collections. Plan a visit to the Niagara Historical Society Museum to discover the unique stories of historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. Located 20km north of Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake provided a new home for refugees, was the capital of Upper Canada, was in the middle of a war zone and visited by millions as a place of recreation for over 100 years; these stories play a major role in the development of Canada.
A visit to the Museum will allow you to see "Our Story" the permanent exhibition chronicling life in Niagara-on-the-Lake over the past 10,000 years, exploring the town's unique history and the Museum's unparalleled collection. See history through the eyes of those who came before us.
The Museum's temporary exhibition gallery changes on a regular basis and allows the Museum to showcase many of the significant artifacts in the Museum collection or traveling exhibitions from other institutions (check out our website for what is currently on display in this gallery).
May - October 10 - 5 daily
November - April 1 - 5 daily
The museum is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
The Gift Shop and Research Room are open the same hours as the Museum.
(see interactive Google Map at bottom of page)
1. Take QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) - follow signs for Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie, over Garden City Skyway in St. Catharines
2. Take the Regional Road 89/Glendale Avenue S exit
3. Merge onto Glendale Ave/Regional Road 89
4. Turn right onto Taylor Rd/Regional Road 70
5. Continue onto Niagara Stone Rd (becomes Mississauga St.
6. Turn right onto Mary St/Regional Road 87 (signs for Mary Street)
7. Turn left onto King St
8. Take the 2nd right onto Castlereagh St
Destination will be on the left
43 Castlereagh St
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
1. Take QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) towards Toronto
2. Take exit 34 for Regional Road 101/Mountain Road
3. Turn right onto Mountain Rd/Regional Road 101 (signs for Mountain Road E)
4. Turn left onto St Paul Ave/Regional Road 49
5. Continue onto Four Mile Creek Rd/Regional Road 100
6. Turn right onto York Rd/Regional Road 81 (signs for Queenston)
7. Turn left onto Niagara Pkwy
8. Continue onto Queens Parade
9. Turn left onto Wellington St
10. Continue onto Castlereagh St
Destination will be on the right
43 Castlereagh St
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
COMMUNITY TripClip Audio File
Click to play or download Niagara Historical Society Museum TripClip (mp3 format)
This destination is also part of the TripClip tour 'Relax 'INN' Niagara'
This page originally contributed by Deanna Welsh, December 2009; revised by the webmaster in September 2011.
The Niagara Historical Society owns and operates the museum and its collection. Its role is to provide the people of Niagara-on-the-Lake with a sense of its past history and how it impacts the present we live in. The Society was established in 1895 to foster an appreciation of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Publishing, researching, collecting, educating and providing access to this knowledge is what drives the Society in its work. The Society has long been a leader in community education about the fascinating history of Niagara and advocating for controlled and thoughtful development of the community
Educator and first museum president Janet Carnochan tirelessly collected and wrote about the history of the community. As a result, the Society has published or been the key contributor for over 50 books. The Museum's Gift Shop contains a selection of available Society publications.
Within a year of the Society’s founding, the first president, Janet Carnochan, recognized the need to collect materials from the history of Niagara and preserve them for future generations. The Museum contains one of Ontario’s most important local history collections. Containing artifacts from native settlement to the present day, the Museum is home to over 8,000 artifacts, 40,000 documents, 2,500 photographs and 600 books.
Originally housed in the Courthouse, the Museum moved to its present location in 1907. The collection was housed first in Memorial Hall, Ontario’s oldest museum building, and now designated by the Ontario Heritage Trust as a site of provincial significance. Designed by W.B.Allan of St. Catharines and based on drawings by Walter S. Allward, this two-storey building with full attic has been unaltered since its construction in 1906. The foundation of the building is constructed from coursed rubble, reported to have been obtained from the ruins of the Indian Council House and Hospital (built in 1816/17 and destroyed by fire in 1881) on the Common
In the 1940s the Society took over the 1875 High School building next door and then joined the two buildings in the 1970s with the Link Building to create a facility that is very sympathetic to its surroundings. Consult the Architectural Guide to the Museum for more details on the building's history and significance.
Niagara Historical Society Museum - http://niagarahistorical.museum/index.html
Niagara Historical Society Museum Facebook page: www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=2361831622#%21/group.php?gid=2246378451