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About Fort Erie

Fort Erie (2011 population 29,960) is a town on the Niagara River in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. It is located directly across the river from Buffalo, New York.

Fort Erie is one of the fastest growing communities in Niagara.

It has experienced a high level of residential and commercial development in the past few years. Garrison Road (Niagara Regional Road 3) is the town's commercial corridor, stretching east to west through Fort Erie.

Fort Erie is also home to a number of other commercial core areas (Bridgeburg, Ridgeway, Stevensville and Crystal Beach) as a result of the 1970 amalgamation of the latter three municipalities with Fort Erie proper.

Geography

The town's beaches on Lake Erie, most notably Crystal Beach and Bay Beach, are considered the best in the area and draw many weekend recreationists from the Toronto and Buffalo areas. While summers are enjoyable, winters can occasionally be fierce, with many snowstorms, whiteouts and winds whipping off Lake Erie.

History

Modern settlement of the area was established when a British military fort, Fort Erie, was constructed in 1764. During the American Revolution it was used as a supply depot for British troops. When the War of 1812 started, the troops stationed at Fort Erie were caught off guard due to the fort being in the middle of rebuilding. The Americans held it for a time, fending off two British attacks. Later they destroyed Fort Erie and returned to Buffalo in the winter of 1814. The ruins remained until they were rebuilt through a depression era "work program" project, as a tourist attraction in 1939.

The current "Dolls House Museum", located on the Niagara River near downtown Fort Erie (Bridgeburg Station), was a supposed hiding place on the Underground Railroad for fugitive slaves in the 1800s.

On August 7, 1927 the Peace Bridge was opened between Fort Erie and Buffalo.

The historic Point Abino lighthouse was built by the Canadian government in 1918. The lighthouse was automated in 1989. Since its decommissioning in 1995, the Point Abino Lighthouse was designated as a National Historic Site. The lighthouse is now owned by the Town of Fort Erie and is available for tours while renovations are ongoing. Fort Erie is also the hometown of local celebrity "Diamond" Dave Austin.

Communities

In addition to the primary urban core of Fort Erie, the town also contains the neighbourhoods of Amigari Downs, Bay Beach, Black Creek, Bridgeburg/North End/Victoria, Buffalo Heights, Crescent Park, Crystal Beach, Douglastown, Edgewood Park, Erie Beach, Garrison Village, Mulgrave, Oakhill Forest, Point Abino, Ridgemount, Ridgeway, Ridgewood, Rose Hill Estates, Snyder, Stevensville, Thunder Bay, Walden, Wavecrest and Waverly Beach.

Erie Beach is a designated place in Canadian census data, which had a population of 199 in 2006.

Culture

Horse racing

Fort Erie Race Track has hosted live thoroughbred racing since 1897. Widely regarded as one of North America's most picturesque tracks, it has been home to the second jewel in Canada's Triple Crown of Racing since 1959.
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Rods and Relics Car Show

An annual car show hosted by the Rods and Relics Car Club of Fort Erie that is usually held on a Sunday in the middle of June. The show always has an excellent turn-out and the proceeds support local charities. The event takes place on the south-east grounds of the Fort Erie Race Track.

Friendship Festival

The Friendship Festival is a week-long international celebration of the culture and heritage shared by Canada and the USA. The Friendship Festival occurs during the first week of July and celebrates both Canada Day and Independence Day. The events held both in Fort Erie, ON and in Buffalo, NY include free concerts and a spectacular fireworks display on July 1 highlighting the two national holidays. Other activities include arts, crafts, children's entertainment, heritage and cultural displays, and a midway.
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Siege of Fort Erie

The Siege of Fort Erie is a historical re-enactment of the famous 1814 battle, which takes place during the second weekend of August. This siege was the bloodiest battle fought on Canadian soil and is vividly recreated every year.
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