In June of 1812, Canada was not a sovereign nation yet, but a strong defence was needed to thwart attacks from the newly independent United States. Grievances centred on continuous arguments with Britain about economic issues.
The Niagara region at that time was a strategic hub as headquarters of the British Army, the Upper Canadian Militia and the Six Nations Warriors, all under the command of General Isaac Brock. As the Americans struck, this Niagara frontier became a war zone of casualties, hardships, and bloody battles that included such iconic events as the Battle of Queenston Heights; seven months of American occupation in Canada; the death of General Brock; the burning of Niagara; the burning of the White House in Washington; the Battle of New Orleans; and from an American prisoner, the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. In the end, almost three years later, a truce was reached and while hundreds of families were torn apart, Upper Canada was duly preserved.
This year marks the beginning of the bicentennial commemoration for the War of 1812 with a full slate of events, re-enactments and celebrations planned. So in addition to the beauty of the Falls, plus world-class theatre at the annual Shaw Festival, and the hospitality at 50 celebrated wineries, this year is an opportunity to more fully envision a pretty big slice of our history.
To ensure such rewards during your visit, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Bed & Breakfast Association has initiated its Ambassador of Peace program, where certified establishments are now fully informed about the historical facts and local events taking place in and around the area. For example, the Globetrotters B&B/Gallery will not only give you a warm welcome, comfy luxury, and a delicious home-cooked breakfast in their showcase of local art – but the owners are now a reliable source for War of 1812 information which will likely be needed for guests from all over the world.