Tag: hamilton

    In Memory of Henry Muller

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    From HoudiniMuseum.org

    Henry Muller, cofounder of the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame, a public museum and tourist attraction operated in Niagara Falls, Canada, from 1968 to 1995, died on Feb. 28 in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 86 years old.

    Here’s Henry’s official obituary, reproduced from YourLifeMoments…

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    World record set in Niagara Falls

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Fast Eddy McDonald is no one trick pony.

    The 49-year-old Hamilton man was in Niagara Falls Thursday in an attempt to break Guinness World Record for the most hop the fence yo-yo tricks in one minute.

    On his second attempt, McDonald completed 145 tricks, breaking the existing record of 144 repetitions set in July 2008 in the United Kingdom.

    “My arm feels like Jello now,” he told the crowd gathered at the entrance to the Guinness World Records Museum on Clifton Hill.

    Hope for shuttered Hotel Niagara


    From the Niagara Gazette:

    If the building’s owner has his way, an historic hotel that has languished for years in downtown Niagara Falls will be reopened by next summer.

    Hamilton, Ont., developer Harry Stinson said Monday design work on his plan for a new-look Hotel Niagara is nearly completed and he’s expecting interior demolition to begin on site next month.

    Whale of a police escort for U.S.-bound killer whale

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    From the Toronto Star:

    Ikaika the killer whale was escorted out of the country in a procession worthy of a head of state.

    A witness said he counted at least 14 Niagara Regional Police cruisers, with lights flashing, two transport trucks and a crane slowly escorting the 9-year-old male orca from Marineland toward Hamilton airport on the QEW on Saturday evening.

    John (Ringo) Beam, manager of Rempel Maximum Ice Services in Niagara Falls, said he joked to some of the orca’s escorts that the procession from the amusement park around 9 p.m. seemed a tad excessive.

    “I said, ‘It’s a whale, not a head of state,’” Beam said Sunday. “It was overkill.”

    The departure of Ikaika, also called “Ike,” comes at the end of a nasty custody dispute between the Marineland amusement park in Niagara Falls and SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.

    Marineland’s last-ditch effort to get injunction to keep killer whale fails

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Lawyers for Marineland hoped an 11th hour temporary injunction would block the return of one of its two killer whales to SeaWorld Friday.

    The injunction, however, was denied by a U.S. district court judge and that led to the dramatic transport of the 1,815-kilogram killer whale Ikaika Saturday night.

    More than a dozen police cars, a crane and a number of transport trucks arrived at the Niagara Falls amusement park just after 6 p.m. Floodlights and the crane could be seen from the road as workers removed the male killer whale and lowered him into a waiting transport truck container filled with cold water. Two hours later, the convoy left for Hamilton, where the nine-year-old whale was loaded into a cargo plane outfitted with a holding tank. Ikaika was flown to California and to SeaWorld San Diego, where he was lowered back into a tank Sunday morning.

    “The animal was attended to by vets and other zoological professionals throughout the process,” Fred Jacobs, a spokesman for the Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, wrote in an email.

    Magic show preview: The trick to a good magic show

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    This isn’t specifically Niagara Falls-related, but it does pertain to Greg Frewin, so I figured I’d include it. Besides, it has some nice background information about him.

    From Canada.com:

    Greg Frewin got his first magic kit when he was seven years old. It was nothing fancy, just a bunch of simple magic tricks, a magic hat and other paraphernalia to instruct budding magicians about the art of magic. His parents ordered the kit after he saw it advertised on television. Frewin spent hours entertaining his friends in his hometown of Hamilton.

    But it wasn’t until he was 12 and his grandfather took him to Toronto to see Canadian magician Doug Henning that Frewin truly became spellbound.

    “Doug had a big illusion show, and after seeing that show, I told my grandfather that’s what I want to do, I want to be a magician,” said Frewin, 44, in a telephone interview from Niagara Falls, Ont., where he lives and performs. He performs Friday and Saturday at the Theatre du Casino du Lac-Leamy.

    “Up until that point I had never seen a magician do a full, big illusion show on stage. For the most part I had seen the magic tricks my grandfather had shown me and what was in the magic kit. When I saw Henning’s show it was a whole new world, I didn’t know it was something that people did.

    Auction of former Hotel Niagara goes to Vancouver bidder for $1.25 million

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    From the Buffalo News:

    A 30-year-old Vancouver man placed the winning $1.25 million bid for the former Hotel Niagara at an auction Tuesday.

    Jamil Kara said he plans to turn the 12-story building at Rainbow Boulevard and First Street downtown into a boutique hotel and condominiums.

    Kara, who was one of 10 qualified bidders, said that he has been in the condo and hotel business for about seven years and that his development group owns several high-rises in the British Columbia city.

    He said he also was involved in the Film Work Lofts, a recently completed project in Hamilton, Ont.

    New tourism boss dons ‘the crown jewel’

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    There’s a new captain at the helm of Niagara Falls Tourism.

    And he’s no stranger to stormy seas. Joe Fardell, the agency’s new managing director, has come full circle in his 25-year career, having started working for a charter bus operator here in the mid 1980s.

    Originally from Hamilton, Fardell has worked both in management and as a consultant, and has held a number of prominent positions, including that of president of Tourism Calgary.

    While he has enjoyed getting to know the diverse communities to which his career has taken him, Fardell said he has always wanted to return to his southern Ontario roots.

    For someone in whose expertise is marketing premiere destinations to the world, Fardell said there’s no better place to be than the Honeymoon Capital to take his career to the next level.

    Barrels used by daredevils on display in Niagara Falls exhibit

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    From the Canadian Press (via Yahoo! Canada Travel):

    Twenty-five years after stuntman Karel Soucek survived his trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel, a new exhibit highlights the daredevils who have been drawn to the site.

    Soucek, from Hamilton, suffered only minor injuries in his plunge on July 2, 1984. He died, however, about six months later after a barrel-drop stunt at the Houston Astrodome.

    The exhibit, which opened last month in the lobby of the city’s Imax theatre, features Soucek’s red barrel and seven others used by daredevils ranging from Annie Taylor (a school teacher who went over in 1901) to Steve Trotter (a bartender who did it twice, the last time in 1995).

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