Tag: maple leaf village

    CLOSEUP: Casino Niagara turns 20

    No Comments

    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Some were fearful and skeptical.

    Others excited and optimistic.

    Wayne Thomson, mayor at the time, was caught in the middle, trying to convince the former group to join the latter.

    “I was a little nervous about running again for mayor,” says the current Niagara Falls city councillor.

    “But I came out extremely strong (reelected mayor by acclamation). In fact, I still remember one ad. I was full length, standing along the one side of the Review, talking about getting a casino and voting for the referendum.”

    In November 1994, 64 per cent of Niagara Falls residents who voted in a referendum said yes to casino gaming.

    A year later, Ontario Casino Corporation announced a commercial casino would be built in the Honeymoon Capital.

    Casino Niagara opened Dec. 9, 1996 — 20 years ago, Friday, on the site of the former Maple Leaf Village near Clifton Hill.

    “Disney-style amusement parks open in Canada” – June 25, 1979

    No Comments

    The other day I came across a Google News archived/scanned story from the Star-Phoenix out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was from 1979, when Maple Leaf Village was opening.

    The move to large amusement parks took visible form in the last week when Maple Leaf Village – Canada’s newest – opened in Niagara Falls, Ont., better known as the honeymoon capital of the world.

    Owned by York Hannover Developments Ltd. and Wost Holdings Ltd., it cost $26 million and will have an annual payroll of $3 million. A feature is the $2 million giant wheel observation tower, tallest in North America, from which visitors may get a breathtaking view of the Falls.

    Cool stuff!

    Another new blogger – Introduction from Lisa

    No Comments

    Hello folks, My name is Lisa and I am from Rochester NY I have been traveling to and from Niagara Falls since I was little. The Hotel we have stayed in the most was – Fallsway Motor Hotel which of course became the Quality Inn Clifton Hill, which than made way for the Niagara Skywheel. I have visited many hotels in all different parts of Niagara Falls and I believe I have eaten at most of the restaurants in the area.

    I can remember going to Maple Leaf Village eating either in the Food Court or at the Suisha Gardens Restaurant and being mesmerize by the Chefs preparing the food with knives, flames and talent.

    After being scared out of our wits going to Nightmares and watching my friends little kids actually have them. Who can than forget the memories made going to the Amusement park behind playing a few games and riding the rides? I can remember when the Skylon Tower was the place to be and the lines to get up and down were ridiculous. A few years back they had a card you could buy for the year $20.00 for unlimited rides but they quickly got rid of that.

    I can remember when there really was not a Fallsview district. Boy, it seems all those beautiful hotels came up rather quickly.

    People Movers transit, I can remember at one time had a connection with vans and the Combo pass included the historical places down Niagara Parkway.

    I have many memories and traditions I cherish and there are some I wish I could have back. The best memories were those of my sister and me taking my mom out for vacation. Mom passed 7/2011 so those memories are gone. Nothing was like going to Betty’s with her in Chippawa having the best home cooked meal. (Except for hers.)

    There are new buildings and new attractions; we have enjoyed staying at, eating at and trying out. Who has not tried getting a wax hand? What a pain in the neck. Trying on those weird hats on Clifton Hill. Going up the Falls Tower imagine that was the first and best view of the falls close up other than staying on the big hotels on Falls Avenue. Remember not long ago going to Canada and getting 56% exchange rate.

    Well those are just some of my memories and I hope to share more with you as time goes by.

    Like I said have gone to Niagara Falls with several different family members, friends etc. I have gone in the Hot Hot Sunny weather to the frigid Canada Winter. I like to venture out to Niagara on the Lake, St. Catharines, Fort Erie, Toronto, Chippawa, and Hamilton as well. I would not mind visiting London as well.

    I am being given the opportunity to help Graham with the website in any way I hope I can. Graham has had this website for as long as I can remember. How many years has it been? I appreciate what Graham has done with this site and hope to help keep it as interesting and vital for people who visit as many times as they do. There is so much I have learned from this site that it has saved and made prior trips. Graham has really made a nice time capsule for future generations to learn just what Niagara was at one time and the growth it has experience as time has gone on.

    I usually make it to the Falls at least 6 times a year. We have gone just for the day and have stayed as long as 2 weeks. I have learned to stay at different hotels, eat at as many places as I can and experience as many things as time allows.

    I hope I can contribute to this site so it makes things a little easier on Graham and it allows him to have a life away from this site. There are a few people who have also volunteered and I know you will learn a lot from their experiences as well as I have learned just reading their posts.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

    Casino lease extension makes sense: Premier

    No Comments

    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Protecting the Ontario government’s own investment in Casino Niagara is the reason it has to be treated differently from the Maid of the Mist, says Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, rejecting opposition calls to invite bids from property owners interested in hosting a casino.

    “There is a distinction,” the premier told reporters in Niagara- on-the-Lake Wednesday where he spoke at the Ontario Economic Summit.

    With Ontario Lottery and Gaming’s lease on the casino’s Falls Avenue location set to expire in March, McGuinty said his government’s preference is to have the Crown corporation continue negotiating an extension with landlord Canadian Niagara Hotels.

    The government has two options for Casino Niagara – renew the lease “at a reasonable rate” or abandon the Canadian Niagara Hotels location for a new location to be determined later.

    When Casino Niagara opened in 1996, Ontario Lottery and Gaming pumped $125 million into the old Maple Leaf Village site to convert a defunct amusement park into Ontario’s second commercial casino.

    Building a new casino would mean walking away from the initial investment and some smaller expenditures like the $12 million spent in 2005 when sports betting came in.

    “When you look at it that way, it really makes sense for us to do the best that we can to negotiate a reasonable new lease at the existing site,” McGuinty said. “It was a lot of money to build that casino inside that space.”

    From the archives… some great pictures from Sue!


    How’s this for a trip down memory lane?!

    Feel free to leave a comment with some of your memories…

    Note: you can click on any of the pictures to view a larger image.

    Thanks Sue!

    %d bloggers like this: