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Region2: Festival Country

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Overview

Also known as the golden horseshoe this arc like region encompasses both diverse terrain and cultural features. Starting at the mighty Niagara gorge a chain of historic forts, towns, and parks grace the river. This is wine growing country and for the wine lover the tours offered throughout this region are a must.

Rounding the end of Lake Ontario one passes Brantford, home of the telephone, and in essense the founding technology behind the Internet itself. To the North East are towns like Waterloo, and Stratford, famous for the Octoberfest and the Shakespearean theatre. These events give the region its name, Festival Country.

It is a region of opposites, spanning the most densely populated region of the country and yet it backs onto the quite countryside. As can be seen from the map a large quantity of conservation areas and parks dot the landscape.






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Towns and Cities

Brantford

Named after Joseph Brant, the Mohawk Indian who led a band of Loyalists to this area after the Revolutionary War. The settlement was originally part of a British compensation package for the native losses during the war, but the natives welcomed white settlers to teh town. Alexander Graham Bell worked on the telephone here and the first long distance phone call was placed to the nearby town of Paris Ontario.

Hamilton

Canada's steel manufacturing centre had a humble beginning as a milling centre iin the early 1800's. The city now boasts a prominent university, Art Galleries, an Orchestra, and the Hamilton Place Complex.

Niagara Falls

The relatively small city is certainly one of the worlds most famous. One of the worlds most impressive natural forces thunders through the town. A distant thunder from the past is also heard at the historic sites nearby. The Niagara Peninsula was one of the hotspots of fighting during the War of 1812 and military museums and fortifications still guard over the raging river from both sides of the border.

St. Catharines

This city of over 100,000 people was founded in the 1780's and named after the wife of Robert Hamilton whose name appears on another prominent city nearby. The Welland Canal brought shipping business to the town in 1829, and continues to do so to this day.

Stratford

The most famous aspect of this town is the cultural life sprung up around the Stratford Festival. Started in the 1950's the theatre has been an international success. Set in a rural landscape the surrounding countryside is a pleasure to drive through, and numerous small towns surrounding Stratford offer plenty of antique shopping and dining.

Waterloo

Settled by Mennonites from Pennsylvania this city is the smaller of the Kitchener-Waterloo pair. The University is one of the more significant features of the town. The German influence still permeates the town. The original name of Kitchener, Berlin, was changed during WWI. Events such as farmers markets, and the Octoberfest give visitors a taste of the cultural roots of the town.

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© M. Colautti 1998, 1999, 2000


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