Archive for April, 2015

rendevouscanadaRendez-vous Canada is the largest international tourism conference and marketplace. It is an excellent opportunity to connect overseas and American travel companies with Canadian businesses. The Canadian Tourism Commission has been operating this event for over 12 years and is happening in Niagara Falls May 26th to May 29th, 2015 and hosted at the Scotiabank Centre.

Several local hotels are participating and delegates are encouraged to book accommodations within the room blocks of the official Rendez-vous Canada Host hotels.

Niagara Airbus is please to be the preferred transportation partner for RVC 2015. Delegates who are not arriving within the official RVC posted airport shuttle dates and times, Niagara Airbus is pleased to offer a $99.00 round trip shuttle and $59.00 one way shuttle from Toronto Pearson International Airport. A 10% discount on all private exclusive services for all airports, including, John C. Munro Hamilton International, Billy Bishop Toronto Island, and Toronto Pearson International Airports.

To make a reservation and receive a discount you simply need to go to at the beginning of the booking page, you will need to insert the RVC Discount Code – 220 where you see Conference/Promo code and the applicable discount will automatically be calculated. For additional reservation instruction please refer to On-line booking instruction document.

Book online and manage your own bookings using the RVC Discount Code – 220 or call Niagara Airbus reservations at 905-374-8111.  In addition you can email, should you have any inquires or questions regarding bookings.

The RVC Discount Code – 220 is valid for travel from May 17 to June 7, 2015.

floral-clock4-2-610x4052The Floral Clock at Queenston was built by Ontario Hydro in 1950. The idea to build the attraction came from Dr. Richard Lankaster Hearn, Hydro’s General Manager and Chief Engineer at the time. While preparing for a business trip to England, Mr. Hearn was encouraged by Hugh Duncan, a Scotsman who was a maintenance electrician foreman at the Queenston Generating Station, to visit the floral clock in the Princes’ Street Gardens in Edinburgh. Dr. Hearn did as Duncan suggested, and he was very impressed by the beauty of the clock and by its practical value as an attraction.

After his trip to Scotland, Dr. Hearn commissioned Hydro’s Niagara Regional staff to design and construct a floral clock in keeping with the surroundings at the Queenston station. A “Hydro News” article, describing plans for the construction of the attraction, credits Pat Ryan and Walter Ewart as the clock’s designers. Hugh Duncan supervised construction of the attraction and was in charge of the mechanical and electrical installation work. (Dr. Hearn later served as Chairman at Ontario Hydro.)

The Edinburgh clock, built in 1903, is roughly 10 feet in diameter. In comparison, the Floral Clock is 40 feet wide, with a planted area 38 feet wide, making it one of the largest such clocks in the world. Each year, the face of the clock is filled with 15,000 to 20,000 carpet plants and colourful annuals, planted in unique, intricate designs. Since 1977 The Niagara Parks Commission Horticulture Department (now Parks Department) have been responsible for designing and planting the face of the clock, and a site maintenance worker regularly checks the official time to ensure the Clock’s accuracy.

The hands of the clock are stainless steel tubing: the hour hand is 14.5 ft, the minute hand 17.5 ft and the second hand 21 ft long. Their combined weight is 1,250 pounds. An ivy-clad, louvered stone tower stands 24 feet tall and contains speakers that every quarter hour broadcast Westminster chimes. Under the clock, accessed by a door at the rear of the tower, the concrete foundation includes three small rooms – one for the clock mechanism and its driving motor, one contains switches to supply the electrical power, and one stores the tools required for maintaining the floral face. The clock mechanism runs in a bath of oil. The mechanical workings are driven by a 5 HP DC motor supplied from a DC drive. A tachometer is mounted on the motor shaft and provides feedback to the drive to control its accuracy.

The Westminster chimes are controlled by a programmable logic controller. The sounds are simulated and are broadcast through 2-25 watt co-axial speakers mounted in the bell tower.

Adjacent to the Niagara Parks Centennial Lilac Garden, parking, washrooms and a small gift shop are provided for the convenience of the thousands of visitors who stop here each year. This floral showpiece has become one of the most photographed attractions in Niagara Parks.

The timepiece is located beside the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station No. 1, and its mechanics are still maintained by staff of Ontario Power Generation (the successor to Ontario Hydro).

table_rock_house_2012The first humans arrived in Niagara Region almost 12,000 years ago, just in time to witness the birth of the Falls. During this time (the Palaeo-Indian Period, which lasted until 9,000 years ago), Niagara was inhabited by the Clovis people. The Woodland Period lasted from 3,000 to 300 years ago, culminating in the peak of Iroquois culture in southern Ontario. Palaeo-Indian sites in Niagara would most likely be associated with the series of relic beach ridges that once formed the shore of early Lake Erie. Although he never saw Niagara Falls, the Indians he met along the St.Lawrence River told him about it. Etienne Brule, the first European to see Lakes Ontario, Erie Huron and Superior, may also have been the first to behold the Falls, in 1615. In December 1678, Recollet priest Louis Hennepin visited Niagara Falls.

Between 1849 and 1962, thirteen bridges were constructed across the Niagara River Gorge. Niagara Suspension Bridge In 1855, John August Roebling, the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, built the Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge, the first bridge of its type in the world. Between the late 1700s and the middle 1800s, boats were the main way to get to Niagara Falls. One of the first electrified street car services was provided in Niagara, and in 1893 the Queenston/Chippawa Railway carried boat passengers from Queenston to Table Rock and beyond. Later it was extended along the lower Gorge on the American side of the River, connecting back into Canada at the Upper Arch Bridge.