American Public Garden Association Conference 2017
Hamilton & Niagara, Ontario
June 19-23, 2017
Niagara Parks Tours and Reception
Event Type: 
Meals & Events
Date / Time: 
Thu June, 22 - 1:45pm to 10:30pm
Guest Cost: 
Everyone is familiar with the Falls, but Niagara Parks offers an incredible lineup of activities that take you below, behind, and across Ontario’s only 56-km-long outdoor adventure museum.
Choose from five educational tours in the afternoon, hosted by Niagara Parks staff, or spend time on your own exploring Niagara Parks sites and attractions, like the world-famous Journey Behind the Falls, where you’ll feel the thunderous vibration of the Horseshoe Falls long before you see them. 
Next, travel to the brink of the Falls to enjoy an hour of free time before enjoying a gourmet dinner featuring local Niagara produce in the magnificent Oakes Garden Theatre. Top that off with a spectacular fireworks display above the falls for an experience you’ll never forget.


Tour and Workshop Options:

Overcoming infrastructure challenges: How do you manage projects within high-profile and high-volume visitation sites and leverage opportunities?  This session will preview recent infrastructure projects facilitated by Niagara Parks Staff such as the newly accessible Falls Incline Railway system, the redeveloped Falls Illumination and the upcoming Power Plant Rehabilitation. 

Tour will include:

  • Backdoor tour of Canadian Niagara Power Plant
  • Falls Illumination
  • Falls Incline Railway
  • Elements on the Falls Restaurant Update
  • Journey Behind the Falls Elevator Project

Highlighting historical connections: How do you incorporate centuries of history into the landscape of the park and enhance the visitor experience?  This tour will take participants along the Niagara Parkway and highlight the broader historic themes visitors experience on the lands of The Niagara Parks Commission.  

Tour will include:

  • McFarland House
  • Laura Secord
  • Landscape of Nations
  • Oakes Garden Theatre
  • Whirlpool Aero Car

Master Planning: How do you combine stewardship mandates with visitor experience and expectations?  This tour will provide the unique history and challenges of The Niagara Parks Commission and how it has combined resources like curating its own School of Horticulture to meet those needs and discuss the ongoing redevelopment, transition and the hope for the future. 

Tour will include:

  • Botanical Gardens & School of Horticulture
  • Butterfly Conservatory
  • Queen Victoria Park

Preservation: How do you preserve the Natural History and Cultural Significance of Parklands?  –  This tour will explore the natural significance of the Niagara Glen, Niagara River and the Niagara Escarpment which border the parklands of Niagara Parks.  It will discuss the challenges and opportunities Niagara Parks has leveraged to preserve these areas, protect the native species at risk and educate visitors for future generations to come.  This tour will include    

  • A Niagara Glen Tour
  • New Pollinator Gardens
  • Butterfly Conservatory

Conservation: How do you balance environmental stewardship with commercialism while satisfying new environment and regulatory pressures?  During this session, Niagara Parks staff will explore projects underway to rehabilitate serious environmental challenges such as the impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer. 

Tour will include:

  • Legends on the Niagara Grassland project (Chippewa 120 acres/ $400k project) and tree planting programs as well as the Audubon Designation of the Golf Course
  • Coastal wetland restoration and the water management program (2 sites $140)
  • Journey Behind the Falls