The Niagara Region has played an important role in the development of Canadian identity. From aboriginal “neutrals” to honeymoon capital, Niagara evolved from it’s Upper Canadian roots into a true tourist mecca.
Linked with the nostalgia of a newly accessible road trip, Niagara and its tourism can be first tied to the “North American Grand Tour” and then, a key player in the emerging middle classes foray into vacations.
The hotel, motel and inn – tourist establishments so keenly linked with the Niagara identity, have been a part of the human experience since biblical times. Acting as a rest-stop for travelers and soldiers, the tourist industry has always connected people and places, binding geographical mobility so vital to the human experience.
This blog will not only explore the heyday of Niagara tourism, but it’s decline into big chains and seedy motels. With much assistance from the Niagara Falls Museum and the Niagara Historical Society, join me on an exploration of the rich history motels, hotels and inns have had on the region and how they have helped shape Niagara’s identity.
Lost reservations and bad directions,
Lumpy mattresses and broken ice machines,
Burned-out light bulbs and those tiny bars of soap,
Grimy towels, empty pools, paper-thin walls,
And forgotten wake-up calls