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The Tillsonburg Destination covers a portion of southern Ontario, Canada, to the north of Lake Erie. Tillsonburg, the destination’s namesake, is a town located in Oxford County, slightly west of the central region of the destination near the cities of London, Brantford, and Hamilton. The city was reportedly ranked number 75 out of the top 100 places to visit in Canada by the National Post in 2006. In view of the relatively extensive amount of farmlands that surround Tillsonburg, many consider the area to have “a strong agricultural community,” as milk production, hog farming, cash crops, and tertiary crops are fairly significant contributors to the economy. While Tillsonburg features a few attractions and historic sites for tourists to visit, the cities of Niagara Falls, Hamilton, and London often pique the interest of those who are hoping to explore the area. Niagara Falls is a popular attraction in the destination, as it receives millions of visitors each year. In 2009, the annual tourism rate of Niagara Falls was expected to reach over 28 million visitors. For those who plan on undertaking outdoor activities in Hamilton or the cities that surround it, it is recommended to visit between late June and early September, as the city experiences average temperatures above 70°F throughout these months.
Located in Ontario, Canada, the Tillsonburg Destination encompasses a portion of land along the southern border of the province. A number of Ontario’s prominent cities can be found within the destination, namely Hamilton, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Brantford, and London. The namesake of the destination, Tillsonburg, is situated to the west of the destination’s central region, with a population of about 16,707 residents, as of 2023. It was determined that Tillsonburg’s population has an annual growth rate of approximately 0.74%, as an estimated population of 15,872 people was reported from the last Canadian census in 2016.
Many of those who tour Tillsonburg take an interest in its historical significance, considering that several historic sites can be found throughout the town. One such site is the Annandale House, also known as the Tillsonburg Museum, which is a Victorian house with ceiling paintings, stained glass windows, and fireplaces decorated with woodwork, among other characteristics. While the home was completed in 1887, its construction lasted from 1881 to 1882. From 1883 to 1887, however, the home underwent a relatively extensive decorating process, as a Detroit designer by the name of James Walthew was hired to adorn the home. The Annandale House was designated as a Canadian National Historic Site on account of its interior, which was described by Oscar Wilde—a notable author and aesthete—as “one of the best-surviving illustrations in Canada of the Aesthetic Movement.” In addition to historic sites, Tillsonburg contains a few parks and attractions that people can go to for outdoor recreation. Lake Lisgar Waterpark, near a small lake at the center of the town, and Coronation Park are some of the more popular places that people can visit to swim or engage in leisure activities.
The largest city in the Tillsonburg Destination by area and population is Hamilton, with an estimated total population of 569,353 residents. Tillsonburg encompasses roughly 431.78 square miles of land on the coast of Lake Ontario in the southern portion of what is known as the "Golden Horseshoe" region. Akin to Tillsonburg, the city of Hamilton features multiple historic sites, including the HMCS Haida National Historic Site, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, and the Dundur Castle. One of the most well-known attractions in the city is the Royal Botanical Gardens. The gardens are deemed “Canada’s largest,” as they cover over 2,400 acres of land and contain over 235,000 different plants. Beyond the botanical gardens, the city is also home to McMaster University, which Times Higher Education Rankings 2021 rated 4th in Canada and 69th in the world.
Another prominent city in the Tillsonburg Destination is London, Ontario, located in the destination’s western division. Tourists tend to be drawn to London for the variety of festivals that are hosted at different times of the year—most commonly during the summer. The Forest City Film Festival, Oxford Renaissance Festival, Forest City Comicon, Home County Music & Art Festival, and the Pride London Festival are a few events that receive a relatively high quantity of participants annually.
Niagara Falls, a city situated in the destination’s eastern region, attracts millions of visitors annually due to its location on the Niagara River, which flows over Niagara Falls. On account of these waterfalls, many of the tourist sites include observation towers and high-rise hotels. For those who plan on touring the falls, a boat cruise known as the Maid of the Mist can provide a closer experience of the waterfalls, as it operates from boat docks on both sides of the falls. Aside from the attractions that pertain to the falls, there are also several historic sites from the War of 1812, souvenir shops, museums, casinos, theaters, indoor water parks, to golf courses throughout Niagara Falls. Tourism has become a major contributor to the city’s economy, dating back to the 19th century when Niagara Falls was advertised as a honeymoon destination and was deemed the “honeymoon capital of the world.” The present-day downtown Niagara Falls features art galleries, cafés, bistros, and boutiques for people to explore.
One of the most notable geographic formations in the Tillsonburg Destination is Niagara Falls. The three waterfalls that comprise the falls are a natural formation that was created nearly 10,000 years ago by the Wisconsin glaciation, also known as the last ice age. Horseshoe Falls—also referred to as the Canadian Falls—is the largest of the three, straddling the border between Canada and the United States. The other smaller waterfalls, Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls are within the borders of the United States. A distinct characteristic of the falls is the green color of the water, which is a result of 60 tonnes of dissolved salts and rock flour that were produced by the Niagara River’s erosive force.
Lake Erie composes the entire southern division of the Tillsonburg Destination, while the north, east, west, and central regions are more urban and residential. A considerable amount of grasslands and open space also encompass the outskirts of these metropolitan areas between London, Brantford, and Hamilton. Smaller townships dot the destination around these cities as well, such as Waterford, Burford, Norwich, Woodstock, Jarvis, Delhi, Straffordville, and Belmont, among others. Pastoral land and woodland areas can be found around these towns and villages.
The city of Hamilton is inhabited by a fair amount of wildlife in the northern portion of the Tillsonburg Destination. Some of the more common species are bats, coyotes, skunks, opossums, raccoons, and birds. The destination’s namesake, Tillsonburg, also contains a population of skunks and raccoons, as well as rats, which the town council encourages visitors to avoid intentionally feeding or attracting.
Climatic conditions in Tillsonburg are fairly cold and temperate, generally speaking. Rainfall is a common occurrence in the town, as precipitation is received even during the driest month, February, with an average of about 2.6 inches of rainfall. The amount of rainfall increases from February into the summer season, reaching its peak at 4.4 inches of rainfall on average in June. July tends to be the warmest month in Tillsonburg, as temperatures rise to around 71.4°F. In the fall, humidity begins to increase, typically at its highest during November at 76.09%. The city of Hamilton experiences similar conditions, with relatively warm summers and cold winters. Partly cloudy skies occur year-round; thus, it is recommended that those who plan on touring the city come between late June and early September for warm-weather activities, as temperatures are often moderate throughout these months.
In 2001 and 2008, the Tillsonburg Village Site—a former 14th-century Iroquoian village in Tillsonburg’s northwest corner—was excavated, with the discovery of 15 longhouses. This indicated that what is now known as Tillsonburg was previously the residence of Indigenous tribes prior to the arrival of the Europeans. It wasn’t until 1825 that the land was settled by George Tillsonburg, and construction of a sawmill, a forge, and several roads that led to the site took place, further developing the land. The settlement was later named in honor of the founder in 1836. The width of the main street, Broadway, was extended to accommodate larger logging wagons, as the community predominantly became a logging and wood production hub. One century later, milk production, shoe manufacturing, tractors, textiles, and tobacco production became some of the more significant industries that began to lead the economy.
As one of Canada’s leading industrial centers, the city of Hamilton has also experienced fairly large amounts of growth and development throughout its history. Dundas, a neighboring community in Hamilton, overshadowed Hamilton during its early years of development. However, following the construction of the Burlington Canal in 1830, Hamilton Harbor and Lake Ontario were connected, thus, initiating the rapid development of the city as it progressed into a port and rail center. In the mid-19th century, the iron and steel industry was established in Hamilton, and since then, it has become one of Canada’s largest industries. Visitors can learn more about the history of Hamilton at the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology, which showcases several artifacts that relate to the industrial elements of the city’s history. The museum also displays two preserved steam-powered beam engines. These beam engines pumped water for the city from 1859 to 1910.
Ambiance By The Falls Bed and Breakfast is located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, a short distance from the namesake of the city, Niagara Falls. The business is open from April to October, with the busiest season typically occurring during the summer months. A total of four units are offered, allowing guests to choose between one of the three rooms or a larger suite. Those who stay at the inn receive a complimentary breakfast each morning which is made by the owners, Kevin and Anna. The owners would like their patrons to feel “at home” when they arrive. There are several policies that visitors must abide by, including a no-smoking policy and a no-pets policy. The business is found in a more residential location near the middle of the city. One can find many attractions in the vicinity, including Niagra Falls, golf courses, ferries, tourist locations, wineries, and restaurants....Read More
Twining Retreat is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, and has two suites available for visitors. Both rooms are located on the top floor of the three-story building, and each is equipped with ensuite bathrooms. Guests can take advantage of a few common areas, including the coffee room on the upper floor, the dining room, the parlor, the deck, and the gardens. Annette, one of the owners of Twining Retreat, says that their gardens are a particular characteristic that is unique about their property, and she recommends her guests spend some time in them. The other aspect the owners claim sets them apart is their breakfast, which is served daily and consists mainly of foods made largely from scratch. The owners hope that those who stay with them feel relaxed and comfortable, and they strive to take care of any of their guests' needs....Read More