According to Expedia users, Niagara-on-the-Lake is ranked the third friendliest town in Canada for 2021.
Described as “quaint,” Niagara-on-the-Lake received the third highest percentage of positive traveller reviews mentioning words such as, “friendly, friendliest, amiable” from January 2019 to December 2020.
While Niagara-on-the-Lake has 17,500 permanent residents, it welcomes millions of visitors each year. Residents and visitors alike, enjoy the town’s natural beauty, as well as the many historical landmarks and local amenities.
As experienced by many municipalities around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted NOTL’s 2020 tourist season, decreasing the number of visitors and putting significant strain on the local economy. “While I cannot predict what provincial regulations will be in place over the spring and summer months, I am confident that town staff will work diligently to ensure all provincial regulations and public health recommendations are being followed to ensure our business community is supported, our visitors feel welcome and safe, and most importantly, the health of our residents is protected,” CAO Marnie Cluckie said.
“I am hopeful that during this coming tourist season, residents and visitors will be able to safely enjoy the wonderful attractions, heritage and culture, and distinct beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” said Lord Mayor Disero.
With warmer weather approaching, the town is preparing for the anticipated increase in the number of visitors to its downtown core by reopening public washrooms in the Heritage District, assigning town staff to public education and cleaning, and posting safety signage.
Beginning last Saturday, the public washrooms at Queen’s Royal Park and Simcoe Park are open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Physical distance markers will be established and signage posted, reminding the public to wear a mask, sanitize their hands frequently, maintain a safe distance of two metres, and avoid touching their face.
Staff is helping to support local businesses and those choosing to visit the downtown core, said Cluckie.
“With the weather warming, we’re seeing an increase in the number of people coming to town and we want to ensure we’re providing the services they need during their stay.” Staff is also assisting with public education regarding restrictions outlined by the province, and periodically sanitizing high-touch surfaces such as benches and parking machines.
These extra precautionary efforts will be made on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the spring and summer. “The arrival of spring always attracts crowds to our beautiful Town,” says Disero in a recent news release. “While we love to see visitors experiencing our unique culture and heritage, our stunning parks and gardens, and our wonderful local businesses, we must remember that COVID-19 still poses a significant risk for our community, and safety comes first.”
Public washrooms at Memorial Park and at the Information Centre, located at Fort George, remain closed at this time but will reopen later in the season. The Market Street washroom, being the only public washroom that does not close during the winter season, remains open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.