Exploring Great Destinations in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
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Exploring Niagara Falls

The City of the Falls

Around the year 1830 an enterprising group of prominent businessmen put together a plan that would serve two purposes. The first was purely a business venture, the second, was to preserve the beauty of the area immediately west of the Canadian Falls and keep it from falling into the hands of unscrupulous developers.

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These early entrepreneurs purchased 400 acres in close proximity to the Falls. Streets were surveyed and laid out and given names such as Buchanan, Dunn, Allan, Murray, Dixon, Clark(e) and Robinson, after their promoters. Stanley (Street) Avenue was named after E.G. Stanley, who was then the Secretary to the Colonial Office in London, England. Today the street names are the only remnants of the ill-fated attempt by private businessmen to create a City of the Falls. Even the name was eventually replaced with the name Falls View, and for many years the Canadian side of the Falls was referred to as Falls View.

Around 1832 work began on a grand scheme to develop town lots that would even be equipped with a supply of water. Advertisements were placed in newspapers as far away as Montreal, Toronto and Kingston. Steele's Guide Book of 1840 contains this reference:

"Directly opposite the Falls on the Canada side, an enterprising company, a few years since, purchased the grounds formerly owned by Mr. Forsyth, projected and laid out a city, which they called "The City of the Falls", and have made some improvements. They intend to have schools, churches, libraries, ball and promenade rooms, baths, public gardens, and indeed everything considered necessary to an elegant and fashionable city. The lots and streets are laid out with much judgment, and whether the anticipations of the enterprising projectors will ever be realized, other generations must tell. The table land on the river's bank below the Falls and opposite the ferry, owned by Captain Creighton, has also been surveyed into lots for a village which is called "Clifton" and here directly at the top of the ferry stands the Clifton House."