Fort Erie, Ontario
Fort Erie is a town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 on the Niagara River
Niagara River
The Niagara River flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the Province of Ontario in Canada and New York State in the United States. There are differing theories as to the origin of the name of the river...

 in the Niagara Region
Regional Municipality of Niagara, Ontario
The Regional Municipality of Niagara , also known as the Niagara Region, or, colloquially, "Regional Niagara", is a regional municipality comprising twelve municipalities of Southern Ontario, Canada....

, Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It is located directly across the river from Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...


Fort Erie is one of the fastest growing communities in Niagara, and has experienced a high level of residential and commercial development in the past few years. Garrison Road (Niagara Regional Road 3) is the town's commercial corridor, stretching east to west through Fort Erie.

Fort Erie is also home to a number of other commercial core areas (Bridgeburg, Ridgeway, Stevensville and Crystal Beach) as a result of the 1970 amalgamation of the latter three municipalities with Fort Erie proper.


The town's beaches on Lake Erie
Lake Erie
Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by the...

, most notably Crystal Beach
Crystal Beach, Ontario
Crystal Beach is a community within Fort Erie, Ontario with a population of 3,800. It was named for the "crystal-clear" water conditions present when it was founded on the northeast shore of Lake Erie, across from Buffalo....

 and Bay Beach, are considered the best in the area and draw many weekend recreationists from the Toronto and Buffalo areas. While summers are enjoyable, winters can occasionally be fierce, with many snowstorms, whiteouts and winds whipping off Lake Erie.


Modern settlement of the area was established when a British military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 fort, Fort Erie
Fort Erie
Fort Erie was the first British fort to be constructed as part of a network developed after the Seven Years' War was concluded by the Treaty of Paris at which time all of New France had been ceded to Great Britain...

, was constructed in 1764. During the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 it was used as a supply depot for British troops. When the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 started, the troops stationed at Fort Erie were caught off guard due to the fort being in the middle of rebuilding. The Americans held it for a time, fending off two British attacks. Later they destroyed Fort Erie and returned to Buffalo in the winter of 1814. The ruins remained until they were rebuilt through a depression era "work program" project, as a tourist attraction in 1939.

The former "Dolls House Museum", located on the Niagara River near downtown Fort Erie (Bridgeburg Station), was a supposed hiding place on the Underground Railroad for fugitive slaves in the 1800s. In 1866, the Battle of Ridgeway
Battle of Ridgeway
The Battle of Ridgeway was fought in the vicinity of the town of Fort Erie across the Niagara River from Buffalo, NY near the village of Ridgeway, Canada West, currently Ontario, Canada on June 2, 1866, between Canadian troops and an irregular army of Irish-American invaders, the Fenians...

 was fought here between invading Irish-Americans and the Canadian defenders.

On August 7, 1927 the Peace Bridge
Peace Bridge
The Peace Bridge is an international bridge between Canada and the United States at the east end of Lake Erie at the source of the Niagara River, about upriver of Niagara Falls. It connects the City of Buffalo, New York, in the United States to the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario, in Canada...

 was opened between Fort Erie and Buffalo.

The historic Point Abino Lighthouse was built by the Canadian government in 1918. The lighthouse was automated in 1989. Since its decommissioning in 1995, the Point Abino Lighthouse was designated as a National Historic Site. The lighthouse is now owned by the Town of Fort Erie and is available for weekend tours in the summer.

The city was also site of the Niagara Movement
Niagara Movement
The Niagara Movement was a black civil rights organization founded in 1905 by a group led by W. E. B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter. It was named for the "mighty current" of change the group wanted to effect and Niagara Falls, the Canadian side of which was where the first meeting took...

 meeting at the Fort Erie Hotel in 1905. The movement later led to the founding of the NAACP.


Public transit is provided by the Town of Fort Erie Transit System
Town of Fort Erie Transit System
Town of Fort Erie Transit System provides local bus service to the inhabitants of Fort Erie, Ontario, just across the Peace Bridge and the Niagara River from Buffalo, New York....

, which operates 2 buses in the town.

Fort Erie has been the Niagara terminus of the Queen Elizabeth Way
Queen Elizabeth Way
The Queen Elizabeth Way, commonly abbreviated as the QEW, is a 400-Series highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. The freeway links Buffalo, New York and the Niagara Peninsula with Toronto. It begins at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie and travels around the western shore of Lake Ontario, ending...

 since the 1950s. Highway 3 cuts through the town east to west, and is a regional road between Rosehill Road and Central Avenue. Highway 3C (Dominion Road) existed until 1970, when it was downloaded to the newly-formed Regional Municipality of Niagara to become Niagara Road 1.


Census Population
1871 835
1901 890
1911 1,146
1921 1,546
1931 2,383
1941 6,566
1951 7,572
1961 9,027
1971 23,113
1981 24,096
1991 26,006
2001 28,143
2006 29,925

The recently released 2006 Census of Canada indicates a current population of 29,925 for Fort Erie. This is a 6.3% increase over the last Census (2001), and makes Fort Erie the fastest growing municipality in the St. Catharines-Niagara CMA (Census Metropolitan Area), and the third fastest growing municipality in the Region of Niagara. The median household income in 2005 for Fort Erie was $47,485.00, which is below the Ontario provincial average of $60,455.00.

According to the 2001 census
Canada 2001 Census
The Canada 2001 Census was a detailed enumeration of the Canadian population. Census day was May 15, 2001. On that day, Statistics Canada attempted to count every person in Canada. The total population count of Canada was 30,007,094. This was a 4% increase over 1996 Census of 28,846,761. In...

, the population was 28,143, broken down as follows: 92.8% White
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

, 3.2% Aboriginal
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative....

, 1.4% Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

, 0.9% Black
Black is the color of objects that do not emit or reflect light in any part of the visible spectrum; they absorb all such frequencies of light...

, and a very small percentage of Asian
Asian people
Asian people or Asiatic people is a term with multiple meanings that refers to people who descend from a portion of Asia's population.- Central Asia :...

, Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

, and Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...



In addition to the primary urban core of Fort Erie, the town also contains the neighbourhoods of Black Creek, Bridgeburg/NorthEnd/Victoria, Crescent Park, Crystal Beach
Crystal Beach, Ontario
Crystal Beach is a community within Fort Erie, Ontario with a population of 3,800. It was named for the "crystal-clear" water conditions present when it was founded on the northeast shore of Lake Erie, across from Buffalo....

, Point Abino, Ridgeway, Snyder, and Stevensville. Smaller and historical neighbourhoods include Amigari Downs, Bay Beach, Buffalo Heights, Douglastown, Edgewood Park, Erie Beach, Garrison Village, Mulgrave, Oakhill Forest, Ridgemount, Ridgewood, Rose Hill Estates, Thunder Bay, Walden, Wavecrest and Waverly Beach.

Erie Beach is a designated place
Designated place
A designated place or DPL is a type of community or populated area identified by Statistics Canada for statistical purposes. DPLs are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages.DPLs are communities that lack...

 in Canadian census data; it had a population of 199 in 2006.

Fort Erie Secondary School and Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School are the two public high schools serving Fort Erie and area communities.

Horse racing

Fort Erie Race Track has hosted live thoroughbred racing since 1897. Widely regarded as one of North America's most picturesque tracks, it has been home to the Prince of Wales stakes- the second jewel in Canada's Triple Crown of Racing since 1959.

Rods and Relics Car Show

An annual car show hosted by the Rods and Relics Car Club of Fort Erie that is usually held on a Sunday in the middle of June. The show always has an excellent turn-out and the proceeds support local charities. The event takes place on the south-east grounds of the Fort Erie Race Track
Fort Erie Race Track
Fort Erie Race Track is a horse racing facility in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada built by the Fort Erie Jockey Club and inaugurated on June 16, 1897....


Friendship Festival

The Friendship Festival
Friendship Festival
The Friendship Festival is an annual celebration of the bond between Canada and the United States. This event is held in Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York, which are connected by the Peace Bridge. The festival began in 1987 and is held from June 29 to July 4. These dates encompass Canada Day...

 is a week-long international celebration of the culture and heritage shared by Canada and the USA. The Friendship Festival occurs during the first week of July and celebrates both Canada Day
Canada Day
Canada Day , formerly Dominion Day , is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act , which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire...

 and Independence Day
Independence Day (United States)
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain...

. The events held both in Fort Erie, ON and in Buffalo, NY include free concerts and a spectacular fireworks display on July 1 highlighting the two national holidays. Other activities include arts, crafts, children's entertainment, heritage and cultural displays, and a midway.

Village of Ridgeway

Within the Town of Fort Erie, the Village of Ridgeway [] offers Victorian charm to visitors and residents alike. The Ridgeway Summer Festival is held every year on the second weekend in July. The streets are closed off, and thousands of visitors stroll the historical downtown enjoying music, food, vendors, shows, and friendly atmosphere. An event called Spirit of Christmas is held on the first weekend in December, Friday evening and Saturday only, featuring horse-drawn carriage rides, school choirs singing outdoors, Victorian carollers, strolling Santa, food and more.

Bridgeburg Car and Bike Show

The Bridgeburg Car and Bike Show is held annually on the last Sunday in May. A strategic effort combining commercial revitalization, membership drive and fund raising, the event raises money for charitable disbursements by and moral supports for fire fighters at Fire Company #2 at Bridgeburg Station. Certain proceeds and all non-perishable food donations are raised directly for Community Outreach Program Erie (COPE), a referral agency and resource centre providing advocacy and emergency services such as food, clothing, diapers, prescriptions, and resume preparation. The event aims to introduce local residents and returning visitors to the variety of businesses at Bridgeburg Station. Open businesses, vendors, kids zone, nostalgia and modern flare make this a something-for-everyone event designed for family fun.

Siege of Fort Erie

The Siege of Fort Erie
Siege of Fort Erie
The Siege of Fort Erie was one of the last and most protracted engagements between British and American forces during the Niagara campaign of the American War of 1812...

 is a historical re-enactment of the famous 1814 battle, which takes place during the second weekend of August. This battlefield was the bloodiest on Canadian soil due to the various sieges that took place throughout the War of 1812. The Siege of 1814 is vividly recreated every year.

Canadian Motor Speedway

Fort Erie is the location of the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway
Canadian Motor Speedway
Canadian Motor Speedway is a proposed motorsport development in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. The development is located on an 821 acres parcel adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Way highway. It consists of a 1 mile progressive bank oval, and 2.6 mile road course...

 development. This large mixed-use development, located adjacent the QEW, will feature a 65,000 seat motor speedway and road course.

External links

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