Believe it or not, the Clifton Hill district was the original Niagara Falls.

The Clifton Hill district is a City designated tourism district within the City of Niagara Falls Canada. Starting back in 1856, Victoria Avenue, Centre Street, and the surrounding area were named 'Clifton' but in 1881 the area changed its name to the Town of Niagara Falls. In 1994 the two largest areas, Drummondville and Clifton amalgamated to become the City of Niagara Falls in 1904.

In the 1820s, a stairway was built down the bank at Table Rock and the first ferry service across the lower Niagara River began. By 1827, a paved road had been built up from the ferry landing to the top of the bank on the Canadian side. This site became the prime location for hotel development and the Clifton was built there, after which Clifton Hill is named. This was the beginning of the tourism industry.


The original Clifton Hotel was the grandest hotel that ever existed in Niagara Falls. Built-in 1833, and located where the Oakes Garden Theatre is currently. It started as a 60 room hotel and soon expanded to 150 rooms to keep up with visitor demand.

A fire started in the summer of 1898, completely destroying the hotel. In 1906 the hotel was re-built with 270 rooms, it was larger than the original hotel and included such amenities as phones, electric elevator, light, heating, hot and cold running water. The newly built hotel had a magnificent ballroom and a dining room capable of seating 600 people.

In 1928 the Hotel General Brock opened up creating increased competition between the two prominent hotels, but in the winter of 1932, the Clifton Hotel caught fire again. Once the charred remains and rubble were cleared away the site was purchased by Harry Oakes and later presented to the Niagara Parks Commission to take care of. The NPC turned it into an outdoor theatre surrounded by beautiful gardens, where it still remains today.


History, geology and natural wonder formations like the 'Falls' have created one of the most iconic and authentically 'Canadian' vacation experiences. The perfect blend of rural and urban allows visitors the perfect getaway.