On our outing last week to Niagara Falls I noticed a grand building high up on the cliffs and my husband told me that it was Oak Hall. Once we explored the falls, the river and Dufferin Islands we got in the car and drove up to the top of the cliff to take a closer look.
Oak Hall is a 37-room, three-story Tudor-style stone mansion that was built in the late 1920s for mining tycoon Harry Oakes. The Oakes family lived there for six years before moving to the Bahamas. Oak Hall was purchased by the Niagara Parks Commission on May 25, 1952 and for a few years, it housed displays by the Niagara District Art Association. Oak Hall currently houses 23 offices, meeting and storage rooms. Displays of Niagara Falls art and the furnished rooms are still open to the public.
The house overlooks the Niagara River and the Dufferin Islands. I can only imagine that it is a lovely place to sit in the summer while enjoying the view.
After doing a bit of shopping the other day I decided to drive down into Col. Sam Smith Park and go for a short of a walk. On my way back to the car I passed the outdoor skating rink. Even though we’ve experienced some pretty mild temperatures the rink was still operational because of the pipes under the ice.
In Toronto if you want to skate in one of the city ice rinks you have to book a time so that the area doesn’t become overwhelmed with too many people. A booth is set up outside the old Power Plant where you can sign in. The building itself is closed now during COVID but is used as a community centre.
On Saturday my husband I took a trip to Ball’s Falls Conservation Area. During our walk we came across this lovely heritage site owned by Mr. Ball and his family back in the 1800s. The windows pictured here are from the grist mill where grains were ground to make flour and the St. George Anglican Church which was moved to the site when the parish had to build a bigger church back in the 1960s. The actual move took place in 1974.
Walking through the old neighbourhood close to St. Joe’s Hospital I couldn’t help but notice how many of the old homes had new window put in as well as undergoing some major renovations. Some of the windows were clearly new but had kept the charm of the older house. Others were a complete departure from the older architecture.
Today I wandered into some parts of my neighbourhood that I’ve never explored before. I’ve lived here for over 41 years but there are streets further east towards Mimico that have eluded me. Today the conditions were perfect for walking.
Many of the homes that I saw today are close to a hundred years old and are need of some TLC but the charm and original beauty came through the blistered paint and rusty eaves. Others were in great shape and some were replaced with new and more modern structures.
Some of the newer places were meant to look old but many were very modern with large windows and simple lines.