Exploring Great Destinations in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
queenston ontario

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Queenston, Ontario

In 1790 there was a transfer of transportation from the eastern side of the Niagara River to the western side. By this time the tiny village of Queenston had several buildings but this new transportation route undoubtedly saw the town swell in population.

By 1791 an order was made by the Land Board for all farmers living close to the portage route to remove their fences so a new road could be built linking the tiny hamlet to Chippawa Creek.

A tender for the contract of transferring the goods was made by a group of locals, Robert Hamilton, George Forsythe, John Burch and Archibald Cuninghame. The plan set forth by these men was for any colonist to be able to gain employment transferring goods by wagon via the portage route from the West or New Landing (Queenston) to Chippawa Creek above the escarpment thereby bypassing the mighty Niagara Falls.

St. Saviour, The Brock Memorial Church
The inscription on the plaque in front of the church reads:
"This Parish was formed in 1817. The first church building, erected between 1818-1820 was located at what is now the junction of Niagara Parkway and York Road. The Rev. Brooke Bridges Stevens, M.A., Garrison Chaplain at Fort George was the first priest. This first church was destroyed by lightening. For 40 years the congregation met in various places until 1879 when this present church was completed. It was consecrated by the first Bishop of Niagara, Thomas Brock Fuller, Godson of Major General Sir Isaac Brock, Commander of Troops during the War of 1812."

By 1807 the village boasted over 100 houses with a population of 300 people, although this may be a low estimate. The Landing at Queenston became a hub of activity with dozens of wagons pulled by teams of oxen, mules or horses waiting at Queenston to unload the many schooners carrying furs and assorted goods to be hauled over the portage route to Lake Erie and on to Detroit.

The War of 1812 took its toll on the village, which at one time had been overtaken by American troops. By the mid 1800’s the Welland Canal was beginning to replace the portage route and Queenston was no longer a nucleus for trade or travel.