Each year, millions of people from around the world travel to Niagara-on-the-Lake to experience our Town’s unique charm and historic sites, including Fort George and Brock’s Monument; period-restored heritage homes, top-flight golf courses, breath-taking parks and gardens, as well as over 30 wineries and countless vineyards, many of which produce our world-class ice wine.
Residents and visitors alike enjoy the Town’s natural beauty, as well as our many heritage landmarks and local amenities, including some of the finest vineyards, orchards, and greenhouses in Canada; the world-famous Shaw Festival Theatre; internationally-acclaimed wineries; and the four-star dining and visitor accommodations.
Visit Tourism Niagara-on-the-Lake for more information on what to see and do in NOTL.
Tourism is the largest sector in Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) accounting for 3,350 jobs. These tourism jobs are in retail (1,250), accommodation and food (1,630) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (470).
Total annual visitors to Niagara Region – 13 million per year
Total annual visitors to NOTL – 3.5 million per year
Total annual revenue $ for Niagara Region - $2.4B
Total annual revenue $ for NOTL - $648M
Estimated total value of annual revenue from domestic tourists
Niagara Region - $1.56B
NOTL (65%) - $421.2M
Estimated total value of annual revenue from international tourists
Niagara Region - $840M
NOTL (35%) - $226.8M
For more information on what to see and do in NOTL visit:
2022 Summer Games
The 2022 Canada Summer Games is taking place August 6-21 throughout the Niagara Region and is set to include 5,000 young Canadian athletes from various parts of Canada, competing in 18 different sports at national, international, Olympic and Paralympic levels.
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) is a proud host of the Tennis and Sailing events, scheduled as follows:
Date: Sunday, August 7th to Saturday, August 13th
Place: Niagara-on-the-Lake Tennis Club
Date: Monday, August 8th to Thursday, August 11th
Place: Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club
13 for 13 Festival
In addition to celebrating sports within Canada, the 2022 Canada Summer Games aims to highlight elements of unique Canadian culture. As a result, NOTL has been asked to host a unique cultural event in partnership with the 2022 Canada Games and one of Canada's Provinces or Territories.
NOTL has been paired with British Columbia and the 13 for 13 Event will showcase the unique cultural heritage, entertainment, art and culinary experiences of Niagara-on-the-Lake and British Columbia.
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Place: Simcoe Park, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) Tourism is committed to the development, encouragement, promotion and enhancement of a positive and diverse economic environment consistent with the special cultural, historical, agricultural, ecological and community qualities of NOTL and its environs.
Tourism NOTL’s main goal in its marketing activities is to increase awareness of NOTL as a travel destination and to increase engagement of both local residents and visitors. As a result of its marketing efforts, NOTL welcomes 3.5 million visitors each year.
Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) Ambassadors are volunteers, proud to donate time to promote and support Tourism NOTL. The NOTL Ambassadors stroll the streets of Old Town during the Spring and Summer months welcoming visitors and offering recommendations on sites to see, things to do, and personal insights into where people can get the most out of their visit to NOTL.
The Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) Chamber of Commerce is a local organization of businesses and companies intended to develop and further the interests of their members. As the voice of business, the Chamber plays an important advocacy role by working with all levels of government on issues related to taxation, business regulations, land supply, economic development, tourism and necessary public services.
The NOTL Chamber of Commerce is also the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) and Visitor and Convention Bureau for NOTL.
The Tourism Partnership of Niagara (TPN) was established in 2010 as one of Ontario’s 13 Regional Tourism Offices (RTOs). Representing all of the municipalities within the Niagara Region, the TPN is an independent, industry-led, not-for-profit organization responsible for working with tourism partners to enhance and grow Niagara’s tourism products and marketing activities.
Niagara Economic Development and the Town of NOTL works closely on economic development and tourism initiatives. The size and significance of the tourism sector in Niagara means that businesses operating in the region can leverage a wide range of supports that have been developed by stakeholders over decades.
City and sub-regional tourism associations and the Tourism Partnership of Niagara regularly offer opportunities for business stakeholders to get involved in marketing campaigns and special events to help spread the word about Niagara and their business.
Tourism Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E)
The Tourism BR&E program is a structured, action-oriented, and community-based approach to business and economic development. It promotes job growth by helping communities learn about issues and opportunities for local businesses and sets priorities for projects to address these needs.
This visitation program whereby volunteers conduct confidential in-person visits with local business owners, managers, and organization leaders to gather information, and identify key challenges and opportunities for growth. The findings of these interviews will help to build a local tourism action plan.
Through the tourism action plan, the Town of NOTL, with support from Niagara Region, NOTL Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations, can work together to enhance and support the tourism industry. The action plan can also be utilized to inform future work to be conducted for the NOTL tourism strategy.
Through the implementation of the BR&E program, the Town will learn first-hand how its tourism sector is faring as a result of the pandemic. The program helps to:
- Support local businesses so they can grow, create jobs and stay in the community
- Write and implement an action plan to foster business development, investment and job creation
- Collect business and market data to support economic development planning such as the upcoming NOTL Tourism Strategy
Expected completion date: April 2023.
Economic Impact Analysis -Phase 1
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) commissioned Metroeconomics, an economic consulting firm, to do an economic impact analysis that would support the Town’s broader interests in a balanced approach to economic growth. The objective is to have a better understanding of the drivers of the local economy, the implications that this may have on the community (particularly the Heritage District)and inform a broader conversation about how and where the Town will accommodate the projected population, dwelling and employment growth in the future.
Based on the results of the analysis, the economic base of NOTL is dominated by the tourism and wine industries.
Economic Impact Analysis -Phase 2
Currently underway and using the analysis completed by metroeconomics, Deloitte, a full service consulting firm, has been retained to do an analysis of qualitative impact of growth and identify and ‘map’ existing business clusters by type of industry (NAICS) using available data and business directory information. This mapping will allow for the assessment of the implications for the growth of various business clusters based on employment projections and determine what challenges the municipality may face in accommodating that growth on the ground.
Given the role and perceived impact of tourism on the local economy as described in the quantitative analysis, Moneris point of sale data for the tourism sector will help to characterize the existing tourism economy that includes:
- Origin City
- Spending Analysis
- Length of Stay
- Average Spend per Party
- A comparison of local vs. visitor spending
This analysis will be used to inform the forthcoming tourism strategy and illustrate where the possible pinch points exist in the town’s tourism infrastructure and product development. It will also contribute to a discussion of the opportunities for growth and an appreciation of the land-use implications that may result. Expected completion date: TBD
Tourism Survey and Study
A Niagara-on-the-Lake Business Group retained Abacus Data, a full-service public opinion and market research firm to conduct a study to understand how residents of NOTL and the wider Niagara Region feel about their quality of life, the impact that tourism has on their life and the broader communities, and whether they feel their community can be both a tourism destination and a great place to live.
Tourism’s economic impact extends beyond tourism businesses, and workers. It benefits other businesses, industries, services, and community infrastructure. There is also a social benefit: the amenities that residents get to enjoy are cost shared with tourism. Parks, restaurants, Shaw Festival, a perfectly manicured Old Town Heritage District, golf courses, shopping, and other recreational facilities. The quality of life enjoyed is directly related to tourism.
Key findings include:
1. Residents want to see the town focus on improving parking and traffic congestion, but there is little evidence that many residents want to see tourism curtailed. In fact, as is clear in the results, tourism is seen as essential to the character and quality of life in the town. Without tourism, NOTL wouldn’t be what it is – a great place to live.
2. Residents believe tourism is essential to both the economic and social life of the town and region. And 85% of those living in NOTL believe the town can be a great place to live and one that attracts a lot of tourists.
3. Almost all residents believe Niagara-on-the-Lake is a great place to live. And believe it is so BECAUSE of tourism.
4. In fact, those living in NOTL are more positive about their experience living in the community than those living in the wider Niagara Region.
5. And almost all residents say they are happy with the number of parks/green space, the sense of peace and quiet, and the number of attractions/amenities. There is little evidence that many residents are unhappy with these core attributes of their community.
6. Don’t change or limit what makes NOTL a great place to both LIVE & VISIT
These results express that our residents believe strongly in the importance of tourism to their lifestyle, economic wellbeing, sustainability, the diversity and inclusivity of our community, and in building a brighter future for the Town.
Wine Industry Update
In early 2022, Industry experts came together to prepare a report and provide an update to Niagara-on-the-Lake Council on the wine industry and its impact on quality of life locally, including jobs, economic well-being and sustainability. Their goal was to ensure the industry, and the importance of its sustainability, is well-represented in any discussion of a tourism strategy.
The modern wine revolution in Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) started with industry pioneers planting some of the first vinifera grapes. The industry has grown from infancy to 9,500 acres of vineyards in just under 50 years, simultaneously gaining a reputation as a world-class agriculture, manufacturing, and service-based industry.”
At the heart of it all, are the farmers, and their passion and dedication to growing some of the finest grapes in the world. NOTL is a farming community with a rich history of family legacies dating back to the 1800s. As the wine industry thrives, these legacies are protected.”
Manufacturing in the industry includes winemaking, sorting, bottling, shipping, and distribution, and jobs range from winemaker and cellar hand to truck drivers and trades people. These are high-paying, skilled jobs, right here in our community.
Commercialization is also in the forefront including product development, marketing and promotional activities which contributes to the Town’s positive reputation for winemaking.