Sheraton Blog
Niagara Falls Hotel Blog

The Screaming Tunnel: A Must for Ghost Hunters in Niagara

July 28th, 2014

SOTFblog5.jpegIn every small town, there is a place that local history — true or not — has turned into a place of mystery. There’s always that one spot — a long-abandoned building, an old graveyard, a clearing in the woods — that’s rumored to be haunted and where people go to either discover the truth for themselves or just be scared out of their wits.

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, that place is the Screaming Tunnel, located in the northwest corner of the city, off Warner Road. For decades, the tunnel has been the place where local teens prove their bravery and where ghost hunters visiting the Niagara Falls region attempt to see some paranormal activity live and in-person.

From Practicality to Paranormal

The Screaming Tunnel is often believed to be an abandoned railroad tunnel, but the 125-foot long tunnel was actually constructed to allow for drainage under what is now Canadian National Railways. The tunnel was constructed so that water could safely drain from the surrounding farmlands without washing out the train tracks and so that farmers, equipment and animals could pass safely under the tracks instead of over them and risk being hit by an oncoming train.

Today, though, there aren’t many local farmers leading cows and sheep through the tunnel, and most of the visitors come equipped with wooden matches, hoping to experience the phenomenon that gives the tunnel its name.

Local Legends

SOTFblog6According to local lore, in order to experience hear the screams that give the tunnel its name, you must walk halfway into the tunnel at night, without any lanterns, flashlights or other illumination. Once you’re in the middle of the tunnel, the legend says, you must light a single wooden match. When the flames go out, you’ll hear the sounds of a girl screaming from somewhere in the tunnel.

The identity of the screaming girl is unclear, as there are several versions of the story. In one version, the screams are those of a young girl who escaped a nearby farmhouse that had caught fire; her clothing was on fire and she ran into the tunnel to try to extinguish the flames, but died in the process. In another version, the girl is the daughter of a couple in the throes of a contentious divorce, and the father burned her in the tunnel to avoid losing custody. In the third, and arguably most disturbing version, the screams are those of a young girl who was attacked and killed in the tunnel and then burned to hide the evidence.

Regardless of local lore, there have never been any confirmed incidents of such crimes inside the tunnel, nor any identification of whom the screams could actually belong to. Nonetheless, the Screaming Tunnel continues to draw visitors from both the local area and ghost-obsessed tourists from around the world who want to try to hear the screams for themselves. Of course, the fact that scenes from the Stephen King film “The Dead Zone” were filmed here doesn’t hurt its popularity with tourists at all.

So what do you think? Will you brave The Screaming Tunnel on your next visit to Niagara Falls? If you do, make sure you don’t forget to bring a single wooden match — and maybe your running shoes.

Screaming Tunnel image by Russell Sturmey from Flickr Creative Commons

Bookmark and Share

Cast Your Line in Niagara Falls

July 21st, 2014

SOTF3.jpegIf there is one thing that Niagara Falls is known for, it’s water. And where there is water, there are usually fish — and Lake Ontario and the Niagara River is no exception. Most travelers come here to see the spectacular water, but if you’re an angler, you shouldn’t miss the many phenomenal fishing opportunities the area has to offer.

Local Species

By some accounts, the fishing in the Niagara region is some of the best in all of Ontario. The waters of Lake Ontario in Niagara Canada are home to a number of species of sport fish, including King and Coho salmon and several types of trout, including lake and rainbow. The Niagara River is a year round fishery for walleye, Steelhead, bass and musky. In short, whatever type of freshwater fish you’re angling for, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here.

Getting There

Even though avid anglers will argue that there is no such thing as a bad day of fishing, the easiest way to have a successful day of fishing in Niagara Falls is to hire an experienced guide to help you find the best fishing spots. In addition to getting to those “secret” locations where you’re more likely to finally land that trophy fish, a guide will offer more insights into the local area, sharing history, legends and information about where you are and what you’re seeing.

Most guide services will also outfit you with everything you need for a successful day out on the water, from rods and reels to bait, life jackets and licenses. Instead of packing all of your gear and searching for the perfect spot to drop a line, all you need to do is show up and your guide will do all the work to ensure you have a great day or afternoon on the water. Check with the Niagara River Anglers Association for guide recommendations, or ask the concierge at your hotel to recommend a fishing charter.

Local Laws and Regulations

SOTFblog4.jpegIn order to fish the waters of Ontario, you’ll need a valid Outdoors Card and fishing license. The Outdoors Card is a plastic wallet card that serves as an ID for anyone who wishes to hunt or fish in Canada. It is not a fishing license. You will need to purchase an additional license in order to fish; depending on how many you plan to catch and keep, you can purchase either a Sport Fishing License or a Conservation Fishing License for one, three or eight days. There are also one year and three-year license options. Licenses can be ordered online or purchased at Canadian Tire locations around Niagara Falls; if you’re working with a charter service, they can help you get your permits in order. You can also find out more about the various licenses and their costs and requirements from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website.

Fishing the Niagara Falls region is a great way to enjoy some of the natural beauty of the area while getting away from some of the hustle and bustle for a while. You might even catch “the big one!”

Bookmark and Share

The History-Lover’s Guide to Niagara Falls

July 15th, 2014

Are you a history buff? Are you planning a trip to Niagara Falls? Then you won’t want to miss some of the great attractions nearby. Whether you’re Canadian yourself or visiting from abroad, you’ll love learning more about the history of the Niagara Falls region.

When you book a hotel in Niagara Falls, you’ll be conveniently located close to attractions like the Laura Secord Homestead, Old Fort Erie and Fort George. Discover what daily life was like for local residents during the early 19th century, and for soldiers during the War of 1812.

SOTFblog.jpegLaura Secord Homestead

Though she received little recognition during her own lifetime, Laura Secord was a brave Canadian heroine who, after her home was invaded by American soldiers during the War of 1812, journeyed 20 miles afoot to warn the British of an impending surprise attack in June 1813. Her bravery gave British troops the warning they needed to win the Battle of Beaver Dams and thwart the American invasion of the Niagara Peninsula.

Secord achieved national fame only after her death. Thanks to the generosity of the Laura Secord Candy Company, her home has been restored and preserved as a museum and monument to her life. Learn about the fascinating life of this Canadian heroine, and experience the realities of daily living in the early 19th century at the Laura Secord Homestead.

SOTFblog2.jpegOld Fort Erie

Founded in the aftermath of the French and Indian War, Fort Erie was the site of Canada’s bloodiest battle. The Siege of Fort Erie, which took place from August 3 to September 21, 1814, saw more than 3,000 people killed and wounded. Old Fort Erie served as a British fort during the American Revolution, and was a critical border crossing point for travelers on the Underground Railroad from 1793 to 1865. The Irish Republican Army even occupied Fort Erie during their largest-ever raid in 1866.

When a locale has seen as much bloodshed and death as Old Fort Erie has, you’d expect it to have some ghostly residents. Take a ghost tour of Old Fort Erie, led by a guide in period costume. The tours take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

Fort George

Built when the 1783 Treaty of Paris brought an end to the American Revolution, Fort George helped the British maintain control over the Niagara River after the peace terms forced them to give Fort Niagara to the fledgling United States. It served as an important command center during the War of 1812, though it was never fully restored after suffering heavy artillery damage at the hands of the Americans.

Today, the fort is open to visitors as a living history museum, where staff maintains the facility as it would have been during the early 1800s. Here you can see actors demonstrate the firing drills and infantry tactics used during the War of 1812. The 41st Fife and Drum Corps also demonstrates the use of the fife and drums. Each year, scouts from both sides of the border meet in this location to reenact the Battle of Fort George, which took place in May 1813.

History buffs won’t be disappointed at the cultural attractions available to visitors of the Niagara Falls area. Niagara Falls and nearby villages were strategically crucial for both sides during the War of 1812. Attractions like Old Fort Erie, Fort George and the Laura Secord Homestead can help you get a feel for what it must have been like to live through this harrowing time.

Laura Secord Homestead image by Ken Lund from Wikimedia Commons.

Old Fort Erie Image by Ernest Mettendorf from Wikimedia Commons.

Bookmark and Share

Stay Active On Your Summer Vacation in Niagara

July 11th, 2014

Falls_05NEWGoing on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t stay active while enjoying the city and everything it has to offer. Take a look at these outdoor activities found in Niagara Falls that will keep you moving throughout your stay.


The region offers more than 50 golf courses that make up the beautiful natural world around Niagara Falls. The championship courses in the area are placed on scenic settings, close to the Falls and not far from the excitement of downtown Niagara Falls. Stay active and spend some time in the pleasant summer weather at one of the many beautiful courses found in Niagara.


Biking is a great way to get fit and enjoy the natural beauty of the region. The trails allow you to trek throughout the forests, parks, waterside trails and the Niagara Parkway not far from whatever hotel you’re staying at in the falls. Stop and grab a bite or shop during your ride as the trails that surround Niagara Falls are never too far from civilization.


Choose a paved or non-paved trail to hike along in the natural landscape of Niagara Falls. With over 15 km of hiking footpaths across six different nature areas as well as the 56 km paved Niagara River Recreation Trail, you have plenty of options. Take photos of the beautiful flowers and trees and bring binoculars to check out the birds along the way!


Located on the Niagara River between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, Niagara Falls is known for great fishing. All summer long fishers find salmon and trout throughout the lakes starting in April and the Niagara River has landed itself on the list for the best steelhead river in North America. Fishing is a great way to spend a hot summer day on the water or while relaxing on the riverbank.

Choose one of these activities for a relaxing yet active way to spend your day. All the options offer a healthy alternative to your normal day-to-day life and are a great way to explore the region at the same time.

Bookmark and Share

A Few Spots to Catch Live Music This Summer In Niagara

July 8th, 2014

maidofthemistThe summer time is the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy live music around the city. During the summer there are a bunch of spots to enjoy live music while you sit and relax in the warm weather.

Here’s a list of just a few places that music lovers can check out on their next visit to Niagara Falls.

Fireman’s Park

On Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer you can enjoy free live music at Fireman’s Park during its summer concert series. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. and take place rain or shine. Grab your lawn chairs, some snacks and make your way to the park for a relaxing evening.

Falls Fireworks Illumination Coca-Cola Concerts 

Get to the Table Rock Centre at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays for a free concert featuring local Niagara musical acts. After the concert sit back and enjoy the fireworks over the falls as they illuminate the sky.

Casino Niagara

Casino Niagara offers free concerts on the weekend which means you can enjoy music, drinks and gaming all in one place. The greatest bands in the region can be found playing shows during Free Live Music at Casino Niagara and with a new band every week you won’t want to miss out!

Fallsview Casino & Resort

Get super close to international stars at this beautiful 1,500-seat theatre. With more than 250 acts a year and music from all over the globe, there’s a show for everyone. Upcoming musical acts include Train, The Spinners and Little Anthony & The Imperials.

Niagara Jazz Festival

Enjoy a weekend full of jazz music in Niagara-on-the-Lake this summer. With free concerts, live jazz music and educational opportunities, the weekend will be dedicated to the love Niagara has for jazz. Tickets can be purchased for the entire weekend or for single events so grab yours today!

If you love live music then one of these events will be a sure way to enjoy yourself and the beautiful weather during the summer.

Bookmark and Share

Three Hot Upcoming Wine Events Around Niagara

June 23rd, 2014


wine pouring 2 glassesNiagara has made a name for itself offering a selection of wines and experiences for wine enthusiasts and those who are looking for fun events with beautiful scenery.

The summer weather is the perfect time to visit the wineries and check out the gorgeous vineyards, the food and – of course – sample the wine.

Below is a list of three wine events that are coming up in the region, making it a great reason to come visit one of the most respected wine regions in the world.

Earth & Sky Music Market

Filled with food trucks, artisans, specialty food, music and wine, you won’t want to miss out on this event taking place at Chateau Des Charmes on June 30, August 4 and Sept. 1. The transformation of the vineyard into a supermarket gives this event a twist on the usual winery event, while adding in local music and delicious food.

Pop-Up Patio

Pillitteri Estates Winery is embracing the region’s chefs, produce and wine during its luncheon series. If you want a casual lunch of three to five menu items that offer a unique taste using local ingredients then make your way to Pop-Up Patio. The prices are budget-friendly and with a glass of wine in hand you will be relaxed in no time! The Pop-Up Patios take place during the summer with the next scheduled for July 4.

Trius Jazz at the Winery

Celebrate jazz and blues music in the wine country at this upcoming Trius Winery event. Now in its 25th year, the evening will return this summer showcasing the wine, music and food found in Niagara. Choose Vineyard Lawn Seating or Backstage Passes, eat from the market menu or a three-course prix fixe meal all while enjoying the warm weather and delicious food.




Bookmark and Share

Enjoy Ultimate Experience Packages at Sheraton on the Falls

June 18th, 2014

CS_TubEmptyStraightIf you’re looking for a trip to Niagara Falls that’s specially designed around your interests take a look at some of the many Ultimate Experience Packages that we offer. All the packages include your accommodations at our 4-star hotel that is conveniently located in the heart of the tourist district.

Ultimate Couples Experience Package: Indulge in this package with your special someone enjoying the food, wine and nightlife that Niagara Falls is known for. With three dining gift cards to the best restaurants in the city, winery tasting passes and complimentary cocktails at the Hard Rock Café, your weekend will be well spent in each other’s company.

Ultimate Niagara Winery Experience Package: Not just for wine enthusiasts, this package is the perfect way to spend the weekend in Niagara. Fall in love with delicious VQA wine found in the region when visiting several local wineries for tours and tastings. Accompany your winery passes with dining gift cards to Windows, Rainbow Room and the Fallsview Buffet. The next morning make sure you pamper yourself at the Christienne Fallsview Spa.

Ultimate Spa Experience Package: If you want a weekend built specifically for relaxation and enjoying time spent with your partner, then this is the package for you. Featuring a couples massage and private use of the Hydrotherapy Infinity Tub you’ll easily forget about the stresses of life. Top it off with complimentary chocolate truffles and sparkling water for an unforgettable spa experience.

Ultimate Casino Experience Package: A package made for anyone feeling lucky and looking for a night out on the town. Celebrate a special day with this package and enjoy meals at Windows, Rainbow Room and the Fallsview Buffet and wine tasting passes at Hillebrand and Peller Estates and then spend the evening gaming at Casino Niagara.

The toughest part is choosing which package you want to experience!

Bookmark and Share

Celebrate Canada Day in Niagara Falls

June 9th, 2014

wfol (2)Canada Day is quickly approaching and Niagara Falls is one of the best places in the country to celebrate the occasion. Niagara Falls offers tons of activities to partake in on the special day, including fun historical, educational and family oriented events.

Canada Day At Inniskillin

Wine enthusiasts can rejoice at the fifth annual Canada Day celebrations at Inniskillin Winery and enjoy an evening filled with food and wine. This picnic style event will have a BBQ and other food options right next to the vineyard on The Piazza. Included at the event will be an outdoor wine bar where VQA wines fit for the summer will be offered. Don’t let the night stop at food and wine and stay for the fireworks that will be happening over the vineyard at dusk.

Canada Day Celebration at Welland Canals Parkway

This event is perfect for families looking to celebrate the holiday together. Filled with fun games such as the bean-bag toss, tug-of-war, as well as food vendors and more, you won’t want to miss out! Get a chance to meet some characters from St. Catharines’ past and spend the day at the Museum’s Dominion Day Picnic. Learn about the world famous Welland Canal and how it helped shaped the Canada that we know today.

Secord Day

This educational Canada Day celebration will take you through a history lesson as you learn about the stories of Laura Secord and her journey. The homestead has been converted into an authentic experience with costumes and items from the era. This day will be a chance to celebrate the holiday with your family partaking in activities for everyone at the historic Laura Secord homestead.

Falls Fireworks Illuminations Coca-Cola Concerts

A classic way to celebrate the holidays with the family will include free music and fireworks. This budget friendly event is perfect for everyone and has an incredible view to accompany it. A free concert featuring local band Sultans of String and fireworks as the sun sets will kick off the celebrations right beside the Horseshoe Falls.

If you’re looking for something unique to do this Canada Day, visit Niagara Falls this July. With family friendly events taking place throughout the area it won’t be hard to find a fun way to celebrate the day!

Bookmark and Share

The Perfect Getaway Includes Sheraton on the Falls

June 2nd, 2014

001Take a break from the everyday this summer and indulge in a relaxing getaway with us! While many know Niagara Falls for its bustling nightlife, attractions and restaurants, one of its best-kept secrets is our Christienne Fallsview Spa.

The Christienne Fallsview Spa has everything you’ll need to relax during a weekend away in Niagara Falls. Situated inside of the Sheraton on the Falls, the spa contains several unique features including the only Hydrotherapy Infinity Tub in Canada, treatment areas overlooking the falls and it’s the only spa in Niagara to offer the GUINOT line of skincare products.

The Christienne Fallsview Spa has also just announced two new services – Reiki and Reflexology. Reiki is a form of healing using specific hand positions and light touches along the body to balance energy. Reiki treats body, emotions, mind and spirit. Reflexology is used to re-balance Qi (the life force flowing through your energy channels) to treat a number of conditions to have a beneficial effect on the organs and a person’s general health.

To make the planning process easier we’ve developed the Ultimate Spa Experience that includes hotel accommodations, time at the spa and several other goodies, including winery tasting passes to two nearby vineyards.

Ultimate Spa Experience Package Includes:

  • One Night Hotel Accommodations
  • 55 minute Relaxation Couples Massage and 20 minutes private use of the Hydrotherapy Infinity Tub
  • Sparkling water infused with a Cherry Lane elixir and decadent Chocolate Truffles
  • Three Fallsview Dining Gift Cards:
  • Two Cocktails at the Hard Rock Cafe
  • Special Hershey’s Chocolate World Gift
  • Two Winery Tasting Passes at Hillebrand and Peller Estates
Bookmark and Share

The Niagara Integrated Film Fest is here!

May 26th, 2014

NIFFWatch out movie world, Niagara is quickly becoming a hot spot for films with the launch of the inaugural Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF). NIFF will be coming to Niagara and bringing tons of new films to its many venues located throughout the region. Choose from more than 30 different films, including comedy, animation, drama, documentary, family and music categories and watch something that you may have never heard of before.

The festival will feature films from Niagara and around the world including: Third Person, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson; Cold in July starring Michael C. Hall; Love is Strange starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina; FRANK starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal; and many more.

The event will have several ways for attendees to watch the films to make sure you get the best experience possible. With lots of programs offered you definitely won’t want to miss out.


This program brings “dinner and a movie” to a whole new level with events hosted at some of Niagara’s best vineyards. Each vineyard has hand-crafted a delicious menu with wine pairings to compliment your film. After dinner you’ll be treated with a film showing in the vineyard for a film festival experience like no other.

Film Fest

For an event that embraces short films, make your way to one of our featured vineyards for a flight of vintages, hors d’oeuvres and a selection of short films. Enjoy a low key evening by sipping on wine and watching the incredible talent found in Canada.

Other programs offered at NIFF include Niagara Rises, Canada’s Not Short on Talent, World’s Smallest Film Festival and Purple Carpet Diaries. Each movie brings something new to the table and showcases the talent found in our country. NIFF will be bringing wine and food to the film world for a truly unforgettable experience.

Bookmark and Share