Seventy-five years ago, the Oakes Garden Theatre was officially inaugurated as a famous park in Niagara Falls. With a lavish blend of horticulture and architecture, the gardens are rooted deeply in the region's history. Back in 1932, this is where the Clifton Hotel stood, but on a New Years Eve night, the hotel was burnt down. The land back then was owned by Harry Oakes, a wealthy Niagara Falls resident who completely transformed the piece of land into what it is today.
Arches of The Oakes Garden Theatre — Photo courtesy of Allen McGregor
After endless plans were created, construction of the elegant outdoor amphitheater began in September of 1935. To date, the outdoor amphitheater regularly hosts outdoor concerts, weddings and just plain old celebrations. The gardens are elegant, quaint and picturesque, and with a backdrop of Niagara Falls, the views surrounding the gardens are simply beautiful. Today, the Niagara Parks Commission is re-furbishing the property to maintain its lustre. The garden features limestone hard-scaping, iron gates, a curved pergola, geometric beds, water features and rock gardens that will have you in awe. After 75 years, the Oakes Garden Theatre is certainly a place to add to any Niagara Falls bucket list, as it is a garden where history and memories are made and never forgotten. Waterfall Pond — Photo courtesy of Andrew Rollinger