Oakes Garden Theatre
This spectacular garden is the entranceway to Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Parks' centerpiece that showcases the Falls. Located at the foot of Clifton Hill, this is the perfect spot for a superb panoramic view of the American and Horseshoe Falls. This spectacular garden is the entranceway to Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Parks' centerpiece that showcases the Falls.
Located at the foot of Clifton Hill, this is the perfect spot for a superb panoramic view of the American and Horseshoe Falls. Concerts and special events are held here throughout the summer.
When it was built in 1936, designers took advantage of the shape of the existing grounds to form a curved pergola overlooking the amphitheatre. Decorative iron gates, Queenston limestone edging, stone gardens, water features, ponds and bordering shrub have been meticulously integrated to the formal garden design.
Recently, the Oakes Garden Theatre has restored the distinctive pergola wall, which includes the original stone and anchored with a steel structural spine to better withstand the area's wet conditions. The striking design of Oakes Garden Theatre/Rainbow Gardens Artwork was recognized and welcomed to the Niagara Falls Arts & Culture Wall of Fame in 2011.
Admission to the garden is completely free, and people are encouraged to have a walk around, relax at one of the park benches, have a picnic, and enjoy themselves at one of Niagara's most appreciated locations.
History of the Oakes Garden Theatre
The Oakes Garden Theatre used to be the home of Niagara Fall’s most prominent 19th century hotel called the Clifton Hotel (1835-1898) which was unfortunately destroyed by a fire. Shortly afterwards, a second Clifton Hotel was built in 1905, and it too burned down in a fire on December 31, 1932! The Clifton Hotel was never rebuilt after this incident, and the land was purchased by Harry Oakes; a resident of Niagara Falls. Harry Oakes had full ownership of the land and he hired architect Dunington-Grubb, Stensson, and William Lyon Somerville to create an intricate design of gardens and stone sculptures in 1937. The garden was officially open to the public in 1937 and in memory and in honor of Harry Oakes the garden was named Oakes Garden Theatre to pay tribute to all the hard work and dedication he put into the creation of this new beautiful spot in Niagara to visit.