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Paradise Grove and The Commons

Left: The Commons trail off of John Street. Right top: The Commons lanes of Oak trees. Right middle: Waterfront Trail connection to Paradise Grove and The Commons. Right bottom: Interpretive panels at Paradise Grove. Photos: [Krystal McLeish].



Paradise Grove: Oak Savannah is located within The Commons which is just minutes from downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake and offers a beautiful walk through a stand of Oak trees as well as a large manicured field for recreational activities. Once used as a military training ground due to its proximity to Fort George, a part of The Commons is now a naturalization site. This historical site and conservation area is perfect for a picnic and a short stroll or a game of pick-up sports. It also features an interpretive panel outlining the naturalization efforts. Paradise Grove does not offer much in the way of facilities but offers a peaceful getaway from the tourist attractions of Niagara-on-the-Lake.


Funded by Canada's Great Lakes Sustainability Fund, this project planted 1000 oak saplings in 2003 and the next spring planted wildflowers. Tree species planted include: Black Oak, Northern Pin Oak, American Hazelnut, Chinquapin Oak Savannah and Bur Oak. Native tall grasses are also planned to be planted on this site as part of the restoration process. This naturalized area is showing signs of previous native plant material and wildlife populations recovering. As of 2012, there are plans to add this site to the Niagara River Riparian Habitat Management Area.


The Niagara Parks Commission has overcome some obstacles associated with naturalizing a site, including; what to restore, will it be similar to its native state, and community involvement. Niagara Parks has planted native oak species that are typical to the site's original Black Oak Savannah and tall grass prairie ecosystem in order to encourage dormant native plant seeds on site and attract and increase biodiversity. Today Paradise Grove looks similar to its previous state before it was clear cut. In lieu of naturalizing the whole Commons, the large field where the military training camp was situated has been kept intact to offer a glance at the rich history of the Niagara-on-the-Lake community.


Paradise Grove and The Commons are located next to Butler's Baracks. These sites played a crucial role in Canada's military history. A short walk next door to Paradise Grove will reveal military buildings and displays in memorial to Canadian soldiers and Canadian Military history.


Paradise Grove contributes to ongoing initiatives in Niagara-on-the-Lake's ecosystems by protecting and enhancing biodiversity. All the while offering the residents and visitors to Niagara-on-the-Lake a peaceful escape into nature. This site is easily accessed by car or by the Waterfront Trail. If you are driving, its easy to miss because there is no sign, so keep your eye out for the long lanes of Oaks.



Photo Gallery



TripClip Audio File

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Click to play or download Paradise Grove and The Commons TripClip (mp3 format).


This destination is also part of the TripClip tour 'Touring Niagara's Naturalization Sites.'


Hours of Operation

Dawn till Dusk



From Toronto:
1. Take the Queen Elizabeth Way West
2. Merge onto ON-403 W (20.8 km)
3. Slight left onto Queen Elizabeth Way (signs for Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie) (61.8 km)
4. Exit onto Glendale Ave/Regional Road 89 (900 m)
5. Turn right onto Taylor Rd/Regional Road 70 (2.3 km)
6. Continue onto Niagara Stone Rd (12.5 km)
7. Continue onto Mississauga Street (500 m)
8. Turn right onto Mary St (signs for Regional Road 87/Mary Street) (750 m)
9. Turn right onto King St (160 m)
10. Turn left onto John St E (900 m)
Destination will be on the left

441 John St E
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0

From Fort Erie/Buffalo:

1. Take Niagara Pkwy/River Rd North. Continue to follow Niagara Pkwy (6.3 km)
2. At the roundabout, continue straight to stay on Niagara Pkwy (10.5 km)
3. Turn left onto John St E (600m)
Destination will be on the right

441 John St E
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0


Further Information


Hourdequin, M., & Havlick, D. G. (2011). Ecological Restoration in Context: Ethics and the Naturalization of Former Military Lands. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 14(1), 69-89.


Niagara-on-the-Lake Economic Development. (2009). Nature & conservation. Retreived from http://www.nedcmicrosites.com/notl/index.php/quality-of-life/nature-and-conservation/


Niagara Parks. (2012). Paradise grove: Oak savannah. Retrieved from http://www.niagaraparks.com/nature-trails/paradise-grove.html


Parks Canada. (2011). Butler's barracks: A brief history. Retrieved from http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/natcul/natcul2d.aspx


Richardson, D. M., Pysek, P., Rejmanek, M., Barbour, M., Panetta, D., & West, C. J. (2000). Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: Concepts and definitions. Diversity and Distributions, 6(2), 93-107. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1472-4642.2000.00083.x/abstract 


Ownership & Management

Niagara Parks Comission


Free daytime parking


441 John St E
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
L0S 1J0 Municipality Niagara-on-the-Lake



GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.243727
Longitude -79.068118
UTM easting 656842.5763554759
UTM northing 4789692.739424082


Niagara Parks Commission
7400 Portage Road South
Niagara Falls, Ontario
L2E 6T2
Tel 905-356-2241
Toll free 1-877-642-7275
Website niagaraparks.com

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