Often called the loveliest town in Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake has a long and distinguished history. Site of the old Neutral Indian village of Onghiara, it was settled at the close of the American Revolution by Loyalists coming to Upper Canada, many of whom had been members of the much feared Butler's Rangers based during the American Revolution at Fort Niagara, then under British control.
In 1781 the British Government purchased land from the Mississaugas; a strip of land 6 miles wide along the western bank of the Niagara River for "300 suits of clothing". By 1782, 16 families had become established and had cleared 236 acres. In 1791 part of the military reserve at the mouth of the river was chosen as the future townsite. In 1792, Newark - as it was named by Governor Simcoe, became the first capital of the newly-created colony of Upper Canada, and the legislature met here for five sessions, until Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe moved the capital to York. By 1796, 70 new homes were built, and the town continued to prosper as the economic, administrative and judicial centre for the Niagara Peninsula. The physical appearance of the town, with the exception of the powder magazine at Fort George was virtually erased by the burning of the town by the Americans during the war of 1812. Rebuilt, Niagara became an active commercial centre, with a busy shipping and ship-building industry, as well as many shops and warehouses. The beautiful old homes lining the tree-shaded streets attest to the prosperity of its citizens.Click here for Niagara-On-The-Lake Videos
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing parchment to extend over sides of pan. Grease paper. Combine heavy cream and powdered sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally. (Do not bring to a boil.) Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour cream mixture over chocolate; let stand 1 minute. Gently stir mixture until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Combine caramels and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until caramels melt and mixture is smooth, 9 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place 1 layer of graham cracker sheets in bottom of prepared pan, breaking crackers to fit as needed. Pour one-third of the caramel mixture over crackers. Using an offset spatula, smooth caramel to edges of pan. Pour one-third chocolate mixture over caramel; smooth chocolate to edges of pan. Repeat layers 2 times with remaining graham cracker sheets, caramel mixture, and chocolate mixture, ending with chocolate. Sprinkle chopped toffee candy bars over top. Chill, uncovered, 4 hours or overnight. Lift toffee bar mixture from pan using parchment. Trim edges if necessary. Cut into 16 pieces. Serve chilled.