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
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry knife or your hands, cut butter into flour mixture until dough resembles coarse meal. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until dough comes together into a uniform ball. Wrap in cling wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350ºF. On a floured surface, roll dough 1/8-inch thick and line a 9-inch pie tin with dough. Prick with a fork. Top with baking paper and dried beans. Bake until crust is golden, 15-20 minutes. Remove baking paper and beans, and allow crust to cool. In a large pot over medium low heat, melt butter. Remove from heat. Add cornstarch and mix well to combine. Stir in maple syrup, cream and water. Return pot to heat. Bring to a boil. Cook until mixture becomes thick and sticky. Allow to cool 20 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape filling into pie dough. Allow pie to rest 1 hour at room temperature, or 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.