Dufferin Island is a Free Picnic Area with Ponds Surrounded by Beautiful Natural Habitat...
When we were young kids, we could actually swim in the many ponds throughout the park. It was a favorite place for our family to paddle boat, swim, and catch frogs and minnows.
Dufferin Islands Bridge
Today, however, you cannot swim and there are no longer any paddle boats butfor a good reason...
The Niagara Parks Commission is doing its best to return this ten acre paradise property to its natural state.
In 2007, The NPC developed a management plan to preserve the existing natural resources.
Prior to 1903, it was a natural and relatively unspoiled fast flowing watercourse. It was an off-shoot of the Niagara River caused by the inclination of the underlying rock formation.
By 1920, water was being diverted for the generation of electricity. Construction of many smaller islands in the channel turned the watercourse into a sedate slow flowing series of pools and ponds.
The disturbed soil became an excellent seed bed for a variety of plants but many were non-native "invasive" species such as Tree-of-Heaven, Norway Maple, and Purple Loosestrife.
Native Trees, Pools and Ponds
These invasive plants are now being removed and replaced with native species. This helps to increase habitat quality. Trails are being upgraded and many interior ones have been closed to allow natural regeneration. This encourages wildlife habitat.
It's a tranquil and picturesque spot to take the kids or grandchildren on a picnic. You'll enjoy feeding the ducks, seagulls, and Canada Geese. If you're lucky, you might spot a swam or two as well! So... don't forget your camera.
Winter on Dufferin Islands
Winter activity on the Islands is another fun thing to do. The Winter Festival of Lights has many children's favorite TV characters on display throughout the park all along the water's edge.
Festival of Lights
The characters and trees on the property are amass with colored lights sparkling against a backdrop of freshly fallen snow. It's a memorable experience for young and old alike.
Access to the park is free throughout the year but from November to January during the Festival of Lights season, the Niagara Parks Commission appreciates a voluntary donation to help cover the cost of the lighting. You just drop your offering into a bucket as you drive out of the park.
Roger and I visit the park several times in the Spring, the Summer, and the Fall, but it's especially enjoyable on a quiet Winter evening when the snow is gently falling and the lights are glittering. It's so peaceful and relaxing.
Dufferin Islands is located just south of the Falls on the Niagara Parkway (between Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse and the Rapidsview Parking Lot).
For information, contact the Niagara Parks Commission 7400 Portage Road Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6T2 (905) 371-0254