Balls Falls

The Balls Falls Thanksgiving Festival

Our favorite time of year to visit Balls Falls is early October when the grounds are used for the beloved annual Balls Falls Thanksgiving Festival and Craft Show. Voted one of the 50 best attractions to visit, it’s become a mainstay and beloved tradition amongst residents of the region and it’s easy to see why. It’s a fund raiser for the Conservation Authority to boot. We’ve been going for over a decade as their special guests. We wouldn’t miss it for the world!

It features over 140 artists who are hand picked for the festival (so they are all very good!) showing their wares such as pottery, paintings, jewelry, lawn ornaments, clothing, and more. It’s also a sort of fair with exhibits in everything from antique steam machinery, farming equipment, gardening, and birds of prey. Be sure not to miss even an inch of this festival! 

Tessie’s favorite place to visit is the food tent beside the historic barn for sauces, jams, jellies, chocolate and fudges. Priscilla quite enjoyed the peaceful beautiful church all decked out in autumn colors and featuring wonderful musicians in concert such as the harpist who was playing when we stopped by. Henrietta’s personal favorite is the row of vendors selling delicious treats like roasted corn on the cut, hot dogs, hand cut fries, perogies, pumpkin tarts, apple cider, cotton candy and candied apples.

This year we will be visiting on 
Saturday October 12 from 1pm to 3pm

Directions from Toronto:
Follow QEW Niagara to Exit 64 (Ontario St. Beamsville) Take Ontario St. Beamsville Exit to Regional Road 81 (King St.) Turn LEFT and follow to Regional Road 24 (Victoria Ave.) Turn RIGHT onto Victoria Ave. and follow to 8th Ave. Turn LEFT onto 8th Ave. then turn LEFT onto 21st St. and LEFT at 7th Ave. to enter Parking Area.

Directions from Niagara Falls/Buffalo:
Follow QEW to Exit 55 (Jordan Rd.) Follow Jordan Road to Regional Road 81 and follow signs to Ball’s Falls Parking; or access via Hwy 20 to Victoria Ave. Southbound. Follow Directional Signs to Ball’s Falls.

Directions by broom:
Either set your GPS (Ghoul Positioning System) to 43.134392,-79.383499 or fly to the base of Vineland at Lake Ontario, head south and hope for the best.

For more information contact: 905-562-5235
or click here

A History of Balls Falls:
 Once an early 19th century hamlet, it is now a conservation area of over 200 acres restored and maintained by the Niagara Peninsula Conservations Authority.

John and George Ball were among the soldiers who received land for remaining loyal to Britain during the American Revolutionary War. 1200 acres of land was sold to the Ball brothers in October 1807, including two waterfalls where the Twenty Mile Creek passes over the Niagara Escarpment, the lower falls 90 feet high and the upper falls 35 feet high. By 1809, they had already built a grist mill at the lower falls, and a saw mill was located at the higher falls.

To ship the flour ground by the mill the industrious brothers created a coopers shop to produce barrels, followed by a blacksmith's shop to produce hoops for the barrels. By the 1840s, the area became known as Glen Elgin and included a five story mill for processing wool, two lime kilns and other industries.
In the 1850s, the Great Western Railway siphoned all further commerce away from Glen Elgin, and the town was gradually abandoned. In 1962, Manly Ball sold an area of 110 acres to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority who began to turn it into a conservation area.

Today the site occupies over 200 acres and has been lovingly restored to its early 1800's atmosphere features an operating flour mill, a lime kiln, a church, family home, blacksmith shop, carriage shed, and more. In addition to its historical interest, Ball's Falls is also a centre for nature activities, offering a tremendous diversity of flora and fauna as well as excellent exposures of geologic strata. The Bruce Trail passes through the very north end of the conservation area to the north of the lower falls. Hikes along the Bruce Trail either to the west or the east can be made from this location

A Map: