Although it memorializes the lives and exploits of countless Canadian pilots and engineers, The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum began as the dream of just four men. From a hanger at Hamilton Airport, friends Dennis Bradley and Alan Ness, along with their partners Peter Matthews and John Weir, set about preserving Canada's warplanes for the benefit of future generations. From the acquisition of their first Fairey Fireflies to the ambition rescue of an Avro Lancaster previous mounted for use as a statue, the collectors behind the museum painstakingly restored and recreated the planes that defended the nation and defined Canada's military aviation identity.
Pilots welcome the public into the same Fairey Firefly and other vintage aircraft for special flights, but visitors don't need to leave the ground to peer into the cockpit of Canada's aviation history. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's 108,000-square-foot hanger houses more than 40 historic aircraft, from biplanes such as a Fleet Finch to the nose of a Boeing 727. Viewing stands allow for up-close looks at many of theses aircraft, and visitors can even sit in the cockpit of a CF-100 when volunteers are on duty. The museum's value as a storehouse of history hasn't gone unnoticed; it's one of a handful of museums designated as a Cultural Property Institution by the Canadian government.
The Niagara Historical Society & Museum seeks out the details of local historical events to highlight the stories behind the history. This quest for the details began when the Historical Society’s first president and museum founder, Janet Carnochan, wrote about the history of the community and collected artifacts that represent the history of the region. The museum collection began in 1896, and grew to chronicle the battles, refugee emigrations, and recreational developments that shaped the region. Today the museum houses more than 8,000 artifacts and 40,000 documents that rotate through the permanent exhibits, including a powder horn belonging to Chief Joseph Brant, uniforms from the War of 1812, and early Canadianna furniture. The museum’s historical significance even extends to the three separate buildings that house its artifacts. The high-school building was originally constructed in 1875, and Memorial Hall was recognized as the oldest museum building in the province by the Ontario Heritage Trust.
The Niagara Wax Museum of History has molded 46 exhibits depicting the history of Niagara Falls and the famed individuals who helped shape the area. More than 10,000 square feet of viewing space display the region's history, from the longhouses of Tuscarora Indians to the 21st-century scientists who vowed to reverse the waterfall's flow. Life-size wax figurines and authentic artifacts depict notable historic figures such as Father Louis Hennepin, one of the first people to discover the falls in the 1600s, or Annie Taylor, the first person to survive a trip over the watery summit without the assistance of an antigravity ray. Glance into a recreation of an 1800s general store, or imagine diving over the falls in one of many wooden barrels replicated in the museum's daredevil exhibit.
Louis Tussaud's Waxworks entices curious families and individual seekers with rooms brimming with waxified legends, people, and achievements. Today's Groupon grants admission for two guests into Waxworks' sprawling English Tudor–style building, which houses 16 theme galleries, filled with glossy tableaus of more than 100 true-to-life wax figures crafted by international artists. Past and present celebrities—including film and music stars, politicians, religious figures, and famous heroes and villains—pause from high-stakes staring contests for photo opportunities with passing patrons. Sit on Oprah's couch, snuggle into bed with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, or play host to an unblinking audience of invisible fish.
Ripley?s has enthralled audiences for more than nine decades with its dedication to revealing odd and unexplainable rarities from around the globe. But it all began with one man: Robert Ripley, a wildly successful and eccentric character who rose to fame during the first half of the 20th century. After selling his first cartoon to Life magazine at age 14, he set out on a quick-paced career of drawing sports cartoons for the New York Globe. During a slow day at the office, he sketched nine unusual sporting events and finished his work with a title: ?Believe It or Not!? It became immensely popular, allowing Ripley to travel the world in search of more bizarre stories to put into his comic strips. While visiting relatively unknown areas in locales such as India, China, and the inside of his neighbor?s chimney, he picked up a slew of unbelievable souvenirs that later became fixtures in several of Ripley?s museums, or as they?re affectionately called today, Odditoriums. Ripley?s now encompasses publications, attractions, a television show, and a blog, all of which carry Ripley?s tradition of reporting on the world?s curiosities.
The Aerospace Museum was founded by a group of aviation enthusiasts to preserve Amherst's aviation artifacts. Set in the former terminal of the Niagara Falls Internantional Airport, the museum showcases a variety of planes including a Curtiss JN-4, a P-39 Aerocobra, and a Bell Model 47??the first U.S. commercially licensed helicopter. Patrons can examine these aircraft up close and peruse the documents and records relating to their history.