Pat Southern Pearce

 Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

Looking for artistic inspiration? If you’re an artist, sometimes you just need to get away. To relax, let your guard down, and soak in the beauty of a new place--the colours, the shapes, the textures, the patterns and the contrasts. These are the things that rejuvenate artists and inspire us.

Our small group artists' retreat in Niagara-on-the-Lake is going to be an amazing and inspirational experience taught by super talented and popular UK urban sketcher, Pat Southern Pearce. Here are our top 12 things that we will see and do in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Get ready to be inspired!

12. Explore the Colorful shops

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

While the main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake small, it’s packed with jelly-bean colored shops one after the other that must be explored—or sketched—on a tree-lined street bursting with window boxes and hanging flower baskets. It is a balm for an artist’s soul.

11. Visit the Apothecary Museum

Apothecary Museum, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Pop in to the Apothecary Museum and step back in history to a time when medications were kept in ceramic jars (including leeches) and hard candy was a penny. This museum is free although donations are appreciated. It is located right on the main street. You can’t miss it!

10. Stroll the Waterfront Trail


The Niagara River Trail

The Waterfront trail runs along the water’s edge and was recently extended making for a lovely quiet walk from one end of town to the other. And for those wanting a more strenuous adventure, this trail connects to the Niagara River trail that runs from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie. It is 32 miles of smooth, paved trail for bikers and hikers far from traffic and dappled in shade.

9. Draw the Gorgeous Neighbourhoods

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

If you love to sketch or paint buildings, there is no better place than Niagara-on-the-Lake for its variety of architectural styles neatly spaced on quiet tree-lined streets. This town is the inspiration for Tricia Romance who made her home here and painted many of the charming houses in this town.

8. Enjoy a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride

horse drawn carriages in Niagara-on-the-Lake

What better way to explore Niagara-on-the-Lake than in a horse-drawn carriage. These lovely well-cared for horses are an inseparable part of this town and locals know them and their top-hatted owners by name. Sit back and take a gentle, relaxing loop around town. It’s easy to imagine a time when traffic jams were unheard of.

7. Take an Historical Tour


Niagara-on-the-Lake was founded in 1782 and was the first capital city in Canada.  The area was originally called Upper Canada and it was on this spot that one of the battles of the War of 1812 was fought. Take an historical walking tour of the town to stir your imagination. These walking tours are organized by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum. Tickets are $10 and it includes museum admission. 

6. Visit Fort George + Fort Mississauga

Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake

If you're a history buff, you will want to visit Fort George, it’s right on the edge of town, just a 10 minute walk from the main street. Historical re-enactments of battles from the War of 1812 are organized in July and the cost is $15.50. About a mile north of Fort George you will find the remains of Fort Mississauga. And directly across the Niagara River you will see Fort Niagara on the American side.

5. Relax at the Beach

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

It is a short 2-minute walk from the main street to the Queen’s Royal Park, a shady haven with a small beach on Lake Ontario, picnic tables, and a gazebo. Families and lovers choose this spot to picnic and people watch and, on a clear day, you will spot Toronto 35 miles across the lake.

4. Explore a Winery

Peller Estates, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake is smack in the middle of Ontario’s wine region and boasts more than 50 vineyards many of which are open to the public, offer wine tastings, cooking lessons and even live music. Two Sisters, Jackson Triggs and Peller Estate Wineries are within walking distance of the main street. There’s nothing more relaxing than a walk on a warm summer evening to one of these vineyards for a wine tasting.

3. Visit Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Of course, no exploration of the area would be complete without a visit to see Niagara Falls, considered one of the 7 wonders of the world. For the first time visitor it is very impressive. 3,160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second. The sheer size of this waterfall and the thunderous power is breath-taking.

2. Have an Adventure + Meet New Friends

Meet New Friends, Niagara-on-the-Lake

One of the best parts of a small group artist retreat is that we are stepping out of our comfort zones, trying new art techniques and materials, exploring a new place, and meeting new friends. And, because we’re all having this adventure together, the class very quickly moves from strangers to friends who often keep in touch long after the workshop is over and sometimes even arrange to travel together in future.

1. Take 5 art classes with amazing urban sketcher and artist, Pat Southern Pearce

Pat Southern Pearce

The number one top thing for artists to see and do in Niagara-on-the-Lake is to take an art class every morning of our 5-day retreat with super talented Pat Southern Pearce. Pat will gently guide us through her process for creating richly colorful drawings on toned paper. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish with Pat as your instructor. The group is limited to 10-15 participants coming from all over the world all at various skill levels. We’re all there for the same reason—to have fun and learn new skills in good company.  

The Perfect Artist Vacation

Doesn't this sound like the perfect artist vacation? This vacation workshop in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada taught by Pat Southern Pearce is organized by Studio 56 Boutique. 

Join us!

September 11-15, 2023

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