Here’s a place where time stood still and history remains untouched, right in Ontario. St Catherine’s Lakeside Park is not only a peaceful escape with a sandy beach and picnic pavilion, it’s also home to a 1890’s carousel. And you can still ride it.
Located in Port Dalhousie, Lakeside Park is a fun destination in the summer as there’s a beach to enjoy, including adventures along the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail and the Port Dalhousie Harbour Walkway.
Though all the outdoor activities sound like a grand time, the definite attraction here is the Lakeside Park Carousel.
According to St Catherine’s official website, the historic carousel was hand carved from 1898 to 1905 by Charles I.D. Looff in Brooklyn, New York.
“Relocated in 1921, the carousel came to St. Catharines from its earlier home at an amusement park in Scarborough, now part of the City of Toronto. It was purchased for the amusement park flourishing in Port Dalhousie, which had 58 attractions,” shares the town’s site.
“In those days, more than a quarter million people annually crossed the lake in steamships to visit Port Dalhousie on weekends.”
The carousel features 68 animals and four chariots. The music is played by an antique Frati band organ which uses a system of paper music rolls – talk about old school.
“Each animal was hand carved, and the horses still have real horsehair tails,” shares the site.
“The carousel animals have all been carefully restored by the Friends of the Carousel, who continue with annual maintenance and repair work to keep the carousel in sound working order.”
This carousel is one of the 350 antique hand-carved carousels that are still operating in North America.
And since it’s still operating, the answer is yes, you can still ride it. It’s 5 cents a ride or admission by donation.
However, you only have until this weekend to enjoy it as it operates from 11 AM to 6 PM until October 9th. Hours of operation may be subject to change though so keep your eyes peeled for any notices if that so happens to be the case.
Though, you can still visit the park on a day trip and simply see the carousel in all its glory.
Where: 1 Lakeport Rd, St. Catharines, ON
When: Until October 9th – weekends only
Cost: 5 cents a ride