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A curious little neighbourhood on the shores of Lake Ontario boasts an intriguing past.

If you like gingerbread – the architectural kind that is, not the edible type – then you might want to take a detour the next time you’re rocketing down the highway between Toronto and Niagara Falls.

Permanent homes In the 1940s people started insulating their cottages and turning them into year-round homes.

From then up until the 1980s the area went into decline.

Vacationers came by train, streetcar and ferries from Toronto, Hamilton and all over the Niagara Region to picnic and play along the shore of Lake Ontario.

One of the biggest group picnics took place in 1906 when a large Emanicipation Day celebration was held in the park honouring the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

Popular amusement for the masses Almost immediately, however, the park was taken over by a new owner, an American who turned it into an amusement area for the masses.