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Niagara,town (1991 pop. 12,945), S Ont., Canada, on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River. It was settled (1784) by American LoyalistsLoyalists,
in the American Revolution, colonials who adhered to the British cause. The patriots referred to them as Tories. Although Loyalists were found in all social classes and occupations, a disproportionately large number were engaged in commerce and the professions, or
..... Click the link for more information. and in 1792 Lt. Gov. Simcoe made the town the capital of Upper Canada, renaming it Newark. The legislature met there until 1796. Fort George, built (1796–99) to defend the settlement, was taken in 1813 by the United States but retaken in the same year. The town, officially called Niagara-on-the-Lake to distinguish it from the Canadian and U.S. cities of Niagara Falls, is an architectural and historical treasure, with many well-preserved 19th-century buildings. It is the site of the Shaw Festival, an annual theater festival.