Legacy Hall at Cave Springs
Legacy Hall will be a unique venue for community groups seeking an experience and atmosphere that fosters deeper discussions and relationships. Legacy Hall will be a place to appreciate and respect natural beauty; a place to share our observations; a place that is welcoming and accessible to all. The Legacy Hall Project will honour the historical vision for the property, and protect the unique environmental features of this land for future generations.
Warm and natural colours and splashes of natural wood will greet guests. Entering from the east entrance, you will already start to see glimpses of the Gathering Hall windows around the stone fireplace. The Gathering Room will encourage us to come closer to the large windows to get a better look to the south and west landscape.
The lower level’s smaller Gathering Room will also welcome one to come closer to see through the large windows and to step out again onto the sunset facing patio.
Legacy Hall is placed adjacent to Hoxie Hall to minimize disruption and the need for any new paths or roads. The architecture will compliment its neighbor with a gentle curve wood structure and natural stone.
Both levels of Legacy Hall will be accessible via an elevator or walking in to the main level at the east or walking in to the lower level at the west side. Universal washrooms on both levels and lower level Universal showers would be made available.
A buried ground source heating and cooling system, hyper insulation, argon filled windows , provision for solar collectors and LED lighting will minimize development and site intrusion.
Both levels, the East side arbour covered walkway, the lower patio will offer different places to sit together and share what we have seen that day or what we may see tomorrow. A contributors’ written quote on the donor recognition signing wall may be a wonderful discussion starting point.
Community engagement is broadened through respectful, inclusive, and transparent dialogue with volunteers and community partners.
Legacy Hall Site Map
Embrace diversity and recognize community members’ right to be heard and participate in processes that affect their lives
Develop in a way that respects recreational play and fun are important aspects of learning
Practice clear and respectful communication
Grow in a way that is consistent with universal design in building and educational principles and value based education
Campaign Start – Fall 2017
Build – Fall 2018
Begin Rental Programs – Spring 2019
Fully Rented – Spring 2020
Spectacular History and Remnants of the Old Lake Iroquois Shore
Cave Springs affords us much to appreciate; Spectacular history and remnants of the old Lake Iroquois shore, mysterious rock carvings, unexplored and lost caves, Unique Carolinian forest of trees, plant and habitat, water springing from rock, cultural folklore of a “Fountain of Youth” and an eccentric “Good Witch.”
Naturalists see the world through special lenses, finding breathtaking beauty and restful sanctuary just steps from the beaten path. Niagara’s natural areas are unsurpassed and Cave Springs is a jewel in Mother Nature’s crown.
Spring sings the song of fledgling birds and strolls through wild flowered woodland paths with migrating raptors kettling high above on escarpment thermals.
Summer is the cool of moss green limestone walls and the haunting echo of the thrush through the dim forest and visits to the mythical Ice Cave.
Autumn thrums your heart with the bittersweet swish of the golden and the scarlet, the air redolent with the musky fragrance of grapes and fallen leaves; the haunting calls of migrating geese echoing in the distance.
Winter beckons with hikes to the top of the Escarpment with spectacular views, Lake Ontario laid below as far as the eye can see. Back inside to gaze out onto pristine snow-dazzled forested vistas, cuddled by the fireplace.
Our Niagara Escarpment is the most diverse ecosystem in the Province. It is a life force that protects thousands of acres of trees and sustains species of birds, flowers, amphibians and reptiles that are rare in Southern Ontario. Considering that Southern Ontario is the most urbanized and intensive agricultural area of Canada, it is a blessing that the escarpment has been protected as much as it has been. Our piece of the Escarpment here at Cave Springs is a gift that we should treasure and stay vigilant to protect and enjoy.
A Gathering Place for Families & the Community
In 1946, soldiers returning from World War II were keen to focus on families and children. The people of the local counties that would eventually become Niagara Region had a vision to build a gathering place where families, and children and community groups could gather among nature.
Three properties were being considered. Dr. Harry Upshall, director of the Horticultural Experiment Station at Vineland, singled out Cave Springs and described the site’s suitability as having “a natural spring for water supply; a creek; a natural swimming pool; flat land for tents, hiking trails; and a historic nature site with beautiful vistas and rich native history.”
Men and women from various church groups worked hard to raise money to meet their dream of a nature property for a girls and boys, and family camp. They were running girls and boys programs and Youth Groups, which were under the umbrella of the Girls or Boys Work Boards in each of the counties – among them Lincoln, Welland and Louth. Each area sent representatives to be a part of this corporation in 1951.
When it opened, the Cave Springs board was made up of men and women selected from each area. The three dominations, Anglican, Presbyterian and United churches became the official owners.
By 1968 only United Church members remained and the corporation became the property of the Niagara Presbytery. Although it runs a Christian program, the camp has always embraced other denominations.
Today the Legacy Hall project will honour the historical vision for the property as it seeks to build a four-season rental facility designed to be used by the community. What made Cave Springs property the right choice at the time is still true today – a unique historical nature site.