The Niagara Foundation acquires The Wilderness

April 22, 2024 – The Niagara Foundation is pleased to announce an agreement to acquire 100% of The Wilderness (as it has been known for more than one hundred years), located at 407 King Street in Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The almost 5-acre property has significant historic, cultural, environmental and botanical importance within the Niagara region.  

“Acquisition of the Wilderness has been a goal of the Foundation for some time,” said Lyle Hall, Chair of The Niagara Foundation.  “We are pleased to have reached an amicable agreement with Ken Reid to acquire the 50% interest not already under our control, giving us complete ownership of the property.”

The Foundation received the other half-interest through the Will of Ruth Parker, one of three sisters who owned the property.  Ruth passed away in 2013.  The Executor of Ruth’s estate determined that The Niagara Foundation was the best organization to respect her wishes that the heritage elements of The Wilderness be preserved and maintained for the benefit of the public. 

The transaction will close later this year.

The Wilderness location

“We intend to collaborate with heritage, planning and environmental experts to ensure we preserve the significant attributes of the land and buildings comprising The Wilderness, said Hall.  “We also think there is opportunity to draw on the breadth and depth of expertise and experience from within our community.  The Foundation will actively seek input from residents for project management and oversight skills as we consider options for use and interpretation of this unique asset.”

A $1-million pledge by Lauren and Vaughn Goettler/Goettler Family Foundation, as well as several other significant donations from Niagara-on-the-Lake residents, enabled the acquisition.  Additional fundraising efforts — from philanthropic individuals, corporate partners, and grant-making organizations — will be required to ensure the project’s long-term success.

The Niagara Foundation is most grateful to Ken Reid for facilitating this transaction and to the Goettler Family Foundation and our other donors for their financial support.

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