Niagara Apothecary

Step through the doors of the Niagara Apothecary and see how pharmacists practised their profession over 100 years ago. Rows of glass and ceramic jars and bottles line the shelves of the Apothecary. These vessels contained all the ingredients essential for the 19th-century pharmacist to custom-make prescriptions at the dispensary with mortar and pestle. The Apothecary, over time, also became a place to find flavourings, paints, dyes, leeches, tobacco, alcohol and snuff.

The Niagara Apothecary opened its doors at this location in the late 1860s as a continuation of a practice first estabished about 1820 in the town. It operated for over 100 years under a succession of six owners, closing in 1964. The Ontario Heritage Trust acquired the property, led its restoration and opened it as a museum in 1971.

The original interior fittings of the Apothecary, all in use until 1964, have been painstakingly restored. The hub of the Apothecary was the ornately carved dispensary (where custom-made prescriptions were prepared), which dominates the rear of the museum. With the exception of certain proprietary drugs, even pills were made at the dispensary.

This National Historic Site is owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust and is operated as a museum by the Ontario College of Pharmacists. The Apothecary is open seven days a week, noon to 6 p.m., from mid-May to Labour Day. Admission is free.