The man-made Dufferin Islands near Toronto are a hidden oasis

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Niagara Falls is one of the top tourist attractions in Canada, with over 30 million visitors each year. So, it's surprising to hear that just two kilometres South of the Horseshoe Falls is a hidden oasis that few know about. 

Made up of 10 acres of paradise, the Dufferin Islands are known as Niagara's best-kept secret. This area is made up of a series of man-made islands that are connected by scenic bridges and footpaths, making it a unique escape away from the city. 

The history of this region is pretty bizarre, and was once known as "The Burning Springs." Dating back to 1820, it got this name due to natural gas that was leaking from the Niagara River - just above the Horseshoe Falls.

A barrel with a pipe and cork was placed upon this natural leak, and when the cork was removed and ignited, the phenomenon of the "burning spring" was born. 

It soon became one of the hottest tourist attractions in Ontario, with people coming from all over the province to witness it in action. In 1902, water was diverted by the Ontario Power Company and resulted in transforming the land into the breathtaking setting it is today.