Founded in 1796, Cleveland became an industrial town with the
opening of the Erie-Ohio Canal that linked the Ohio River to Lake
Erie, and the city's vast iron and coal supplies made it one of the
most important steel and shipbuilding centres in the country, a
sprawling mass of oil refineries, mills and warehouses along the
shores of Lake Erie.
Industrial success poured money into the city and wealthy
tycoons built the downtown area that today has outgrown its 'steel
town' image and is a bustling place, a city of green parklands and
lively neighbourhoods with a vibrant atmosphere. Once the
heavily-polluted victim of much mockery, its industrial character
has moved beyond the city limits and the downtown warehouses and
factories now house trendy clubs and restaurants, while museums,
and sporting and cultural events attract many visitors to the
Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of the
Cuyahoga River, Cleveland has a growing cultural presence that has
been enhanced by newly added attractions such as the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame and Museum, the enormous Great Lakes Science Center
and six-storey OMNIMAX Theatre, and the professional sports arenas
and stadiums of the Gateway District that host major sporting
events as well as live entertainment.
These are welcome additions to a city already boasting a
world-class orchestra, a celebrated art museum, lively theatre
district and the restored lakefront area. Neighbourhoods buzz with
restaurants and shops, and the Flats, once the industrial heart of
the city occupying both banks of the Cuyahoga River, is now the
booming entertainment and nightlife district of Cleveland. The
historic Warehouse District is downtown's oldest commercial quarter
and is a national Historic Landmark with over 70 fine examples of
Victorian architecture. Once housing merchants' and manufacturers'
goods, the old warehouses are now home to music clubs, galleries
and trendy dining spots.
Some miles out of the city centre are two theme parks with some
of the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster rides at the
Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, and the Six Flags Worlds of
Adventure in Aurora.