Day trips are a wonderful way to discover the nearby region and there’s none more awesome than...
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In the Spotlight: Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls’ grandeur needs little explanation, renowned as one of the most incredible waterfalls and natural wonders of the world.
Spanning the borders of Ontario, Canada and New York, United States, Niagara Falls was formed in the recession of glaciers in the last ice age. Water from the Great Lakes then eked a path through the Niagara Escarpment, forming a continuous flow towards the Atlantic Ocean.
The Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls (also known as Canadian Falls), the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. These three waterfalls combined have the highest flow rate in North America. They are known for their sheer beauty and their industrial use, as Niagara Falls, has been a valuable and efficient source of hydroelectric power through the years.
In summer, most water flowing over Niagara Falls drops over Horseshoe Falls, with 10 percent diverted to hydroelectric facilities.
Places to eat in Niagara Falls
Visitors looking for places to eat in Niagara Falls will be spoilt for choice, as the well-visited area has several popular, high-quality restaurants. Enjoy a Canadian breakfast at BlueLine Diner or freshly shucked oysters at Tide & Vine. Dine on farm-to-table five-course meals at Weinkeller for a reasonable price, or end a day of touring the Niagara Falls with a craft brew and warm pretzel at Niagara Brewing Company.
Reasonably-priced breakfast fare awaits guests at BlueLine Diner, with large pancakes slathered with authentic maple syrup, excellent bacon, and dark and satisfying coffees. The diner is also attached to Marcel Dionne Inc., a hockey memorabilia store where hockey fans can peruse and purchase NHL merchandise. 4424 Montrose Rd.
Tide & Vine
Opened in 2012, this small but mighty oyster house serves a delectable seafood lineup alongside local beer and wine. Tide & Vine is also famous as a local go-to for the freshest oysters in town, supplying oysters to local restaurants and converting new seafood lovers daily. Every item on their menu is produced in-house, from the lobster rolls, chowder, and even the hot sauce! 3491 Portage Rd.
Taken from the German word for wine cellar, Weinkeller is a locally owned and operated farm-to-table brewpub that serves reasonably priced and easily customizable three to five-course meals. Set in a rustic, brick-walled basement, Weinkeller serves seasonal local ingredients and homemade craft wine. 5633 Victoria Ave.
Niagara Brewing Company
Perched atop the former site of Foxhead Inn, one of the first luxury hotels of Niagara Falls, Niagara Brewing Company is popular for its expansive range of innovative craft beers. Try the Honeymoon Peach Radler, with its subtle ginger touch and fuzzy peach finish, or the Niagara Icewine Beer, a limited-edition brew that melds the sweetness of traditional Icewine with a punch of lager. Guests looking for a quick snack can pick at their signature pretzels––they come with various indulgent dips! 4915-A Clifton Hill
Things to see in Niagara Falls
There are plenty of things to see in Niagara Falls beyond the magnificent falls themselves. Set up for a picnic at Queen Victoria Park and spend an afternoon enjoying the view, with the sound of roaring water. Located right along the Niagara Gorge and Niagara River, it’s one of the ideal vantage points for viewing the waterfalls and is a common jumping-off point for many Niagara Falls tours.
For an enjoyable experience, be sure to spend some time exploring all the sights and sounds of Clifton Hill. Full of restaurants, bars and activities, Clifton Hill, has something for young and old.
Love a good light show? Stay until after sunset when the Niagara Falls light up the night––it’s a truly ethereal sight to behold! The lights come on from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. depending on the season, and every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays starting in May, visitors are treated to a stunning fireworks display to end the night.
Keen to take a look behind the scenes? Go on the Journey Behind the Falls Tour, which takes guests deep into bedrock tunnels that lead to viewing points behind the wall of the water. Want to look right over the edge of the waterfall? Head on over to Goat Island, where brave guests can lean over safety rails to look down over the Bridal Veil Falls. Connected to Goat Island are the Three Sisters Islands, which offer scenic views of the Upper Rapids right before the Horseshoe Falls.
Want a bird’s eye view of the falls? Climb up the nearby Skylon Tower, which offers the highest view of Niagara Falls. Visitors looking to cap their day of sightseeing can also head on over to many of the local casinos like the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara to try their luck.
Fun facts about Niagara Falls
From schoolteachers and cats in barrels, tightrope stunts and countless coins, there are so many fun facts about Niagara Falls:
- Up to 3,160 tonnes of water go over Niagara Falls at any given second. That’s 700,000 gallons of water!
- Fish that fall from Niagara Falls can survive the drop, having evolved to flow with the water and withstand its pressures.
- The first person to take the trip down Niagara Falls in a barrel was a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor. She survived––but did not recommend others to try it!
- Before Taylor’s trip, she had sent her cat (in a barrel) over the falls to test its strength. It survived and is seen with Taylor in many photographs since.
- Going over the Niagara Falls is illegal––those who attempt to do so must pay a hefty fine, as well as pay for the cost of rescue efforts.
- Niagara Falls is also known as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.”
How to get to Niagara Falls
By Airplane: Visitors can opt to fly into the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YMC), or the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
By GO Train: The GO Train has a weekday commuter service that goes from Niagara Falls to Toronto in the morning, with weekend-only service runs that goes vice versa during the May long weekend and every weekend starting from July 1 to Labor Day.
By GO Bus: They work with GO Train in transporting passengers from across Ontario to Toronto and into Niagara. It has stops in St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls.
By Greyhound/Megabus: These bus companies charter buses straight from Toronto and Buffalo, New York, every day to the Niagara Falls Bus Terminals.
By VIA Rail: They offer direct departures from Toronto, Cleveland and New York City to Niagara Falls daily, with a return service in the evening.
By Car From New York State: Simply cross either the Peace Bridge, Queenston Lewiston Bridge, or the Rainbow Bridge, which takes commuters directly into Niagara Falls.
By Car from Toronto: Take Gardiner Expressway West until it turns into Queen Elizabeth Way. Continue towards Niagara, taking an exit on ON-420 to the Niagara Veterans Memorial Highway East.