If you remember from my post on my trip to Toronto, I had mentioned that "When in Toronto, it is a crime not to visit the Niagara falls!" And I had promised that I will bring a post exclusively on my trip down to Niagara Falls, so brace yourselves cause here it is!
One of the most coveted places to go to when in Toronto, Niagara Falls is a wonder to must see. Niagara Falls is the most powerful falls in the world with a water flow rate of up to 2,400 cubic meter per second during the peak tourist season from June to August.
Comprising of three falls together, namely
the massive canadian horseshoe falls right between the Goat Island and Table Rock , the American falls located between Prospect Point and Luna Island, and the tiny little Bridal Veil falls between Luna Island and Goat Island (hardly noticeable as a separate fall next to the American falls), Niagara falls sit between two countries, Canada and USA, connecting Toronto and Buffalo, and flows between two lakes, Ontario and Erie.
Some fun facts about the Falls:
- The Niagara Falls falls right between Canada and America as a part of the international borders, so if you want to do a 360 around the falls, you may need two visas (if you do).
- The word "Niagara" is derived from the Iroquois Indian word "Onguiaahra" which means "the strait".
- The Horseshoe Falls is the largest horseshoe fall in the world, with 792.4 meters across the brink and 50.9 meters high.
- There are two hydroelectric plants on the Falls which draw water into their reservoirs prior to the Falls.
- The Falls is vigorous and produce about 2 GW power for Canada and about 2.4 GW power for the US.
- The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old female schoolteacher.
- Twenty percent of the worlds freshwater lies in the Great Lakes, and most flows over Niagara Falls.
- In the evenings, intense floodlights situated at the Canadian side bathe the falls with different shades of colour.
- The best and the oldest tourist attraction at the Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise.
Okay, so I was indeed absolutely thrilled to see so much ice at the foot of the American falls. As informed by a friend, the Horseshoe Falls was pretty spectacular a couple of days before my arrival to Toronto too, all covered up in snow. Although there wasn't much left there during my visit, I am still glad I chose the perfect time to visit since the day was indeed really bright and sunny.
There are a lot of Myths surrounding the frozen falls. The truth is the falls never freeze up completely, not even for a day. Yes, the flow of water did was stop completely over both falls on March 29th 1848 due to an ice jam in the upper river, but only for several hours. In fact, this is the only known time for such a thing to have occurred. The Falls did not actually freeze over, but the flow was stopped to the point where people actually walked out and recovered "artifacts" from the riverbed!
Anyway, enjoy some of the pics from the Falls... Watch out for the pretty rainbow that is almost always there!
How to get there and what to do:Niagara Falls and the city it is situated in is about an hour and a half bus journey from Toronto Greyhound coach station at Dundas Street. The Greyhound bus trips are available daily from 7:00 am till 10:30 pm, leaving every hour. The 2 stops you can take in Niagara Falls is Highway 420 at Stanley and the Bus Terminal just within walking distance of the major attractions. The bus tickets are open return so catch the next bus you would like, just watch out for the last bus. There are many other buses to get to the Falls, check the website here to plan your trip.
There are also rail services as well as expensive taxi services to the Falls. To use the rail services, just board at the Union Station that arrives at Niagara Falls station that is located at: 4267 Bridge St., Niagara Falls, ON near Whirlpool Bridge. The station is about 4km from the Falls, 2 blocks from downtown.
The trip to the falls would take up majority of the day so plan up ahead. Leave in the morning to have the whole day to yourself at the Falls. The Falls area is cold, misty and breezy even when it is sunny for most part of the year so be prepared, layer well. There are many attractions other than the Falls in the city itself so you will be pretty busy for the whole day. There are also loads of restaurants to eat so yup, you'll have a lot in your hands.
I must admit, the trip to the Falls have been one of the loveliest adventures of this trip. A definite MUST-SEE place! I also recommend a helicopter ride over the falls, a really romantic view I must say.