Niagara Falls is a major attraction, drawing 16 million visitors each year, the Falls are acknowledged as one of the world’s natural wonders and are indeed Canada’s most important tourist attraction.
There are actually 2 waterfalls, the smaller American Falls, near the E bank on the US side, and the much larger, more impressive Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. Both can be viewed from any part of the long pedestrian promenade built high above the river bank, which is punctuated by elevated viewing platforms and ranks of coin-operated telescopes.
This ramshackle, easy-going town is undergoing something of a transformation, with high-rise, upmarket hotels, a convention centre and the Minolta Tower Casino being welcome additions. Plenty of parkland, botanical centres, vineyards and minor theme parks provide alternative interest for visitors staying for more than a couple of days.
This destination is suitable for anyone wishing to experience one of the world’s most spectacular natural settings.
There is a mixture of unsophisticated hotels to upmarket bracket, plus various motels and cheap B&Bs dotted along the riverfront road and in elevated positions overlooking the Falls.
The Niagara Falls is found in East Canada, in the South of the Ontario province (81 mls S of downtown Toronto, 95 mls S of Pearson international airport, 28 mls W of Buffalo airport (USA)). They are found in the centre of the broad isthmus that divides Lakes Ontario and Erie, on the West bank of Niagara River, which divides Canada’s Ontario province from the US state of New York.
There is a collection of motley souvenir shops and cheap and cheerful stores in the tourist downtown area opposite the Falls. There is a handful of indoor plazas, including one on the edge of Canadian Horseshoe Falls. A choice of factory outlets offering discounted branded names farther out, in downtown proper. Buffalo and Niagara Falls USA are often a better bet for low-priced jeans, trainers etc.
During the daytime experiencing the sheer spectacle of millions of tonnes of cascading water is the principal attraction as well as getting the best photographic record of “me and the Falls”. There is the remarkable Skylon Tower for an awesome panoramic view of the river and beyond into the USA. There are amusement arcades and themed museums, including Guinness World of Records and Tussaud’s waxworks. The memorable “Maid of the Mist” boat trips get you closer to the Falls.
The nightlife here is not notable as a throbbing late-night destination, although there are several bars in and around the tourist part of downtown. The nightly illumination of the Falls is well worth the wait (in summer), even if only visiting for the day.
Eateries offer predominantly fast-food joints offering the ubiquitous hamburger, fries and pizza, supplemented by roadside-diner chains, There are some smart restaurants at the larger hotels. Bon vivants will be disappointed.