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Niagara Falls (Photo: Today’s Zaman)
Niagara Falls Attractions
Canada is the northernmost country on the continent of North America. In terms of landmass, it’s an enormous country, spanning six time zones. There is a 4.5-hour time difference between the east and west of Canada. The eastern reaches of Canada lie on the Atlantic Ocean, while the western reaches lie on the Pacific Ocean. To the north lies the Arctic Ocean. The phrase “from sea to sea” can truly be used to describe Canada. Canada also has one of the longest coastlines of any country in the world. The total length of its combined coastlines is 202,080 kilometers. The name “Canada” actually comes from a Native American (First Nations) word, “Kanata,” which means “village” or “settlement.”
Canada is one of the most prosperous nations in the world. Its citizens enjoy average life spans above those of citizens from other developed countries. Males here have an average life expectancy of 79 years, while females have one of 84 years. As it is, the proportion of elderly people to the entire population is already very high.
We leave Toronto, heading for niagara falls. Our trip is set to last around 1.5 hours, and because it’s Sunday there is very little traffic. There are lots of large trucks on the roads here, and it’s sometimes very difficult to pass them on the road. With all the exports and imports flowing between the US and Canada, there is a lot of work for these enormous trucks!
Things to do in Niagara Falls
We arrive at Niagara Falls. These three famous waterfalls — Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls and Canadian Falls — are right on the border between Canada and the US.
Canadian Falls is also known as Horseshoe Falls. The view here is truly magnificent. We see lots of boats moving around in the water below us. The people on the boats are there to get the chance to see and feel the power of the falling water up close, and the touristic boats do their best to approach the mouth of these falls. Many of the people on board get completely soaked.
Niagara Falls affords its visitors some of the most spectacular sights they will ever see; we stare for a long time, the sights accompanied by the strong and unending sound of falling water. Of course, Niagara Falls offers some of the most famous waterfalls in the world and certainly the most incredible in North America.
We film from the Canadian side of the border here, looking across to American soil. Niagara Falls is the natural border between these two countries. And while you can certainly take in the view from the American side, the Canadian side has the most beautiful views. Of course, Niagara Falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada. An estimated 14 million visitors come here a year, and the crowds are particularly large on both sides of the border during the summer months, from May to September.
For both Canada and the US, Niagara Falls is an astounding source of income.
Maid of the Mist — this is the name of one of the boats that plies the waters beneath Niagara Falls. Boats from both Canada and the US head for the mouth, where the falling water hits the pool. The boats from the two countries are different, but the people who board them all have one thing in common: a willingness to get wet from the spray, which is why the moment you get on, you receive a rain slicker. It won’t keep you from getting wet, though, be forewarned. Also note that while the boats do approach the mouth, they can only go so far; to go further would be very dangerous.
What we’re really witnessing is the enormous power of one giant lake — Lake Erie– emptying into another giant lake — Lake Ontario. You can truly feel the sheer power of the volume of water passing from one massive lake into another here. Between these two lakes lies the 58-kilometer Niagara River. And at these falls, this river turns into three enormous waterfalls.
Niagara falls waterfall
More than 168,000 cubic meters of water falls here per minute. Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side is larger and more magnificent than the other falls.
The sound made by the water as it roars down is tremendous. Goat Island separates the 671-meter-wide Horseshoe Falls from Bridal Veil Falls. What you witness here is a huge amount of water dropping at around 32 kilometers per hour down a full 53 meters. The pool into which the water drops is around 56 meters deep.
American Falls, as is clear from its name, is located on American soil.
It is some 250 meters wide, and as the water here falls, it looks like a white curtain pulled from one side to the other. The spot where the falls hit the water below is covered in a magnificent white bubbling of water. Around 10 percent of the water that runs through the Niagara River passes through these falls.
Niagara falls tours
Bridal Veil Falls is the third and smallest of the waterfalls here.
It is 17 meters wide, which makes it small — but only in comparison to its brothers on the other side. Here, at Bridal Veil Falls, the water falls some 55 meters through the air. Bridal Veil Falls is right next to American Falls, and as one might guess, it does resemble the white veil worn with a wedding dress. A small island called Luna Island separates Bridal Veil Falls from American Falls.
There are wooden steps that people on the American side can climb to see and hear the sights and sounds coming from these magnificent waterfalls up close. You have to pay an entry fee, but then you can experience the almost stormy atmosphere created by these waterfalls right there, in person.
Weather in niagara falls
If the weather is sunny and just right, you are also likely to see a beautiful rainbow here. On the American side, to improve your viewing experience, a viewing terrace has been built right over the river. The terrace, unsurprisingly, is filled with tourists.
We approach the spot where the water from the falls hits the pool below. Our rain slicker does absolutely nothing to protect us from getting wet. There is wind and drops of water are flying everywhere. It’s a bit difficult to look directly at the point of contact; a rain of sharp droplets makes it hard to open your eyes. Our camera lens fills with water, and we find ourselves wiping it constantly and rather hopelessly. Despite all this, the view is simply unparalleled.
Head to the nearby Skylon Tower for great way to get a bird’s-eye view of the falls. Ride the speedy elevator up to the viewing terrace — it takes just 52 seconds — and treat yourself to an unforgettable sight. The Skylon Tower is 160 meters high. You also get a great view of Goat Island here. This tower is definitely not to be missed if you make it here. It was built in 1965 and has hosted more than a million people a year since. There is even a doner kebab restaurant at the top! So you can eat as you take in the views.
It should also be mentioned that there are in fact helicopter tours of the falls, for those who are interested. The tours begin at 9 a.m. and leave every 15 minutes until the sun goes down in the evening. The price for one of these tours is 132 Canadian dollars per person.
Niagara Falls tourism attractions
At night, Niagara Falls is also incredible, though of course the experience is very different.
An extensive lighting system projects an incredible spectrum of different colors onto the falls at night. You might even be lucky enough to see a beautiful fireworks show.
Two cities have grown up around Niagara Falls. One is on the Canadian side, the other on the American side. The city on the American side is in the state of New York, and the city of Niagara on the Canadian side is in the state of Ontario. Both of the cities are largely dependent on tourism, though of course this slows down during the winter months.
The Rainbow Bridge spans the Niagara River between Canada and the US. It is open to both pedestrian and car traffic.