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Niagara Falls

Thursday, May 4, 2006
Niagara Falls straddles the Canadian-US border between Ontario and New York. As powerful as they are beautiful, the falls attract 14 million visitors each year, many of them honeymooners or couples actually taking their vows beside the falls.

They comprise three separate waterfalls on the Niagara River, a relative youngster at just 10,000 years old. Horseshoe Falls (sometimes called Canadian Falls), American Falls and the smaller adjacent Bridal Veil Falls. Between them they provide North America's most voluminous waterfall, 58km of natural outlet from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, the longest in the Great Lakes system.

Just 90 minutes south of Toronto, the original inhabitants were the Ongiara, an Iroquois tribe helpful to European settlers in mediating disputes with other tribes. Niagara was their word for "thunder of waters", and once there, it is easy to understand why. The falls have been illuminated at night since 1925 and nature provides rainbows during the day.

Around a trillion litres of water crash over the falls every hour, and if you don't mind getting wet, a Maid of the Mist tour is almost essential.

Visitors have been getting close to the base of the falls on the famous diesel-engine boats since 1846 and enjoying a half hour thrill of a lifetime. Reusable raincoats are included in the fare, but with that much water at close proximity, you do get wet.

Downstream from the falls a great gorge has been cut deep and narrow by millennia of rushing white water. Trillions of litres are forced through the accelerating trough resulting in one of the world's wildest stretches of white water. Visitors take the White Water Walk and are overwhelmed by nature's beauty and power. The tours operate from April to November.

There are plenty of dry things to do around Niagara. Clifton Hill offers a great variety of entertainment day and night. It has haunted houses, Disney rides, video game action, Ripley's Moving Theater and Believe It Or Not museum, a virtual rollercoaster and a Guinness World Records exhibition. The Adventure Dome is a four-storey screen with virtual rides on things from a bobsled to a tank.


The Canadian province of Ontario

For further information

Maid of the Mists Tour
5920 River Road
Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E6V6
Ph: 0011 1 905 358 5781
Fax: 0011 1 905 358 8527

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