Niagara Falls, city in the Regional Municipality of Niagara, southeastern Ontario, Canada, a port on the Niagara River opposite Niagara Falls, New York. The city overlooks the Horseshoe, or Canadian, Falls cataract of Niagara Falls; the crescent-shaped cataract is 54 M (177 ft) high and carries nine times more water than its United States counterpart. Niagara Falls is an enormously popular tourist destination, and it also serves as a major source of electricity for Ontario.
The city is connected to the U.S. side of the falls by several bridges, including the Rainbow, Whirlpool, and Queenston-Lewiston bridges. Principal manufactures include processed food, abrasives, chemicals, automotive parts, metal and paper goods, and wines and alcoholic beverages. Logistics, i.e. storage and warehousing and information technology/call centres are also important to the city’s economy.
Points of interest include Queen Victoria Park, adjacent to the Canadian Falls and principal site of the annual Winter Festival of Lights; the historical museum at Lundy’s Lane, site of a brutal battle between American and British forces in 1814; The Maid of the Mist, Marineland, with Friendship Cove which provides interaction with Killer and Beluga whales, an aquatic theatre and a game farm; Skylon Tower and Pavilion, containing a revolving restaurant and an observation deck overlooking the falls; the Butterfly Conservatory at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens; Canada One Factory Outlets which features brand name shopping; and of course, Casino Niagara. The city is also home to several golf courses and continues to position itself as a world-class golf destination.
In September 1998, the Ontario Casino Corporation publicly announced that Falls Management Company will be the permanent operators of Casino Niagara. Falls Management Company, unveiled their plans for the permanent casino for Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada – including a 350 room Hyatt Hotel, convention centre, world-class retail mall and entertainment centre, 12,000 seat amphitheatre and River Country, a major amusement feature to Marineland. The total project is estimated to cost between $500-$800 million dollars and create 5,000 person-years of construction jobs.
Originally called Elgin, the community merged with Clifton in 1856 and was known by that name until 1881, when its name was changed to Niagara Falls. It was incorporated as a city in 1904. In 1963 the city was greatly expanded when it merged with Stamford township. The flourishing tourist industry enables Niagara Falls to continue to grow commercially and culturally. Visit the Niagara Falls History Page for more historic information about Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls covers a land area of 212 sq. km. (81.9 sq. mi.).
Niagara Falls facts….
* The Falls at Niagara are about 12,000 years old
* Falls were formed when melting glaciers formed massive fresh-water lakes (the Great Lakes) one of which (Lake Erie) ran downhill toward another (Lake Ontario). The rushing waters carved out a river in their descent and at one point passed over a steep cliff like formation (the Niagara escarpment). From the original falls going over the Niagara Escarpment, the water began to wear its way back up the river. The path that it left is known today as the Niagara Gorge (a deeply-cut and very scenic river path).
* Currently, Niagara Falls wears its way back another approximately 1 foot/year.
* The Niagara River flows at approximately 35 miles/hour (56.3 kilometers/hour).
* There are actually two waterfalls in Niagara, the American Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
* It is the combination of height and water flow that makes Niagara Falls so beautiful.
* The Horseshoe Falls are 180 feet (57 meters) high and allow 6 million cubic feet (168,000 cubic meters) of water over the crestline every minute during peak daytime tourist hours (that is about a million bathtubs full of water every minute!).
* Man-made attractions of Niagara Falls include Maid of the Mist, Table Rock Scenic Tunnels, Spanish Aero Car, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Marineland, Casino Niagara, IMAX Theatre, and the new Butterfly Conservatory.
* In 1959, the face of Niagara was changed when Louis Tussaud’s English Wax Museum was opened.
* Niagara Falls was an area early settled and vigorously active in Canada’s formative years.
* The Minolta Tower rises 325 feet above the Horseshoe Falls.
* Skylon Tower rises 775 feet above the Falls.
* In 1960, Roger Woodward was the boy who had survived a descent over the Falls after a boating accident above the Falls.
* Hydro Electricity generated in Niagara Falls at the Sir Adam Beck 1 and Sir Adam Beck 2 power stations from redirected waterflow serves the electrical needs of Southern Ontario and Western New York.
* Blondin was a funambulist (tight-rope walker) who performed numerous crossings of the gorge in Niagara Falls during the mid 1800s.
* Blondin performed endless stunts on the high-wire, from crossing blindfolded to carrying a cooking stove and preparing an omelet on the high wire.
* Most spectacularly, was the stunt during which Blondin carried on his back Harry Colcord his 148-pound manager August 19, 1859.
* Annie Taylor “Queen of the Mist” , a school teacher from Bay City Michigan was first person to travel over the Falls in a barrel on October 24, 1901.
* Since her feat, many stunt artists have challenged the mighty Falls usually in home-made barrel-like contraptions.
* More recently, a couple of foolhardy individuals have attempted to survive a plunge over Niagara Falls in a kayak and a jetski – they both perished.
* Niagara Falls’ night time illumination makes a visitation to Niagara a spectacular event at all times of the day.
* Ice bridges form below the Falls when ice floes travel over the edge and collect at the base of the Falls.
* Niagara Falls Ontario Canada is known as the Honeymoon Capital of the world.
* The word Niagara comes from the word “onguiaahra” which means “a thundering noise”.
* “Uncle Toms Cabin”, a famous novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe was partly inspired by the writers trip to Niagara Falls and her subsequent interest in Reverend Josiah Henson who smuggled runaway slaves across the Niagara River into Canada.
* Until 1886, when the Statue of Liberty was erected, the Falls at Niagara were the symbol of America and the New World. Visitors from all over the world targeted Niagara as a must-see during a visit to North America.
* The Spanish Aero car ride provides a spectacular trip across the famed Whirlpool Rapids a few miles down from the actual waterfalls.
* Water is redirected from traveling over the Falls in order to drive large hydro-electric turbines that produce electricity for Southern Ontario and Western New York State.
* An “Old Scow” (a steel barge) remains stranded a few hundred meters above the Falls and has been marooned there since August 6, 1918 when a near tragedy was averted by three men who opened the dumping hatches of the barge to let water in and ground the out-of control boat.
* One of the largest Butterfly Conservatories in North America has been added to Niagara’s growing list of attractions.
* Water that flows over the Falls at Niagara ultimately ends up in Lake Ontario – from there, water drains by way of the St. Lawrence River in to the Atlantic Ocean.
* One of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812 took place on July 25, 1814 at Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls, Ontario… A total of 7500 Americans and Canadians fought for six hours. At the end, 1,000 soldiers lay dead or wounded.
* The 20th Century Fox Movie, “Niagara” starring Marilyn Monroe was filmed in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1952.
* In March of 1848, the waters stopped flowing over Niagara’s famous cliff when the Niagara River was plugged temporarily at the mouth of the river in Fort Erie, Ontario.
* Niagara Falls is steeped in history and was one of the most popular and busiest New World visiting spot.
* Water painting artists embraced this City’s natural wonders as a source for their artistic inspirations – there exists hundreds of these early impressions – consult your local library for reference to these early images.