Thursday, August 4, 2016

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - June 9, 2016

We spent a very full day at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. Niagara Falls is the group of three waterfalls that overlap the international border between the United States and Canada. Geographically located between the state of New York and the province of Ontario. They are located on the Niagara River, with water flowing from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.

The largest of the three waterfalls is Horseshoe Falls, which is mostly on the Canadian side. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, measured by its vertical height and flow rate. Horseshoe Falls drop is about 188 feet and it width is about 2,600 feet.

The American Falls are entirely on the American side. Goat Island separates the water flow before going over the falls. The height of the American Fall varies from 70 to 100 feet because of the huge boulders at the base. The American Fall are 1,060 feet wide. 

Bridal Veil Falls the smallest of the three, is on the American side, between the other two falls. It is separated from the American Falls by Goat Island and Luna Island. It falls about 180 feet including the final fall over the boulders to the Maid of the Mist pool and is 56 feet wide. In the photo below Bridal Veil Falls is to the right of The American Falls.

In 1846 the Maid of the Mist made its first trip as a ferry, transporting people, cargo and mail for a fee across the river It very shortly became a sightseeing boat carrying passengers into the rapids at the base of the falls. Cruise boats operate from boat docks on both sides of the falls. The blue boat from the US side and red from the Canadian.

In 1885 Governor David Hill of New York signed legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, New York's first state park. It is the first state park established in the United States. The same year the province of Ontario established the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park. 

Rainbow Bridge, build in 1941 connects the cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario. It is open to non-commercial vehicle traffic and pedestrians. Rainbow Bridge is the closest to the falls and has the best view of the falls of the two international bridges in the area. The bridge deck is 950 feet long and 202 feet above the water. The depth of the water is over 175 feet and the water flow under the bridge averages 26 to 30 miles per hour with the estimated 6,000,000,000 pounds of water crossing under the bridge in one minute.

The Canadian side offers views of all three falls from walkways in Queen Victoria Park along the Niagara River Great Gorge. The park has beautifully landscaped gardens with benches conveniently located along the walkway.

We enjoyed our view of the falls and river from the park and then headed for a late lunch at the Skylon Tower with its 360-degree views. It is the dominant landmark of Niagara Falls and raises 775 feet above the Niagara River and was opened in 1965. The trip up the tower is in a glass-front elevator which includes a guide to tell you about the landmarks from the skylines of Buffalo, NY and Toronto as you zip to the dining room in less than a minute. 

The Revolving Dining Room makes a complete rotation every hour as you enjoy your meal selected from excellent varied menu. The staff warns you as you're seated not to place anything on the ledge since it does not turn with the table. As the dining room rotates the huge windows afford wonderful views of the three falls, Rainbow Bridge, downtown Toronto and Buffalo. It is said that on a clear day you could see 8,000 square miles of Canada and the USA.

Some of the LeRoy NY Barn Quilt Trail coming up.

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