Niagara Falls Canada | Niagara Falls Hotels | Niagra Falls | Niagara on the Lake
Cataratas del Niagara:
Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average.
The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.
Niagara Falls Facts:
Niagara Falls Location:Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada & New York, U.S.A.
Niagara Falls Coordinates:43°04′48″N 79°04′16″W / 43.080°N 79.071°W
Niagara Falls Total height:167 ft (51 m)
Number of Drops of Niagara Falls:3
Watercourse of Niagara Falls:Niagara River
Average flow rate of Niagara Falls:64,750 cu ft/s (1,834 m3/s)
Best time to visit at Niagara Falls:The best weather occurs from mid May until mid September. The first two weeks in October is the best time for viewing our Fall foliage. Due to the "micro climate" within the Niagara Gorge, leaves in the gorge tend to peak during the third week of October. Niagara Falls can be very spectacular during the Winter. Nowadays more and more people visit the Cataract City year round.
Charge to see the Niagara Falls:The parks are free and open to the public 365 days a year. During the busier months of May through September there is a charge for parking your automobile, r/v etc. There are also fees for municipally operated "attractions" ie: cave of the winds, maid of the mist, journey behind the falls.
Best way to get to Niagara Falls:By air, you have to fly into either Toronto, Ontario or Buffalo, New York.
Toronto's airport "Pearson International" is 78 miles (125 kilometers) from the Rainbow Bridge.
Buffalo's Airport "Buffalo/Niagara International" is 25 miles (41 kilometers) from the Rainbow Bridge (35 minute drive).
To get to the Falls from the airport, you can either rent a car, take a shuttle bus, or arrive by taxi. More information is available from our "transportation link".
Trailways Bus Service and Amtrak/VIA train service is available directly to cities of Niagara Falls.
Geography and climate of Niagara Falls Canada:
Niagara Falls, Ontario is 130 kilometers (81 mi) from Toronto by road. The area of the Niagara Region is 1800 square kilometers (718 sq mi). The city sits at 43°7′N 79°4′W.
Topography of Niagara Falls Canada:
The city is built along the Niagara Falls waterfalls and the Niagara Gorge on the Niagara River which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
Climate of Niagara Falls Canada:
The city of Niagara Falls experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) which is moderated to an extent in all seasons by proximity to water bodies. In winter it can receive snow-squalls from both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which it is located between.
Niagara Falls Weather:
Nigara Falls Transportation:
Ships can bypass Niagara Falls by means of the Welland Canal, which was improved and incorporated into the Saint Lawrence Seaway in the middle 1950s. While the seaway diverted water traffic from nearby Buffalo and led to the demise of its steel and grain mills, other industries in the Niagara River valley flourished with the help of the electric power produced by the river. However, since the 1970s the region has declined economically.
The cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and Niagara Falls, New York, U.S.A. are connected by two international bridges. The Rainbow Bridge, just downriver from the falls, affords the closest view of the falls and is open to non-commercial vehicle traffic and pedestrians. The Whirlpool Rapids Bridge lies one mile (1.6 km) north of the Rainbow Bridge and the oldest bridge over the Niagara River. Nearby Niagara Falls International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport were named after the waterfall, as were Niagara University, countless local businesses, and even an asteroid.
Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls, New York are linked to major highways in Canada and the United States respectively, with the Queen Elizabeth Way acting as a major artery between Toronto and Buffalo, New York. Highway 420 (along with Niagara Regional Road 420) connect the Rainbow Bridge to the QEW. The Whirlpool Bridge is located at the end of Bridge Street. The Niagara Parkway is a road operated under the Niagara Parks Commission which connects Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie via Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls formerly had a plethora of King's Highways passing through the city. These included:
- The original routing of Highway 3, (which later became Highway 3A,) which ended at the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge via River Road
- Highway 8, which ended at the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge via Bridge Street
- Highway 20, which ended at the Honeymoon Bridge and later the Rainbow Bridge via Lundy's Lane and Clifton Hill
- The Queen Elizabeth Way followed Roberts Street and Newman Hill to the Rainbow Bridge -- later renamed Highway 420
Niagara Falls Airport:
The closest airports to the Falls are across the border in the U.S. Buffalo-Niagara International Airport (IATA: BUF) in Buffalo, New York is about a 20-30 minute drive from the Falls and is served by most major American carriers. Niagara Falls International Airport (IATA: IAG) is the closest airport to the Falls, but it is only for chartered and private flights.
On the Canadian side, Hamilton International Airport (IATA: YHM) in Hamilton is about 70 km (43 mi) from Niagara Falls, and is served by WestJet. Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ) in Toronto is about a 1 1/2 hour drive from the Falls and is served by most major domestic and international carriers.
Buffalo Airport Shuttle, +1 716 685-2550, offers service from the Buffalo-Niagara airport to the Canadian side of the Falls. A family of 4 can expect to pay less than $25 per person and the drivers often have great tips on where to go and what to avoid.
- Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, New York.
- Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario.
- Hamilton/John C. Munro International Airport in Mount Hope, Ontario.
- Niagara Falls International Airport in Niagara Falls, New York
- St. Catharines/Niagara District Airport in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Shuttle bus services connect the city with all three airports.
Niagara Falls Bus:
Coach Canada, +1 800-461-7661, and Greyhound, +1 800-661-8747, offer regular bus service to Niagara Falls from other Ontario cities.
GO Transit, +1 416 869-3200, operates bus service to the Burlington train station, connecting to trains to Toronto.
Megabus, offers discount bus service to Niagara Falls from Toronto. The stop is near the VIA Rail station.
The Niagara Falls bus depot is located at 4555 Erie Avenue, +1 905 357-2133. Taxi service to the Falls and main tourist area from the bus depot will run $10-15, or you can take the Falls Shuttle, or the People Mover bus. If you fancy a walk the route is simple and easy, although nearly 5 km (3 mi), and has the advantage of seeing the Falls come slowly into view.
- Coach Canada has daily runs to and from Toronto and Buffalo, New York.
- GO Transit offers daily bus service between Niagara and Burlington GO Station.
- Greyhound Canada has daily runs to and from Toronto and Buffalo, New York.
- Megabus has daily runs on its route to New York City starting in Toronto.
- Niagara Transit is the public transit operator in the city.
Niagara Falls Train:
VIA Rail Canada's Toronto-Niagara Falls train offers two departures per day in either direction, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. On some days in summer there is a third train. The trip is about 2-1/2 hours direct to Niagara Falls from Union Station in Toronto. One of the trains daily continue on to New York City, via Buffalo. On the way back, it leaves New York in the morning and arrives in Niagara Falls in late afternoon.
A further four trains per day each way are operated between Toronto and Niagara Falls, only on weekends and (Canadian) holidays and only in the summer, by Toronto-based commuter train operator GO Transit. This is a new service as of 2009 and will operate weekends and holidays from 27 June through 12 October (Canadian Thanksgiving), 2009. It uses the same stations in both cities as the VIA trains, although some intermediate stops use GO-only stations.
The Niagara Falls train station, +1 888-842-7245 (toll-free), is located at 4267 Bridge Street, about 4 km (2.5 mi) from the Falls and right across from the bus depot. Taxi service to the main tourist area at the Falls will run $10-15.
- Via Rail runs out of the Niagara Falls station, and in the summers offers a bike train service on a limited schedule.
- Amtrak has trains connecting it to Toronto and New York City. As of the of summer 2009, Go Transit Started a pilot project providing weekend and holiday train service from Toronto to Niagara falls From Mid June to mid October.
- GO Train runs seasonally between Toronto Union Station and Niagara Falls.
Visitors staying in Niagara Falls can catch a tour from various Niagara Falls tour providers. The following tour companies offer pick-up from all hotels in Niagara Falls:
See Sight Tours of Niagara. Provides fully guided and narrated tours of Niagara Falls. Half-day and full-day tours available. Pickups anywhere in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Admission tickets, parking, and all related fees are covered.
Visitors staying in Toronto can catch a tour from various Niagara Falls tour providers. The following tour companies offer pick-up from all hotels in Toronto:
Bedore Tours Offers guided sightseeing tours of Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York, Charter Bus service from 14 passengers to 56 passengers, Group Tour services catered to reunions and conventions and one day tours from NYC.
Elite Tours of Niagara Falls. Guided and narrated tours of Niagara Falls. Several tours to choose from, including adventure tours and history/heritage tours. Lets you bypass the line at popular attractions like Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls and the IMAX Theater.
Toronto Tours Canada. Niagara region day tour from Toronto, including Niagara Falls. Optional helicopter flight over the Falls.
- Buffalo Airport Shuttle is a reservation based shuttle that operates from the Buffalo Airport to and from Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Hamilton, and Toronto.
- Niagara Livery Service is a taxi/limo company in Niagara.
- 5-0 is a local cab service. A taxi shuttle provides transfers to airports from Buffalo, New York to Niagara Falls, Ontario and Toronto, Ontario.
- Niagara Falls Taxi is a local taxi service from Buffalo, New York and Toronto, Ontario airports back to Niagara.
- Elite Taxi is a local taxi service that provides regular and wheelchair accessible taxi service to and from Niagara Falls, ON. Specialists in airport transfers (Buffalo, Hamilton, Toronto, Niagara Falls, NY).
Get around at Niagara Falls Canada:
Many of the main attractions are within walking distance if you get a hotel that is near the Falls, and the rest are easily accessible by transit.
During the busiest tourist season (May - October), the Niagara Parkway and Queen Victoria Park, along the Canadian side of the Falls, can become very crowded and finding a "picture perfect" view of the Falls can be hard to do. Walking to the attractions can also be slow during peak tourist season with thousands of people bustling by.
The People Mover, bus system runs on the Niagara Parkway along the river from May to October. There are stops at all the main points of interest along the parkway. One-day pass: Adult (13 years and over): $7.50, children 6-12 years: $4.50, children 5 and under: free. A map of People Mover stops is available online. People Mover passes can be purchased from any of the Welcome Centers (see "Understand" above for locations).
The Falls Shuttle, is operated by the Niagara Transit Commission and has routes covering the Lundy's Lane and River Road districts. Tickets and day passes available at most lodgings, the bus terminal or from the shuttle bus driver. All-day pass $10. Single-ride paid in cash is $3.50.
There are also several tour services that offer the option to buy a hop-on hop-off pass, which allows you to board any of the tour buses at any stop point thoroughout the day.
Niagara Falls Map:
The Horseshoe Falls drop about 173 feet (53 m), while the height of the American Falls varies between 70–100 feet (21–30 m) because of the presence of giant boulders at its base. The larger Horseshoe Falls are about 2,600 feet (790 m) wide, while the American Falls are 1,060 feet (320 m) wide. The distance between the American extremity of the Niagara Falls and the Canadian extremity is 3,409 feet (1,039 m).
The volume of water approaching the falls during peak flow season may sometimes be as much as 202,000 cubic feet (5,700 m3, 5.7 million liters) per second. Since the flow is a direct function of the Lake Erie water elevation, it typically peaks in late spring or early summer. During the summer months, 100,000 cubic feet (2,800 m3) per second of water actually traverses the falls, some 90% of which goes over the Horseshoe Falls, while the balance is diverted to hydroelectric facilities. This is accomplished by employing a weir with movable gates upstream from the Horseshoe Falls. The falls flow is further halved at night, and during the low tourist season in the winter, remains a flat 50,000 cubic feet (1,400 m3) per second. Water diversion is regulated by the 1950 Niagara Treaty and is administered by the International Niagara Board of Control (IJC).
The verdant green colour of the water flowing over the Niagara Falls is a byproduct of the estimated 60 tonnes/minute of dissolved salts and "rock flour" (very finely ground rock) generated by the erosive force of the Niagara River itself. The current rate of erosion is approximately 1 foot (0.30 m) per year down from a historical average of 3 feet (0.91 m) per year. However, it is estimated that 50,000 years from now, even at this reduced rate of erosion, the remaining 20 miles (32 km) to Lake Erie will have been undermined and the falls will cease to exist.
Niagara Falls Attractions:
Falls observation related attractions:
Maid of the Mist:
Journey Behind the Falls:
Journey Behind the Falls (known until the early 1990s as the Scenic Tunnels) is an attraction in Niagara Falls, Ontario located in the Table Rock Center beside the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. It is open year round and run by the Niagara Parks Commission.
The two tunnels extend approximately 46 metres behind the waterfall and allow visitors to view water cascading in front of the open cave entrances. Earlier in the attraction's history visitors were permitted far closer to the portals' edge to view a perspective to the sides and below the falling water. Barricades now exist further back from the ledge at the end of the tunnels to ensure visitor safety.
The observation deck provides a vantage point looking up with the falls to the right, allowing photographers a full view of the famous landmark. The deck is sprayed with water from the cascade so visitors are provided with plastic raincoats prior to their descent.
Skylon Tower observation deck:
Standing at 160 metres (520 ft) from street level and 236 metres (775 ft) from the bottom of the falls, the tower required approval from both Canadian and United States air transport authorities, due to its proximity to the international boundary. It was the second tower to be built using the slipform method, in which concrete is continually poured into a form moving slowly up the tower. It was built by Pigott Construction of Hamilton, Ontario. The same methods were also used to build the Inco Superstack in Sudbury, and the CN Tower in Toronto.
The Skylon Tower is seen in Superman II. It is also used as a police lookout in the 1979 film Search and Destroy starring Perry King and George Kennedy.
Weekly fireworks over Niagara Falls:
Nightly illumination of Niagara Falls:
Queen Street Arts & Culture District:
Niagara River and parkway attractions:Niagara Botanical Gardens
Spanish Aerocar over the Niagara River whirlpool
White Water Walk at the Niagara River rapids
Winter Festival of Lights
Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory
Niagara Heritage Trail
Niagara Parks School of Horticulture
Niagara River Recreation Trail
Whirlpool Jetboat tours of the Niagara Gorge
Numerous parkway golf courses
The Rainbow Carillon, which sounds from the Rainbow Tower
Tourist sector entertainment:
Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls — Tourist promenade featuring a Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, arcades, five haunted houses, four wax museums including a Louis Tussauds Wax Works, and themed restaurants including the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood.
MarineLand — Aquatic theme park
Casinos—Casino Niagara and Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
Major theme restaurants including Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Cafe and the Hard Rock Café
IMAX Theatre and daredevil museum
Greg Frewin Theatre / Las Vegas style magic show.
Skylon Tower - Revolving dining towering 774 feet (236 m) above Niagara gorge.
Fallsview Tourist Area
Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
MGM Studios Plaza
Queen Street Arts & Culture District
Konica Minolta Tower Centre - the area's second tower
Niagara on the Lake:
Tourism in Niagara on the Lake:
The surrounding region enjoys a comparatively mild climate thanks to the adjoining lakes, and excellent soil for fruit production, for which it has become one of Canada's centres. In particular, NOTL has grown into a major viticultural region. Visitors flock to dozens of nearby wineries, including those making the world's largest volumes of ice wine. The town is also known for its gardens, art galleries, antique shops, and golf courses. There are many hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and spas in the area.
Location Shooting Several popular films and TV shows have been shot on location in the NOTL Old Town, including:
- When Michael Calls, also released as Shattered Silence (1972), which starred Michael Douglas, Ben Gazzara & Elizabeth Ashley
- The Dead Zone (1983), which starred Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Brooke Adams & Tom Skerritt
- The Experts (1989), which starred John Travolta, Arye Gross & Kelly Preston
- Trapped in Paradise (1994), which starred Nicolas Cage, Dana Carvey & Jon Lovitz
- The Ref (1994), which starred Dennis Leary, Judy Davis & Kevin Spacey
- Canadian Bacon (1995), which starred John Candy, Alan Alda & Rhea Perlman
- An All American Fairytale (2001)
- Mighty Niagara
- Samuel Lount (1985)
- That Old Feeling (1997)
- Amelia (2009), which starred Richard Gere, Hilary Swank, and Ewan McGregor
Demographics of Niagara on the Lake:
Communities of Niagara on the Lake:
In addition to the primary town site of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the town also includes the villages of Glendale, Homer, McNab, Queenston, St. Davids and Virgil.
Glendale is located near the junction of the QEW, Highway 405, and Highway 55, and adjacent to the Welland Canal. It is home to the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus of Niagara College.
Niagara Falls Hotels:
- Fallsview Plaza Hotel
- Embassy Suites Niagara
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Americana Waterpark
- Best Western Cairn Croft
- Best Western Fallsview
- Imperial Hotel & Suites
- DoubleTree Niagara Falls
- Fallsview Travelodge
- Brock Plaza Hotel
- Clarion President Hotel
- Four Points Sheraton
- Glengate Hotel Niagara
- Marriott Fallsview Hotel
- Holiday Inn New York
- Holiday Inn Select USA
- Howard Johnson
- Howard Johnson Express
- Howard Johnson Casino
- Oakes Overlooking Falls
- Park Plaza Hotel
- Quality Hotel & Suites
- Radisson Hotel Fallsview
- Ramada Coral Resort
- Ramada by the Falls USA
- Ramada Plaza Fallsview
- Sheraton Fallsview
- Sheraton on the Falls
- Skyline Inn
- Ramada Suites Niagara
- Fallsview Plaza Hotel
- Travelodge by the Falls
- Super 8 Hotel