Yesterday we ventured out of Toronto and went to Niagara Falls for the day. The Falls sit on the border between Canada and the United States and are about a 90-minute drive from downtown Toronto depending on traffic. We had been holding off going to see the falls since we arrived waiting for a clear blue sky day and it was well and truly worth the wait. It was an unseasonably warm day and around 20 degrees (Celsius) and after the soaking, you can get from the falls, grateful for it.
When we arrived it is actually 3 different falls on a gorge and the Niagara River. Canada claims the Horseshoe falls (the largest) on its side of the border and on the American side are The American Falls and The Bridal Veil Falls (these two kinds of blend in together in my opinion). The best view of all of the falls is from the Canadian side as you can look at them front and side on. They are all breathtakingly beautiful and despite spending most of the day staring at them from different angles and vantage points, you would have to be ADHD to get bored looking at them.
One way to view the falls is from an experience called “Journey Behind The Falls”. This involves going from the street level by elevator down underground and you come out in a series of tunnels (kind of creepy) that have viewing points down below. You can stand in behind the falls with the powerful water rushing down in front of you or another viewing deck watching the side of the falls. After watching the movie in the visitor center and discovering that the rate of erosion of the falls is pretty fast each year, I was secretly shitting bricks that the entire tunnel system was going to come crashing down around us so I was very happy to get back up to street level.
**Depends may or may not be needed in the tunnels under the falls**
Another way to view the falls is from down on the Niagara river on one of the boats that depart from the calm part of the river and make their way up to the falls and into the spray. On the United States Border side it’s called the Maid of the Mist and on the Canadian side, the vessels are Hornblower. We got aboard on the Canadian side on the Hornblower and the staff give you those stylish garbage bag style plastic raincoats to wear that are pretty much useless in keeping you dry.
People (not us – never) pushed and shoved to get on the boat to try and get on the top level the general public give me the shits, however, it was a classic watching these same pushy people trying to escape the spray of water and mist and run downstairs once it got near the falls leaving us to enjoy the top deck. When going on board one of these vessels don’t fear you will get premium view once the dipshits have got a little wet.
Top Deck to ourselves once the pushy dipshits had gone downstairs to avoid the spray.
From the boat we could see so many rainbows but sadly no unicorns.
Alas, no pot of Gold at the end of this rainbow only the wax nugget in Clyde’s ear.
We all loved the boat ride and got off drenched to the bone and grateful for the warm day as we could dry off easily in the sun. I would hate to think what it would be like on a cold miserable day so would suggest a change of clothes in the car.
Our favourite Niagara story was about the first person to go over the falls in a Barrel on purpose and survive. When I think of “what kind of person would want to go over the falls on purpose” naturally I think of a crazy cat lady. In 1901, a 63-year-old ex-school teacher and crazy old cat lady from Michigan packed herself into a custom made oak barrel padded with a mattress and her cat and over she went.
Totally Cray Cray!
The 8-year-old has put in a request for a Barrel and a cat for Christmas and if his behavior doesn’t improve his wish will be granted.
No visit to a tourist destination is complete without a trip to the tourist shop. Some fine Canadian fashions can be found.
A lovely park follows the viewing pathway of the falls however up above the cliffs it kind of looks a bit tacky weird like a mini Las Vegas. It is a row of Casino’s, hotels and a
revolting revolving restaurant tower. We didn’t venture up to this part of Niagara but decided we will return one weekend and stay the night. Apparently in the Summer (peak tourist time) they light the falls up at night. Driving out of Niagara along the gorge we did see some lovely looking Bed and Breakfasts in old historic looking houses.
Queen Victoria Park in its fall glory.
Niagara you are mighty fine and we will be back!