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Niagara Falls Ontario ~ Canada

Maid of the Mist, Niagara Gorge, Aerocar

Niagara Falls Ontario, a popular year-round Canada travel attraction, is busiest in late spring and summer, when travel to Ontario peaks. Visitors come to see the famous Niagara Falls, of course, but there are also theme parks and wineries. Maid of the Mist, the Niagara Gorge and Aerocar are some of the attractions after you've had a good look at the Falls.


Niagara River near Fort Erie ON skylon  tower rises above the Canadian Niagara River above Niagara Falls

From Fort Erie, the Niagara Parkway closely follows the river to the Falls and beyond; the rising mist telegraphs the location of the Falls.

The landmark Skylon Tower, some 236 metres (775 feet) above Niagara gorge offers amazing views from its revolving dining room.

Canadian Waterfalls at Niagara Busy in Summer visitors line the railing along the Canadian side of Niagara Falls ontario

Directly in front of the Skylon Tower, there's an extended promenade and a large building with gift shops and a restaurant.

One section of the promenade is bathed in perpetual mist; you WILL get damp. This is welcomed in summer's heat, but not in winter.

Head to the right (just out of view in the photo) to get very close to the water, and see the incredible power of the current.

American Falls at Niagara Viewed from the Ontario Canada side American Falls at Niagara falls ontario viewed from the canada side

Turn to the left from the view above, and the American Falls command the view.

They appear deceptively near. Peer over the side and take a closer look at the steep banks on the Canadian side.

Just when you think you are finally at the rail, with nothing between you and the river, you'll see people in yellow slickers a few feet below.

For just below this promenade, there's a network of tunnels to explore Behind the Falls.

Maid of the Mist Tour Boats Go Right to the base of Niagara Falls  Maid of the Mist Tour Boats and rainbow with american falls in background at niagara falls ontario

The constant mists make for wonderful rainbows, like this one that separates the American Falls (left) and Canadian Falls.

Maid of the Mist is the company that sends hundreds of visitors up the river to get a closer look.

From this view, you can see the rubble at the base of the American Falls. A few years ago, the flow was diverted to allow removal of accumulated debris.

Two Maid of the Mist boats passing below Niagara Falls Two maid of the mist boats in niagara river below niagara falls

I took this shot with a telephoto lens; this closer look gives an idea of the number of passengers that each boat carries.

To 'hear' the roar of the falls, go to the Maid of the Mist website.

Niagara Falls view eastern end of the promenade niagara falls canadian side seen from the eastern end of the promenade

Just above the dock area for Maid of the Mist, a lookout offers this view of the Canadian Falls.

The months of May and June are especially favored by bus loads of field-tripping school groups.

A rainy summer day is not the best time to visit, but we take what we can get.

Above the Maid of the Mist docks near Niagara Falls OntarioCanadian side Niagara falls and American falls can be seen from Above the Maid of the Mist docks

Near the Maid of the Mist ticket booth, there's a clear look at the American Falls and the water eroded crumbled rocks from its crown.

Follow the crowds down the a series of ramps and stairs to the boarding area.

Soaking wet tour boat guests close to Niagara Falls american falls close up view from the deck of the maid of the mist boats and tourists wearing blue ponchos

From river level, you get a true feeling of the power of the current, and the height of the falls.

Even though you've just come from the promenade above, and know there were hoards of other visitors, from down here, they are barely visible.

The ponchos are included with the tour.

Caves of the Winds Niagara USA Caves of the Winds Niagara USA are behind the high waterfall on the american side of the border

From the U.S. side, the boats head close to shore, near these visitors heading in and around the Cave of the Winds.

 

This tour is on my 'To do' list :: They seem to be surprisingly close to the base, and this looks like fun!

A note on the Maid of the Mist site mentions the boats are wheelchair accessible.

Whirlpool Aerocar Across the Niagara River Gorge Whirlpool Aerocar niagara gorge in river below niagara fallls

From Niagara Falls, continue east on Niagara Parkway towards Niagara-on-the-Lake.

There are a number of areas to pull over and get a closer look of the gorge and power plants.

Where the river widens into the whirlpool, there's a tourist area with amentities, and the Whirlpool Aerocar that takes up to 35 passengers at a time across the gorge and back.



How Do I Get to Niagara Falls?

If you are visiting Toronto, your hotel, or tour operators near the C N Tower and other tourist attractions will have brochures, etc. Check around and see what is included in the tour price.

GO train (Government of Ontario) train / bus information available at Union Station.

By road: Driving time to Niagara Falls from Toronto is 1-2 hours, depending on traffic and construction, along the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way highway).

From Mississauga, it's about an hour's drive to the Falls; From Hamilton, half an hour drive.

If time is short, head directly to the Falls near the Rainbow Bridge (one of three border crossings; Lewiston and the Peace Bridge at Fort Erie are the other two).

If you have a full day, start your tour of the Niagara area by car from Fort Erie, near the Peace Bridge, and follow the Niagara Parkway along the river, stop at Niagara Falls, then continue on to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Niagara Escarpment responsible for the dramatic waterfalls continues north of Hamilton and Burlington to Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area and beyond.



You may also like to see these Canada Travel Pages: