During my March Break wanderings with my mother as my traveling companion, I had the chance to see Niagara Falls in a state of semi-solidity. The term “Niagara Falls” refers to the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; the tourism industry in and around Niagara Falls; and the three waterfalls which are the namesake and centerpiece of the entire area. The three waterfalls which constitute Niagara Falls include the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls; they each straddle the international border between Ontario, Canada and the state of New York in the United States (Wikipedia article).
The Niagara Parks Commission has long struggled to balance the recreational, commercial, and industrial uses of the Falls (Wikipedia article). The Falls are a source of hydroelectric power because “[m]ore than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost four million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average” (Wikipedia article). Tourism is also a significant industry, with”two casinos on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara” along with the Fallsview Tourist Area and heavily-trafficked Clifton Hill (Wikipedia article). During our walks, my mother and I stayed close to views of the Falls – despite it being a shoulder season for tourists, there were still crushes of people about.
Although the Niagara Parks Commission once used a shuttle bus to move people along the Niagara River and reduce automobile traffic near the Falls, they launched the WEGO bus system in 2012 in partnership with the Niagara Falls Transit system (Wikipedia article). We found that walking was no problem, and we did not mind paying the $15 parking fee to contribute to operational revenues for the Falls.
On our way out of the Falls, we stopped at the Niagara Whirlpool lookout and peered down at the Whirlpool Aero Car, a cable car that transports people over the Whirlpool (Wikipedia article). This device was built in 1916 from a design by Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres y Quevedo (Wikipedia article). Though the wind was strong the day we visited, the view was spectacular and we paused for many minutes to savour the vista.
Due to the extreme cold that Ontario has experienced in the 2013 to 2014 year, the Falls were full of floating chunks of ice and massive piles of build up. I include some of the pictures of this phenomenon, below. I can’t imagine what it will look like when spring – and warmer temperatures – return. However, I do recommend visiting this iconic area at least once for a walk along the Falls.