How is it possible to lift ships up and over the cliff face of the Niagara Escarpment?
Not only is this done on a routine basis, but the technology is so simple that ships have been routinely hoisted up and down the escarpment for over 150 years. Let gravity and water do the work. The locks are filled and emptied by water flowing downhill from Lake Erie toward Lake Ontario.
Anne and I spent an hour here watching a huge ship come up the canal and float into the lock. The giant doors at the stern of the ship closed, the water started filling the lock and the ship rose. when the lock was full, the doors at the bow of the ship opened and the ship sailed off into the distance.
Lock 3 Complex-St.Catharines is located On Government Road north of Glendale Ave.The centre features an observation platform, full service restaurant and the St.Catharines Museum. The complex is open all year although ships only transit the canal from March to December. A quality souvenir store, food concession, patio area and information centre are all on site.
Everybody knows that Niagara region offers tours to many wineries and vineyards. However, we would like to recommend cherry, apple, strawberry and plum picking in one of the many orchards. It is lot of fun while on a road trip. For information on orchards and farms, one can pick up a Rural Routes brochure at about any Avondale Stroe in Niagara. Avondale stores are variety stores that you can find in many plazas and strip malls in Niagara region.
Here are some things to watch for:
1. Pick an off peak traffic day and time. Peak traffic times will kill all the fun that you can have.
2. Go on the road less travelled and pick a farm that is not crowded.
3. For picking from the trees, ensure that you don't unnecessarily bend any branches for that can break them and destroy a tree and subject you to heavy fine.
4. Always wear rough and dark clothing. Ripened fruite juices and small insects will fall all over your clothes and when you remove them, they get squashed leaving bad patches on the clothes you are wearing.
5. Let the younger lot go for plucking the fruites, while parents rest and gossip.
By leaving the well marked trails of Niagara Glen and carving our own way carefully (picture # 4), we approached the banks of Niagara River where we saw it in all its rage. The rapids would have been ideal for white water rafting, but instead these were being negotiated by whirlpool jet boats (picture # 1). The spots near the river offered wonderful views of the river upstream (picture #s 2 and 3), the aero car over Niagara Whirlpool (picture # 5), the rapids, and the mountain and river bank on the US side of the Gorge. Wesaw a couple of families picnicing on the US side.
Spring season comes with crocuses and daffodils adorning the park area. 30,000 bulbs of daffodils along Niagara Parkway offer 180 degree tourism to those interested in flowers. We noted that spring came to the Niagara Falls area slightly later than in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Whereas daffodils were fading out and giving way to tulips in the GTA, they were still in their prime blooms in the area. Early tulips had begun blooming too, but most of them were still in pre-blooming development stage.
Dufferin Islands Nature Preserve is just 1 mile upstream of the falls. It's a peaceful place with footpaths leading from little island to island. A picnic area is provided complete with grills for Bar-B-Queing.
Parking is free. It's worth a stop for a look around. I saw people fishing as well as picnicing. The are also quite a variety of waterfowl in the park.
Fishing is allowed in the park, but it is catch and release only.
Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario.
During tourist season there are 100,000 cubic feet/second of water going over the falls. The flow is regulated by a joint board and is cut back in the evenings and during the off season times.
Power plants along the Niagara River, on both sides of the border generate about 4.4 gigawatts of electricity. (1 gigawatt=1 billion watts) Power generation, because the falls produce such an enormous amount of energy, is an enormous benefit. Water from the Niagara River is diverted through huge tunnels. These pass thru turbines and create power for both sides of the border. Niagara is easily the largest energy producer in New York State.
Learn record breaking facts in our Sports, Animal and Structures sections.
Enjoy watching: adventures in space, the marathon toppling of dominoes, or the crazy food eaters, and more...
Great fun for all ages!
Due to construction work in the central district , we had to take a side road through some gardens to get to the parking lot. It turned out those are used to grow sweet apple. We had apples for lunch and it was so yummy. If you re there in the apple season dont miss a try.
West of Niagara Falls is the Welland Ship Canal, allowing lake and ocean freighters and pleasure craft to bypass Niagara Falls and the Niagara River in their trek from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
The lakes are at different elevations, requiring the use of a series of locks. Lock 3 between the cities of Thorold and St. Catharines has a public viewing area. It is fascinating to watch this engineering marvel at work. Kids and adults alike will be interested in the lock, and the lift bridges. Just south of this lock are the "Flight Locks", a series of 3 double-laned locks. There is no public access here, but driving along side it gives a sense of the height that ships must climb in this one section alone.
Just east is one of the previous ship canals, with now dilapidated locks, built a long time ago for smaller ships. This gives a sense of history to the visitor, and perspective on the changes yet similarities in technology with the passage of time.
In summary, this a definately a worthwhile family outing, away from the usual touristy sites at nearby Niagara Falls.
It is just a nice feeling to walk next to the rapids and have a walk way that overlooks the whirlpool. Aj and I sure loved it for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Nice and full of shade from the sun it is a good way to spend some time on your own.
Not far away from the village, you find a park, where the old Canada's capital laid several years ago. Now only a monument and a few buildings rememorate that, and some guide telling the "White" house story... but instead of the stones or monuments, I prefer to use this picture to remember the place, looking at the Ontario lake, with Toronto somewhere over the horizon...
Fireworks over the Falls - in the summer on Fridays at 10 pm, and on some Sundays. Very special to watch fireworks over the illuminated waterfalls. Don't have any photos, since they don't turn out when you are too far away.
The falls are the center of everyone's attention, but, as you can imagine with all that water in the air, the plant life thrives. Be sure to look out for the plantings on the way to and around the visitor center on the Canadian side of the Falls. The orange flowered 'tree' is, in fact, marigolds!
The Cham Shan Buddhist Temple stands in stark contrast to the general idea people have of Niagara Falls, which contributes to make it such an interesting sight. The whole complex is larger than it seems, and you can enter the temple which is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The statues were especially impressive.
Guided tours are offered on weekends during the summer months. Both the entrance to the temple and the tours are free (voluntary donations).
The temple is located at 4303 River Rd, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 3E8, across the street from the White Water Walk, not far north from the Whirlpool Bridge.
If you are going upstream of the Horseshoe Falls, you may see what looks to be a boat stuck a couple of hundred feet from the brink of the falls. Your imagination is not playing tricks on you, it really is a boat! It is the old Niagara Scow, unmoved since it crashed there way back in 1918.
As the story goes, two men were aboard the scow when it broke loose from its mooring. As the scow was heading dangerously close to the Niagara Falls, they had the presence of mind to open its bottom doors and ground it into a rocky ledge. It took 29 hours before the men could be rescued. A lifeline was shot from a nearby power plant, and the men were brought back to shore on a breeches buoy.
There is a plaque nearby explaining the story of the scow.
When I say perfect location, I dont think you can get better then this! The rooms have an awesome...more
Stayed here in the summer of 2005 for a night away. It's a little further away from the falls, but...more
We found the staff to be very friendly, which seems to be the rule in Niagara Falls. Everywhere you...more