Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls
The Rainbow Bridge connects the sister cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Falls, New York.
It was opened on 1941. You can walk across, take a bike or even drive your car. No commercial vehicles allowed.
Make sure to bring your passport as you will have to clear immigration.
First trip across Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls June 11 2012 was pleasant on a sunny day: http://www.niagarafallslive.com/rainbow_bridge.htm
We are both over 70, using backpacks and small wheeled suitcase, travelling from Eastern WA by Amtrak to Spokane and then unexpectedly again by Amtrak from Chicago to Buffalo NY-DePew Amtrak. We walked from Amtrak towards Airport on Dick Rd much to the frustration of local cab drivers. Lucky for us, Winnie of Buffalo gave us a ride to the airport. This morning we took the local metro transit from a motel near Buffalo Airport to the transit center, took bus #40 to Niagara Falls NY. Senior bus fare was $1 with proof of age over 65. The bus driver was very helpful. The walk on Rainbow Bridge was well paved and very short, despite backpacks and suitcases. The current versions of human pyramids are awesome. We checked in at the local modest Best Western Fallsview hotel with our senior package reservation.
Niagara Falls community is welcoming Nic Wallenda for his high wire walk June 15. We won't be able to stay for the daring trip on the huge cable across the windy Horsehoe Falls.
It's possible to cross Rainbow Bridge by foot if you want to visit the US side of the falls. However, you need to be prepared, from personal experience, for the unfriendly and bureaucratic US immigration officers should you decided to make a trip to the other side. You definitely need your passport, ESTA or visa applied for in advance even if it's just for a day and be prepared for a lot of intensive questioning. It's generally more relaxed with Canadian immigration if you're based on the US side and should you wish to visit the other side.
The Rainbow Bridge was built in 1938 which replaced the Falls View Bridge which was damaged from an ice jam in the Niagara river. The bridge is opened to cars as well as pedestrians and a toll is charged for crossing the bridge which is collected on the Canadian side.
The Rainbow Bridge was built near the site of the earlier Honeymoon Bridge, also called the "Falls View Bridge" or officially the "Upper Steel Arch Bridge", which had collapsed on January 27, 1938, due to an ice jam in the river. A joint Canadian and American commission had already been considering a new bridge to replace it, to which the collapse gave added urgency. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, during their visit to Niagara Falls as part of the 1939 Royal Tour of Canada, dedicated the site of the Rainbow Bridge; a monument was erected to commemorate the occasion. Construction began in May of 1940. The bridge was officially opened on November 1, 1941.
It is a steel arch bridge linking Canada and the United States, and is a world-famous tourist site. The bridge has been replicated by the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge approximately 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) to the north. It connects the Cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario, spanning the Niagara River. The New York State Department of Transportation designates the bridge New York State Reference Route 955A (though it is unsigned), while the Ontario Ministry of Transportation designates the bridge as part of Highway 420, even though it is separated from the rest of the route by a regional road.
Rainbow bridge costs $2 to walk across from which you can get good views of the American Falls. There is a toll for vehicles but cannot remember price, sorry.
Crossing the border was no problem at all. Passports were checked and questions of business/pleasure asked. There was no hold up at all. There are some duty free stores on each side of the border to stock up if you desire.
This bridge not only traverses a river, but also crosses the border of two countries. I have crossed the rainbow bridge many times, by foot and by car. I have to be honest, immediately on the other side of the bridge there is not much to do. There is nothing that cannot be done or seen on the Canadian side. The only big deal is to you can say you have visited another country! Looking carefully at the middle of the bridge, 3 flags can be seen. They represent Canada. The middle one is either "No Man's Land" or "United Nations", I am not sure. The third is of the USA. Sometimes politics is very strange. I never know what is "right" or "wrong". I took my Uncle and Aunt to Niagara Falls. Let us say, hypothetically, the three of us decided to walk across and browse the malls on the other side. They would not be allowed to cross without a visa. Yet, I could gone without even a passport. Yet, I am no better than them. I am treated differently just because of my citizenship. I could be an awful person and they could be the nicest people. Yet, we are judged by our citizenship!!
This bridge connects the cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada & Niagara Falls, New York, U.S. of A.
It is worth the few cents you pay to go through the turnstiles to go 1/2 way across the bridge to get a fabulous view up the river to the Horseshoe Falls.
If you go to the motorists toll plaza nearby (Canadian side) the friendly staff there will stamp your Passport with a Niagara Falls stamp
If you go across this bridge to the
American side of the Niagara River, you can walk to the America Falls, there is a lovely park here.
(I will look out photographs soon).
The Rainbow bridge was built 168m.(550ft) downstream from the site formerly occupied by the Upper Steel Arch Bridge, where the gorge is about 305m (1000ft) wide, the great steel arch of the Rainbow Bridge has a span of 289.5m(950ft). The abutments are high above any likely water level or ice jam - the forces of nature that destroyed the Upper Steel Arch Bridge in 1938
The bridge is owned by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.
Be prepared to pay to cross into the USA, and you can have your passport stamped if you so wish
Construction on the Rainbow Bridge began on May 4th 1940 at a site approximately 168m north of the previous Honeymoon Bridge site. At this point the Rainbow Bridge was 305m north of the American Falls. The Niagara Gorge is 60 metres deep and approximately one 305m wide. The water depth is in excess of 53m. In one minute it is estimated that six billion (6,000,000,000) pounds of water cross under the Rainbow Bridge.
This is an excellent bridge to view both the American falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls while they are illuminated at night. The upper Niagara River Rapids in Prospect Point Park are also illuminated until midnight and add to the experience.
It costs nothing for the experience, unless of course you continue accross the border into the United States!
This is probably the method by which you will arrive on Canadian Soil if you are travelling via road from the U.S. It is aptly named as I caught it with the rainbow, as I am sure it is there all of the time. It is created by sunshine through water vapour. Bright sunny area + huge waterfall spray = perfect rainbow conditions.
Nice view as well!!! What is more, there is a small plaque under the bridge commemorating the bridges construction. Give it a look if you are interested in that sort of thing.
The picture also includes the observation area on the American side and a little of the 'Little Falls'. Spectacular, none the less.
For British people, going over a bridge (Rainbow Bridge, opened in 1941) to the USA is a weird concept, but that's the way you go from Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Rainbow Bridge is the Gateway between the Cities of Niagara Falls !
Your can cross the bridge by on foot or a bicycle. It's also a perfect location for viewing the Falls & Friday night fireworks.
Great view of the birdge when on the Maid of the Mist. Great view of the falls when on the bridge. Connect USA to Canada.
Ever passed by right under a rainbow? This is your chance. Take the Maid of the Mist tour and make a wish.
If you want another view of the Falls from American side, cross this bridge/don't forget your passport!!