A half-hour late from our departure time, a stout man in a red tie appears. "Are you Mr. Edward? Come please with me. I am not kidnapping you." My companion and I hesitantly get into a limousine and are dropped off at an undisclosed location. I think it's a hotel lobby.
A white van is parked outside with "King's Tours" written on the side. It's entirely full of people.
A couple from Manchester is also waiting. He paces nervously. "Well, this is all a bit shady innit?" he says, "I'm ready to rent a car, I am!"
After an eternity, a tall, dark man appears and takes us to a black SUV parked behind the van. The Britons are suspicious, "Wot? In that!?" I'm secretly having the time of my life.
We all get in. My girl's put in the back seat with the British couple and I'm riding shotgun.
The tall man explains that the tour was overbooked and they needed to get this vehicle for us and we'll be following the van. He's from Sri Lanka; he's clean cut, articulate, and knowledgeable.
We stop at a winery. I'd envisioned an old man showing us oak casks and grapes on vines. Instead, we're in a fancy shop where we're given wine samples while a pimply teenager explains how to taste them. He lists brands and prices ad-nauseum. We pay $4 extra to sample the ice wine. Bored, I sneak around back to take photos of the vineyard.
The SUV whisks us off to "Niagara on the Lake," a storybook town of old buildings and gorgeous flowers.
The next stop is the "Floral Clock", which is just a giant metal clock stuck into a flowerbed. I'm the only person who bothers to get out and take a photo.
We finally reach Niagara Falls. This tour includes the "Maid of the Mist" boat tour in the ticket price. The boat ride is fantastic! Sitting at the base of Horseshoe Falls, the water forms a giant white curtain around us and the craft feels very small.
We have three free hours to walk closer to the falls or around town. We ate lunch, met our driver and the Mancunians, and headed back. I realize that I like having our own private driver; I'm glad I'm not in that crowded van.
Niagara Falls is a set of massive waterfalls located on the Niagara River in eastern North America, on the border between the United States and Canada. Niagara Falls (French: chutes Niagara) comprises three separate waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls (sometimes called the Canadian Falls), the American Falls, and the smaller, adjacent Bridal Veil Falls.
While not exceptionally high, Niagara Falls is very wide. With more than 168,000 cubic metres (6 million cubic feet) of water falling over the crestline every minute it is the most powerful waterfall in North America and possibly the best-known in the world.
For more visit our Niagara Falls page.
Niagra Falls has been a landmark destination for millions of people over the years. I still remember my first trip and the ride on the Maid of the Mist out to the falls.
On the surface it seems to stay the same, but when you look at the historical pictures the movement of the falls is readily visible.
An estimated 75,000 gallons of water flow over the American Falls every second. With the erosion of the shale, at some point in the future the "falls" are predicted to become just a series of rapids.
Ok, they're not in Toronto but who really wants to stay in Toronto anyways. People flock from all over to see the great Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls, is a set of massive waterfalls located on the Niagara River in eastern North America, on the border between the United States and Canada. Niagara Falls comprises three separate waterfalls: the Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls, the American Falls, and the smaller, adjacent Bridal Veil Falls. While not exceptionally high, Niagara Falls is very wide, and is by far the most voluminous waterfall in North America.
At Niagara, Queen Victoria Park features well manicured gardens, platforms offering a spectacular view of both the American and Canadian Falls, and underground walkways leading into observation rooms which yield the illusion of being within the falling waters. Along the Niagara River, the Niagara River Recreational Trail runs the 56 km (35 miles) from Fort Erie to Fort George, and includes many historical sites from the War of 1812.
The Maid of the Mist cruises, named for an ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character, have carried passengers into the whirlpools beneath the Falls since 1846. The Spanish Aerocar, built in 1916 from a design by Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres y Quevedo, is a cable car which takes passengers over the whirlpool on the Canadian side, below the Falls.
In October 1829, Sam Patch, who called himself The Yankee Leaper, jumped over the Horseshoe Falls and became the first known person to survive the plunge. This began a long tradition of daredevils trying to go over the Falls and survive. In 1901, 63-year-old Annie Taylor was the first person to go over the Falls in a barrel; she survived virtually unharmed. Since Taylor's historic ride, 14 other people have intentionally gone over the Falls in or on a device. Some have survived unharmed, but others have drowned or been severely injured. Survivors of such stunts face charges and stiff fines, as it is illegal, on both sides of the border, to attempt to go over the Falls.
This is a great view of the Falls, much better than the US side. You must take the Queen of the Mist ride all the way close to the Falls.
To even get a closer look take the tour behind the Falls during summer or Fall. You'll be sure to be wet so make sure to pack a small towel from your hotel in your backpack.
At night they have a light show for the falls. You can spend a day there and at night for adults head to the casino and numerous restaurants by the area.
On the Niagara River, straddling the Canada-US border, Niagara Falls is probably the most notable natural attraction near Toronto. The falls are generally divided into two: the narrower and shorter American Falls and the much wider and taller Horseshoe (or Canadian) Falls.
One of the favourite ways to experience Niagara Falls would be to take the Maid of the Mist. This enables visitors to get closer to the falls, and enjoy getting sprayed. On the day that I went it was raining, so we actually got pretty soaked! I also read about helicopter rides which would offer a bird's-eye view, but didn't get to do it this time round, which's a pity.
The city of Niagara Falls is a popular resort area with something to delight every member of the family. I only wish I had more time to explore the various attractions here such as Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Believe it or not, in 1.5 months I've gone to 2 places which have Ripley's (the other being Genting in August) and I've yet to go inside any!
Souvenir stores galore everywhere here. There's a pretty extensive one where you get off the Maid of the Mist. Prices seem to be about the same everywhere, so you might as well buy here if you find something you like. They seem to have thought of everything possible, from the usual postcards (very pretty!), fridge magnets, T-shirts (somehow I found these tacky), mugs, photo frames, notebooks, coffee table photo books, to the more unusual (or unique) bottles of Niagara Falls water! Couldn't resist buying a bottle of that, a notebook, plus some postcards and fridge magnets to give away to friends back home.
Further out, somewhere between Niagara Falls city and Niagara-on-the-Lake, is the Niagara Whirlpool where you could take an aero car above the roaring Niagara River. Yet another experience that's on my to-do list should I come back to this part of the world.
The most touristy site in Ontario, but definitely a must-see.
The Niagara Falls are divided into the Canadian Falls (Horseshoe Falls) and the American Falls (see photo).
Take a walk along the paths to see the falls from various locations. It is excellent. Explore the massive erosion caused by the falls in the last 12.000 years by walking downstream from its present location.
Visiting Niagara Falls and environs
Now, Niagara Falls isn't in Toronto, but everyone, and I mean EVERYONE that visits Toronto, if it's their first time here, will make or at least try to make the trek to Niagara Falls. If not, they're just not the quintessential traveler. I mean, the Niagara Falls is one of the world's natural wonders.
From gambling at Casino Niagara to visiting Clifton Hill the tacky but admittedly amusing part of the city, there is so much to see and do in Niagara falls. Take a trip and see the falls up close by riding the Maid of the Mist or view it from a bird's perspective by taking a trip to the top of the Skylon tower. Hungry? Hard Rock Cafe enthusiasts will find a restaurant here and for those with kids, entertain them by taking them to Rainforest Cafe.
Wine enthusiast may want to take a trip along the Niagara Peninsula and visit the various wineries and vineyards. The Niagara Wine Region is known to have excellent award winning wines.
You can also get some duty free shopping done while you're here.
Make sure you make at least a day-trip to the famous & wonder of the world, NIAGARA FALLS: About 2 hours drive from Toronto, you'll be glad you make the drive to this powerful falls & perhaps even take a boat ride to HORSESHOE FALL! Experience of a lifetime!
There's plenty of activities in Niagara so drive there early. If possible stay there for a night as there's a very nice casino near the Falls!
INTERESTING FACT: Did you know that, due to erosion, the majestic Niagara Falls is 'falling' from a noticeably further position in comparison to last year??? I didn't believe it until I witnessed it after a 5 year period!!
The Niagara falls (also known as Horseshoe Falls) are world famous for being the widest falls in the world and they sure are amazing!! Even before you are remotely near them, you can hear the gentle crashing off the water..sure when you get closer to them its sounds like rolling thunder...but its an amazing sight!!
There are three experiences one can get involved in.
1. Riverboat ride on the river going as close as possible to the Falls
2. Journey behind the Falls
3. Stand on a platform near the Falls
I have done the first two and I have to say, hand on my heart, that the first one is soooo amazing that it would actually be pointless to do the other two!! YOu can get such an adrenaline rush being on the boat because it goes ridiculously close to the waterfall, you get wet and at times you can't keep your eyes open because of fear...that only happens if you stand at the front though...it is suitable for children,...provided they are in a safe place!!
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