The Skylon Tower
One of the main attractions on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is the 520-foot (160-meter) Skylon Tower, which offers spectacular views of the falls from its observation deck and revolving restaurant. The tower is actually 775 feet (236 meters) above the bottom of the falls, as it was constructed on a high hill next to the falls.
Designed by B+H Architects (formerly Bregman + Hamann Architects), the Skylon Tower was constructed between 1964 and 1965. It was the second tower in the world to be built using the slipform method of construction, in which concrete is continually poured into a form that slowly moves upward.
Three exterior elevators transport passengers to the observation and restaurant levels in 52 seconds. The Skylon Tower features two restaurants. The lower-level Revolving Dining Room offers fine dining as the room revolves once every hour, and the upper Summit Suite Buffet offers more casual fare. The observation deck is one level above the upper restaurant. At its base, the tower has several gift shops, a food court (made up of mainly fast-food establishments), and an amusemant arcade.
I was not sure whether to include Niagara Falls under "Things to Do" or "Tourist Traps." The falls are certainly one of the most awesome natural sights in North America, and something that all visitors to the Toronto or Buffalo areas should see. However, the area surrounding the falls is one big tourist trap. There are many attractions and activities that I consider tacky for an otherwise beautiful area, such as high-rise hotels, casinos, and so called family-oriented attractions such as wax museums, theme restaurants, and places of that sort.
Niagara Falls straddles the international border between Canada and the United States. Half is in the Canadian province of Ontario, and the other half is in the American state of New York. Niagara Falls actually consists of two sets of falls: the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side, and the American Falls on the American side. Both sets of falls are separated by Goat Island, which is American territory. The much smaller Bridal Veil Falls is also on the American side, and is separated from the main falls by Luna Island.
About 4,000,000 cubic feet (113,267,000 cubic meters) of water cascades over the rim of the falls every minute, on average. The 164-foot-high (50-meter-high) American Falls is nowhere near as impressive as Canada's Horseshoe Falls. It is only 98 feet (30 meters) wide, compared to the Horseshoe Falls, which is 2,625 feet (800 meters) wide.
Niagara Falls was formed about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. As the glaciers retreated, escaping water from the newly formed Greak Lakes, specifically Lake Erie, carved a canyon through the Niagara Escarpment, thus creating the falls.
Niagara Falls actually consists of two sets of falls: the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side, and the American Falls on the American side. Both sets of falls are separated by Goat Island, which is American territory.
The Horseshoe Falls are much larger and more impressive than the American Falls. They are shaped like a horseshoe, and are 2,625 feet (800 meters) wide and 164 feet (50 meters) high.
Keep in mind that in Canada advertised prices offen do not declare local taxes or added value tax (or gratuities) - so don`t be surprised if the final price is higher than expected and maybe ask before if tax is included or how much will be added, if you`re unsure. Gratuities might already be included in your bill, if not, it is common to give 15% of the final price.
Vancouver Art Gallery
I am an art enthusiast and visit museums & galleries on a regular basis, but the Vancouver art gallery was a major disappointment. This was probably my shortest museum visit ever (less than half an hour including gift shop). First of all, they focus more on temporary exhibitions than their permanent collection. The temporary exhibitions we saw were quite boring, and the one level with Canadian art was small and not worth the exaggerated entry price of almost 20 CDN $.
Unique Suggestions: At least the building is nice. It has been used as a film location, for example in "X Men III".
Fun Alternatives: Rather try to visit the Art Museum in Ottawa which gives an excellent overview of Canadian art.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
This can be a nightmare for anyone who is not used to this.
In restaurants 15 - 20% (15% is the combined amount of the taxes generally, but can vary province to province.)
This is a tipping help site I use, its very helpfull
another excellent source is
Fior those of use who do not reside in North America, it can be hard to remember that the prices displayed are EXCLUSIVE of any local or state taxes. These get added at the till or when the bill comes.
Just be aware as it can make some items not so attractive to purchase.
The Niagara River
The Niagara River connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. As the river approaches the falls, impressive rapids begin to form.
Upriver from the falls, hydroelectric plants syphon off a substantial part of the river's water to turn their turbines. This has actually decreased erosion at the falls. In the early 1900s, the falls eroded by as much three feet (one meter) per year. Nowadays, the erosion is down to one foot (30 centimeters) per year.
Snack Bar Fairmont Hotel Lake Louise
October 06 Understaffed, rude inefficient service because of staffing, food and drink overpriced - $9 for a bottle of water.
The cafe at the Lake itself, is the only place to buy refreshments and the hotel charges according to its monopoly.
Unique Suggestions: If you are on a day trip to the Lake stop off in the village and buy your refreshments at the supermarket or other food stores. You'll have a greater choice at cheaper prices
Fun Alternatives: Apart from the supermarket the village is renowned for its bakery. There are also coffee shops and an information centre.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Is it necessary to make such ugly buildings?
Shopping area near the falls. All this Kitsch!
You risk more being trampled here than at the falls!
The price of "souvenirs" is of course proportional to the "uglyness".
Unique Suggestions: Look at people, make a bit of "tourist ethnology" (do not forget you belong to this population!) ;
Fun Alternatives: You are trapped !Related to:
- Casino and Gambling
- Theme Park Trips
Visit the Magnetic Hill, in New Brunswick!
One might consider this a 'tourist trap', though it's find of an interesting attraction.
Unique Suggestions: It does cost $5/car, but it's free on a motorcycle or bus. At least check it out on line, before or instead of going: http://www.gomoncton.comRelated to:
- Theme Park Trips
- Road Trip
Like Harbours anywhere prices go up
I suggest you eat in the city and Kayak in the Harbour
Unique Suggestions: Rent a Sea Kayak yak out to one of the Islands
Its a Easy way to lose 3 million folks
Fun Alternatives: Don't cab or bus down town everthing is a easy walk and very interesting use the subway its cheap and clean.Related to:
NIAGARA FALLS... donýt have your honeymoon here
Iýve been to Niagara Falls many many times.. more times that one should in my 24 years.
Its a weird, and kind of seedy town... There are a lot of (freak show) type of museums, and other touristy things... there is a real town with a Kmart and normal things, but its not of any interest. My advice is if you want to see the falls, just go there for the day. Take the boat trip that goes right down by the falls, its scary and thrilling in a good way. Walk around a little, get the feel of the mist in your face, then get out.. The falls does get light up at night, which is kind of cool, but donýt be alone there, as there are a lot of creepy people waiting for you as well.
Unique Suggestions: Take the boat trip, I beleive there still is a little bus tour of the town... Trust me, there is no reason to want to get past the touristy part of this town.
Fun Alternatives: There is a cute, if not a bit yuppy town called Niagaran on the Lake thatýs 30 or so miles up the road. Iýve been there many times also.. Its one of those quaint bed and breakfast types of towns, with nice parks, and a view of the lake.
Ripleys is ok, but the real stories are in the stories of the falls. They have books on everything about the falls along the strip, just about on every corner.
Unique Suggestions: Tour packages are really nice. We may look further into the scenic package thru the internet and let you know when we take it.
Fun Alternatives: Look for special packages all inclusive etc... Seems to be cheaper this way.Related to:
- Family Travel
Dawson City is Great! A Tourist Trap, But Fun....
This little town proved a very nice place for a break, both enroute Inuvik from Anchorage, and on the way back home. We stayed at the local Best Western, ate at the local eateries and strolled around because it's small enough to cruise through on foot. If there's got to be a tourist trap anywhere on my travels, it should be a bit more like Dawson City--not too many cheesy stores and enough local flavor to make things interesting.
Fun Alternatives: If you're into camping....keep going. Otherwise, do stop and give yourself a nice respite from all that driving.
I recommend this hotel to everybody. I was only 2 nights here and it was for certain one of the best...more
A contemporary hotel located in the very cosmopolitan Yaletown. Top-notch service from a very...more
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Taylor got married here. If it was good enough for Liz and Richard...it...more
Top Canada Hotels
- Montreal Hotels
- 3718 Reviews - 6963 Photos
- Niagara Falls Hotels
- 1462 Reviews - 3627 Photos
- Quebec Hotels
- 1573 Reviews - 3489 Photos
- Vancouver Hotels
- 4066 Reviews - 8690 Photos
- Windsor Hotels
- 327 Reviews - 1001 Photos
- Halifax Hotels
- 1055 Reviews - 2159 Photos
- Kingston Hotels
- 186 Reviews - 399 Photos
- Banff Hotels
- 481 Reviews - 1023 Photos
- Toronto Hotels
- 4331 Reviews - 9008 Photos
- Gaspé Hotels
- 150 Reviews - 411 Photos
Explore the World
- Banaue Hotels
- Kirkby in Ashfield Hotels
- Plaskett Hotels
- Laguna Cuicocha Hotels
- Le Cap d'Agde