We have decided to hit the road again a much shorter trip this time which left us wondering why we hadn’t taken a trip to Canada before now!
We were able to make it to the boarder from Chicago in five hours and another two hours to Toronto where we checked in for the night. Deciding ahead of time to make this a four day trip we got up pretty early the next day taking advantage of the continental breakfast so we could see as much as possible in the four days there.
The hotel concierge suggested taking a tour guide, boy that poor tour guide had no idea of what he was about to get himself into. The pictures and video below will give you some idea in what we covered in one day of sightseeing!
Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and also by flow rate.
Here are 20 interesting things you may or may not already know about Niagara Falls.
1. When European explorers began mapping the Great Lakes basins, they used accounts from local tribes. The name Niagara came from the tribe of the “thundering waters”, a neutral tribe who inhabited the Niagara region. Their actual name is long forgotten, but they were referred to as “Ongniaahra” by the Iroquois Nation of which they were a part.
2. The Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The Niagara River drains water from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.
3. The 3 waterfalls (American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls) combine to produce the highest flow rate of any waterfall on earth. The average American residence would need 7 1/2 years to use the same amount of water that flows over the Niagara Falls in one second (750,000 gallons).
4. It is estimated that roughly 13 million people visit Niagara Falls every year.
5. The average depth of the water below Niagara Falls is 170 feet, which is as deep as the Niagara Gorge banks are high.
6. The American Falls is 180 feet from the top of the Falls to the river. The crest line is 850 feet wide. The Canadian Horseshoe Falls drops 188 feet and the crest line is 2200 feet.
7. Niagara Falls has been one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations for nearly 200 years. If on the Canadian side of the Falls, honeymooners should contact the tourism office to receive a commemorative certificate and a pass for free admission to several area attractions.
8. The Maid of the Mist boat ride that takes visitors past the base of the American Falls, and into the basin of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, is North America’s oldest tourist attraction. The maiden voyage was in 1846.
9. “The Old Scow” is the name of the wreck seen caught on the shoal just out of reach of Horseshoe Falls. In 1918 two men were on this scow dredging up sand banks from the Niagara river upstream of the waterfall. The scow broke loose from the tugboat that was to bring it back to shore, coming perilously close to plunging over the Falls. Both men were rescued 17 hours later via breeches buoy after the US Coast Guard sent a lifeline over to the barge.
10. The Falls current rate of erosion is estimated at 3-4 inches every 10 years. Scientists believe the Niagara Falls will be gone in around 50,000 years.
11. The Niagara Falls water power is shared between the U.S. and Canada. Today, Niagara is the biggest electricity producer in New York state – generating 2.4 million kilowatts; that is enough power to light 24 million 100-watt bulbs at once, and saves the state’s residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
12. Goat Island sits in the middle of the Niagara Falls, between Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
13. On June 30, 1859, Charles Blondin, dressed in pink tights, was the first man to walk a“not even an inch thick” tightrope suspended above Niagara Falls.
14. On October 24, 1901 Annie Taylor was the first person to ride over Horseshoe Falls in a custom-made, airtight barrel of oak and iron–padded with a mattress to cushion the impact of hitting the lower river. After Taylor climbed inside, the barrel’s air pressure was compressed to 30 p.s.i. using a bicycle pump; the hole used was plugged with a cork. She survived the stunt with only a small gash on her head.
15. Two days before Taylor’s attempt, a domestic cat survived the Horseshoe Falls in Taylor’s barrel to test its strength.
16. On July 25, 1911, Bobby Leach was the second person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel (a steel barrel). He spent six months in the hospital recovering from his injuries, including two broken knee caps and a fractured jaw.
17. On July 11th 1920, Englishman Charles G. Stephens was the first person to lose their life going over the Horseshoe Falls. Stephens had made a fatal mistake of attaching an anvil to his feet. All that was found of Mr. Stephens was his arm, identified by a number of tattoos, still strapped into the harness.
18. There have been a total of fifteen (15) people challenge and survive the Horseshoe Fallsin a craft or barrel, and one (1) who went over with just the clothes on his back. There are 5 who intentionally challenged the Falls and died.
20. An attempt at becoming a Niagara Falls “Daredevil” comes with a maximum fine of $10,000, plus the cost of rescue.
By the time we finished getting soaking wet and drying again in the days sun we were all starved and within walking distance was a familiar sight “Ruby Tuesday.”
If you remember I mentioned we had a tour guide and by this time it’s getting pretty late him being the patience and understanding individual that he was still hung in there with us and by now its was about 7:30 pm.
Of course the Souvenir shop was a must stop before our track back to the hotel.
Our Tour Guide Gary went above and beyond his normal day with us as we arrived back at our hotel at 11 pm, rest assured that Gary made enough money in tips he was able to take the next day off work and hopefully keep him out of hot water with his misses.
If you have never been I would recommend this trip to everyone! With that I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of our trip and as always, Happy Travels…www.itsyourthingpaycation.com
DANCE LIKE YOU’LL DANCE FOREVER 🙂
“TO ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS, WE MUST NOT ONLY ACT, BUT ALSO DREAM, NOT ONLY PLAN, BUT ALSO BELIEVE!”