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Info Niagara falls
Niagara Falls is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is located on the western bank of the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario, with a population of 82,997 at the 2011 census. The municipality was incorporated on 12 June 1903. Across the Niagara River is Niagara Falls, New York.
The city is dominated by the Niagara Falls, a world-famous set of three large waterfalls on the Niagara River. The American and Horseshoe falls can be best seen from the Canadian side of the river, so the city has one of the world's major tourist attractions. The natural spectacle attracts millions of tourists yearly.
This area, which stretches along the Niagara Parkway and tourist promenade, is particularly concentrated at the brink of the falls. Apart from the river's natural attractions, it includes observation towers, high-rise hotels, souvenir shops, casinos and theatres, mostly with colourful neon billboards and advertisements, and sufficient parking to accommodate visitors. Further to the north or south, golf courses are operated alongside historic sites from the War of 1812.
Niagara Falls was incorporated on June 12, 1903. Its population was 83,184 as of 2008.
Mainly a tourist destination, the main attraction has always been Niagara Falls, which brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city. Tourism plays a major part in the economy of the region. Increasingly, visitors seeking more natural settings are finding the Niagara River to a great place to hike and visit downstream from the Falls where the majority of visitors go.
Visitor Welcome Centres open daily at 9AM, June through August. They offer advice and maps of the area, and sell People Mover bus tickets and the Great Gorge Adventure Pass. They are located at:
- Table Rock Centre (inside the mall near the brink of the Horseshoe Falls)
- Maid of the Mist (outside the Maid of the Mist ticket booths)
- Clifton Hill (at the intersection of Clifton Hill and Falls Avenue)
- Clifton Hill District (top of Clifton Hill Victoria Avenue area)
- Murray Street (near Queen Victoria Place, below the Fallsview Tourist Area and Fallsview Casino Resort)
This area was long part of the Iroquois Confederacy territory: five powerful First Nations mostly along the southern edge of the Great Lakes. The Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca were based largely in present-day New York, ranging from east near the Hudson River, to western areas of Seneca Lake and along Ontario and other Great Lakes.
The Niagara Falls area has had some European settlement since the 17th century. Louis Hennepin, a French priest and missionary, is regarded as the first European to visit the area in the 1670s. French colonists settled mostly in Lower Canada, beginning near the Atlantic, and in Quebec and Montreal. Increased settlement in this area took place during and after the American Revolutionary War, when the British Crown made land grants to Loyalists to help them resettle in Upper Canada and provide some compensation for their losses after the United States became independent. Loyalist Robert Land received 200 acres (81 ha) and was one of the first people of European descent to settle in the Niagara Region. He moved to nearby Hamilton three years later due to the relentless noise of falls.
Tourism started in the early 19th century and has been a vital part of the local economy since that time. The falls became known as a natural wonder, in part to their being featured in paintings by prominent American artists of the 19th century such as Albert Bierstadt. Such works were reproduced as lithographs, becoming widely distributed. In addition, Niagara Falls markets itself as a honeymoon destination; it is the self-proclaimed "honeymoon capital of the world."
In 1856, the Town of Clifton was incorporated. The name of the town was changed to Niagara Falls in 1881. In 1882, the community of Drummondville (located near the present-day corner of Lundy's Lane and Main Street) was incorporated as the village of Niagara Falls. The village was referred to as Niagara Falls South to differentiate it from the town. In 1904, the town and village amalgamated to form the City of Niagara Falls.
In 1882, Irish author Oscar Wilde visited Niagara Falls after lecturing in Buffalo during a lecture tour of North America. He stayed at the Prospect House in Niagara Falls, New York.
An Internment camp was set up at The Armoury in Niagara Falls from December 1914 to August 1918.
In 1953, the American actress Marilyn Monroe filmed Niagara here. This was a major event for the city.
In 1962, the city amalgamated with the surrounding Stamford Township, resulting in a doubling of population.
With the creation of a Niagara regional government in 1970, the city absorbed the village of Chippawa, Willoughby Township and part of Crowland Township, creating the present-day municipal boundaries.
The city's official historian is Sherman Zavitz, who gives regular radio broadcasts on many aspects of Niagara's history.
Spring: Temperatures range from 5° to 19°C (41°-66°F). Nightly temperatures range from -3° to 8° C (26° to 46°F). As temperature changes are sudden outdoor camping before mid-May is not advisable.
Summer: In June, July & August the weather is generally bright and sunny with sporadic rainfall. Storms are caused Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and are seldom severe.
Fall: In the fall, it is unlikely to snow prior to the end of October. First killing frost and/or snowfall be expected by late October or early November. Mixed weather patterns prevail. Rain and cloudy skies are common.
Winter: The days are generally cold and clear. Snow is moderate. Snow storms are infrequent. Lake effect snowfalls are mainly localized to areas near Buffalo and southward. Lake Erie, during extended cold weather will freeze over completely. Some of the activities associated with the falls (e.g. Maid of the Mist and Marineland) do not run during winter due to the frozen conditions, but most attractions now remain open year-round, dealing with mist related ice near Niagara Falls.
Climate data for Niagara Falls
|Record high °C (°F)||22.2|
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−4.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||−26|
|Source #1: Environment Canada (normals 1981–2010, extremes 1981–2006)|
|Source #2: Environment Canada (extremes for Niagara Falls 1943−1995)|
Niagara Falls is approximately 130 km (81 mi) by road from Ontario's capital of Toronto, which is located across Lake Ontario to the north. The area of the Niagara Region is approximately 1,800 km2 (690 sq mi).
The city is built along the Niagara Falls waterfalls and the Niagara Gorge on the Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
Transportation - Get In
The closest airports to the Falls are across the border in the U.S. Buffalo-Niagara International Airport (IATA: BUF) in Buffalo, New York is about a 20-30 minute drive from the Falls and is served by most major American carriers. Niagara Falls International Airport (IATA: IAG) is the closest airport to the Falls, but only a few scheduled flights serve it.
On the Canadian side, Hamilton International Airport (IATA: YHM) in Hamilton is about 70 km (43 mi) from Niagara Falls, and is served by WestJet. Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ) in Mississauga is about a 1 1/2 hour drive from the Falls and is served by most major domestic and international carriers.
Buffalo Airport Shuttle, +1 716 685-2550, offers service from the Buffalo-Niagara airport to the Canadian side of the Falls. A family of 4 can expect to pay less than $25 per person and the drivers often have great tips on where to go and what to avoid.
Niagara Falls is about 2 hours from Toronto (assuming ideal traffic conditions), and 30 minutes from Buffalo.
- From New York, Boston, and the East Coast: Take I-90 west towards Buffalo to the 290 west. Exit onto the 190 north towards Grand Island and Niagara Falls. Follow the highway through Grand Island, then take the exit immediately after the North Grand Island Bridge (as you're leaving the island) for the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Continue until in downtown Niagara Falls, New York. Proceed on Rainbow Boulevard, to the Rainbow Bridge, across to Niagara Falls, Ontario.
- From Chicago and the Midwest: Cross the international border at Detroit/Windsor, then take Ontario Highway 401 east to the 403 east. Divert around Hamilton via Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway and Red Hill Valley Parkway, which will lead you to the Niagara-bound QEW. Continue to Highway 420 (signs for The Falls and Niagara Falls, USA), which becomes Roberts Street. Stay straight to go onto Falls Avenue.
- If you're coming from points east of Detroit, you can instead take I-90 east through Ohio and Pennsylvania, then at Buffalo exit at I-190 north. Pass through Grand Island, then take the exit immediately after the North Grand Island Bridge (as you're leaving the island) for the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Follow the signs for the Rainbow Bridge; downtown Niagara Falls, Ontario is at the far end of the bridge.
- From Buffalo-Niagara International Airport: Take NY 33 west from the airport, the first exit off of which is I-90 eastbound (signs for Niagara Falls and Albany). Exit onto I-90, then get off at Exit 50 (I-290 west), which you'll follow to the end of the highway. From there, take I-190 north (over both Grand Island Bridges, $1 toll) to the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Follow the signs for the Rainbow Bridge; downtown Niagara Falls, Ontario is at the far end of the bridge.
- From Toronto Pearson International Airport: Take Highway 427 south to the QEW towards Hamilton. Drive for about 100 km (62 mi) and then keep left to take Highway 420 east, which becomes Roberts Street. Stay straight to go onto Falls Avenue.
GO Transit, +1 416-869-3200, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area's regional/commuter rail and bus system operates commuter/regional bus service to/from the Burlington train station, connecting with commuter/regional trains to/from Toronto. Most buses make stops en route in Stoney Creek, as well in Grimsby and St. Catharines. The bus ride to/from Burlington station is between 80-90 minutes. The train ride from there to downtown Toronto is another 60 minutes. However, during the summer, on Fridays (or Thursday if Friday is a holiday) evenings and weekends/holidays there are express bus services that run directly to/from Burlington station. This is in addition to the excursion trains (see below). These buses take around 65 minutes to reach Niagara Falls from Burlington. A one-way standard ticket is $18.75 to/from Toronto and $13.15 to/from Burlington. The buses have coach style seating but seating is not reserved and there are no washrooms, wi-fi services, or any on-board amenities. Buses run every 60 minutes on weekends/holidays and 60-90 minutes on weekdays.
Megabus, offers discount bus service to Niagara Falls from Toronto.
The Niagara Falls bus depot is located at 4555 Erie Avenue, +1 905-357-2133. It is opposite the Train Station and connects to WeGo Transport Services
Taxi service to the Falls and main tourist area from the bus depot will run $10-15, If you fancy a walk the route is simple and easy, although nearly 5 km (3 mi), and has the advantage of seeing the Falls come slowly into view.
Due to budget cuts and expansion of GO Transit, VIA Rail Canada has not run dedicated Toronto-Niagara Falls service since November 2012. Rather, that service is provided as part of Amtrak's Toronto-New York Maple Leaf Train. The physical train belongs to Amtrak but is staffed by Via during the Canadian portion of the route. The trip leaves Toronto Union Station daily at 8:20AM and makes stops in Oakville, Burlington (at Aldershot station near the boundary with Hamilton), Grimsby, and St. Catharines. It arrives at Niagara Falls Ontario at 10:16AM. Only economy class service is available and a standard ticket from Toronto costs $42 one-way + 13% sales tax. The train continues onward to New York City via Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and various smaller cities. It reaches New York's Penn Station at 9:50PM. In the other direction, the Maple Leaf makes daily departures from New York City at 7:15AM and reaches Niagara Falls Ontario at 4:28PM. It holds there until 5:45PM when it leaves for Toronto, arriving there at 7:42PM.
GO Transit provides limited intercity rail service to the rest of the Golden Horseshoe. While service to Niagara Falls is usually provided by bus (see above), during the summer weekends and on the Thanksgiving long weekend excursion trains run from Toronto to Niagara Falls. On Fridays (or Thursday if Friday is a holiday) there is one train a day that leaves Toronto at 6:20PM and reaches Niagara Falls at 8:24PM. That train leaves for the return trip to Toronto at 8:40PM and arrives there at 10:44PM. On weekends/holidays, there are three trains heading towards Niagara Falls and four trains heading to Toronto. The trains leave Toronto at 9:00AM, 4:18PM, and 8:10PM and reach Niagara Falls at 11:04AM, 6:22PM, and 10:14PM respectively. These trains leave for the return trip to Toronto at 11:30AM, 7:20PM, and 10:30PM, respectively, and arrive at 1:34PM, 9:24PM, and 12:34AM respectively. There is also an early train that leaves Niagara Falls at 8:30AM and reaches Toronto at 10:34AM. These excursion trains run express and do not stop at all the commuter/regional train stations they pass through. After leaving Toronto Union Station the trains stop at the Exhibition grounds, bypass Etobicoke, make one stop in Mississauga, one in Oakville, and one in Burlington. Note that they do not stop at Aldershot station nor anywhere in Hamilton despite passing through the city. The trains also bypass Grimsby but do stop in St. Catharines. A one-way standard ticket is $21.75. Being public transit, it is tax exempt. Being public transit also means there are no reserved seats or any amneties on board other than washrooms.
The Niagara Falls train station, +1-888-842-7245 (toll-free), is located at 4267 Bridge Street, about 4 km (2.5 mi) from the Falls and right across from the bus depot. Taxi service to the main tourist area at the Falls will run $10-15.
Transportation - Get Around
Many of the main attractions are within walking distance depending on where you walk from, and the rest are easily accessible by transit. Note that some roads are steep so it may be preferable to drop elderly family members off near the falls before parking.
During the busiest tourist season (May - October), the Niagara Parkway and Queen Victoria Park along the Canadian side of the Falls, can become very crowded and finding a "picture perfect" view of the Falls is difficult. Walking to the attractions can be slow during peak tourist season with thousands of people bustling by.
If you want to park your car and walk around the city, consider parking at the Niagara Casino (near the Hilton Hotel). It is a flat $5 every time you leave the garage; there is no limit on how long you can leave your car inside the garage.
WEGO Niagara Falls, bus system runs throughout the Niagara Parkway, Falls Avenue, Fallsview Boulevard and other tourist areas year round. There are stops at the participating points of interest including attractions, hotels, and restaurants. Prices vary although day passes are available. There is a live map of WEGO stops and buses online [www]. WEGO passes can be purchased from Niagara Parks Info Centres, WEGO Drivers, and participating attractions and hotels. WEGO buses, especially on the Green line (which takes you to all of the attractions along the Niagara parkway) can easily fill up during peak hours and be difficult to find space on. If possible, try to catch the bus at its terminal end near the Journey Behind the Falls attraction in order to secure yourself a seat, especially if travelling to attractions such as the white water walk or butterfly conservatory.
Niagara Transit, is operated by the Niagara Transit Commission (City of Niagara Falls) and has routes covering sections of Niagara Falls not covered by the WEGO system. Tickets are available at the bus terminal or from the shuttle bus driver. Day passes are $10 for adults.
Niagara Regional Transit, is operated by the Niagara Regional Government to transport travellers between the cities of Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Welland. Tickets are available at the bus terminal or from the shuttle bus driver. Price is $6 with transfers available to local transit for an additional fee and day passes are not available.
There are also several tour services that offer the option to buy a shuttle pass, which allows you to board any of the tour buses at any stop point throughout the day. Many of these operators have ceased operating their shuttles after the WEGO system débuted in 2012.
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The Niagara Falls beaches are located on Niagara River between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Niagara Falls is in the Great Lakes Basin which has an extremely cold climate from October to May and unless you are from the Arctic it isn't recommended to go swimming during this time. The fresh water in the area creates many wonderful beaches and shorelines in this area. Unfortunately, swimming in Niagara river is frowned upon due of the danger caused by the massive Niagara waterfall.
Lake Ontario and Lake Erie
A short drive north of Niagara Falls is the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake located next to Lake Ontario and the mouth of Niagara River. In the conservation area of this town is a small beach called Niagara Shores which is one of the few Niagara Falls beaches good for swimming in the area. It is best to check with the local conservation officers before swimming in this part of Lake Ontario, there are years where swimming is prohibited due to high e-coli levels. However, a walk on the massive shoreline can be picturesque and relaxing. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a popular vacation spot and has many nice resorts and cottages for rent. South of Niagara Falls is Crystal Beach, Ontario, named for the crystal clear waters of Lake Erie. Crystal Beach Waterfront Park is known for its sand dunes and relaxing beaches. Crystal Beach may only have a population of 3,800 but it is home to several hotels and motels for day trips from Niagara Falls.
Niagara River and Falls
Though not ideal for swimming, a walk along the shoreline of the Niagara Falls beaches is a good way to spend the day. The Niagara Falls area is lined with restaurants and bars perfect for watching the water pass or the sunset. Surrounded by the civilization of Niagara Falls, Ontario and New York this river remains untamed, and the beaches are wilderness in segments. Hiking along the Niagara River is a popular attraction of outdoors enthusiasts. Bruce Trail and Haulage Road Trail are popular for hikers, bikers, and cross country skiers. There are many other trails for experienced hikers and cross country skiers that follow the river. Several trails have themes such as hydroelectric power where you can learn about the history of hydroelectricity in the area. Other themes, such as history, show the importance of the river and falls during the War of 1812.
In 2010, with the Canadian dollar strong and US money accepted at par throughout Niagara Falls, it sometimes made sense to simply use US cash to avoid bank conversion fees. As of 2016, Canadian dollars can be had for about 75 cents; an individual merchant offering to accept your US dollar for C$1.20 or so is doing you no favours. A visit to your bank or credit union may be the best option.
There are a great many souvenir shops in Niagara Falls, especially in the Clifton Hill area and at the Maid of the Mist Marketplace at the foot of Clifton Hill. You'll find everything from the usual t-shirts and calendars to vials of Niagara Falls water.
NOTE: Hotels and restaurants have been adding unexplained and poorly-documented fees, some as high as 10%, to fund destination marketing programs. Acronyms on bills include DMF, DMP, DMF, DMDF, PF and TIF. The charges, which vary widely, are not mandatory and lawfully cannot be identified as a tax.[www][www]. Consumers who believe they're being misled may call the Ontario government's consumer services ministry at +1-800-889-9768.
As a major tourist destination, many restaurant chains are represented in Niagara Falls.
- Basell's Restaurant & Tavern, 4880 Victoria Ave, . A super-cheap restaurant that may look like "a little hole in the wall" but the food is delish. Try the special: soup du jour (try the vegetable), coleslaw, potatoes or fries, tea or coffee, the special, AND frozen yogurt or ice cream for the end... all of that for only about $8. Dinner prices range from $8 for a sandwich to $20-something for steak or seafood.
- The Flying Saucer, 6768 Lundy's Ln (look for the UFO), . Daily 6AM-11PM. Diner/greasy spoon. Home of the 99-cent breakfast (two eggs, hash browns and toast) served between 6AM and noon. Very busy on weekend mornings, but service is efficient.
- Savoury and Sweet, 3770 Bridgewater Street L2G 6H3 (just off Niagara Scenic Rt near Marineland), . Monday closed, Tuesday through Friday 4PM to 9PM Saturday and Sunday 10AM to 9PM. 28 choices of crepes, waffles, palacsinta with a varied European Main Meal Selection $10-$25. Stylish and comfortable, excellent food. Reservations recommended
- Tarboosh Mediterranean Grill, 5809 Victoria Ave (at the top of Clifton Hill), . 11AM-3AM. Tarboosh has a 100% Halal menu. Menu includes shawarmas, falafel, burgers, samosas, springrolls, ice cream, and freshly squeezed juices. 5 minutes away from Niagara Falls. Delivery available fresh and healthy food under $10.
- Antica Pizzeria, 5785 Victoria Ave, . Thin-crust pizza made to order in wood-burning ovens. Can be busy at dinner time.
- Carpaccio Restaurant, 6840 Lundy's Ln, . Lots of options including chicken, veal and steak entrées, grilled salmon, rack of lamb, ravioli, gnocchi, lasagna, wild mushroom risotto. Thin crust oven-baked pizzas. Soy spaghetti is available. Family friendly.Dinner mains, $10-35.
- Maid of the Mist Restaurant, 5920 River Rd (at Clifton Hill). Great hidden cafeteria style eatery. Incredible views of the fall through the floor to ceiling glass windows. Reasonable prices for great tasting pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs. Restaurant is in the courtyard outside the Maid of the Mist gift shop.
- Mama Mia's, 5719 Victoria Ave (top of Clifton Hill), . Italian, in case the name didn't give it away. Relatively inexpensive (for Niagara Falls) and the food is good. Spaghetti (vegetarian sauce option available), manicotti, cannelloni, homemade fettuccine, lasagne, eggplant (or chicken or veal) parmigiana, gnocchi, hamburgers. Lunch mains $8-$10, dinner mains $10-20, $22.95 gourmet dinner menu.
- Michinoku Japanese Restaurant, 6100 Thorold Stone Road Unit #14, . Mainly sushi/sashimi. Excellent quality and generally high reviews. Can get busy around dinner time, but is outside of normal tourist areas. $15-$25 per person.
- Napoli Ristorante and Pizzeria, 5484 Ferry St (at Stanley Ave), . Homestyle Italian food made with fresh ingredients. Casual atmosphere.
- Secret Garden Restaurant, 5827 River Rd, . Breakfast served until 11AM daily. Large outdoor patio with a view of the American Falls and the surrounding flower gardens. Varied menu includes: hamburgers, quiche Lorraine, soups, salads, pasta, fish of the day, fish and chips, steak, rack of lamb, prime rib of beef. Vegetarian and children's menus. Dinner entrées $10-30.
- Suisha Gardens, 5701 Lewis Ave, . Tu-Su (closed M), 5PM-10PM. Very pleasant Japanese restaurant. They cook, Teppanyaki-style, at your table. It's some tasty stuff and for what you get, the price is reasonable. The building looks old and run-down from the outside but when you enter, it's like walking into a small pocket of Japan. Sushi bar. Take-out available. Reservations recommended. Teppanyaki set menus $16-$40.
- Syndicate Restaurant, 6863 Lundy's Ln, , e-mail: [email protected]. 11:30am-11PM. A collaboration of farm, table, and brewhouse. Great little brewpub a few blocks away from the main tourist area, and a local favourite. They have a wide selection of in-house brewed and guest beers to choose from. They make an effort to use locally raised meats in their dishes. Reservations recommended. $10-$25.
- Taco N' Tequila, 5355 Ferry St (5 min walk from Clifton Hill), . Simple, yet good, Mexican fare and home of the 45 oz. margaritas.
- Taki, 5500 Victoria Ave, . 11:30am-9:30pm (Closed Tues Nov-Feb). "Taki" means "Falls" in Japanese. Very authentic-style Japanese restaurant. Great food, great atmosphere. Pricey, but it's worth it. Celebrated their 5th anniversary in March 2014. Free parking behind the building.
- Yukiguni, 5980 Fallsview Blvd, . Daily noon-11PM. "Yukiguni" means "snow country" in Japanese. Very good Japanese food. Loved by Japanese. Menu includes sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, tempura, and noodles. Mains $10-$18.
- Buchanans Chophouse, 6022 Stanely Ave (atrium level inside the Doubletree Resort), . Daily until 9PM. Casual fine dining, regional cuisine. VQA Award of excellence wine list, live entertainment select Fridays, call for details. Steaks, chops & seafood in a Grand Lodge atmosphere. AAA/CAA approved.
- CopaCabana Brazilian Steak House, 6671 Fallsview Blvd (at Main St), . A Brazilian BBQ restaurant, where you get all-you-can-eat servings of grilled steak, pork, chicken, lamb, sausage, etc. Outdoor patio. Samba music and dancers on Friday and Saturday nights. Very busy, and there can be a long wait for tables. $36.
- Keg Steakhouse and Bar Overlooking Niagara Falls, 6700 Fallsview Blvd, 9F of Embassy Suites - Fallsview Hotel, . Su-Th noon-11:30PM, F Sa noon-midnight. From the ninth floor, it affords one views of Niagara Falls from virtually every table. The dining room has a warm atmosphere typically of the chain; booths with heavy Oak tables and a large stone fireplace. There is plenty of tiered seating available, allowing each guest a view of the famous waterfalls.
- Milestones Niagara Falls Restaurant, 6755 Fallsview Blvd (inside the Marriott Gateway), . 11:30AM to 11PM. Milestones Niagara Falls Restaurant directly overlooks the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Offering select local, Canadian, and International wines at a Fallsview full service bar. Located on the second floor of the Niagara Falls Gateway on the Falls Hotel. Book a wine tasting or group event. Free parking for Milestones guests.
- The Revolving Restaurant at Skylon Tower, 5200 Robinson St, toll-free: . Enjoy fine dining at the revolving restaurant near the top of the Skylon Tower or buffet dining at the Summit Suite. Enjoy lunch or dinner, desserts as well as fine wines with free access to the observation deck. The view is one of a kind and the service is impeccable.
- Terrapin Grille Niagara Falls Restaurant, 6740 Fallsview Blvd (inside the Marriott Fallsview), . 6:30AM to 9PM. Fallsview dining at its peak, presented by Chef Ron Kneabone. Wine, cocktails, beer and more available on two floors overlooking Niagara Falls. The Terrapin Bar and Lobby Lounge also cater to the sports fans offering local games during your visit. Private rooms available for groups. Luxury dining with quality ingredients and professional service. Free valet parking.
- Watermark Restaurant, 6361 Fallsview Blvd (in the Hilton Hotel), , toll-free: . Go for a drink at the martini bar during one of the fireworks shows. It offers an amazing Falls view, great for a romantic gesture or a dramatic proposal.
Coffe & Drink
The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19.
Niagara Falls is the largest waterfall in North America, with an average of 4 million cubic feet of water running over the crest line each minute. This magnificent sight brings visitors from all over the globe to marvel at its beauty. Niagara Falls, Ontario is located on the International border between USA and Canada, split by the Niagara River. Each year the number of tourists to Niagara Falls, Ontario gets bigger and bigger. Tourists come to Niagara not only to view the wonder of the Falls, but also to take in the nightlife. The bustling little destination has become a draw for visitors due to the vast amount of things to do in the area. What once was a day visit to view this sprawling waterfall has now become a weekend getaway to take in so much more of what Niagara Falls has to offer. Here are some top Bars and Cafes you should visit during your stay:
Shaw's Cafe & Wine Bar is probably one of Niagara Falls' top cafes due to its beautifully landscaped patio and circular dining room. The cafe itself has some amazing interior design, and European influences, but the light fared menu has a personality all its own. Entrees range from focaccia sandwiches to steamed mussels, pastries are made fresh daily and Shaw's has an impeccable local wine list. Shaw's is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Cantina Charlies World Famoso is a fun and lively bar located on Ferry Street. This happening hot spot is relatively new to Niagara Falls, and the locals, as well as tourists, are loving it. Cantina Charlies serves a daily happy hour, and provides live entertainment on weekends. The crowd can get rowdy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night club nights, and the music will get loud, but the environment is mixed and casual. Bottle service is available, as well as club rental.
Jack's Italian Restaurant Cantina and Patio is a fun, vivacious spot with live music all summer long on the patio. There's a wide selection of cocktails and drinks, and a rooftop bar that usually has its own live act. The atmosphere is fun and casual, and the prices are very reasonable. It can get very busy at Jack's, especially during the summer, but the service is exceptional.
Creekwater Cafe is located on Bridgewater Street, and is infamous for their breakfast. This quaint little restaurant has become a staple among the locals in Niagara Falls for the amazing service, delicious food and low prices. Creekwater is family owned and operated, and you don't want miss the Friday fish n chips special.
Sights & Landmarks
Most visitors' first view of the Falls, from the Canadian side of the river, is at Queen Victoria Park along the Niagara Falls Parkway. This grand, royal garden provides the perfect vantage point for experiencing both the nightly illumination of the Falls and the summer fireworks displays. The Falls are illuminated, [www], every evening until approximately midnight (see website for exact times) and there are Fireworks over the Falls, Friday and Sunday nights in the summer months.
Niagara Parks offers a suite of Adventure Passes that include tickets to the Hornblower Niagara Cruises, a selection of other attraction admissions (depending on price point), a two-day WEGO pass, and a bunch of discounts for additional attractions. Passes range from $55 to $84, and the components do not have to all be used on the same day.
- Hornblower Niagara Cruises, 5920 Niagara Parkway (at the bottom of Clifton Hill), , e-mail: [email protected]. New operator of Niagara Falls boat tours effective 2014. A boat tour to the foot of the falls, where visitors can better appreciate their thunder and spray. There are three types of cruises: Voyage to the Falls, Sunset Cocktail Cruise, and Falls Illumination/Fireworks Cruise. See their website for hours, as they vary. Many people want to use their digital cameras to take pictures, but they will get wet, so plan ahead.
- Journey Behind the Falls, 6650 Niagara Pkwy (Table Rock Centre, beside the Falls). This is an interesting attraction to consider in lieu of Hornblower Niagara Cruises(or when Hornblower Niagara Cruises isn't operating). Although popular, the lines aren't nearly as long for "Journey" as they are for Hornblower Niagara Cruises, and therefore may be a better option on crowded days, or for those travelling with small children. Ponchos are provided, as the Journey still offers participants the chance to feel the "spray" of the Falls, from portholes opening behind the Falls themselves, as well as access to a small open area on the bank of the river, no more than 200 feet from the base of the falls. An informative guided tour that still provides some--but not all--of the thrills of the other attractions. Open year-round except 25 December. Whilst this attraction remains open during winter, often some of the viewing points are inaccessible due to snow build up. Adults (13+ years): $12, children (6 to 12 years): $7.20, children 5 and under: free.
- White Water Walk, 4330 Niagara Pkwy. A 1,000-ft (305 m) boardwalk beside the rapids. Open seasonally. Adults (13+ years): $11.95, children (6 to 12 years): $7.80, children 5 and under: free.
- Whirlpool Aero Car, 3850 Niagara River Pkwy (4.5 km/3 mi north of the Falls). Cable car ride over the Niagara Whirlpool. Open March - November. Adults (13+ years): $11, children (6 to 12 years): $6.50, children 5 and under: free.
- Skylon Tower, 5200 Robinson St, , e-mail: [email protected]. 520-ft (160 m) tower that has an observation deck and revolving restaurant with a great view of the falls. There are arcade games in the base. Summer hours 8AM-midnight, winter 11AM-9PM. $12.95, child: $7.55, some online discounts.
- Niagara Skywheel, 4946 Clifton Hill, . Ferris-wheel-like, with air-conditioned/heated pods and views of the Falls and surrounding skyline. 10-minute ride. Year round. $9.99, child $5.99.
- Clifton Hill Amusement Area. A hill, and a street, full of exciting and fun tourist attractions such as wax museums, Ripley's Believe it or Not, haunted houses, and gift shops.
- Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, 2565 Niagara Pkwy (9 km/6 mi north of the Falls). Open daily year-round, dawn until dusk. 100 acres of 20th century themed gardens, a magnificent arboretum, as well as North America's largest butterfly conservatory. At their best in the summer.
Free admission. Parking is $5..
- Butterfly Conservatory, 2405 Niagara Pkwy (9 km/6 mi north of the Falls, within the Botanical Gardens). Open year-round except 25 December. Check website for times, as they vary.. Over 2,000 butterflies in an enclosed garden - great photo opportunities. Prices as of March 2014: Adults (13+ years) $13.50, children (6 to 12 years): $8.80, children 5 and under: free. Parking is $5..
- Bird Kingdom, 5651 River Rd, , toll-free: , e-mail: [email protected]. Open daily. Sept-Jun 9:30AM-5PM, Jul-Aug 9AM-6:30PM. This tropical adventure with over 400 birds is the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world. Adults $16.95, Seniors (55+) $14.95, Children (4-15) $11.95 (all prices plus HST), Parking $2 per hour.
- Floral clock, 14004 Niagara Pkwy (near the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge). A clock made entirely of flowers. Admission and parking are free.
- Queenston Heights Park, 14184 Niagara Pkwy (near the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge). This park includes the Brock and Laura Secord Monuments. It is also an end point of the Bruce Trail, which winds it way northward over 800 km (497 mi) to Tobermory.
- IMAX theatre and Daredevil Museum, 6170 Fallsview Blvd, , toll-free: , e-mail: [email protected]. Has a 45 minute movie about the history of the Falls, filmed in 2005, that's not quite worth the price of admission ($14.50). However, the theatre also houses a daredevil exhibition with original barrels used by falls and whirlpool daredevils on display, well worth the $8.00. Some online discounts and coupons from other attractions available.
- Sir Adam Beck Power Station, 14000 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake, . Guided tour every 15 minutes, year-round. See how the massive power of the Niagara River is harnessed and used to power the surrounding area
Museums & Galleries
Although they do create the spellbinding effect on their visitors that the famous Niagara Falls does, the Niagara Falls Museum located here at the falls displays some of the most of fascinating, famous, and fearsome people, places, and events that visitors to this famous place will find. Here are 6 of these museums:
Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum
Visitors to this famous museum can explore some of the 500 exhibits displaying some of the world's most famous people along with some of the strangest and most inexplicable and famous events that are know to have happened.
Guinness World of Records Museum
Here you will be able to view wax replicas of people such as the world's tallest man. You will view, and even participate in, mind-stretching displays like a granite ball that weighs 10,000 lbs. but can float on water.
Movieland Wax Museum
Some of America's most famous movie actors and the characters they portrayed on the screen, such as Jack Nicholson and his character, the Joker, are presented at this museum.
Daredevil Hall of Fame
This display depicts daring people who have tightrope-walked across the falls, along with others who have plummeted down the falls in a barrel.
Criminal Hall of Fame
Here, some of the world's most notorious criminals, such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Al Campone are recreated in life-like wax.
A visit to the IMAX Theatre will include admission to this exhibit that displays some of the barrels that have been used by daredevils who attempted go over the falls in these barrels.
Things to do
Niagara Falls is awesome! The list is never ending: world class casinos, rides, wax museums, haunted houses, a huge midway with more skeeball and games than you can shake a stick at, restaurants, clubs, bars, and so on. Go to Niagara Falls, get a hotel near the falls and then walk down towards Clifton Hill. The air is buzzing and there are people from all over the world there.
- Casino Niagara, 5705 Falls Ave (near Clifton Hill), , toll-free: . The original Niagara Falls casino. It is the oldest and smallest of the three Niagara Falls Casinos.
- Clifton Hill Attractions, Clifton Hill. Check out the vast array of flashing lights, Haunted Houses, Mazes, a Fun House, Arcade. Tons of fun attractions and restaurants. Located right near the falls between the Niagara Parkway and Victoria Ave.
- Fallsview Casino, 6380 Fallsview Blvd, toll-free: . A Vegas-style casino originally built to replace Casino Niagara. The second of three Niagara Falls Casinos and the last to be built on the Canadian side of the Niagara Gorge.
- Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, 5685 Falls Ave, , toll-free: . Niagara's largest indoor waterpark at 125,000 square feet. The water park features 16 slides, up to six stories high, full-size wavepool and outdoor year-round pool. The Fallview Indoor Waterpark is directly connected to the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls - Fallsview Hotel and the Skyline Inn Niagara Falls.
- Niagara Helicopters Limited, 3731 Victoria Ave, toll-free: , e-mail: [email protected]. Over the Falls and surrounding area.
- Get married: The City of Niagara Falls issues marriage licences at the City Clerk's Office, 4310 Queen St, +1 905-356-7521 ext 4283, [www]. The fee is $100. There is no waiting period. No ceremonies are performed at City Hall. Niagara Parks has information about weddings, receptions, and wedding photography near the Falls.
- If you're on your honeymoon, you can get an Official City of Niagara Falls Honeymoon Certificate from the Niagara Falls Tourism Office, 5400 Robinson St.
- Greg Frewin Dinner Theatre, 5781 Ellen Ave, toll-free: , e-mail: [email protected]. Illusionist Greg Frewin presents his Las Vegas style magic show.
- Marineland Theme Park, 7657 Portage Rd (about 1.5 km/1 mi from the Falls), [www]. Dolphin, sea lion and walrus shows, and numerous exhibits of interesting and unique marine animals, including killer whales, beluga whales, and black bears. For an additional fee, you can feed some of the animals, including the beluga whales. Also offers a variety of amusement park rides, such as Sky Screamer, billed as the world's tallest three-tower ride, which elevates riders high enough to see Niagara Falls. Age 10+ $39.95, child (5-9): $32.95, child (age 4 and under): free. Note: This park has been heavily targeted by protesters in 2012 due to extensive media coverage (particularly by the Toronto Star) critical of the conditions in which animals are kept.
- The Q (Niagara Falls Downtown), Queen St, . Queen Street has been revitalized into the latest Niagara Arts & Culture District. Art galleries, boutiques, cafés, bistros, live theatre and festivals.
- WildPlay Niagara Falls (aerial courses), toll-free: . This Canadian chain of aerial adventure courses has two attractions in Niagara Falls.
- MistRider Zipline to the Falls, 5850 River Rd. mid-Jul - mid-Oct: Su-Th 10AM-4PM, F 10AM-7PM, Sa 8AM-7PM. The ziplines take riders on a 670-meter (2,200-foot) trip along the river gorge, with great views of all three falls. $50.
- Whirlpool Adventure Course, 3351 Niagara Pkwy. A set of aerial adventure courses with obstacles and ziplines, near the Niagara Whirlpool. There are Classic (ages 7+), Extreme (ages 12+), and Kids' (ages 5-12) courses. There's also the "What's to Fear Jump" (ages 7+), a 40-foot loose-line freefall, available as a standalone activity or as a package with the courses. Classic $40, Extreme $50, Kids' $20; Jump $20 ($15 with adventure course).
- Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. Apr-Oct. Niagara Glen departure point (approx. 8 km/5 mi from the Falls, People Mover Stop #9, very little parking). [www]. The tours operating from Niagara Glen use the JetDome boat, which is enclosed and keeps you dry as the boat navigates the whitewater rapids. For the more traditional 'gets-you-soaking-wet' jet boat tour, you will need to use the Niagara-on-the-Lake departure point.
- Winter Festival of Lights. Area around the Falls. A 5 km/3 mi route along the Niagara Parkway featuring over three million sparkling tree and ground lights and over 120 lighting displays. Illuminations ran from Nov 9, 2013 to Jan 31, 2014 from 5pm to midnight. Opening Festivities on Nov 9 included fireworks @7:45pm. Fireworks over the Falls every Friday night at 9pm during Nov, Dec, and Jan. No admission, $10 donation per car suggested.
Also, don't forget the wine tours. Niagara Falls has recently boomed with vineyards due to the increasing popularity of ice wines. If you've never tasted these, they alone are worth the time. They are thick and sweet much like the muscats and ports, but without the afterbite. They are processed in freezing temperatures in very early morning hours and only with "approved" grapes.
Festivals and events
Being in an area known for its quality wines and vineyards, many of the festivals celebrated in Niagara Falls revolve around wine.
The Niagara Wine Festival is one of the largest events in Canada. Taking place every September, thousands of people come into the area specifically to enjoy this festival. Celebrated in more than 20 local vineyards, this festival includes events and activities such as wine tours, outdoor concerts, wine tastings, wine seminars, artisan displays, and culinary treats. It also includes a huge street parade and Run for the Grapes, an annual half marathon. Just be sure to do all of your wine tasting after the race rather than before!
If you´re looking for a true local treat, Ice Wine is the specialty of Niagara. It is so important and celebrated in the area that it has its own festival, separated from the normal wine festival. The Niagara Ice Wine Festival is held every year in January and includes many of the same events as the wine festival in September. The only difference is that these events are centered around Ice Wine instead of simply wine in general. Tastings of the sweet drink and winery tours are abundant during this festival, and it is a great way to get to know the most famous Ontario wine.
A rather new festival celebrating local wines and produce is the Niagara New Vintage Festival. This festival supports people buying local foods and drinks rather than products from other countries or other parts of Canada. It takes place in June and vendors provide all kinds of local products, including wines from nearby wineries. It is a great way to support the local economy and have fun while doing it.
Besides wine festivals another very popular yearly festival that occurs in Niagara Falls really gets you in the holiday spirit. The Winter Festival of Lights transforms Niagara Falls into a true winter wonderland glittering with millions of lights sprinkled throughout the trees and bushes and on the ground. This festival attracts thousands of visitors longing to see the sparkling lights reflected in the ice and snow. There are also more than 120 displays of lights that are animated. As if that weren´t enough, every evening during the festival, fireworks are set off over the falls in a startling spectacle. The Winter Festival of Lights is celebrated from November to January.
Niagara Falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North America. This beautiful city has great attractions and activities to offer during the day as well as a vibrant nightlife that promises a lot of fun and excitement. Whether you want to have a wild party at a dance club or try your luck at a casino, you will find a night entertainment spot that will make your night out a most fulfilling experience. Here are some of the places in Niagara Falls that offer excellent night entertainment.
The Casino Niagara is known as the largest casino in Canada, and it is comparable to some of the major casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It has 3 floors of gambling space, which collectively cover a total area of more than 95,000 square feet, and it features over 100 gaming tables and 2,400 slot machines. Some of the games that you can play in this casino include blackjack, roulette, craps, Caribbean Stud, Pai Gow, Niagara Hold’em Poker and Three-Card Poker. Other than gambling, the casino also offers entertainment such as live music and comedy, and it is home to a number of restaurants, cafes and bars. The Casino Niagara is open 24 hours everyday, and it is located close to major attractions of the city such as the Niagara Falls, Maid of the Mist, Skylon Tower and the Niagara Falls Museum.
The Rumours Nightclub is the most popular nightclub in Niagara Falls. If you want to have a wild night out and meet the trendiest people in the city, this is the perfect place for you. You will certainly be impressed with the club’s energetic crowd, exciting laser show and high-tech video and sound system. The Rumours Nightclub is situated on Clifton Hill, and it is open from 7.00 p.m. to 2.00 a.m. every day of the week.
Nightmares Fear Factory
The Nightmares Fear Factory is the site where the Cataract Coffin Factory was once located. Today, it is one of the most visited haunted houses in the southeastern Canada. According to some people, the ghost of Abraham Mortier, owner of the coffin factory, still walks the halls of the building, and the factory has been known as the spookiest place in the city for many years. Depending on how brave you are, a tour of the factory can last from a few seconds to 15 minutes. If you complete the entire tour, you will be given an “I Survived” card.