October 2, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Falls Ontario is one of the Top Ten Places to Visit in Canada and one of the most thrilling natural wonders of the world. You can go for a ride on the Maid of the Mist and get a close up look of the Falls. The Niagara Falls are voluminous waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the border between Ontario and New York.  On the Canadian side, Queen Victoria Park has platforms with amazing views of the falls, and underground walkways that lead into observation rooms which give the illusion of being within the falling waters. From what I have heard, the observation deck of the nearby Skylon Tower offers the best birds-eye view of the Falls. Canada’s “horseshoe” Falls are 180 feet high (60 Meters) and 2,500 feet wide (833 Meters). The depth of the Niagara River below the “Horseshoe” Niagara Falls is 187 feet deep. As high as the Gorge walls are deep. There is an historic park filled with self guided tours and tons of attractions.  Designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, the park offers an interactive Visitor Center, the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, the aquarium of Niagara, and many self guided hiking tours.
Photo Credit: Bing.com

Photo credit: Bing.com

Photo Creit: Bing.com

photo credit: Bing.com

Photo Credit: Eastcoasttraveladventures.com

Photo Credit: Worldsincredible.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: Earthinpictures.com

A History of The Falls
Around 12,000 years ago humans witnessed the birth of the Fall near the Niagara Region. Nomadic people named Clovis lived in Niagara during this time and they camped along the old Lake Erie Shoreline. Many tribes came and went in the Niagara Region as time passed.  An explorer by the name of Etienne Brule was the first European to see Lakes Ontario, Erie Huron and Superior, and may have been the first to see the fall in 1615. That same year, the Recollet missionary explorers arrived in Ontario. They were followed a decade later by the Jesuits. It was a Jesuit father, Gabriel Lalemant, who first recorded the Iroquios name for the river- Onguiaahra, meaning "the Strait". "Niagara" is a simplification of the original. A stairway was built down the bank at Table Rock and the first ferry service across the lower River began in the 1820’s. By 1827, a paved road had been built up from the ferry landing to the top of the bank on the Canadian side. This site became the prime location for hotel development and the Clifton was built there, after which the Clifton Hill is named.  Between 1849 and 1962, thirteen bridges were constructed across the Niagara River Gorge. Four of them remain. The roadway between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Chippawa was the first designated King's Highway. The first stage coach in Upper Canada operated on this roadway between the late 1700s and 1896. The first railroad in Upper Canada opened in 1841 with horse-drawn carriages running between Chippawa and Queenston. In 1854 it was converted to steam and relocated to serve what was to become the Town of Niagara Falls. In 1855, John August Roebling, the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, built the Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge, the first bridge of its type in the world. Between the late 1700s and the middle 1800s, boats were the main way to get to Niagara Falls. By 1896, three boats plied the route between Toronto and Queenston.  One of the first electrified street car services was provided in Niagara, and in 1893 the Queenston/Chippawa Railway carried boat passengers from Queenston to Table Rock and beyond. In 1902, a railway was constructed across the Queenston Suspension Bridge. Later it was extended along the lower Gorge on the American side of the River, connecting back into Canada at the Upper Arch Bridge. This transit line, the Great Gorge Route, continued in service until the Depression. The use of boats declined as tourists increasingly chose to visit Niagara by automobile, bus or train. Tourism travel to the Falls began in the 1820s and within 50 years it had increased ten-fold to become the area's dominant industry. After World War 1, automobile touring became popular. As a response, attractions and accommodations sprang up in strip developments, much of which still survives. The city today is a composite of a number of communities with a history stretching back many years.

1 comment:

  1. I do agree with you Alli Niagara Falls is one of the most thrilling natural wonders in the world. I visited Niagara Falls last year Maid of the Mist is really first things to do and its a best way to see the closest views of Horseshoe waterfall.

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