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Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Falls, Ontario

The powerful border-straddling Niagara Falls is actually composed of the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls (also known as Canadian Falls). Combined, these cascades have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world—more than a million bathtubs of water plummet over the edge every second. While they’re wildly impressive from the US, here’s how to explore the Canadian side.

Few things beat a Niagara Falls boat ride—take to the water on Hornblower Niagara, the most popular Canadian vessel, for a daytime, evening, nighttime, or fireworks experience and fantastic views. Alternatively, head into the 130-year-old tunnels and observation deck behind Horseshoe Falls on a Journey Behind the Falls tour; get bird’s-eye views on a flightseeing tour; or marvel at the cascades from the Skylon Tower, a 520-foot (160-meter) observation tower with a revolving restaurant.

  • If you visit the falls on a boat tour, prepare to get wet from the mist—which, of course, is all part of the thrill.

  • To experience Niagara Falls on a Maid of the Mist tour, you’ll need to cross to the US side; some Canadian tours offer cross-border transportation.

  • If you've opted for a Maid of the Mist ride, be sure you have appropriate documentation to enter both Canada and the US.

  • Opting for a small-group or a private tour can make the experience feel more personal; however, a large-group bus tour is a more economical way to visit.

  • Every night after dark, the falls are illuminated by a spectacular light show—a Niagara Falls night cruise is a great way to see it.

You can reach Niagara Falls from Toronto by bus, train, or car. Once you’re there, you can get around the town of Niagara Falls by shuttle bus. Drivers can find plentiful parking in the area’s lots.

Summer is prime time for Niagara Falls visits, as it’s the best season for boat tours, which generally run from April through November. There’s also a Niagara Falls fireworks show several times weekly during the summer months. In winter there’s still plenty to see and do at the falls, including snowshoeing and ice climbing.

If you have extra time during your visit to Niagara Falls, Eastern Ontario is a burgeoning wine region well worth exploring on a wine tour during the balmier months. Food tours are also popular ways to sample the region’s fresh and distinctive offerings. Other activities outside of a Niagara Falls tour include Clifton Hill (a massive entertainment promenade), Bird Kingdom, Marineland, and the Aquarium of Niagara (in New York).


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