Lake Erie and Lake Ontario form part of the border between the USA and Canada. On the short river that separates them can be found one of the best known waterfalls in the world, Niagara Falls. One side is in New York State and the other in Ontario. Niagara is actually three parallel waterfalls, the American Falls and the small Bridal Veil Falls are wholly within the USA, but the best known part is the Horseshoe Falls which straddle the border. The falls were formed by the Niagara River cutting through a layer of hard rock to a layer below that is eroded more easily by the action of the water. Erosion has already moved the falls many kilometres upriver, and one day they will get to Lake Erie and partially drain it. This page shows the falls from the Canadian side, or click here to go to the Niagara Falls State Park, New York State, USA page which shows pictures taken from the US side.
Skylon Tower & London Bus, Niagara Falls Town
Although there are other elevated viewing points in Niagara Falls, the Skylon Tower provides the highest vantage point. It looks like a small version of the CN Tower in Toronto, raising you 145 metres (477 feet) above the ground level. The tower has an observation deck and for those too hungry too continue sightseeing it has a revolving restaurant. In this picture is also a sight now rare on the streets of London, one of its famous Routemaster buses.
Horseshoe Falls & Table Rock House viewing platform
The border runs close to the US side of the Horseshoe Falls so most of the falls are on the Canadian side of the border. The falls are around 800 metres (2600 feet) wide and have a drop of 52 metres (170 feet). The sheer size of the waterfall and the power of the water going over it become more apparent the closer that you get. One of the first questions that comes to mind is - why would anyone be so stupid as to want to go over this in a barrel?
Horseshoe Falls from Table Rock House viewing platform
The falls can be viewed from above, from the river or from the river bank. Probably the best way of getting a feel for their power is to view then close up from below. Table Rock House is a complex on the Canadian side of the falls which offers a trip to the base of the falls via lifts (elevators) and a network of tunnels. The tunnels take you to a viewing platform beside the falls as well as taking you on a Journey Behind the Falls some 46 metres (150 feet) behind the waterfall. Needless to say, spray from the falls makes this a very damp adventure, but protective clothing is supplied.
Horseshoe Falls & Niagara Falls town from Skylon
One one side of the river is the town of Niagara Falls, New York and on the other the town of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Both have one dominant industry - tourism. Located on the outside curve of the river the Canadian town has better views of the falls and hence is the more popular destination. One day erosion will leave both towns in the wrong place for viewing the falls, but it is a slow process so they still have many centuries left to make money from tourists. This picture shows the sprawl of the Canadian town as seen from the Skylon tower.
American Falls from Skylon
At 53 metres (176 feet) the total height if the American Falls is slightly greater than the Horseshoe Falls, but a huge rockfall at the base restricts the clear fall of water to only 21 metres (70 feet). US Engineers once considered the removal of the rocks, but fortunately they decided not to tinker with nature. The small Bridal Veil Falls are off this picture to the right.
Horseshoe Falls from Skylon, Niagara Falls
While the USA and Canada may share Niagara Falls the best views of the spectacular Horseshoe Falls are found on the Canadian side. Our only visit to the falls, back in 1985, was from the Canadian side, hence the inclusion of Niagara in the Oh! Canada part of the web site. From the walkway alongside the falls you can appreciate their size and feel their power but the best overview is obtained by going up. This picture was taken from the Skylon Tower and in it one of the ‘Maid of the Mist’ tour boats that leave from both the Canadian and US sides can just be seen near the spray at the bottom of the falls.
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© Mike Elsden 1981 - 2023
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