Niagara Falls Facts, p 2

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9. An international property: The waters in the river are owned partly by Canada and partly by the USA. The international border runs through the middle of the river.

10. Public access and ownership: Up until the late 1800s, the land around the Falls was in private hands. In 1885 the government of Ontario created a body called the Niagara Parks Commission that expropriated the land and set about building a public park. On May 24, 1888 (Victoria Day – the Queen’s Birthday), the Queen Victoria Park, stretching for 154 acres, was officially opened. Over the years the Commission acquired more land around the Falls and along the Niagara River, and today it controls 4,250 acres and several attractions including “golf courses, historic sites, a horticultural school, a marina, restaurants, and a butterfly conservatory” according to their web site. Talk about growth! The Commission is non-profit and self-funded through user fees. It employs 300 full-time and 1,400 part-time seasonal staff including its own police force.

11. Honeymoon Capital of the World: Over 50,000 weddings are performed in Niagara Falls every year. The falls became a honeymoon destination in 1801 when the daughter of Aaron Burr (a Vice President of the United States) got married here. Millions have since followed suite.

12. Frozen Niagara Falls: The Horseshoe Falls has never frozen over. The American Falls, which has a much smaller water flow, has frozen over half a dozen times.

13. The day the falls stopped: It happened in 1848. For 30 hours the falls stopped while ice fields jammed the river at Fort Erie and stopped the flow of water approaching the falls.

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