Facts about Niagara Falls

Did you know??... Amazing facts about

Niagara Falls

1. Three falls: There are actually THREE falls at this site. It looks like two: Horseshoe (that’s the big impressive one shaped like a horseshoe closer to the Canadian side) and the American Falls (the wide, straight one on the American side of the Niagara River). But look closely at the American one and you’ll see it’s actually two: a wide straight one and a narrow straight one, divided by an island. The narrow one resembles a bride’s veil, at least to those with imagination, hence the name “Bridal Veil Falls”.

2. Size: Niagara Falls is the second largest falls in the world based on the width. The biggest is Victoria Falls in Africa.

3. Age of the falls: Glaciers created the Horseshoe Falls about 12,000 years ago.

4. Number of tourists: The Niagara Parks Commission estimates that more than 11 million tourists come to Niagara Falls Canada every year. So if you feel crowded as you jostle for your photo, you’ll know why!

5. Over the falls in a barrel: The falls have always offered a temptation to daredevils. The first person to go over the falls in a barrel and survive was Annie Edson Taylor, Queen of the Mist, a 63-year-old American woman, in 1901. You can hear her story in the IMAX Niagara Falls movie. In the past century a dozen or so other stunters have made the trip, some successfully, some not.

6. Other daredevil stunts: Tightrope walker The Great Blondin walked across the river near the falls on a rope several times in the mid-1800s. Once he stopped halfway to cook an omelette. Another time he carried his manager on his back. Now how’s that for a business relationship built on trust?

7.  Hornblower Niagara Cruises (formerly the Maid of the Mist): A boat tour has been running here at the Falls since 1846. This is one of the facts about Niagara Falls that really surprised me! This must make tour one of the oldest tourist attractions in Canada (after the Falls themselves). She is older, in fact, than Canada (which became a confederation only in 1867). Don’t worry though; the boats are newer than that! And they’re definitely worth a trip.

8. Diversion of the falls for electricity: During summer days, half of the water flowing towards the Falls never gets there; it’s diverted for electro-hydro power. Even more is diverted during the winter and at night (off-peak-hours).

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