Niagara Falls in Canada and USA are one of the greatest geological wonders in the West, where the water is the boss. Also, it is one of the largest waterfalls in the world and the most accessible one too!
However, you might have an interrogation about the title, The Niagara Falls in Canada and USA? What state is the Niagara Falls in exactly?
Don’t worry, as here is your answer.
Niagara Falls is present both on the Canadian and American side. And it comprises three falls, namely;
- American Falls
- Horseshoe Falls
- Bridal Veil Falls
The American side of the Niagara is called the American Falls, and the Canadian side of the Horseshoe Falls. Bridal Veil Falls is a minor waterfall separated from the American Falls by natural forces: however, it belongs to the American side.
Now if you’re planning to see, explore, and experience the sheer ecstasy of Niagara in Canada and the USA, flow down through this roaring travel guide to glimpse the magnificence of the Creator’s power!
1. The Niagara Locale in Canada and USA
Primarily Niagara is located at the international border of Canada and the USA. To be more precise, they lie in Ontario (a Canadian Province) and New York (an American State). Here are their respective addresses;
- Niagara Falls, Canada: 6650 Niagara Pkwy Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
- Niagara Falls, USA: 301 Prospect St., Niagara Falls, NY
Both cities follow the Eastern Time zone, and there are attractions beyond just gazing at the falls, like museums, boat tours, etc. And there is easy accessibility to obtain vantage points on the Canadian and the American sides. Interestingly you can have some epic experiences gazing motionless at the roar in the distance and experience beauty that words cannot describe!
2. Why is Niagara Falls Famous in Canada and USA
Apart from being a renowned waterfall in the world, the Niagara in Canada and USA offer panoramic and a close-up view of the entire falls, offering two unique perspectives to remind us of the power and awesomeness of nature.
Additionally, the falls are surrounded by exhilarating innate beauty, adventurous lush parks, historic architectural locales, and other attractions, making it a must-visit destination for tourists worldwide.
Nevertheless, the accessibility of Falls has been a plus for tourists to flock to this place as it is close to prominent cities like Toronto and Buffalo. Even the Niagara tours in Canada and USA offer packages with amenities like transportation, accommodation, and activities, making it a cheap option for tourists and families.
Recently the circumference around the park has undergone significant changes and developments, including additional luxury hotels, entertainment venues, and casinos, creating manifold activities for travelers to enjoy.
To top it all up, the locale around the falls has implemented the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, Niagara Glen Nature Reserve, and the Niagara Wine Trail to provide tourists with an experience and memory beyond viewing the falls.
3. Majestic History of the Niagara in Canada and the USA
Niagara Falls sits gloriously on the Niagara River, and its history dates back to the end of the last Ice Age, over 12,000 years ago, with the formation of large meltwater lakes. These glaciers blanketed North America from Ohio to New York and melted to carve out the Great Niagara River, according to the NYSM (New York State Museum).
Later there was a surge in the Niagara River due to land erosion, forming various rapids and waterfalls, which today became Niagara Falls in Canada and USA that begins about 7 miles (11 km) downstream.
Till today erosion continues to push the falls upstream, but the government of Canada and the USA have implemented various methods to control erosion by diverting the flow to provide power for Canada and the United States, making Niagara a significant electric power source of the world!
4. Human History in the Niagara of Canada and USA
Sources say there has been a human presence in and around Niagara in Canada and USA since 1300 AD. These were mostly the first Native American tribes, namely the Onguiaahra. They were later called Niagara by the French explorers. Even the Iroquois group (Atiquandaronk), later called by the French explorers as Neutrals, were neighboring warring tribes who resided there.
It is believed that Étienne Brûlé, a French explorer who lived in the Neutral Nation in 1626, was the first to visit Niagara Falls. And his patron Samuel de Champlain drew and published the map of Niagara in 1632. And in 1678, Louis Hennepin, a priest who chaperoned Robert de La Salle to Niagara, had written an eyewitness account of it.
In 1679 the first French Fort was built above Niagara and was named Fort Conti. And this fort didn’t last long, and another Fort named Denonville was rebuilt there in 1687, which lasted for a year. Later in 1726, a permanent fort named Fort Niagara was built. However, this fort swayed between the French, American, and British power during the wars of 1754, 1759, and 1796.
Finally, America gained authority over it in 1812 after the war, and Niagara Fort served as barracks, a peaceful border post, and a training place for American soldiers. It has become a popular tourist hub today to stroll through after visiting the Falls.
From the early 1800s, visitors visiting Niagara increased, simultaneously increasing additional amenities. This led to the implementation of resorts, hotels, and various tourist attractions in and around the Canadian sides of Niagara. However, USA side of the Niagara built factories and mills.
In 1820, the first man-power ferry, was opened to ferry passengers. And in 1827, the Niagara Falls Museum was opened. The Maid of the Mist boat was introduced in 1846 to carry passengers, livestock, and cargo across Niagara Gorge.
Suspension bridges were opened in 1848, along with railway extensions in 1854 to allow steam engines to Niagara. The railway suspension bridge of 1855 allowed trains to cross the Gorge. Canals diverting water from the Niagara River to the power plants were introduced in 1861, and the first electric street car was operated in 1887.
Niagara Falls Facts: Did you know? Water flows at Niagara Falls at 600,000 gallons per second and up to 20% of its water is used for drinking purposes in the United States. Awesome right?
Niagara Falls also was a part of the underground railroad around the mid-1800s. Also, the residents there were anti-slavery; hence they offered help and employment to the increasing African American population.
The first state park was established in the Niagara Reservation, which encompassed the Falls over 400 acres with 140 acres of water in the US in 1885.
Then the world’s first hydroelectric power station was constructed there in 1895 to bring electricity for the growing vicinity that was transported even to Buffalo in a year! And in 1892 and 1903, the incorporated cities of New York and Ontario of Niagara were primarily built on tourism. Today the place hosts 12 million visitors approximately every year!
Curious to know more? Check out this daredevil chronology of Niagara Falls, where daring men and women rode over the pounding rush of gallons of water with inches of wood or metal for protection. While some have made it across and some have not!
5. How is Niagara Falls in Canada Different from USA?
There’s nothing more magical than viewing the beautiful cascade of water flowing in Niagara in Canada and the USA. The breathtaking displays of turquoise waters, the wild roar at a distance, and the accessible locale make it a popular place to visit.
However, prospective tourists have racked their brains for decades to comprehend which side of Niagara offers the best vantage point. But it does show a difference when you visit both sides. Overall, regardless of the sides, the falls offer stunning views to its beholder!
So, to keep you informed, here’s a difference between the two sides;
- Both the Canadian and American sides showcase distinct perspectives. However, according to many tourists, Niagara Falls, Canada, is considered the best as it offers a panoramic view of Horseshoe Falls, a few steps away from Queen Victoria Park. The American Falls are equally gorgeous, offering a distant view of these falls. But they are not scenic as their Canadian peer.
- Some wanderers want beyond just viewing the expanse of Niagara Falls. To satisfy them, both sides have released boats (Maid of the Mist and Hornblower Cruise) to look closer to the waterfalls. All you need to do is to wear the recyclable ponchos (blue for America and red for Canada) to experience the roaring waters of the Niagara next to you. Trust me; you get a better experience at the wide Horseshoe Falls with its wide-open cascading mouth!
- Though the Canadian Niagara Falls offers stunning panoramic views, you can get the natural feel at the American Falls standing closer to the rushing waters with its green-blue hues. However, getting to these vantage points is a bit pricey and less crowded than the Canadian counterpart.
- While Canada’s Niagara Falls boasts about its experience, New York offers an equally thrilling experience at the Bridal Veil Falls (Cave of the Winds). Here tourists are just 20 feet away from the gushing waterfalls. You can access this experience via Goat Island. Goat Island is one-of-a-kind in Niagara Falls, New York, that offers eateries and visitor centers to relax next to the waterfalls. It was named after the early settler John Stedman. There are no goats today, but it remains a popular hub, along with the Nikola Tesla Monument.
- Canada offers some unparalleled views of Niagara from its SkyWheel observation. Standing gigantically at a height of 175 feet, this observation wheel on Clifton Hill offers unobstructed views day and night over the waterfalls to tourists!
- Have you ever thought of what’s behind a waterfall? Well, your imagination can come true on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. You can get a personal view of the might of the Horseshoe Falls wearing a poncho or taking an elevator ride downwards up to 125 feet at the sides of the waterfall and feel its gushing power per second!
- The American side offers an observatory tower in its Niagara Falls State Park in New York adjacent to the Maid of the Mist boarding point. You get some of the best views of the falls and also do some bird watching. Also, the observatory tower has an elevator for easy accessibility.
- One way to appreciate the true beauty of Niagara Falls is to visit the Skylon Tower on the Canadian side. You can see the falls from a 775 feet revolving dining room without going to the hiking trails. Instead, you can sit back and enjoy a famous cuisine by the windows of the Skylon Tower and soak yourself in the mesmerizing sight of the beautiful cascade below.
Now, if you are still staggering to choose the best side, it must be Canada. But if you have time and money, you can cross over the bridge to the other side of Niagara Falls on the American side.
However, it’s undeniable that just gazing at the falls while standing on the Rainbow cross- over gives you a cherished memory of standing atop between two borders!
6. Activities to Enjoy at Niagara Falls in Canada and USA
Out of the many activities that don’t just involve gazing at the waterfalls is taking a boat ride to the falls. Both cities offer a boat tour to their tourists right up to the waterfall’s base to feel the water spray all over you and hear the rumbling roar of the water.
You can also take a helicopter ride to get a cute yet beautiful view of the mighty falls and the surrounding area. However, if you want a punch of adventure, take a zipline over the Niagara River, a jet boat ride, or just rappel down a cliff face.
Some other activities you can choose are hiking the Niagara Gorge Trail, biking around the waterfalls, and journeying behind the falls to get a personal view. But you must always remember that there is some activity for you at Niagara Falls!
7. How to Get to Niagara Falls in Canada and USA?
You can fly or cross the Rainbow Bridge to Niagara Falls in Canada and the USA. Take a look below to pick your Niagara Falls side:
7.1 American Side:
Fly into the Buffalo Airport, which is half an hour from the falls. This mini airport has less traffic to visit the falls than Toronto. Also, since it’s a smaller airport, you can grab cheap tickets and direct flights to Toronto.
Just rent a car or take public transport or a shuttle service to zoom in to Niagara Falls.
7.2 Canadian Side:
If you wish to glimpse Niagara from here, fly to the Toronto Airport. Driving to the waterfalls from this airport takes an hour and a half. Also, you get a variety of eateries and shopping options here.
You can rent a car or take a shuttle, bus, or train to the falls. However, a stress-free alternative is to book a tour to battle through the always busy roads.
7.3 Crossing the Canadian and American Border by Foot
If you want to walk to Niagara Falls, you must pass through the Rainbow Bridge, the official border of the two cities. The wait time here is 15 minutes to get through the customs. And here are some documents you must carry;
- Your passport or
- Enhanced driver’s licenses from countries like South Dakota, New York, Minnesota, Vermont, Michigan, and Washington if you don’t wish to produce your passport
- Pay a $1 toll to transit the pedestrian walkway.
If you have queries before crossing, ask the guard at the bridge’s entrance.
When to Visit Niagara Falls in Canada and USA?
There are no restraints to stop by the Niagara Falls in Canada and USA. They are open to visits all around the year. In summer, the places are crowded with services running in full swing. On the other hand, in winter, the services cease as crowds become fewer.
But you get a whole lot of different experiences in both seasons. Just make sure to visit the Canadian side to get a better view!
Wrapping Up the Cascade
Wow! Wasn’t that cool? Just think how it would be if you were actually at Niagara Falls in Canada and USA to experience the jaw-dropping height and tremendous power of Niagara Falls!
So, what are you waiting for? Go with the flow to comprehend God’s wild, uncontainable love at Niagara Falls in Canada and USA!
And don’t forget to tap here to flow into other useful articles from our website to keep you updated along the way!