So the last month has been pretty crazy for me. Not only has work been busy but I’ve also had two people from abroad come visit me. As a result, I feel like I’ve always been doing something or going somewhere.
I’ve noticed that when a lot of people from outside North America think of Canada, they think of two things: Quebec and Niagara Falls. So, when my friends came to visit Toronto, it was natural that they wanted to go check out Niagara Falls.
Considering how it’s only a two hour drive from my house, it’s not terribly far which meant that I ended up going twice in the last month.
I’ve been to the falls a couple times growing up and to be completely honest, nothing much has changed. You wouldn’t expect it to change much anyways; they’re waterfalls.
Niagara Falls is comprised of three waterfalls. From the Canadian side, the first water fall you see is typically the American Falls. It’s large and the water crashes down on these large boulders. The Bridal Falls are immediately next to it, but it’s small and pretty much just a part of the American Falls.
The waterfall that people normally think of when they think of Niagara Falls is Horseshoe Falls. This is the giant crescent shaped one that’s right at the border between Canada and America and it’s by far the most impressive of the three.
I think the American Falls by themselves would still be notable, but it really does pale in comparison to the Horseshoe Falls. But, the fact that they’re all together in the same area is really what makes Niagara Falls so special.
My first of two trips took me to just the Canadian side: Niagara Falls, Ontario. We drove to the casino, ate lunch there, and then took a walk along the falls boardwalk and just took it all in.
Previously, when I’ve went to the falls, I’ve pretty much only just done the boardwalk. This time though, I figured it would be nice to try one of the many activities they have at the falls. After some deliberation we decided on doing the Journey Behind the Falls.
That’s essentially a trip below the boardwalk and it gets you pretty close to the waterfall, so you get a pretty different view of the falls than if you stayed up top. You also have a chance to actually go behind the falls but there isn’t that much to see from the little openings since all you see is algae and water.
From the viewpoint next to the falls, you really get reminded of the sheer power nature has. It’s really something else to stand right there by the falls and get soaked by the mist, experience the constant downpour of water, and to also hear the roaring of the water cascading down.
And it’s seriously an incredible amount of water. We got absolutely soaked and it got to the point where I couldn’t tell if it was raining or not. There was just that much water sprayed into the air.
The Journey Behind the Falls ended up being a pretty cool experience. You didn’t really get to do anything super special or anything but it gives you a better idea of the scale of the falls and just how much water is flowing. Can recommend.
The second time I went back to the falls, I decided that I wanted to do something different since it didn’t really make sense to do the exact same things. As a result, me and my friend ended up spending a bit more time at the casino.
We tried Casino War which is essentially just War but.. at the casino I guess? That was fun but it was a stark reminder that casinos are really designed to make you make bad decisions. We didn’t lose that much money but we could’ve also easily made a bit of money if we just cashed out while we were ahead.
Lesson learned I guess.
Anyways, after that we decided to do a walk along the boardwalk on the Canadian side again. But then we doubled back afterwards and made our way to the Rainbow Bridge and walked across to America.
I’ve actually never done that before so it was also a pretty neat experience. It was only a dollar to cross the bridge but after a short walk on a bridge with a cool view of the water, you arrive at Niagara Falls, New York.
The American side is honestly a bit less developed than the Canadian side. Instead of a large boardwalk they have a park where you can walk around. There’s less people and you can get closer to the falls, which makes for a very different experience.
Honestly, it was kinda nice.
There’s a few smaller bridges that go over the water leading down to the falls and you get a much less obstructed view of the edge of the water from the American side, which at times seems a bit irresponsible but simultaneously awesome.
It was a pretty nice walk and I think it is a really good option if you want to avoid the crowds. But of course, if your passport allows, you should just go to both.
Essentially, the Canadian side has better panoramic views of the falls but the American side gets your a more intimate view. The Canadian side is also a bit more touristy and so will have everything you expect from a touristy place like restaurants, casinos, bars, etc, but you’ll also need to deal with more people.
Overall, Niagara Falls is great. I will definitely go again but after two trips within a few weeks of each other, I think I’m good for the near future.