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NIAGARA FALLS FACTS

1. Are the Falls as Big as they Look?

YES. There are 3 different waterfalls. The Canadian Horseshoe Falls crestline measures approximately 670 metres wide (2,200 feet), The American Falls are approximately 15 metres (50 feet) and the crestline of Luna Island (which is the island that separates the American and Bridal Veil Falls) is approximately 305 metres (1000 feet).
The waters of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls plunge 57 metres (188 feet) to the Niagara River below. The height of the American Falls from the top of the talus (rock) pile at the base is from 21 to 34 metres (70-110 feet).

2. Are the Angel Falls Taller than Niagara Falls?

Yes. There are several other waterfalls in the world that are “taller” than Niagara Falls. The combined height and volume of water flowing over is what makes Niagara Falls spectacular and extraordinary.

3. How Deep Is The Water at the Brink of The Canadian Horseshoe Falls?

Originally, before the water was diverted for the generation of power in 1956 and 1962, the depth of the water in the centre of this falls was approximately 3 metres (10 feet). Today, the water over the Falls and along the entire crestline is at an average depth of 0.6 metres (2 feet).

4. Is Niagara Falls Listed As One Of The Seven Wonders Of The World?

No. However, many tourists associate Niagara Falls as one of the Seven Wonders of the World because of the sheer beauty, power and breathtaking views of the waterfalls.

5. What Is the Meaning of the Word “Niagara”?

The word “Niagara” appears on maps as early as 1641 and means “The Strait”. It is believed that the name was derived from the narrow waterway that connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Niagara comes from the Iroquoian word “Onquiaahra”.

6. Where Does All the Overflowing Water Come from?

Niagara Falls powerful fresh water flow actually comes from four Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie. Once the water has plunged over the Falls, it travels down the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean. The Falls drains approximately 684,00 square kilometers (264,000 square miles) of water from the four Great Lakes.

7. Have the Falls Ever Stopped Flowing?

Yes. March 29, 1848, just before midnight Niagara Falls ceased to flow. This was caused by a strong south-west gale that pushed in the ice fields in Lake Erie in motion. The millions of tons of ice become lodged at the Niagara River, which in turn blocked off the channel completely. The Falls started flowing again when the wind shifted and the weight of the water broke through. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ceased flow by coffer-dammed to the American Falls from June 1969 until November 1969 to study what actions, if any, should be taken to remove rock debris at the base. The decided against taking any actions and let nature take its course.

8. Is it Possible to go Behind The Falls?

Yes. At the brink of the Horseshoe Falls at the Table Rock area in Canada, you’ll find The “Journey Behind The Falls” attraction that allows you a behind the scenes view of the Falls. This year round attraction takes you by elevator to the base of the Falls to an observation plaza where tunnels extend behind the Falls.
On the American side, you can also access the base of the American Falls via elevator to a scenic boardwalk called the “Cave of the Winds”. This is also a wonderful spot to experience the full force of the mighty Falls.

9. Is There Really a Boat That Takes You Close To The Falls?

Yes, the Maid of the Mist boat has been operating since 1846, making this the oldest commercial tourist attraction. The Maid of the Mist boats pass directly in front of both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls. These memorable excursions last approximately one half hour and operate from mid-April until late October. The price of admission also includes biodegradable raincoats.

10. How Did Niagara Become Known As The “Honeymoon Capital Of The World”?

Niagara Falls “Romance” started in 1801, when an American aristocrat Theodosia Burr married Joseph Alston in Albany, N.Y. The couple embarked on a “bridal tour” to Niagara. Niagara Honeymoons are so popular that they are able to take home a “Honeymoon Certificate” signed by the Canadian Niagara Falls Mayor. Many people get married and honeymoon in Niagara Falls.

11. Did Marilyn Make A Movie In Niagara Falls?

Yes. During two weeks in June of 1952, Marilyn filmed the movie “Niagara”. Most of the movie scenes were filmed in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Visitors to the area still search for the motel “Rainbow Cabins” which was built as part of the movie set. The motel was removed as soon as the filming was completed. Many critics believe that “Niagara” was one of her finest performances. In recent years, Niagara Falls has become a popular backdrop for other major motion pictures: Superman II, Canadian Bacon and A Long Kiss Goodnight.

12. How Did The Rock At The Brink Of The Canadian Horseshoe Falls Get The Name “Table Rock”?

The Rock got its name because it resembled a table top, years ago there was a high shelf of flat rock. Unfortunately, a major piece of the rock broke off in 1850 while a hackman was his carriage on the rock! There is a plaque located north of the present Table Rock that indicates the original location. Table Rock exits today in the name only.

13. What is Luna Island and How Did It Get Its Name?

On the American side, there is a small island named Luna Island which seperates the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Luna Island got its name because at one time it was the best location to view the “lunar bows”. The “lunar bows” are night rainbows that can be best seen during a full moon in the mist of the Falls.

14. Is There Always a Rainbow Over Niagara Falls On a Bright Day?

You are almost always guaranteed a rainbow on a bright sunny day over Niagara Falls if you stand in the right spot. Rainbows are usually seen in the mist created by the powerful Falls. The sun shines through the water droplets on a bright day, reflecting the light into colours of the rainbow. Rainbows become clearly visible on the Canadian side as the sun gets higher in the day.

15. Are Niagara Falls Only Lit Up At Night In The Summertime?

No, the Falls are ALWAYS lit up. Niagara Falls are illuminated 365 days of the year when it gets dark. During the summer, they are illuminated between 9 p.m. and midnight and fireworks can be seen over Niagara Falls on Friday and Sunday nights in the summer. .

16. Is There A Connection Between Niagara Falls And The Invention Of Electricity?

Yes, during the mid 1890’s, a brilliant electrical engineer named Nikola Tesla, developed a system of alternating current (AC). This enabled power to be transmitted great distances from Niagara Falls. Tesla’s system was put to use on November 15, 1896, the system transmitted electric power from Niagara Falls to Buffalo. This invention changed the way electricity was used throughout the world.

19. How Is Electricity Produced at Niagara?

There are four generating stations along the Niagara River shore on the Canadian side. The water that is diverted from the Falls produces the electricity. The Canadian power plants produce about 2 million kilowatts of power.

20. How Many People Have Gone Over The Falls In Barrels, Balls Or Boats?

There have been 14 different people that have intentionally gone over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in barrels, balls or boats between October 24, 1901 and October 20, 2004. Niagara Falls is such a powerful force that 5 people have lost their lives as a result of going over the Falls. The Niagara Parks Commission has never granted permission to anyone to go over the Falls in a “barrel”, as it is against the law to go over intentionally. The maximum fine would be $10,000.00

21. Have A lot Of People Travelled Through The Lower Niagara River Rapids in Barrels?

There have been 22 people that have travelled through the lower Niagara River Rapids in various types of barrels. This people travelled between July 11, 1886 and October 20, 2004. The first person to travel through the Rapids was Carlisle Graham and the last to date was David Munday.

22. Was There A Little Boy Who Went Over The Falls and Lived?

Yes. On July 9,1960 wearing only a life jacket, seven year old Roger Woodward accidentally went over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Roger was thrown clear of the rocks and was rescued by a crew member of the “Maid of the Mist” boats and was unharmed. The accident occurred as a result of the small boat he was on capsizing above the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

23. Does The City Of Niagara Falls Have A Large Population?

The City of Niagara Falls is known as two sister cities. There is a City of Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, Canada and Niagara Falls, New York, U.S.A. Niagara Falls, Canada has a year-round population of 76,000 people with approximately 14 million seasonal visitors. Niagara Falls, U.S.A. has a year-round population of 60,000 and a visitation of 7 million guests yearly.

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