Niagara Falls, Canada (Part 3)

June 30, 2016. We’ve crossed the bridge to the Canadian side of Nagara Falls now, where you experience the classic, iconic, picture perfect views of the Falls. There’ll be no more digressing in my blog about such things as ghosts, giant worms, slippery sidewalks and the Made in America Store selling American Flag t-shirts made in Bangladesh.

But, when you arrive in Niagara Falls, Canada, you don’t just magically land at the Falls. You have to find parking, or in our case, find your motel, then find your way down to the Falls. We’re on the 17th floor of the Doubletree Inn. I took a panoramic photo of the view from our motel window:

Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara Falls, Canada

You see the mist of the Falls on the far right side of the picture. A bit of a trek for us. We decide to park next to the Skylon Tower (that needle tower) and walk. The Skylon Tower, built in 1965, was undoubtedly fabulous for its time, but today stands like fossilized dinosaur. The main floor is one giant empty arcade. We walk around the second story perimeter and experience our first sighting of the Falls:

View of the Falls from the second floor balcony of the Skylon Tower

View of the Falls from the second floor balcony of the Skylon Tower

There you see Terrapin Point across the river where we stood yesterday and I took photos and videos next to the Falls.

Well, let me tell you. You might look like you’re close to the Falls, but try to get down to Niagara Parkway and the Falls. The rooftops you see in the picture above are structures built above a steep drop-off, as if coming off a bluff. Here is a Google map of the area. The only road down to Niagara Parkway on our side of town is Murray Street, unbeknownst to us. We cross it and keep going on Fallsview Boulevard, parallel to the Falls. We hear the Falls, we glean glimpses of the Falls, but we can’t get down to the Falls.

What are we doing up here?

What are we doing up here?

Alas! We arrive at a cable car that transports you over the drop-off right to the Visitor’s Center on the Falls!

Problem solved!

Problem solved!

Down we go

Hold on, Megan!

Hold on, Megan!

Looking back up you can see how steep the drop-off is that separates the town and motels from the Falls.

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Here’s the visitor’s Center:

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And the iconic views of Horseshoe and American Falls:

Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls

American Falls

American Falls

I took a video:

A photo of David and American Falls:

Which is more handsome?

Which is more handsome?

Another view of Horseshoe Falls:

Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist

A panoramic photo:

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Back in the Visitors Center now, the ‘Journey Behind the Falls’ tour looks interesting. Let’s do it!

Waiting in line,  part of the experience

Waiting in line, part of the experience

We wait in line. Up at the window we learn that the next available tour is four hours from now … Okay so you need to plan ahead here. Our next trip to Niagara Falls (yeah, right) we’ll book the tour first thing, then see the Falls, then go to lunch, then …. well, maybe you can book it online …?

There were no stories in the Visitors Center about folks going over the Falls in a barrel but there was this story of the only person to unintentionally go over the Falls and survive:

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Young Roger Woodward. The sign reads: ‘After a boating accident on July 9, 1960 the 7-year-old was swept over the Falls wearing only a life jacket and a swimsuit . The crew of the Maid of the Mist II rescued Roger, pulling him unharmed from the churning water. Roger’s 17-year-old sister Deanne was pulled from the river above the Falls by two onlookers and the driver of the boat, Jim Honeycutt, lost his life in the tragic event.’

The first recorded person to survive going over the Falls was Annie Edson Taylor, “The heroin of Horseshoe Falls” who went over the Falls in a barrel in 1901. Though bruised and battered, Annie made it. Here’s a link with photos and stories of Annie and other daredevils going over the falls. Annie expected fame and fortune from her publicized stunt. She died in poverty.

The link also includes photos of ‘Infamous Bobby Leach’ who plunged over the Falls in a steel barrel on July 25, 1911. Bobby broke both kneecaps and his jaw during this dare devil stunt. Years later while touring in New Zealand, Bobby slipped on an orange peel and died from complications due to gangrene.

Oh no. Did I digress?

“Better to be caught in a patch of yarrow than to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.” (Brilliant, Jody)

I dunno. I should put a wrap on this trip. Aw, but over the next four days we attend a wedding, celebrate Canada Day, attend the Annual Gay Pride Parade in Toronto, get stuck in US customs on the way to the airport, and lose my carry-on luggage on one of our flights home. There. Five blogs in one, excluding digressions.

Except I did capture a fine photo of Justin Trudeau …

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