Niagara Falls Ontario, Canada
Niagara’s most spectacular cataract is Horseshoe Falls, best viewed from Queen Victoria Park (905/356-2241) on the Canadian side. Though slightly shorter than American Falls—176 feet as opposed to 184—Horseshoe Falls boasts a much wider brink (2,200 feet) and handles about 90 percent of the river’s volume of flow.
Queen Victoria Park can be reached via Rainbow Bridge, near Prospect Point. Proof of citizenship such as a driver’s license or birth certificate is required to cross the border. Once on the other side, a People Mover bus operates between all points of interest.
Considerably more built up than the American side, the Canadian side is also both more stylish and more commercial. Queen Victoria Park is beautifully landscaped, while along nearby Clinton Hill stands one kitsch museum after another: Tussaud’s Wax Works (4983 Clifton Hill, 905/374-6601); Ripley’s Believe It or Not (4960 Clifton Hill, 905/356-2238); Guinness Museum of World Records (4943 Clifton Hill, 905/357-4330). A good restaurant offering buffet-style dining and superb views revolves atop the Skylon Tower (5200 Robinson Rd., 905/356-2651).
A high point of a visit to the Canadian side is the Journey Behind the Falls (enter at Table Rock Welcome Centre,/next to/the Canadian Horseshoe Falls at 6650 Niagara Pkwy., 905/354-1551, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. June–Sept., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct.–May, adults $10 plus tax Canadian, children 6–12 $6 plus tax Canadian). Out come the big yellow slickers again, followed by a walk behind Horseshoe Falls.
Those traveling with kids or fans of thrill rides might consider the Great Wolf Lodge (866/945-9653, www.greatwolf.com/niagara, $180–240), just over the border and minutes from the impressive Horseshoe Falls. With good rooms and suites in a Northwood’s theme, a full-service spa, two adults-only whirlpools (one a year-round outdoor offering with indoor water entrance), wave pool, lazy river, and six giant grownup-sized tube or raft rides, including a water-rollercoaster, this is a solid alternative for accommodations for any age that’s not offended by the presence of surprisingly well-behaved kids (though adults may want to pass on the nightly cookies and milk bedtime story told by the animal covered clock tower in the lobby).
For more information, contact the Niagara Falls, Canada Visitors and Convention Bureau (5433 Victoria Ave., 905/356-6061 or 800/563-2557, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.).
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition