What does a cat, a pet turtle named Sonny, a 7-year-old wearing a life jacket, and a tightrope walker all have in common? Just the growing list of those plunging over the Niagara Falls, either by choice or otherwise! They basically all got sucked through a water hose of 180,000 pounds of water pressure in record speed. Can you imagine the pull of that water? I can not even relate to those who actually wanted to go over the falls for fame or fortune. So let me fill you in on a couple of Niagara Falls fun facts! As I was surprised to learn a few of these amazing Niagara Falls facts when I was trying to gain some perspective on the Niagara Falls waterfalls. Here is a collection of a few interesting Niagara Falls facts, but before you go, be sure and stop by Canada’s prettiest little town: Niagara on the Lake.
Facts on Niagara Falls: The Falls are Made Up of Three Falls
The Falls are basically a collective of three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the USA and Canada. They are the Horseshoe, the American, and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe is the largest, has the least amount of rocks down below and is on the Canadian side. The American is obviously on the American side of the lake and is broken into two falls: The American and the Bridal Veil. It has such a conglomerate of jagged rocks at the bottom, that most people who chose to go over the falls do so on the Canadian side, at least the ones who want to survive.
Niagara Falls Facts: The Water
Facts about water
- 4 of the 5 Great Lakes empty into the Niagara River. They are Superior, Michigan, Huron and Eri. Then they empty into Lake Ontario. These 4 Great Lakes make up almost one-fifth of the world’s fresh water supply.
- 3,160 tons of water flows over the Niagara Falls waterfall every second. This accounts for 75,750 gallons of water per second over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 681,750 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls. (Now that is a lot of water!).
- The actual waterfalls at 32 feet per second hitting the base of the waterfall with 280 tons of force on the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 2,509 tons of force at the Horseshoe Falls. Niagara Falls waterfalls are capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, which is shared by the United States and Canada.
- Niagara Falls State Park extends over 400 acres, with 140 acres of that under water.
- There is a small island in the Niagara River that is located in the middle of Niagara Falls waterfall between the Horseshoe Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.
- There is also a smaller island between Goat Island and the mainland named Green Island.
Niagara Falls Facts: History
History Facts of the Niagara Falls
- The first person to describe the Niagara Falls waterfall in depth was Father Louis Hennepin, a French priest who accompanied Robert de La Salle on his expedition to the Niagara region in 1678.
- Established in 1885, it is the oldest state park in the United States.
- In 1885, a horse-drawn carriage ride around the falls cost $1 per hour.
Niagara Falls Facts: More History
- In 1896, electrical power was transmitted from the Adams Power Plant in Niagara Falls, New York to Buffalo, New York. This was the first time in the world that alternating current was transmitted over a long distance.
- In 1901, 140 of the 170 trees native to western New York were found growing on Goat Island.
- On January 27, 1938, the Upper Steel Arch Bridge collapsed under pressure from the build-up of ice in the gorge below the falls.
- In 1969, a dam was built across the American rapids for six months. Geologists and engineers studied the rock face and the effects of erosion. It was determined that it would be too costly to remove rock at the base of the waterfalls.
Niagara Falls Facts: Let’s Take a Tour
Niagara Falls Tour
I took the Niagara Falls waterfall tour on the Canadian side. I had always wanted to see it and when the moment arose, I jumped on it. Typically, I am an independent traveler, but on this trip, I was pressured for time and so chose to go with King Tours. Amazingly, their driver (and owner of the transportation side) Kevin picked me up from the Westin Bristol Hotel at the Toronto Airport and drove me to the tour operators pick up spot. This was a huge saving of money and time to get me there and that is a service I really appreciated.
Niagara Falls King Tour:
The Niagara Falls tour includes:
1. Pick-up and return from any hotel in Toronto.
2. Wine tasting and winery visit.
3. A visit to the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
4. Opportunity to take pictures at the Niagara Falls Floral Clock.
5. Admission to the Maid of the Mist or Journey Behind the Falls.
6. 2 hours of free time to explore Niagara on your own.
The Niagara Falls waterfall from the Canadian side was spectacular.
Niagara Falls Facts: Take a Fun Boat Tour!
Niagara Falls Boat Tour
One of the most fun things to do in Niagara Falls Canada is to do the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Once you get through the line, you get your allotted blue rain jacket and, in my case, board right away. Soon the Midst takes off toward the American Falls and you are practically underneath the Niagara Falls waterfall with the mist and birds swirling everywhere. It goes from the dock to the American/Bridal Veil Falls, then to the Horseshoe Falls and back.
Niagara Falls Facts: Canadian Side
Canadian Niagara Falls
The Canadian side of the Niagara Falls waterfalls is quite run down and is reminiscent of those tourist areas with the wax museums and Guinness of World Record Book places, so you will want to take an exit from there real quick, after you have had time to wander the grounds and see the Niagara Falls waterfall from various angles.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Niagara Falls Waterfall. But be prepared for a long day!
Disclaimer: My tour of Niagara Falls Waterfall was courtesy of King Tours. Opinions are completely my own. You can also reach them at Torontotours.ca. Thanks to Salim for being a great driver and just all-around, happy guy to spend the entire day with. Thanks also to the owner Robert for being so excited to have me on board and also for loving travel so much! And Kevin, thanks for picking me up at my airport hotel! There are affiliate links in this article.