Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States; more specifically, between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. – Wikipedia
Fun Facts (well, Facts)
Quoting the Niagara Parks site (headings and photo added):
Height: The Canadian Horseshoe Falls drops an average of 57 metres (188 ft.) into the Lower Niagara River.
Width: The crest line of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls is approximately 670 metres (2,200 ft.) wide.
Depth: The plunge pool beneath the Falls is 35 metres (100 ft.) deep.
Flow rate of water: More than 168,000 cubic metres (6 million cubic ft.) of water go over the crestline of the Falls every minute during peak daytime tourist hours. The International Boundary Waters Treaty stipulates the minimum amount of flow over the falls during daytime, nighttime and the tourist season.
Speed of waterfalls: Niagara Falls has moved back seven miles in 12,500 years and may be the fastest moving waterfalls in the world.
Colour: The startling green colour of the Niagara River is a visible tribute to the erosive power of water. An estimated 60 tons of dissolved minerals are swept over Niagara Falls every minute. The colour comes from the dissolved salts and “rock flour,” very finely ground rock, picked up primarily from the limestone bed but probably also from the shales and sandstones under the limestone cap at the falls.
Other kinds of colour: Every evening beginning at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured water and light masterpiece.
Prognosis (American Falls, like we care): All things considered, scientists speculate that perhaps 2,000 years from now the American Falls could dry up.
Prognosis (Horseshoe Falls): The Horseshoe Falls will notch back for about 15,000 years.
Niagara Falls is historically famous as a honeymoon destination – these days more in a campy, maudlin kinda way – but it also attracts a range of visitors, especially families. . . . With the addition of a new casino resort in 2004, finer hotels and restaurants have followed, adding an iota of sophistication; however Niagara Falls is primarily touristy and uncultured in character. – Go Canada site
OK, here’s the skinny, according to me.
How soon to go: There’s no need to hurry: the Falls will be around for a while.
When to go: Try to pick a better day than we did (overcast skies, intermittent rain, winds gusting to 80 km/hour).
Where to stand to take a picture: The best shot I got was from Floor 14 of our hotel, so I recommend going for a high vantage point. Having seen photos online taken from the Skylon Tower, I think that’s a good bet.
But, you know, it’s a natural wonder as well as a National Treasure, so you have lots of options.