Everyone should see Canada’s most famous natural attraction at least once and that is Niagara Falls. They are among the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Canada and United States share the falls. The Horseshoe Falls, which is in Canada, is twice as wide as the American Falls in the States, and has the highest drop. In between is the Bridal Veil Falls.
There’s a walkway on the Canadian side that runs so close to the falls that you can feel the spray of the water as it tumbles over the edge into the gorge. Watch out for the kids! At night, the falls are lit up in the colours of the rainbow and during the summer there are fireworks over the falls.
If you want to get really close then take what is said to be North America’s oldest tourist attraction, a boat cruise at the base of the falls (Hornblower Niagara Cruises in Canada and Maid of the Mist on the American side).
At one time ‘crazy’ people went over the falls in a barrel; others walked over the falls on a tightrope. It was a bit of a carnival and you can still catch some of that outlandish behavior on Clifton Hill, aka ‘Fun Street Canada’, where you’ll find a haunted castle with ghosts and skeletons, a wax museum, and a 53 m (175 ft.) tall Ferris wheel.
Consider getting the day pass for the WEGO hop-on, hop-off bus. The price is reasonable, it sure beats finding places to park, and kids enjoy hopping on and off too. There are four different routes and you can use your smartphone for up-to-the-minute times. The green route goes along the Niagara Parkway and you can hop-off: to go on the Niagara Cruise, to walk up Clifton Hill (Fun Street), to visit the Bird Kingdom (largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world), to be awed by white water (Class 6 whirlpool rapids, which is not something you see very often), to get some exercise at the Niagara Glen (with trails running close to the Niagara River), to be enchanted by the Butterfly Conservatory (more than 2,000 butterflies), to have a debate about the colour of the flowers used in the Floral Clock (weird in 2014, I think). Before returning take some quiet time at Queenston Heights, which is famous for its role in War of 1812 and where today there’s a splash pad for kids and a picnic area for the whole family.
Niagara Falls is on the Canadian-American border, just over an hour’s drive from Toronto.
See the ever growing Bucket List for Kids in Canada
By Sylvia Fanjoy
© Riding the buses 2015