This past month I attended the Canadian Imaging Conference, for the first time, at Niagara Falls.
I had never before been to Niagara Falls before and I must admit that it both amazed and disappointed me. The falls itself are stunning and amazing to watch from close by as from afar. It is also a great walkway alongside the river and the best view is definitely from the Canadian side. But this is also the most commercialised side of the 2, although most told me that the Canadian side is the best one I can only partially agree. For me the US side is more authentic and has a more natural atmosphere.
When driving up to Niagara Falls, I made a short stop in Toronto as I said I would do in my Toronto wrap-up. Therefor this list will mainly be about Niagara Falls but will also include a couple mentions from Toronto.
1. Things to do
The definite go to’s that I would recommend are:
- Horseshoe Falls (CA), also known as the Canadian Falls, as 2/3 of it lies in Canada, is part of Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River. Approximately 90% of the Niagara River, after diversions for hydropower generation, flows over Horseshoe Falls.
- Journey behind the Falls (CA), you take an elevator down 45 metres (150 ft.) through bedrock to tunnels leading to the Cataract Portal and Great Falls Portal, one-third of the way behind the massive sheet of water. Where you can walk on to the Upper and Lower Observation Decks at the very foot of the Falls. The sound and view is just amazing.
- Niagara Falls State Park (USA), home to over 400 acres of lush landscape and wildlife, the American side of the Falls. The falls were first discovered in 1678, by French explorer and Belgian native Father Louis Hennepin, Niagara Falls was one of America’s first icons, luring explorers, daredevils and millions of visitors with its untamed beauty, thundering roar and tremendous power. Attractions such as the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds, offer the eight million visitors each year an opportunity to feel, see and experience the rush of Niagara’s waters. At the Frederick Law Olmsted designed park, the oldest state park in the nation, a natural splendor allows the park to be seen as nature intended it to be seen.
- And for those who got tired of the Falls, doesn’t seem possible to me, or just want to do something at night there are 2 casino’s. In my opinion the entire new area, where Hilton and the Fallsview Casino are located is the nicest area.
If you want to do some shopping your best change of finding what you want is in Toronto:
- First you have PATH, which is downtown Toronto’s underground walkway linking 28 kilometres of shopping, services and entertainment. If you follow PATH, then you’ll reach your downtown destination easily, if you don’t get lost off course, in a weatherproof environment.
- Secondly you have the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood, which is more of a chic, haute couture shopping area. The neighbourhood is also internationally recognized as one of the top ten shopping destinations, and is often compared to Fifth Avenue in New York, Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, and Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
There are more than enough shops to find whatever you are looking for.
3. Restaurant to go
These are off course the one that I went to and enjoyed, there is much more that I past I will be trying next time.
- Sassafraz — located in the Yorkville area and a definet place to go. Delicious food in a great atmosphere.
- Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls — This has become an obvious stop in my travels and therefor the both Hard Rock Cafes at Niagara Falls (US & CA side) could not be forgotten. I had the hickory BBQ bacon burger, a burger as it should taste. I would recommend going to the US location as it is a more relaxed.
4. Where to stay
There are dozens of options at Niagara Falls from the Sheraton hotel in the old part near the border. This area is very commercialised almost like a fair. Or in the new part where you have the Marriott, Hilton, Embassy, … you can find more info at Niagara Falls Tourism
5. Getting there
When flying in it depends of the airport. International flights land on Toronto Pearson International Airport and the taxi’s have a flat-rate (around 68 dollars) to anywhere downtown Toronto and there is a shuttle service to Niagara Falls. The other option if flying nationally is landing on the Toronto City Airport on Toronto Island it is just a ferry crossing from downtown and for Niagara Falls the closest is Hamilton airport.
The public transportation within the Toronto area is fantastic for about 3 dollars you are able to go from one spot to the other, this includes all public transportation when using the fastest route. And in Niagara Falls you are able to walk to everwhere you want to go.
6. Useful links
If you are planning on visiting Niagara Falls and the surrounding areas the official tourism website could be very useful for park, hotels, restaurants, casino and attractions info.
Have a nice weekend!