Around Niagara Falls

(continuer en français) – Last updated: February 18, 2023

Let’s face it, nobody spends a day watching a waterfall, the rest of the show is pretty predictable. Once you get caught by the magnitude of the site, you quickly get bored of it. The photographer will look for different angles, will wait for the cloud to move away or for the sun to turn, but the tumultuous passage of the water will remain the same, without surprise.

This is where the tourist industry intervenes to catch the bored tourist to make him stay a little longer and incidentally make him spend a little more.

First of all, there are activities directly linked to the falls, the boat tour or the observation platform, later the curious practitioners of this rite of water with their coloured plastic gowns can be seen on the street. There are ways to gain height, with the panoramic tower, the zipline or the helicopter flight, but it is always the same waterfall.

Niagara self-qualified itself as the Honeymoon capital of the world, so there’s a strange mix of palaces and cheap motels, casinos and shopping malls, not to mention a permanent funfair.

Clifton Hill is the most populated street with fast food joints and useless attractions with eye-catching signs.

The town has a bunch of so-called museums.

And to attract people even in winter in the cold and dark, every year Christmas is used to present a series of light shows, taking our child’s heart hostage with Disney’s complicity.

While the original wilderness landscape has disappeared, there is a Niagara Parks Commission to maintain the natural setting. This agency monitors the area along the river and ensures that the parks remain in good condition. Combining the Anglo-Saxon taste of beautiful gardens with the humid microclimate caused by the permanent mist.

I can’t help but compare Niagara with other waterfall experiences, particularly Iceland and Iguazú in South America.

The Icelandic waterfalls are in the middle of nowhere, it takes hours of driving on deserted dirt roads to get close to them and be alone in front of the raging water that can be heard rumbling from afar. There are no barriers there, at most a few signs that remind common sense.

Iguazú, on the opposite, is frequented every day by hordes of visitors, strictly conveyed and channelled on spectacular routes to get close to the best places in complete safety. But whether on the Brazilian or Argentinean side, the falls are surrounded by natural parks. Only a luxury hotel on each side and a food court, much appreciated by the coatis, derogate from the absence of constructions.

I don’t want to shatter your dream of visiting Niagara Falls, but you have to know what to expect in order not to be disappointed.

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