Niagara Falls is beautiful at any time of year. Is it worth it to freeze in winter? The question is rhetorical…
One day in February, my husband and I flew to Toronto for business. The weather was great, we decided to go to Niagara Falls. In winter it does not freeze and there are fewer tourists. We bought bus tickets and two hours later got off at the tourist center.
I have seen Niagara Falls many times in photos and videos. Already from afar, I judged the scale by the rumbling. But what my eyes saw on the observation deck could not be imagined or described in words.
The elements! It was crashing down at crazy speed, soaring upward in a white cloud of spray and glittering in the sun with rainbows. Water! It hypnotized, sucked me in and left me with no strength to tear my gaze away. Ice! Giant icicles were hanging down from the opposite shore and resting on icy blocks at the bottom.
We spent a couple of hours in the cold, staring around and moving along the shore at the speed of a turtle. When we were absolutely stiff, we went to admire the waterfall from the second floor of the tourist center. Before we left, we had time to scout the casino food court and cast dozens of “last” glances at Niagara.
I’m so glad I went there in the winter, because the half-frozen Niagara Falls is the most incredible winter sight of my life so far. It just has to be seen (and preferably in several layers of warm clothing).
Interesting facts about Niagara Falls
- Niagara Falls is located on the border of two countries: Ontario, Canada and New York, USA
- It consists of three waterfalls: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the largest, Horseshoe Falls.
- Niagara Falls formed as a result of glacial activity about 10,000 years ago
- The name “Niagara” supposedly comes from the local Indian tribe“Onguiaahra,” which also means “thunder of water”
- On any sunny day, rainbows are guaranteed on the Canadian side of the falls. On the American – they can be caught in the morning
- The waterfall moves. According to recent research by scientists, it has already moved 11 kilometres and at the current rate of erosion will disappear in about 50,000 years
- 90% of fish crossing Niagara Falls survive
- People are not allowed to raft in Niagara Falls. Nevertheless, according to Wikipedia, more than 5,000 people have attempted it since 1850! The first official extreme survivor was recorded in 1901, a 63-year-old teacher from Michigan who went down a waterfall in a barrel
- Every year, the waterfall is visited by more than 13 million. people
- Every second, 3,160 tons of water pass through the waterfalls! It is one of the largest sources of electricity in Ontario
How to get to Niagara Falls from Toronto without a car
Niagara Falls is located 130 kilometres from Toronto. The easiest option is to get there by car. We were in Toronto only for three days and had no plans to rent a car. So we took public transportation to Niagara Falls.
You can do it in several ways: with a tour, by cab and by shuttle buses. I bought MegaBus tickets on a promo for $10CAD round trip for two people. Once we travelled around USA with the same company, veeeery cheap! The road to Niagara took us 2 hours one way.
The bus departs from Toronto Coach Terminal and there are lockers inside the station.
How to get around Niagara Falls
The waterfall is located in the city of the same name – Niagara Falls. It is quite big and from the bus station, where shuttle buses arrive to the most beautiful part of the waterfall – Horseshoe Falls, another good four kilometres. You can walk or take a cab.
But if you come for a day or two and want to see something else besides the waterfall, I suggest buying a WeGo card with unlimited rides on a special city bus for 24 or 48 hours. A day pass costs $9CAD, sold at the Niagara Falls Bus Terminal. For some reason only cash was accepted at the cashier’s desk.
What else to do in Niagara Falls in winter
But all year round you can sneak through the century-old tunnels behind the waterfall and view it from unusual angles. The ride is called Journey Behind the Falls.
Niagara Falls also has the Skywheel, Bird Kingdom, Butterfly Conservatory, casino, wineries, all sorts of entertainment, helicopter rides, and Skylon Tower observation/restaurant. For a full list of attractions, visit the official website.
Since 1925, the Niagara Illumination Board has provided free evening performances by illuminating the falls with different colors. Find the schedule for the next show here.
Have a magical trip, everyone! And don’t forget to wear warm clothes.