Niagara Favorite Haunts

While Niagara’s spooky “Haunted Houses” are successful animated frightfests, an online video series producer is determined to show the real thing does exist in Niagara Falls.

“History of a Haunting,” Canada’s latest paranormal series, has just wrapped its first season in Niagara Falls. With its battle sites, many buildings and homes over two centuries old, the show’s producer, Jerry Potter, believes Niagara Falls is an ideal site to explore manifestations of lingering spirits. Two executive producers, Nathan Chamberland and Todd Brown, are also natives of the Niagara Region. The trailer for the series is online.

Among the sites they will visit is Drummond Cemetery, near the site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane during the War of 1812. Sightings of soldiers who died from their wounds have been reported by many visitors at all times of day.

Another well-documented haunted spot in Niagara Falls is “The Screaming Tunnel”, on Warner Road, near where it intersects Garner Road. If one goes into the tunnel at any time and lights a match, a whoosh of air extinguishes the match instantly while a piercing shriek echoes off the high stone walls. In the early 1900s a farmhouse caught fire at the south entrace to the tunnel. The legend tells of a young girl, garments aflame, who escaped and ran into the tunnel where she perished. A visit to the Screaming Tunnel has convinced many skeptics that someone is still there in spirit.

Cavendish Manor, a girls’ school long ago, is the site of many encounters with ghostly little girls, both laughing and screaming fearfully. The legend goes that, soon after the screams sound, someone will die.

The Angel Inn, at Niagara-on-the-Lake, is reputed to house a British soldier, Captain Swayze, murdered by American soldiers in 1812. Captain Swayze reportedly likes to tamper with kegs and mugs of American beer.

Come to the Niagara region, and see if the ghosts will appear to you.

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Great Wolf Lodge

The massive water park resort is a half million square-foot, four story, log sided family indoor waterpark resort. It will feature over 400 guest rooms with a choice of ten suites configurations including including unique layouts such as a Grizzly Bear Suite which can sleep up to 8, a Loft Fireplace Suite, and children’s themed suites which include a Wolf Den, Kid Cabin and Kid Kamp, complete wiih cozy private ‘room-within-a-room’ for children.

In the center of the Great Wolf Lodge, behind the main entrance, the windows overlook the main attraction, Bear Track Landing” a colossal, 90-foot tall, indoor waterpark complex measuring at over 100,000 square-feet. A twelve level treehouse water-fort interconnected with suspension bridges, cargo nets, web crawls with over sixty water effects standing at the park’s entrance. A 4,000 litre (1,000-gallon) tipping bucket suspended at the top offers guests a thrilling introduction to one of the world’s largest indoor waterpark resorts, while the Rocket Watercoaster Ride ‘ one of only four in the world ‘ and the Mammoth Raft Ride ‘ the world’s largest tunnel family raft ride ‘ takes guests for the water rides of their lives!

Year-Round Family Fun

Completely under the roof, the waterpark features 13 waterslides, ranging in size from kiddie slides to fast-paced tube slides that wind in and out of the indoor waterpark, a massive indoor wave pool, recreation pool, lazy river and a zero-depth entry pool for even the youngest water-fans.

Other amenities include the Northern Lights’ Arcade, a 6,000 square-foot arcade; Iron Horse’ Fitness Room; and Cub Club’ ‘ the children’s frequent guest club.

Guests and the general public can also enjoy five fully-licensed, themed restaurants; Pizza Hut Express; Bear Claw Cafe confectionery; Buckhorn Exchange, gift emporium, Elements, an Aveda Concept Spa; and close to 10,000 square feet of meeting space, including a tiered, audio/visual symposium.

 

Address: 3950 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 7M8

Phone:(905) 354-4888

 

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Dufferin Islands

Trails invite leisurely walks that wind through the eleven small islands, over many small bridges and lead to wonderful areas where it is possible to view waterfowl and other inhabitants.

The Dufferin Islands are an excellent location to enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch. Anglers of all, ages can enjoy the “catch and release” program here.

During the annual Winter Festival of Lights, from mid-November to mid-January, Dufferin Islands are a “must see”. The whole area comes to life with numerous colourful, animated lighting displays.

500 m. (1/2 Mile) south of Horseshoe Falls

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The Welland Canal

The chain of lakes and rivers used by early North American explorers and Canadian fur traders has evolved into the unique and efficient water transportation route, the St. Lawrence Seaway. Before the potential of these inland waters could be fully realized, several turbulent sections located at key points had to be overcome or by-passed. The falls and rapids of the Niagara River presented the major obstacle to an uninterrupted waterway to the American heartland. Until 1829, the only route from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie included a lengthy portage around Niagara Falls from Queenston to Chippawa Creek.

To circumvent nature’s wonder, a man-made wonder was required. The Welland Canal, with its eight large locks, was built to fulfill this need. This canal system, the western section of the St. Lawrence Seaway, ranks as one of the outstanding engineering feats of the twentieth century.

The all-Canadian Welland Canal is the first segment of the modern Seaway to have been built. It connects two of the Great Lakes (Ontario and Erie) and forms an integral part of the deep waterway that allows large lakers and ocean vessels to navigate to and from the heart of North America.

Niagara Glen

Photo By: SteFou!

The Niagara Glen is a unique area of the Niagara River carved out between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago as the erosive forces of Niagara Falls passed through here.

Designated as a Nature Area in 1992, the Niagara Glen presents a fascinating study in provincially rare flora and Carolinian forest types and is an important birding area. Hikes through the Niagara Glen involve an elevation change of over 60-m. (200-ft).

Proper footwear, suitable for steep and rugged terrain is required. Guided Rim Tours also provide an informative, easy stroll along the top of the Glen. Available in summer season only.

2 km. North of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, opposite Whirlpool Golf Course”

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Minolta Tower

The Konica Minolta Tower was built in 1961 and has become a prominent structure in the Niagara Skyline. Standing nearly 325 feet, it provides one of the best views of the Falls, without getting wet.

Once on the top the Observation deck, a magnificent panoramic view of the Niagara Falls and surrounding landscape is obtained. The windows in the Observation have been designed in such a way so they prevent the glare of the sun and allow for excellent photography.

Around the entire deck are mounted photographs of the Niagara town and its monuments, including the Falls. Also located on the Observation deck are telescopes to get a close up view of the Falls. On a bright sunny day, one can see multiple rainbows and the foggy mist for miles around.

Also located on the observation deck is the Pinnacle Restaurant which caters to all types of food. Because of the splendid view obtained, the Tower has frequently been used for wedding couples and private parties. In the basement of the Tower are located various gift, souvenir and fast food restaurants. Recently, a five star hotel has been built in the surround area.

The best time to go up the tower is either early morning or late evening. For the romantics, the most gorgeous view is at night when the Falls is illuminated.

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Bird Kingdom

Bird Kingdom

Bird Kingdom
A world class tropical adventure, located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world. More than 400 birds make their home in this multi-level rainforest setting nestled in a building which has housed some of the area’s top attractions of the past. A 40-foot waterfall, tropical plants, and hundreds of birds from around the world put on a show for the public. Many of the 80 species of birds living at Bird Kingdom are endangered or threatened in the wild.

The building that houses this attraction was the original Spirella Corset Factory, built in 1907. It was one of the first poured concrete buildings ever made in Canada. The building then became home to the famed Niagara Falls Museum in 1958, with its world-renowned collection of Egyptian artefacts. Amazingly, it was discovered the museum had been home to the actual mummy of King Ramesses I! Unfortunately for the museum, that fact wasn’t discovered until after the museum closed and the mummy was safely returned back to Egypt.

World’s Largest Free Flying Indoor Aviary !

The birds living in their natural habitat is not the only exhibit. There are also a collection of saltwater fish, spiders, bats, snakes, skinks, and reptiles too, all of which make their home in the same tropical environment the birds flourish in.

Bird Kingdom also features a Small Aviary, where smaller birds make their home; the Javanese House, a 125-year-old nobleman’s house from the island of Java; Nocturnal, an exhibit which stays light at night and dark during the day so night-living animals will be active during the museum’s hours; and the Macaw Market, featuring bird-related collectibles and gift items.

Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Destination Choice Award for 2011

There are many hidden secrets to discover in our Nocturnal Jungle as well. Children can search for treasures from the past in our Kids Archaeology Dig and win a free prize! Be amazed to learn about Niagara in our Historic Niagara room.

We also hold children’s birthday parties and even a 2 week summer camp yearly! Bird Kingdom is open 365 days a year! Visit us at www.birdkingdom.ca to see all the upcoming events happening weekly.

Hours or operation are September – June 9:30 AM – 5 PM
July – August 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM

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Brock Monument

Photo By: RichardBH

Take the climb to Queenston Heights and experience a key moment in Canadian history. In the War of 1812, on October 13, Major-General Sir Isaac Brock led the British forces under him to fend off invading American troops. Brock gave his life in a charge up the Escarpment.

The Brock Monument now stands to acknowledge his role in preventing American domination of Canada. Queenston Heights is also the head of the Bruce Trail. The start of Canada’s longest footpath is marked with a stone cairn at the eastern end of Queenston Heights Park.

The Niagara Parks Commission manages Queenston Heights and the other Niagara River parks. Since 1885, the Commission has been charged with preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of Niagara Falls and the Niagara River corridor. The Commission maintains approximately 1,619 hectares of parkland along the river, in addition to the 56-kilometre Niagara River Parkway.

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St. Lawrence Seaway

The St. Lawrence Seaway is a deep waterway extending 3,700 km (2,340 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean to the head of the Great Lakes, at the heart of North America. Within the meaning of the legislation which provided for the construction and maintenance of the deep waterway, the St. Lawrence Seaway proper extends from Montreal to Lake Erie.

The Montreal/Lake Ontario section encompasses a series of 7 locks from Montreal (Quebec) to Iroquois (Ontario) enabling ships to navigate between the lower St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

The opening of the Seaway, in April of 1959, marked the full realization of a 400 year-old dream. In the early part of the 16thcentury, Jacques Cartier, the French explorer, was turned back by the rushing waters of the Lachine Rapids, just west of what is now Montreal, and thus denied
his dream of finding the Northwest Passage and the route to the East. At various times during the intervening 300 years, canals have been dug and locks built around the natural barriers to navigation in the St. Lawrence River.

This activity was spurred on by the desire to make use of the economical transport route which the waters of the Great Lakes Basin offered for the movement of goods in and out of this area of the continent.

Adventure Theatre

The latest in Niagara entertainment is the recently upgraded Adventure Cinema. The best of Canadian Technology has allowed the creation of the screen, which provides an excellent history of the Niagara Falls. The large 5 story (45 foot) screen and the latest in sound technology present a real life-like view of the Falls and its evolution over time.

The movie is about 45 minutes long and details the landscape and geological nature of the land, the first settlers in the area and how the area was developed into a tourist attraction. Also presented is a picturesque view of the individuals who either have gone over the Falls in barrels or tried to walk across on a high wire.

The state-of-the-art film technology creates an image of unsurpassed clarity and realism. The images produced are so real like that one is quickly absorbed into the story. With the floor shaking digital surround sound, you will feel like you yourself are tumbling over the falls.

The show lasts 45 minutes and can be seen on the hour all day. The theater is located at the bottom of the Niagara Falls State Park Visitor Center.

For the non English speaking tourist, Headsets are available which translate in numerous languages including French, Japanese, and Spanish etc.

The theater does have access for the handicapped patrons. Entrance to the theater is $10 for adults and $6 for children under 12.

Niagara Daredevils

Many daredevils have made crossing the Falls their goal. It began with with the successful crossing by Jean Fran¨∞ois Blondin” Gravelet in 1859 Tightrope walkers have drawn large crowds to their exploits. Matthew Webb, from England who the first man to swim the English Channel, drowned in 1883 after attempting to swim across the whirlpools and rapids beneath the Falls. He was not successful.

The first person to go over the falls was, Sam Patch, who called himself The Yankee Leaper, jumped over the Horseshoe Falls in October 1829 and became the first person known to survive the plunge. This was the beginning of a number of daredevils trying to go over the Falls and survive. The first person to go over the falls in a barrel was 63-year-old Annie Taylor in 1901, she survived the fall unharmed.

Since Ms. Taylor’s 1901 ride, 14 other people have attempted to go over the Falls in or on a device. Some have survived and come out just fine, but others have been severely injured or died in the attempt. Those that survive the attempt face charges and stiff fines, as it is illegal, on both sides of the border, to attempt to go over the Falls. David Copperfield, a renowned magician recently added his name to the list of these daredevils, successfully going over, or appearing to go over the Falls in 1990.

On October 20th 2003, Kirk Jones became the first person to go over the Horseshoe Falls without a any type of flotation device The question remains whether Jones was determined to commit suicide or not, he lived through the 16-story fall with only battered ribs, scrapes, and bruises.

In July of 1960 Roger Woodward, a nine-year-old American boy, was swept over the Falls wearing only a life preserver He was picked up from the plunge pool beneath the Horseshoe Falls by tourists riding the Maid of the Mist boat. No one thought this child would survive the plunge and when he did, it became know worldwide as the Miracle at Niagara.

Embassy Suites

Embassy Suites NiagaraEmbassy Suites may be Hilton’s budget-friendly division, but you still get all the care and attention that have made the Hilton name mean “first-class hotel” around the world. The Embassy Suites in Niagara Falls promotes this philosophy in a 512-suite property, with amenities like much larger hotels at an affordable price.

Among the favourite accommodation packages at the Embassy Suites Niagara Falls are the Live Theatre plans. At various times of the year, you could attend a unique fundraiser, “Niagara Light of Day” to help those with Parkinson’s and ALS; a Las Vegas style magic show starring Greg Frewin; and “Casino Concerts” featuring the top acts from Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other top performing venues around North America. Included with the Live Theatre packages are custom-cooked breakfasts for everyone in your group, gift certificates for dining at either the Embassy Suites Keg or TGI Friday’s restaurants, a selection of travel and attraction passes to use through your entire stay, and a Manager’s Reception.

The kids will be thrilled to come to Dave and Buster’s Gaming Midway at the Embassy Suites. Upon check-in to any of our suites, receive a gaming card with a $60 value to use at the vast array of arcade games at Dave and Buster’s. The family can revel in NASCAR rides, pinball, Guitar Hero, cyberspace tennis, basketball and golf. If you prefer, let your kids rise to the challenge while you enjoy a snack and drink at the world-renowned D&B Sports Bar.

When it’s time for dinner, relax in the well-loved atmosphere of one of Canada’s favourite steakhouses: The Keg at the Embassy Suites. With a perfect view of the curve of the Horseshoe Falls on the ninth floor, the Keg offers premium steaks and perfectly prepared sides that will signal the finale of a wonderful day.

Settle in at the Embassy Suites Niagara Falls for your vacation. You’ll savour every moment of your stay.

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Turning off the Niagara Falls

From April through October, during tourist season, the water flows at a rate of 100,000 cubic feet per second. Canadian and American governments made an agreement that the flow would stay at this rate throughout the tourist season. The Falls have an estimated 12 million visitors each year, and the agreement between the Ontario Hydro and the New York Power Authority allows the flow to remain at that rate while allowing them to draw a reduced amount of water so that it does not interfere with the amount of water going over the Falls.

In order to satisfy the needs of all parties, at dusk each night, during the tourist season, the flow rate is reduced to 50,000 cubic feet per second. This allows the Hydro Authority and New York State Power Authority to fill up their massive reservoirs. During the daytime when the flow is increased over the Falls, the Power Authorities draw water from their reservoirs to make up for any deficit.

From November to April the rate of flow is reduced to 50,000 cubic feet per second, 24 hours a day. The Hydro plants draw the remainder for hydro generation. This reduction in water flow is why the Maid of the Mist has to be out of the water by October 31st of each year.

The control dam is owned jointly by Canada and the USA. By agreement, it is operated by Ontario Hydro. It was located on the Canadian side due to the fact that the river bed slants toward the Canadian side. Each side has specific water drawing times, these are strictly regulated. When the American side is drawing water, the gates on the dam are closed causing the water to be forced to the water intakes on the American side. The dam also assists in drawing the water to the intakes on the Canadian side when they are drawing water.

The Niagara River flows at a rate of 212,000 cubic feet per second. Even on the hottest summer day, an estimated 100,000 cubic feet of water per second is being drawn for hydro generation.

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Niagara’s Natural Wonders

Niagara Falls summer tourist season wraps up offering Autumn adventures and events in the Niagara Parks. Great deals on family attractions from Sept thru winter seasons in the Niagara Region.

Enjoy upcoming concerts and festivals celebrating Niagara’s Natural Wonders including the Niagara Wine Festival, Fallsview Casino concerts, and Fireworks displays, and Winter Festival of Lights.

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Observation Tower

Photo By: Britt Reints

From the Prospect Point Observation Tower in Niagara Falls NY, one can view most of the Canadian and US side of Niagara Falls area from a 360-degree panorama. On sunny days, a splendid view of Mist arising from the Falls inter mixing with a colorful rainbow is a sight to see. This steel and glass tower has become a favorite for those who want to view the Falls without getting wet or tired.

After viewing the outside from the top of the deck, one can ride the glass elevators to the bottom and arrive directly to the boarding docks for the Maid of the Mist.

The indoor deck does offer a snack bar and a gift shop, and the deck does have high-powered lenses for closer viewing. The Prospect Point Observation Tower is open all year around but the hours are much shorter in the Winter. To avoid long crowds, it is best to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

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Hydro-Electric Dam

Photo By: Ken Doerr

The single greatest source of hydroelectric power in the world, the Niagara River is home to several power plants. The 2 most famous plants on the Canadian side are the Sir Adam Beck I and II, named after the first head of the Hydro-Electric Power Commission. Combined, the Beck power stations produce over 2 million kW of power.

During the East Coast Blackout in the summer of 2003, Niagara Falls and area retained power. 14m (45 ft) diameter tunnels run under the city of Niagara Falls to divert 68 Million litres /minute to the power stations. Niagara Falls used to erode at a rate of 1m (3ft) every 10 years. The diversion not only creates power, but has slowed the rate of erosion to 30 cm (1ft.) every 10 years.