Blue Ghost Tunnel

Constructed in 1876 out of limestone blocks, the Great Western Railway was built in order to allow trains to travel underneath the 3rd Western Canal.

This railway, located at GM Glendale- Gate 12, was active until 1915, when the tunnel was abandoned due to frequent use of the 4th Welland Canal. At this point, the GWR Tunnel’s greatest use was providing a shortcut for local farmers.

Acting as reservoir to their respective canals, locals began building man-made ponds near every canal in 1903. However, building the pond for the 3rd Welland Canal became troublesome as the builders were forced to relocate the St. Peters Church Cemetery. It is believed that only 250 graves were removed, leaving behind over 500 dead bodies to rest beneath the brand new reservoir.

Though there are no records of any deaths from within, the tunnel known as the Blue Ghost Tunnel has seen its fair share of violence. Two trainmen lost their lives after their trains had collided just yards beyond the tunnel in 1903. An accident in 1912, at the tunnel’s 22nd lock, forced portions of the tunnel to break, drowning two boys caught gallivanting in the tunnel.

It has been reported that while listening to the tunnel, the sobbing cries of a young boy can be heard along with whistling. Though some reports speak of confusing drops of water from the melting ice with whistling, other reports have mentioned that the whistling hummed a very specific tune. Conversations have been heard coming from the tunnel’s east end, and music, early 20th century music described as coming from an old music box has been heard as well.

One patron who dared to enter took a photograph of the mouth of the tunnel, captioning a strange blue mist surrounded by a cloud of white mist. It is unknown whether or not the photograph had anything to do with the tunnel’s nickname of the Blue Ghost Tunnel.

by Chase Kell

Fallsview Waterpark

While you’re in Niagara Falls look up to catch a glimpse of high-speed water-slides and the all-season, outdoor pool at one of the region’s newest attraction. Niagara Falls is now home to the new Fallsview Indoor Waterpark.

Towering thirteen stories above Niagara Falls, Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is North Americas largest Hotel and Waterpark complex. It’s a comprehensive family oriented resort facility on Falls Avenue right next to Niagara Falls, with indoor connections between great hotels, family friendly attractions and great theme restaurants. There’s lots of fun for everyone!

While the kids will definitely be thrilled, we’ve noticed that the grown-ups are too. With hot tubs to soak in, comfortable lounge chairs and great food at the Planet Hollywood Beach Bar, this Niagara attraction makes you feel like you really have escaped. You probably won’t rest all the time – you’ll be tempted to join the kid’s at the giant aqua play area that features a 1000 gallon tipping bucket – blast the kids with water cannons but be prepared to get drenched yourself. With air and water temperature kept at summer levels throughout the year, you’ll be content.

Fallsview Indoor Waterpark offers families safe, exiting water-fun all year round. The entire waterpark floor has been covered with a unique poured in place safety floor system creating the largest installation of its kind. The kid’s won’t slip and fall on this! and you can relax knowing that wherever they are in the park, you’ll be able to see them. Yes, the park is immense but the sight lines are terrific so that you can relax while the kid’s play.

And play they will! The full sized wavepool is tremendously popular – its amazing how long they’ll bob and splash. Of course, everyone enjoys the sixteen water-slides – up to six stories high and for the smallest children, there’s the popular Tiny Tots Splash Park.

Enjoy direct connections from the Skyline Inn, The Sheraton on the Falls or The Brock Plaza Hotel or stay, just across the street, at the Hampton Inn. Your family can enjoy water fun and great accommodations, right next to the Falls.

Check out our web-site for seasonal value packages. We have terrific deals that accompany our hotel accommodations, some include FREE passes to the Waterpark, Marvel Adventure City or MGM Studio Plaza.

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Discovery Center

photo by: wonkanerd

There is a lot more to discover in Niagara than the Water Falls itself. Located along Robert Moses Parkway is the Discovery Center.

The Center was created to educate and divulge the history of the area all the way to the present day. The history of the entire landscape and its people are revealed in minute detail.

The Center has audiovisual presentation of the complete history of the Niagara Falls, the waterways nearby and when the Falls evolved and how it has changed today. A giant screen show dramatically portrays how the geological era has changed and evolvement of the Falls to its present day features. Interactive displays and computer graphics are available to learn about the rocks, sediments and the minerals of the Niagara region.

Located just a few minutes away from the Discovery Center is the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Building- which leads directly to the Niagara Gorge Trails. The entrance to the museum is $ 5 for adults and $ 3 for children under 12.

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Shaw Theatre

The world renowned theater company, Shaw Festival has built it’s reputation on committed exploration of celebrated produced works by Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries, and with the technical skill, fluency and style of it’s acting ensemble and top notch production values.

In 2000, the theatre’s mandate was expanded to include work written about the time period of Shaw’s lifetime which was 1856 to 1950. Jackie Maxwell has committed to explore the mandate
in new ways, including, but not limited to producing international and Canadian plays along with a new rendering of classic texts and new plays for the Festival. Ms. Maxwell is now in her fourth season as artistic director.

Each season, ten productions are presented. They encompass three individual theatres which include; the Festival Theatre, the Court House and the Royal George. All three are located in Niagara on the Lake.

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Merritt House

Located on Yates Street, the Merritt House was built in the 1820s and owned by Mr. William Hamilton Merritt, the builder of the Welland Canal. Fire destroyed the house in 1858 and the second version of the beautiful white house was built approximately two years following.

From 1918 to 1930, in the midst of the First World War, the house’s main purpose was serving as a recuperating rest stop for those in the military. Shortly after the war, the house briefly served as an Inn and a brewery before transforming into a radio station.

Perhaps the most fascinating detail of this house lies underground, where tunnels were built to connect the main building with the carriage house. As one extension of the tunnel ran north right up to the river, another extension emerged next to the river in the very location that the Burgoyne Bridge stands today. Originally serving a large role in the underground railroad, these tunnels were made very useful to bootleggers during the Prohibition, but for safety reasons were filled in and sealed up in 1967.

Yet underground tunnels and a prominent history are not all that this house is well known for. Several reports of ghost like activity in recent decades have lead many to believe that this house is still someone’s home.

Doors that open and shut by themselves. Trophies, chairs, cups and other random objects have been seen moving from one spot to another by translucent hands. Electrical equipment has been known to malfunction, including radios broadcasting peculiar sounds such as bells, a sighing woman and a man laughing.

Apparitions of a woman standing in the former waiting room, which today is a studio, as well as a man standing before the studio doors until vanishing have also been reported.

Some have even spoken of an aura, a strange feeling as if something was trying to restrict their movements. The sounds of a baby crying hysterically from a room on the second floor have been reported as well, hinting to some that there is some form of life, or lack there of, that refuses to leave this house.

by: Chase Kell

St. Johns Conservation

Twelve Mile Creek is Niagara’s only cold-water creek, and the 28-hectare St. Johns Conservation Area protects the headwaters of one of its tributaries. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority built a .75 hectare trout pond on the creek. The public are welcome to fish for rainbow trout in the smaller spring-fed pond. A wheelchair accessible path and boardwalk encircles the pond.

Watch for tadpoles, frogs and painted turtles along the way.
Several well-marked trails guide visitors through this breathtaking, mature Carolinian forest. Boardwalks rise above wet areas covered with skunk cabbage. The diversity of foliage is amazing with an abundance of ferns, more than 400 species of vascular plants and 80 mushrooms species growing here.

This lush Escarpment woodland will take your breath away. St. Johns Conservation Area is located near Fonthill. From Regional Road 20, take North Pelham Road to Hollow Road.

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Battle Ground Museum

The Battle Ground Hotel Museum is situated on the historic grounds of the War of 1812 Lundy’s Lane Battlefield. The building was initially constructed as a home in the early 1800’s.

However, even at that time, it was noted by the future owners that the place had the making of a great tourist attraction and thus was later converted into a tavern and inn. The interior of the building combines architecture details from both the Regency and Classical Revival style of the mid 1800’s.

Each of the rooms allows the visitors to go back in time and imagine the taverns of the early and mid 19th Century. In addition, costumed guards also provide details about the War of 1812.

Over the past few decades, the Battle Ground Hotel has undergone numerous reconstructions and revisions to help restore the artifacts relating to the early years of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, and the legacy of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

Situated across from Battle Ground Hotel is the Drummond Hill Cemetery, an important historic site where the War of 1812 was fought and the resting place for Laura Secord. A monument commemorating the Battle of Lundy’s Lane is also located at this historic site.

The Battle Ground Hotel is open daily from May 1st to October 31st. During the winter months, the site is open by appointment. The museum is located at 6151 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls. For visits, one can phone 905-358_Ì5082

Victoria Park

Niagara has many parks and one of the most well known is Queen Victoria Park. It is located in the middle of downtown Niagara very close to the Canadian side of the Horseshoe Falls. Like its Royal name, the Park has all the appearances of being Regal.

The park has immaculate lawns and well manicured gardens. With every season, the garden is surrounded by the flowers of the season that may include tulips, fuchsia, lantanas, magnolias or daffodils. Walking through the garden one becomes familiar with the various garden themes in the Park which include a Rose garden, a Rock garden and an international collection of plants.

Autumn brings about the annual falling of the leaves and reveals another serene aspect of the Park. When it snows in winter, the icicles can be seen on all the twigs and the bare tree branches- giving an appearance of absolute solitude.

The park has all the facilities for tourist and the pristine lanes allow for a leisurely stroll. When one is tired, there are ample park benches located in the shade.

In the summer, the annual fireworks are always on display each night and there is no place better than the Park to catch the glamour of the Niagara skyline in the background.

Like most of Niagara Parks, it is well illuminated very attractively at night. The best time to visit the park is early morning or late in the afternoon. The park offers an excellent view of the majestic Falls and its roaring waters going over the Falls.

For those who are tired after a long day of walking and sight seeing, the nearby Queen Victoria restaurant provides a relaxing atmosphere with all its serenity.

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Oakes Garden

In 1932, when the Clifton hotel was destroyed by fire, the gutted site was purchased by Sir Harry Oakes. This property bought by Mr. Oakes is today located on the south side of Clifton Hill. Oakes then rebuilt the basic foundations and constructed the amphitheater.

Over the ensuing years, the natural landscape with its splendid backdrop to the Falls led to the development of the gardens. The amphitheater has all the resemblance of the Roman architecture and the immaculate gardens reflect all what is native to Canada. The gardens are surrounded by limestone and well paved lanes. The reconstructed spiral staircases with painted steps lead directly to the Falls.

In the late summer, there is no view like it and rivals some of the best images seen in Canada. The Oakes Garden is one of Niagara’s most beautiful and inspiring place. It makes one oblivious of the city’s congestion, traffic and offers a, quiet place to sit and reflect, and a presents a vision of soft colors and fragrance.

The gardens display a diverse and unique collection of plants, landscape features, and culture heritages. They reflect the human effort to create a harmonious blend of nature and art. In addition to beauty and comfort, these gardens also provide education and conservation opportunities. They are the sparkling jewels within the Niagara Falls Park System. Admission is free and there is ample parking.

Hawley House

Built as two separate buildings in 1796, the Hawley-Beckenridge House underwent massive renovations in order to merge the buildings into the beautiful house that exists today.

This location on Mississauga Road played a large role in the underground railroad as several freed slaves found temporary refuge in the house. In fact, it is believed that at least six of those very slaves were buried in the backyard.

Yet despite the fact that the house aided many in their struggle to live free lives, the house continues to exist with an aura that is not as positive. Though it cannot be confirmed that the bodies buried in the backyard are at all responsible, frequent reports lead many to believe that the spirits of several angered slaves may still be living inside the house.

Unwelcome guests are often greeted at the house by the slamming of doors, where no one was there to do so. The large brass knocker on the front door is often repeatedly banged with brute force, and some have answered a knocking at the back door only to find that no one was there.

Apparitions such as a woman dawning a long, flowing dress, briefly seen before she disappears in a puff of smoke have plagued this house. What can only be described as a smoky, foggy-like figure has been seen standing at the foot of the stairs and a woman, appearing to be in her mid 30s, clothed in a bonnet and a long dress is often briefly glimpsed at prior to disappearing right before the fireplace.

by: Chase Kell

Niagara on the Lake

Niagara on the Lake is often called the loveliest town in Ontario and also an picturesque commercial centre with many shops and dining destinations among beautiful old homes lining the tree-shaded streets. Niagara on the Lake offers many attractions including historical sites like Fort George and the Historical Society Museum, theatres, the heritage business district, golf courses, parks, markets, and the world-famous Niagara wineries. Niagara on the Lake is located at the south shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River and can be reached via highway from all of Ontario and the northeastern USA.

Niagara on the Lake : Bike Rentals

Biking is a must do experience during your visit on Niagara on the Lake. Rental rates are $20 for half day or 3 hours and $30 for full day until dark. Long term rentals are also available from 2 days to 7 days with prices ranging from $50 to $105. All bikes have baskets, water bottle cages, kickstands, helmets, bike locks and maps all included in the rental price.

Mystery on the Lake

Mystery on the Lake: The Secret of Butlersburg is an interactive theatre where the audience can interact with actors in secret locations around Niagara on the Lake. It is more of a mystery as the starting location is also kept a secret. It is like a walking tour, scavenger hunt and historical puzzle all rolled into one as you will be walking and discover other sides of town, hunting down clues and trying to solve the mystery, and lastly, you will be learning more about the town’s history. Sampling of local food and beverages and admission to two of Niagara on the Lake’s premier historical attractions is also included.

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Woodend Conservation

Atop the Escarpment is Woodend Conservation Area, a 45 hectare site for hiking and cross-country skiing. The Bruce Trail and other trails traverse the property. The Silurian Trail lines the Escarpment edge, looking out over the Niagara Peninsula.

Views are best in fall and winter, when the trees are bare. For hikers, summer foliage of the large deciduous trees muffles the roar of the QEW below. One is then able to appreciate songs of hermit thrushes, vireos and winter wrens.

In 1798, the United Empire Loyalist family of Peter Lampman settled what is now Woodend. The Canadian poet, Archibald Lampman, is a descendant. Subsequent family members built the present-day house in 1931. Now renamed the Woodend Environmental Centre, the house provides outdoor education opportunities for students of the District School Board of Niagara.

Woodend Conservation Area is operated by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA). Come to Woodend via the Glendale exit (38) from the QEW to Regional Road 70 (Beechwood Road). Drive up the Escarpment and watch for the Conservation Area signs.

Maid of the Mist

The Maid of the Mist is a historic journey on a modified Double Decker boat that takes you so close to the Falls; so close to the Falls that one can literally touch the raging waters. Even since the Falls became a tourist attraction, the Maid of the Mist has become a traditional boat ride. One should not leave Niagara falls without taking this incredible boat ride. Even though it appears scary, the ride reveals the might of the massive water falls, the roar of the water tumbling over the edge and the deafening sound.

The boat gets so close to the bottom of the Falls that one can feel the thunder of the noise all around. The force of the water falls and the tumultuous amount of water raging around is an incredible feeling. Despite the rushing water and large waves, the boat is very stable and most individuals have no complaints of motion sickness.

As the boat nears the base of the Falls, there is an incredible feeling of awe and just sheer might of the water. The splashing of the water produces a misty breeze which completely soaks everything in sight and can even obscure the view at times.

The modified boats have been making these daily trips for decades and have powerful engines that can ride against the powerful Niagara river current. Before the boat ride, everyone is given souvenir yellow rain ponchos. These are a must because one is sure to get soaked otherwise.

The Boat ride is available from both the Canadian and American side of the Falls. From the Canadian side, the directions to the boat ride are found along side Clifton Hill. After the boat trip, there is a gift shop and fast food outlet for some hot coffee.

The Maid of the Mist runs from Easter to end of Summer. The rides start at 7.30 am and continue until late evening.

Tickets to the Maid of the Mist are available at the docking site at the foot of Clifton Hill. The ticket price for adult is $14 and $9 for children. The pathway leading to the Dock and the Boat allow for wheel chair and strollers.

Because of the difficulty with parking, it is best to leave the car at the designated car park area and take the People Mover (rapid transit) which operates every 5-10 minutes and transports individuals along the entire length of the Falls.

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Cham Shan Temple

The Ten Thousand Buddha Temple of Peace is a Mahagana Buddhist temple rising seven stories towards the heavens, while sitting on 3 peaceful acres. Dedicated to the furtherance of Buddhist principles, the structure is adorned with a variety of statues and paintings.The building is not only an example of Asian architecture but also functions as a place of worship. Services are held morning, midday, and afternoon, and visitors are asked to respect persons of faith paying reverence at Cham Shan.

Open to the public. Morning and evening services daily. Free guided tour of the 7 story Stupa on Saturdays and Sundays from June to October. Gift shop of Buddhist arts and crafts.

Free Admission!

Greg Frewin Theater

One of the best shows outside Las Vegas is in Niagara Falls. The Greg Frewin theater is a fabulous magical show and a must for the entire family.

The spectacular illusions, lighting and theatrical acts are second to none. The show features pretty showgirls and almost every type of big cat. The mystifying illusions are a sight to see. Levitations, missing boxes, disappearing doves and death defying escapes are all part of this great show.

Greg Frewin has created a show which is comparable to anything which is available anywhere in the country. The art of illusion and magic created by this artist is one of the best in North America. The spacious theater offers comfortable seating and an excellent view of the podium.

For inquires call 1 866 779 8778. The cost of show is variable depending if dinner is combined. The Greg Frewin Theater is located at 5781 Ellen Ave Niagara Falls.

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Keefer Mansion

The Keefer Mansion, built in 1886, was the home of the Keefer family, who were well known as brilliant engineers during the 19th century. The mansion was built on the very same property that the American’s occupied with a hospital during the war of 1812.

Since the Keefer family, the mansion has been used for several ventures including a mental institution, a bar, a hospital, apartment buildings and most recently, the Maplehurst Retirement Home.

In its early years, the mansion played a large role in the underground railroad as it is believed that hidden tunnels were built within the mansion’s walls.

As this prominent mansion is well known for many things, housing ghosts and spirits apparently is one of them. In preparation for the mansion’s latest venture, a bed and breakfast opened in 2005, city officials hired two mediums to attempt to remove the reported spirits.

Perhaps these spirits are responsible for the footsteps often heard from inside one of the rooms upstairs, as well as the frequent banging from the staircase. Faucets turn themselves on and off, and the hanging smell of smoke from a pipe often lingers in the basement, where apparitions of various ghost like figures have been spotted. The sounds of a gate, squealing as if being opened and closed repeatedly have been reported as well.

by: Chase Kell

Skylon Tower

The Skylon Tower is the tallest structure in Niagara Falls, Canada. It is also the most famous landmark in Niagara as it overlooks both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. The tower is located in the heart of the hotel, dining, and entertainment district just steps away from the Falls and across the Fallsview Casino. They offer a Ride-to-the-Top attraction aboard any of the three exterior glass-enclosed “Yellow Bug Elevators” in just 52 seconds where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Niagara Falls, the Great Gorge, the Niagara wine district and the city skylines of Buffalo, New York and Toronto, Canada. It is also considered as the highest vantage point in Niagara where you can see 8000 square miles of Canada and the United States.

At the top of the Skylon Tower are two restaurants, the first is the lower Revolving Dining Room and the other is the upper Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room. The Revolving Dining Room can seat up to 276 people and silently revolves once every hour. There are also indoor and outdoor observation decks at the tower’s summit and the base of the tower features some gift shops, fast food restaurants and an amusement arcade.

Showing only in the Skylon Tower’s new 60 sit motion theater, t he Skylon Tower also features the all new 3D / 4D Falls Movie – “Legends of Niagara Falls” where you can experience the power of the Falls up close in amazing 3D/ 4D effects . It is also home to the Skylon Family Fun Center which is the largest indoor entertainment center in Niagara Falls. It features high-tech interactive games and rides for all ages. Most attractions that are found in the Skylon Tower are open daily all year round.

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Botanical Gardens

With its collection of thousands of plant species and cultivars, numerous exhibition greenhouses, some thirty thematic gardens, and teams of horticulturists and active staff, the Botanical Gardens in Niagara have become one of the most visited attractions in Niagara.

The Botanical Gardens are located to the North of the Falls along the Niagara Parkway. No matter what the season, visitors to the Niagara Botanical Garden are sure to be captivated by the splendid colors and fragrances from around the world as they wander from the delightful European Tulips to the Orchids from China, from the peaceful oasis of the Japanese Garden to the classically designed British gardens with immaculate lawns. Spaced in between these different gardens are a collection of trees, shrubs and various large flowering plants from all over Canada.

The gardens were opened up nearly 70 years ago and over the decades have undergone numerous renovations and reconstructions. Today the gardens also offer residential training for future horticulturists.

The best times to visit are in early spring or autumn when the full blooms of the flowers and their natural colors are splendid. Because of the crowds, the best time to visit are early mornings or late afternoon. Despite the crowds, the gardens are peaceful and tranquil .

For the flower lover, this Garden is an enriching experience and one should make the most of it. After a viewing all the flowers and plants, one can stop by at the gift shop or get a bite to eat or drink in the Cafe.

Entrance to the Garden is free and there is ample parking. The Botanical Gardens are open on a daily basis. In the Summer, Horse and Carriage tours are available and for the young lovers, even Weddings can be arranged in one the beautiful gardens.

Marineland Niagara

Photo By: Familie Bierhals

Located just south of the Niagara Falls, Canada, Marineland is a unique adventurous theme park for both adults and children. In the last 2 decades, the park has grown from just a water-based theme park to one which offers numerous other attractions including rides, roller coasters and even a deer petting zoo.

The theme park offers a wide variety of marine animals which includes sharks, killer whales, dolphins and the beluga whales. The numerous variety of sea animals allows one to appreciate the ocean’s most intriguing creatures. Exciting water shows performed by the dolphins and the whale shark are held at regular intervals at the King Waldorf Stadium Show and the Aquarium Dome.

For those wanting a first hand and a close up view, early arrival is recommended. The Sea Animals perform spectacular shows which usually end with a gigantic tidal wave of water drenching the unsuspecting audience sitting in the front rows. Besides the exciting water shows, one also gets a very closer look at walruses, penguins, manatees, schools of sea and fresh water fish and other wildlife.

The newly designed Friendship Cove holds the largest whale habitat in the world. The Cove is walkways surrounding it for above water viewing ans underwater performances of these remarkable marine mammals.

For those interested in more excitement, there are a variety of rides and roller coasters on the park. Sky Screamer – the world’s tallest triple tower ride not only provides a spectacular view of the surrounding area, but will drop you 450 feet in a matter of seconds- rivaling any bungee jump in terms of fear and excitement.

The park has numerous dining facilities offering everything from fast take away to a leisure lunch of Sea food Creole and Chicken Dijon. Of course, this is not included in the park entrance fee.
Many surrounding hotels also offer Tour Packages which include 2 nights accommodation, buffet breakfast, complimentary tokens for rides and passes to the Marine Land them park.

Marineland is located just a mile South of Niagara Falls. It is closed during the winter months but open during the entire summer. Adequate parking is available at the Park.

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Queenston Heights

Brock Monument View North © by pmvarsa

Queenston Heights Park is the site of a War of 1812 battle in which Sir Isaac Brock was killed. A 50-m. (150-ft.) monument, that is perched above the Niagara Escarpment, was built in his honor.

Surrounding the monument is a recreational park that contains a vast picnic area with open-air tables and covered pavilions. Also located here are a bandshell, tennis courts and hiking trails. Food is available at a snack bar or at Queenston Heights Restaurant (open seasonally).

Queenston Heights Park is located on top of the 106 m. (350-ft.) Niagara Escarpment, which allows for spectacular views of the lower Niagara River, surrounding countryside, Lake Ontario, and the Toronto skyline on clear days.

It was here that the Falls were first formed over 10,000 years ago. The Bruce Trail, which follows the escarpment 780 km (520 miles) to Tobermory, also starts here.

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