Falls Foam

What’s foam in the water below the Falls?

The foam is calcium carbonate that comes from the mist as it evaporates when it comes over the Falls. It mixes with decaying diatoms and other algae to make the foam. This is a natural occurrence.

Once the foam moves downstream it will once again mix with the water and disappear. This also occurs in the area of the Whirlpool.

Daredevil Law

According to Ontario Regulation 829/90 which governs activities in the park, it is a provincial offense, comparable to getting a ticket for speeding, to do anything that might draw a crowd or to perform any stunt or feat without getting written permission from the Commission. There is no set fine and the person would end up in court.

This conviction carries a fine of $5000.00 or 6 months in jail or both. Niagara Falls Police are in charge of enforcement of this law..

How many people have gone over the Falls in a barrel?

A total of 15 people have attempted to go over the Falls. Of those, 13 have attempted it in a barrel of some sort. Two others also tried, one was in a kayak and the other on a jet ski, both of these died. A total of 3 of the persons attempting the Falls by barrel were killed making it a total of 5 deaths.

Several people have announced that they were going to try it, but ended up backing out. All the attempts made were over Horseshoe Falls, the rocks at the base of American Falls made it too dangerous to attempt.

Formation of Falls

The Niagara Falls started some 10,000 years ago in the Wisconsin glaciation period. Both the North American Great Lakes and the Niagara River are the results of this last continental ice sheet, a huge glacier that swept across the area from eastern Canada. During the birth of Niagara Falls the glacier ripped through the area like a giant bulldozer, destroying rocks and soil, tossing them around, and turning some river channels into lakes. It dammed other channels with debris, forcing these rivers to divert and make new channels. It’s believed is an ancient valley, buried by glacial drift, about where, now, the Welland Canal is located.

Once the ice melted, drainage from the upper Great Lakes became the Niagara River, which could not follow the now filled valley, so it found the deepest outlet on the new landscape. Over the years the river cut a gorge across the Niagara Escarpment, the north facing cliff of the southern tilted and resistant Lockport formation between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. As it moved through there it exposed old marine rocks that are quite a bit older than the comparatively recent glaciation. There are three major formations that were exposed in the gorge that was cut by the Niagara River.

The Falls plunge about 170 feet (52 meters), however, the American Falls have a only a drop of 70 feet (21 meters) before hitting a pile of fallen rocks which were deposited by a massive rock slide in 1954. The bigger Canadian Falls are about 2,600 feet (792 meters) wide, while the American Falls are 1,060 feet (323 meters) wide. The amount of water approaching the Falls during peak flow season is 202,000 feet (5,720 meters). However in the summer months, when the largest diversion of water for hydroelectric power occurs, 100,000 feet (2,832 meters) of water actually spills over the Falls, and about 90% of that goes over the Horseshoe Falls. This volume is further cut in half at night, when most of the water delivery to hydroelectric facilities occurs.

Although erosion has been drastically reduced in this century by modern day techniques, the falls will eventually recede far enough to drain most of Lake Erie, since the bottom of the lake is higher than the bottom of the falls. Engineers are working to reduce the rate of erosion to delay this event as long as possible. Originally the Niagara Falls were located near the site of Lewiston, New York, and Queenston, Ontario, but erosion at the top has caused the waterfalls to move some miles south. Just upstream from their current location, Goat Island causes a split in the the course of the Niagara River, resulting in separating the Horseshoe Falls in the west from the American and Bridal Veil Falls in the east. ”

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Fort George

Photo By: Robert Linsdell

Not only does Niagara’s Fort George hold historic prominence, it is also the location of some of the creepiest reported hauntings in the province of Ontario.

Located on Queen Street, on the opposing shore of the Niagara River, Fort George was completed in 1802 and was used to house the British Army as well as local militia. After 11 years the fort was partially destroyed and seized during the war of 1812 by the Americans, who used the fort as a base while invading Upper Canada. Shortly after, the battles of Beaver Dams and Stoney Creek forced the Americans to flee as the British won back their fort and began rebuilding.

Upon the war’s conclusion, British troops fled Fort George and took shelter in Butler’s Barracks and Fort Missassauga. In the 1930s, the Niagara Parks Commission rebuilt and restored Fort George into the beautiful fort that stands today. Parks Canada is responsible for maintaining the fort, especially the stone powder magazine, the only remaining section of the original fort and the oldest military structure in the province of Ontario.

Yet with such historical prowess come some of the eeriest hauntings and apparitions in the history of Ontario, many of which made famous by Kyle Upton, author of the book Niagara’s Ghosts at Fort George. The often seen apparitions from within the blockhouses include a grey-haired man behind the bunks looking outwards; a young girl with long blonde hair wearing a white night gown; a man clothed completely in white; a small hand appearing translucent, resting on the stair railing; a dark Caucasian man standing before a ground-floor window and a man pacing the upstairs floor.

If you are to look into an original gilt framed mirror, dated back to the 1790s which rests in the officer’s quarters of the fort, chances are that you might notice a beautiful young lady with long, curly hair standing behind you. Footsteps have been heard from within the halls of the officer’s quarters, doors seem to open and shut by themselves. Even the display gates have unhooked and opened up all on their own. Apparently the upper torso of a soldier’s body, patrolling the gates with his musket ready to fire can be seen on the fort’s property.

All of which contributes to the historic prominence and the eerie vibe that is Fort George.

by: Chase Kell

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Who Owns the Niagara Falls?

Who owns the Niagara Falls?

The U.S. Geological Survey maps of Niagara Falls (up to and including the current ones) show about two-thirds of Horseshoe Falls is in Canada, but about one-third in the U.S. More used to be in the U.S., but construction and erosion changed the boundaries. In the future, more of the Falls will recede and boundaries will constantly be altered. Many people refer to Horseshoe Falls as the “Canadian Falls” and the others to the “American Falls”, but about one-third of the Falls (and the State Park boundaries ) are in the U.S.

Horseshoe Falls is 53 meters or 173 feet to the base, and is 670 meters or 2200 feet wide. The Niagara River flows at a rate of about 21 miles per hour to the crest . Horseshoe Falls also has the majority of the water flowing to it.

American Falls is about 56 meters or 182 feet high, but the rocks at the bottom of both American and Bridal Veil Falls shortens that to about 21 meters or 70 feet. The top of American Falls is around 290 meters or 950 feet wide.

To the south of American Falls is Bridal Veil Falls, it is separated from American Falls by a small strip of land known as Luna Island. Bridal Veil is approximately 17 meters or 56 feet wide.

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