Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the world’s leading tourist attractions. Millions of people around

the world visit here each year. Summers at the Falls are especially busy, with traffic jams

and parking problems. However, the Falls are beautiful in winter too.

Many have asked why people travel so far to see water falling over a cliff. The size and

beauty of Niagara Falls help to make it special. While many falls are higher than Niagara,

very few are as wide or have such a volume of water. It also helps that Niagara is

relatively easy to travel to.

When the first Europeans came to Niagara, the Falls were surrounded by forest. The

noise of the Falls could be heard miles away, before they were actually seen. The first

visitors were filled with horror at the sight.

Later, fear ceased to be the main emotion inspired by the Falls. Later, visitors were

impressed by the beauty and grandeur of the Falls, which overwhelmed them with


By the 1830s, people were able to come to the Falls by railway. As more and more people

came, the tourist industry developed. Early tourism was not well regulated, and there

were many complaints about cheats and swindles. Today, there are similar complaints

about tourist junk and high prices.

The majority of tourists stay on the Canadian side. There are two falls, separated by an

island. Since the Niagara River forms the boundary here between Canada and the United

States, each country has one of the falls. The Canadian Horseshoe Falls is wider and

more impressive than the American Rainbow Falls. About nine times more water goes

over the Canadian Falls. Nonetheless, there is much to be seen on the American side.

The island in the middle, Goat Island, is one of the best places to view the falls and

rapids. It is on the American side.

Newly married couples began coming to Niagara Falls when it was still a secluded,

peaceful and romantic spot. It is still popular with newly-weds as a relatively inexpensive

and convenient place to spend their honeymoon.

Besides being beautiful, Niagara Falls is also very useful. Their falling water is the power

behind several of the largest hydroelectric stations in the world. Much of the electric

power used in this part of North America comes from Niagara Falls. In order to harness

this power, half of the flow of water is channeled away from the falls during the night, and

during the non-tourist season. Probably most visitors don’t notice the difference.

Niagara has attracted many kinds of people over the years. Businessmen have come to

profit from the tourists. Daredevils have come to make a name for themselves. Some

have gone over the falls in a barrel, while others have walked above the falls on a

tightrope. Poets and artists have visited here to capture its beauty. Lovers have come to

gaze on its romantic scenery. All of these, and many others, have helped to make Niagara

Falls world famous.