On my last full day in Canada, Kiley, Megan, Devon and I took a road trip to the famous Niagara Falls. We packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our lunches and set out on the open highway. It took about 1.5 hours to drive to Niagara Falls from Toronto, and along the way we passed several wineries. If we had more time, I would have loved to go wine tasting!
Niagara Falls in Ontario, along with its sister city in New York, are collectively self-proclaimed the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.” Romance is apparently abound in Niagara Falls; Superman and Lois Lane started to get it on here, and even my cousin proposed to his current wife at this location. This destination of spectacular natural beauty attracts millions of visitors throughout the year.
Kiley says the view from the Canadian side is way better than the American side because the New York view is primarily from behind the top of the falls. If I ever come again via the New York route, I will make sure to bring my passport so I can check out the views on both sides to compare!
We bought tickets for the Maid of the Mist boat ride (C$13.50), which allows its passengers to check out the base of the falls. The power of these falls is intense, and we had to shout to communicate of the thunderous roar of the water. It was absolutely breathtaking to see the falls so close.
The “natural” beauty status of Niagara Falls is debated due to the fact the water volume is regulated by the hydropower plants upriver. During tourist season, technicians will turn up the falls, allowing 100,000 ft³/second go over the falls. This is double the usual 50,000 ft³/s outside of tourist season, but still only half the natural volume. In addition, the neon colored lights that illuminate the falls at night are vaguely reminiscent of some club from the “Jersey Shore” TV show… but despite all this, I admit I was in complete awe of this place and would love to return again for the kitschy fireworks show!
On the Maid of the Mist, we got to wear these stylish plastic blue rain ponchos to help shield us from the drenching blasts. I felt like the girl who turned into a blueberry in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory… combined with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Don’t ask.
After the brief 30 minute boat ride, we headed over the circus of Clifton Hill. The hill is a street that is jam-packed with kitschy tourist attractions, such as wax museums, haunted houses, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, arcades and a small Ferris wheel.
We got sugar high at the candy store and took advantage of the free arcade tokens they were handing out on the streets. We won some super cool prizes like a tie-dyed bouncy ball that we ended up losing to the traffic-filled street 5 minutes later.
After returning to Toronto, we grabbed some dinner at the Standard restaurant in Little Italy. We celebrated Megan’s fake birthday with some Jägermeister and then proceeded to continue our silly antics throughout the night.
Overall, it was an amazing trip to Canada and fabulous reunion with my Contiki girls. Until next trip… happy travels!