Niagara Falls is an experience in itself and it's also one of the most popular attractions in North America. From the Canadian side of the falls, visitors also have a unique vantage point. However, there's one more thing that the Canadian side of the falls offers: a view of the Niagara Falls Whirlpool.

As if the idea of a raging waterfall wasn't enough of a thrilling venture, the whirlpool found at the bottom of this water flow is also a force to be reckoned with. From above, it appears as a swirling pool of water, fed by the tremendous power of Niagara Falls. For those who are wondering how it can possibly be seen from above, we present the Whirlpool Aero Car.

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Riding The Niagara Falls Whirlpool Aero Car

When something is described as 'not for the faint of heart,' it's likely for a reason. Those with a fear of heights, or just being strung high above powerful bodies of water, in general, might not find this ride that appealing. Regardless of one's feelings toward being suspended above the falls, though, there's no denying that this will certainly be the ride of a lifetime.

  • Fun Fact: The cable car itself takes its passengers between both the U.S. and Canada, which technically means it crosses international borders not twice, but a total of four times each way.

This cable car has been a historic part of Ontario's side of Niagara Falls since 1916, and it's still one of the top attractions in the area to this day. So, what can passengers in the Aero Car expect? For starters, this cable car lifts its riders high above the class 6 rapids of Niagara Falls - 3,500 feet, to be exact - in order to get the best view of the waterfall below. And once the attention is away from the falls themselves, riders realize that they're gliding above a whirlpool that's been active for more than 4,000 years. The ride itself is intense and thrilling and provides the opportunity for visitors to Niagara Falls to have a birds-eye view of this incredibly powerful force of nature.

  • Fact: The Niagara Whirlpool is about 125 feet deep, with an average depth of 35 feet. The speed of the vortex has been measured at 22 miles per hour.

While the Aero Car itself has only been in commission since the early 20th century, the whirlpool itself has been a draw in this area since the 1800s. People would come from all over the region to witness the tremendous swirling power of the pools of water that formed at the bottom of the falls, a result of erosion in the Niagara Escarpment. The water that flows from the falls is filtered into the Great Gorge, which quickly becomes what's known as the Niagara Whirlpool Rapids. This vortex continues on even further before eventually emptying out into Lake Ontario. While it might look like fun to attempt these rapids with a white water rafting trip, a person would have no chance - the sheer power of the swirling vortex would overturn and drag down anyone in a matter of seconds.

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Niagara Aero Car Details

The Aero Car over Niagara Falls is open seasonally. During the winter, the conditions are too harsh for the cable car to be operational and it reopens this year (2022) during the first week of July. Visitors can purchase Aero Car tickets Monday through Friday and Sundays anytime from 11 AM until 7 PM, or from 10 AM through 8 PM on Saturdays. Admission prices are as follows:

  • Adults (13+): $17
  • Children (6-12): $11.25
  • Infants (under 5): Free

*Prices are in Canadian dollars and these prices also do not reflect applicable tax, which is 13%. 

Niagara Jet Boat Tours

The safest way to see the rapids up close is by hiking in the area surrounding or signing up for a jet boat tour. These jet boat rides last a total of 45 minutes and the boats themselves are powerful enough to withstand the force and current of the rapids below. Visitors to the falls can register from the U.S. or Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and travel from the Niagara Gorge into the Niagara Whirlpool. Similar to the Aero Car, though, this experience is also not necessarily for the faint of heart - it's an incredible way to see the whirlpool up close, but definitely for those who are truly adventurous.

Niagara Whirlpool Observation Deck

For those looking to observe the whirlpool from a slightly less thrilling vantage point, the observation deck is open all year-round. This provides a stunning view of the falls below as well as the surrounding flora in Niagara.

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