Though the Niagara Falls are considered to be one of America’s natural beauties, we forget that these waterfalls happen to stand right on the border between the United States and its neighboring country of Canada. So by that logic, the Niagara Falls are also one of Canada’s natural wonders. As a result, there is much interaction between both sides as Canadians and US citizens come to Niagara Falls to revel in its beauty whether it’s from a distance or up close. But like many other places in the world, Niagara Falls gets packed with tourists every year (though usually during the summer).
So the border patrol is fairly loose when it comes to people who are going between the US and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls, though it’s still required to have one’s papers on hand for security reasons. But with that said, which side is better? Objectively, this isn’t an easy question to answer. Because it largely depends on one’s personal opinion from past experiences as well as what kind of experience one hopes to have at Niagara Falls. For instance, while the US side is quieter and more nature-oriented the Canadian side is more crowded but it’s got more venues to offer by comparison.
25 Many Tour Operators
While the US side of Niagara Falls has its fair share of them too, there are arguably more tour operators on the Canadian side by comparison. Apart from the usual things like bus and boat tours, there are also different tour vehicles available. These range from fancy rides like limousines and exotic cars to simpler ones like Segways and rental bikes. There are even brewery and vineyard tours available, since Niagara-on-the-Lake has many wineries that are popular apart from its historical buildings. Then as the above picture indicates, scenic tours from the air are possible as well.
24 Seasonal Fireworks
While America certainly prides itself on fireworks due to its ties with the Revolutionary War and the subsequent patriotism that comes with it, it’s not the only country in the world that indulges in them. After all, they were invented by China and are used there for celebrations such as the Chinese New Year which takes place at a different time from the New Year that was celebrated not long ago. Canada, on the other hand, seems to like fireworks for entertainment purposes as they are “Scheduled at various times throughout the year” at Niagara Falls as stated by Travel2Next.
23 Near a Historic Town
Though the falls are obviously the main goal of every tourist who comes there, some like to check out what’s nearby depending on how interesting it is. For the Canadian side, one of the more popular destinations that’s close to the Niagara Falls is the town Niagara-on-the-Lake. Resting a little ways north of the falls, this place is primarily known for its historical importance. While it was “The first provincial capital of Upper Canada,” according to Travel2Next, there are also several locations of historic importance such as Fort George which “Was involved in the War of 1812”.
22 A Screaming Tunnel
For fans of urban legends and spooky places, the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls has this little out-of-the-way place to offer. Located beneath the railroad tracks, it was originally used by local farmers to safely move their livestock and other animals beneath it. Yet this place sits abandoned now due to the rumor that it’s “Haunted by the ghost of a girl” whose life was taken inside the tunnel itself Roadtrippers says. Thus, most people tend to avoid going into the tunnel because supposedly one can hear the ghost’s screams by lighting a candle in there.
21 The Home of a Prophet
Despite its disorienting nature, the Upside Down House takes five to ten minutes to navigate thus making it a quick stop. Prophet Isaiah's Second Coming House, on the other hand, has a bit more to offer. History-wise, it belongs to Isaiah Henry Robertson who renovated it into its present form. The reason behind this, according to Roadtrippers, is that he supposedly heard God tell him “The world was ending” with Niagara Falls at its epicenter so the house’s bright coloring would serve as a beacon for wayward souls. Though the apocalypse didn't happen, it’s now a free tourist attraction.
20 Paved Trails
Due to the lack of paved roads on the US side since it’s in a park, it’s easy to assume that the trails aren’t paved either. Now for most people, this is not really an issue. But for the elderly or the physically disabled, it can be tricky depending on the roughness of the trail as well as the length of it. Fortunately, the Canadian side has paved trails as shown in the above picture that are pretty wide. This in turn makes it “Easier to navigate for those with strollers, wheelchairs or other mobility issues” according to Kaleidoscopic Wandering.
19 Conservatory of Butterflies
For those interested in more than just flowers, there’s always the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. As its name implies, this is basically a botanical garden that houses a variety of butterflies for people to admire up close. Then depending on what time of year one decides to drop by, it’s possible to witness a butterfly “Emerge from their cocoon” Travel2Next says. An amazing phenomenon of nature, it’s incredibly rare to witness in person but definitely worth seeing. Plus, it’s a nice place to go to “During winter or spring” as claimed by Travel2Next since Canada gets pretty cold around then.
18 A Tour Boat that Traverses through the Rapids
Known as the Niagara Whirlpool, this natural occurrence happens right along the Canada and US border and is said to be quite deep. While most people are content with admiring it from a safe distance, a few daring souls have been tempted to see it up close. Fortunately, there is a safe way to do this in the form of the Whirlpool Jet Boat. Considered to be “The ultimate challenge” Travel2Next says, this boat has the capability of traversing the Niagara River's toughest rapids including the infamous “Devil’s Hole” ones. With that said, it's only available on the Canadian side.
17 A House Built Upside Down
As the above picture shows, this is a real thing and not some kind of optical illusion. Considered to be “The oddest attraction in the area” as claimed by A World to Travel, it really is a house that has been purposely designed to be facing in an upside down direction. Now for those skeptical few who think it’s only the exterior that’s upside down and not the interior, prepare to be proven wrong! According to Roadtrippers, “Everything on the inside of the house is upside down too” thus making it a disorienting experience for anyone who does enter it.
16 Able to Walk Close to the Rapids
When it comes to scenic walks along a river, we all have our preferences for what we expect out of it. But arguably, nothing is more thrilling than seeing rapids in action while walking only a few feet from them. Such a walk is possible on Canada’s side of Niagara Falls which is appropriately called White Water Walk, since white’s the color that a river or stream takes when it passes over shallow areas with jagged rocks that have barely eroded thus creating rapids. Of course, the path also “Showcases natural surrounds beside the raging river” as stated by Travel2Next.
15 An Aero Car that Goes Over the River
One of the oldest attractions that Canada has to offer on its side of the Niagara Falls, the Whirlpool Aero Car was and still is quite a marvel. As the above picture shows, Travel2Next says the aero car “Crosses the great Niagara Gorge and offers unparalleled views of the whirlpool” that lies a short ways down from the falls. Though the aero car operates seasonally, it looks worth doing if one has the chance to do so. Apart from the whirlpool, it also gives one a “Bird’s-eye view of the crazy jet boats” that speed by below Travel2Next says.
14 The Chance to go Behind the Falls
Though it may be fun to admire the Niagara Falls from the outside, imagine what going behind it would be like? Luckily, Canada’s side offers a way in the form of the Journey Behind the Falls tour. As the name implies, this takes tourists “Down to see the catacombs that weave behind the Horseshoe Falls” Travel2Next says. Granted, the Horseshoe Falls are just one of three waterfalls that make up the entire Niagara Falls but it’s still an amazing sight to see. Plus, it’s hard to “Forget the rush and gush of six million cubic feet of water” Travel2Next adds.
13 A Lot of Souvenir Shops
Because Niagara Falls is within the boundaries of a state park in New York on the US side, according to Kaleidoscopic Wandering, there’s not a lot of development in terms of buildings or roads. By contrast, the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls is a lot more commercial with all kinds of buildings and souvenir shops nearby. This includes the one in the above picture, which is ironically called Souvenir City. The reason for this is because Niagara Falls is not part of any state park in the province of Ontario, Canada, despite having “Relatively sparse landscape” Kaleidoscopic Wandering says.
12 Hotels that are Close to the Falls
While America and Canada both offer a variety of hotels to stay at which are close to Niagara Falls, the latter country arguably has more hotels on its side than the former. Plus, a lot of them are right next to the falls themselves such as this Hilton in the above picture with its towering buildings that presumably offer nice views further up. But of the hotels that Canada offers, there is one of note called Sheraton on the Falls. Apart from the views it is “Connected to a casino, as well as an indoor water park” Oyster.com says.
11 More Forms of Public Transportation
Before we discuss the things that Canada has to offer on its side of the Niagara Falls, let’s talk about the ways in which to get there. While Canada has one major city that’s close to Niagara Falls (namely Toronto) as opposed to the two on the US side, which are Buffalo and New York City, there are arguably more options in terms of public transportation on the Canadian side compared to the US one. Apart from the VIA Rail, Canada’s equivalent to the Amtrak train, “There is also a GO Train and a Go Bus” according to Kaleidoscopic Wandering.
10 Lots of Benches
As is expected with paved sidewalks or trails in general, there are benches to accommodate those who either need to sit down after a long period of walking or would like to admire the view. Now given that it’s the Niagara Falls, there are many possible vantage points to see it from. This applies to both the US and Canadian sides, though Canada’s got “Plenty of benches” Oyster.com states probably due to the paved sidewalks it has. Plus, as the above picture shows, there are a lot of nice views of the Niagara Falls no matter where one sits.
9 A Park Full of Flowers
Compared to the rest of the year, some things are better to see at certain times than others. For instance, the fireworks that can be seen on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls are arguably prettier during the summer since they’re projected out over the waterfalls themselves. The same can be said for Niagara Parks which has plenty of flowers that bloom in the spring. Yet the main reason people come here is the Floral Clock, which is said to have “19,000 springtime flowers” Travel2Next states. Apart from having actual ringing chimes, the pattern does change on a seasonal basis.
8 Wax Museums
As far as tourist attractions are concerned, wax museums are certainly one of the oldest forms of it. While some may consider them to be old-fashioned and/or downright creepy due to the life-like nature of the figures themselves, they’re apparently still popular in places like Canada. At Niagara Falls alone, there is not one but four different wax museums available on the Canadian side. For instance, the one featured in the above picture contains “Over seventy rock and roll icons” in wax figure form as stated by Roadtrippers. So fans of rock music might enjoy this place.
7 Haunted Houses
Depending on how easily scared one gets, haunted houses aren’t for everyone. Though most of them operate during the weeks leading up to Halloween, there are some that are open all year round. One such example is the haunted house shown in the above picture, which is known as the Nightmares Fear Factory. Considered to be “One of the scariest haunted houses in North America” as claimed by Roadtrippers, it’s open to adults and children alike. Now a feature that makes it unique to other haunted houses is “An automatic camera that photographs the reactions of spooked people” Roadtrippers says.
6 An Amusement Park with a Ferris Wheel
While it may be debatable about which side of the Niagara Falls is better, one can’t deny that Canada has an entire amusement park on its side while the US one doesn’t. Known as Clifton Hill, it’s got some of the attractions discussed thus far in the article including Nightmares Fear Factory and the Rock Legends Wax Museum as well as many others. Apart from some classic amusement park rides, Clifton Hill’s even got its own Ferris wheel (as seen in the above picture). Officially known as the Niagara SkyWheel, it’s considered to be “Canada’s largest observation wheel” Travel2Next says.
5 Multiple Casinos
Though gambling is restricted to the state of Nevada and several Reservations across the United States, this is not the case in Canada. Since 1969, “The Criminal Code was changed to allow the provinces and territories to raise funds for worthwhile causes through regulated lotteries” according to TripSavvy which came to include other forms of gambling. So thanks to a change in Canada’s laws, there are many casinos throughout the country including two near Niagara Falls. Yet Travel2Next claims “Fallsview Casino Resort is the preferred place due to its shops, entertainment, and restaurants” which is shown in the above picture.
4 Various Restaurants
Apart from the rides and the attractions, Clifton Hill has also got plenty of restaurants available including some familiar chains such as Burger King (as shown above). But when comparing it to the ones in the US, this one at least looks distinct from the outside even if the food isn’t. Though for people who want a more unique dining experience, there are places like the Flying Saucer Restaurant which not only looks like a UFO from the outside but also the interior resembles a spaceship. Plus, “They have a reputation for serving great food” A World to Travel states.
3 A Revolving Tower
Walking along the Niagara Falls can be exhausting, especially on the Canadian side. So naturally, we might want to get above ground and admire the falls from a distance. While the US side doesn’t really have anything of that nature, Canada does have the Skylon Tower on hand. Dating back to the sixties, this place allows people to get spectacular views of Niagara Falls from a revolving observation deck at the top after riding on a yellow elevator (which isn’t visible in the above picture). It’s also possible to “Go to a nice buffet dinner” up there according to WanderWisdom.
2 A Scenic Bike Route
For those who own bikes, it might be nice to check out the Niagara Falls by cycling along its trails. This is especially the case for the Canadian side, due to all the paved paths it has whereas the US side doesn’t have many by comparison. But even if one doesn’t own a bike, “Bike rental companies” are available on the Canadian side as stated by Travel2Next. Plus, there are a multitude of scenic routes that one can take. For instance, there is the Niagara River Recreation Trail which “Connects from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake” Travel2Next states.
1 A Better View of the Falls Themselves
Now regardless of where one is born, whether it’s Canada or the United States, the main reason anyone visits Niagara Falls at all is the falls themselves. But when it comes to which country offers the better views, most seem to agree that honor goes to Canada. This is largely due to the fact that, “There is a long, clean view of the massive falls from the Canadian side” according to Kaleidoscopic Wandering. So one could argue that the view is more spectacular compared to the US side. Thus, “Canada drew the long straw in this respect” Oyster.com concurs.
Resources: kaleidoscopicwandering.com, oyster.com, wanderwisdom.com, aworldtotravel.com, travel2next.com, maps.roadtrippers.com, tripsavvy.com