facts & history in brief
Niagara Falls, city, in New York State, United States on the
Niagara River, opposite Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
It is a major tourist centre at the American Falls, and is part
of the New York State Niagara Reservation.
Niagara Falls is
one of the spectacular natural wonders of North America, about
halfway between Lakes Erie and Ontario on the Niagara River
forming part of the Canadian and United States border.
In 1745, the French built a fort on the site of the city.
In 1759, the British captured the region.
In 1806 Manchester,
US settlement of was founded here.
It was renamed Niagara Falls
in 1848, the Iroquois Indian word Onguiaahra, meaning the strait.
The Falls are illuminated with bright, coloured lights at night.
More than 12 million people visit Niagara Falls annually.
The Niagara River plunges into a deep gorge that extends for
about 11 kilometres, to Lewiston, New York.
Whirlpool Rapids are about 5 kilometres below the falls,
where the violent currents have carved a deep basin out
of the rocks.
85 per cent of the water flows over the
Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.
The 60 metres deep
gorge consists of many layers of different kinds of stone.
The top 25 metres is hard limestone, covering the softer layers
of limestone, sandstone, and shale.
The Cave of the Winds,
under the American Falls, is formed under an extended shelf of
The running water slowly erodes the soft
rock layers, causing the hard rock ledge to collapse.
Niagara Falls slowly moved about 11 kilometres back upstream
from about Lewiston gradually over many years.
The Horseshoe Falls wears away about 8 centimetres a year
because of the large amount of water flows over it.
Niagara Falls was formed about 12,000 years ago, after melting
ice caused Lake Erie to overflow to form the Niagara River
running northward over the Niagara Escarpment and forming
the Niagara Falls over the centuries.
The Iroquois Indians
lived in the Niagara Falls area before the arrival of the
(Niagara came from the Iroquois Indians'
Onguiaahra, meaning the strait.)
French explorer Robert
Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was the first European to see
Since the 1800's the falls were a
popular tourist attraction helping
the developments of the surrounding towns and districts.
In 1885, the New York state government
established the Niagara Falls Park,
covering about 174 hectares.
In 1886, Canada established Queen Victoria Park on 79 hectares
of land near the Horseshoe Falls.
More land has been
added to the parks over the years.
The appearance of
Niagara Falls changes all the time through the years.
There were major rock collapses over the years including
1931 and 1954 when many thousands of tons rock was
The United States and Canadian governments
control the amount of water may be divert for hydroelectric
For scenic reasons, the treaty states
that at least 2,800 cubic metres of water a second must
pass over the falls during daylight hours of the tourist
season and may be decreased to 1,400 cubic metres a second
at other times.
Niagara Falls city (US) is a major
hydroelectric power generator and the local industries
manufacture chemicals, machinery, forestry products,
and processed foods.
Niagara University is near the city.
Population about 70,000.
Hui Chin and I arrived in the early hours of the morning
by bus from Buffalo.
We joined a sightseeing tour
The tour included a major sightseeing
mainly on the Canadian side and a trip on the "Maid of
the Mist" boat going to the bottom of the falls, pretty
near under the cataract.
Got thoroughly wet!
Even though we were issued plastic raincoat before boarding.
Hands on experience!
A multicultural and multimedia experience!
I will explain these reckless over-statements.
It was a brilliant sunny day, the wind was covering
half the Canadian Niagara Falls city with mist
from the falls.
There were many, many people from many,
many different countries, screaming
in many tongues in excitement as we
got drenched by buckets full of
water, despite the sunny day and
There were hundreds
of rainbow all around us.
Noah must have experienced something similar I suppose.
Great viewing we have had from the Minolta Tower.
Although I have been here before,
this time it was much better.
We had a very good time, mainly on the Canadian side,
where the view is superior.
Hui Chin and I were visiting
the Iguazu Falls only 2-3 weeks before our visit to the
My opinion is....?!?!
I'm not sure.
The jury is still out on this.
On second thought, I would
say probably the Iguazu Falls.
What nearly 5 km of it?!
Yeh, I think Iguazu
will take the cake, and the gold medal.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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