The Top Five Attractions To See On Your Niagara Falls Getaway
Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s top tourist attractions – and for good reason. This incredible natural wonder attracts 12 million visitors every year, as tourists flock to see the 3000 tons of water that makes its way over the Falls every second. It’s an incredible show by Mother Nature, and worth adding to your travel bucket list.
When planning your tour from Toronto to Niagara, what you might not know is that there are a number of attractions in the area that are also worth a visit while you’re stopping in. Below, we’ve listed the top five attractions to see on your Niagara Falls Getaway.
The Horseshoe Falls
The first, and most obvious, thing you have to see while on your tour of Niagara is the Horseshoe Falls themselves. Canadians will always make a point of letting you know that the Horseshoe Falls, the most famous view in Niagara, flow into their side of Lake Erie. With a much smaller population, the country is quite proud of the fact that nine times more waterfalls into its side of the falls than the American portion.
With a 57-metre drop for hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, the view of the Falls is nothing short of spectacular during the daytime. The water is known to create beautiful rainbows on sunny days, and at night the Falls are lit from behind by a huge system of energy-efficient LED coloured lights – an amazing view no matter what time of day you see this natural phenomenon.
While you can enjoy the view of the Falls from an observation area at the top, one of the best ways to get up close and personal is to take a boat tour with Hornblower Cruise Lines (included as part of your trip). The catamarans used by Hornblower go right up to the face of the Horseshoe Falls – you really couldn’t get closer if you tried, so wearing the complimentary poncho is highly recommended.
We’re proud to say that Niagara Toronto Tours has exclusive rates with Niagara Helicopters, offering our guests an even more affordable way to see the Falls up close if they choose to add this activity to their tour of Niagara.
This really is one of the most breathtaking ways to experience the Falls. The helicopter model, an Airbus H130, has panoramic windows, and with only eight other passengers on board you get a truly personal experience while flying over the grand Horseshoe (you can also listen to an audio guide, available in 12 different languages, during your trip).
The tour takes guests on a journey that will have them hovering 2500 feet above the Falls, showing off both sides of the Canadian-American border. You’ll also get to fly past the Niagara Whirlpool and Rapids, the Rainbow Bridge, the Skylon Tower and Queen Victoria Park, among other amazing attractions in the Niagara region.
As a bonus, all guests can partake in the tour’s aerial photography service, and take home studio-quality 10×15 prints of photos taken during their tour (you can even take the digital versions home on a USB.) You’ll also get a certificate signed and dated by your pilot, notarizing your helicopter journey over the Falls.
The amount of water making its way over the Falls, and the incredible power it generates as it flows, created another amazing natural phenomenon over the course of thousands of years due to water erosion. As water from the Niagara Falls flows from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, this transition point marks the site of the Niagara Gorge, an incredibly beautiful canyon-like formation not far from the Falls themselves.
A visit to the Gorge is included as part of your Niagara to Toronto tour, and all guests get the chance to see this natural wonder from the observation platform located above the Gorge. This vantage point offers an incredible view, as well as a look at the region’s geographical history – the lines in the Gorge point out the different geological eras of Ontario, a long history that can be traced through millions of years of development.
Niagara Whirlpool and Rapids
While taking a look at the breathtaking Gorge, you’ll have the opportunity to see two other amazing sites of nature. The Niagara Gorge happens to be home to the world’s largest whirlpool, which is created by the water flowing from the Falls being forced to make a sharp turn as it enters and then exits this particular spot in the river.
Not far from the Whirlpool are the infamous Niagara Rapids, classified at the highest possible level of danger that can be assigned to white water rapids. At this spot in the river, the water moves at a speed of 47 kilometres, or 29 miles, per hour.
There’s a ton of natural history in the Niagara region, but as an added bonus to your tour from Toronto, you may wish to take in a bit of the human history of the area as well.
Queenston Heights was the site of a famous battle during the War of 1812, during which Major-General Sir Isaac Brock led his British troops to victory over the American army. Brock unfortunately lost his life on the battlefield that day, which is why you will find an impressive monument to the military leader at this site in Niagara. As the War of 1812 progressed, Queenston Heights would play an important role in how events unfolded over the next two years for the British army.
There is also another famous monument to take in while you’re here – one that pays tribute to Laura Secord, a British loyalist who warned the army about a planned ambush by the Americans. Her efforts helped the British win the Battle of Beaver Dams, and she’s since become a celebrated figure in Canadian history.
While you’re here, you should also note that this site offers a wonderful view of the Niagara River Valley – take a moment to soak that in as well while you’re visiting this quiet spot.
Planning Your Visit
You can see all of the sites above during your trip as part of a Niagara Day tour from Toronto, as well as several others. Start planning your journey – summer is the perfect time to pay the Niagara region a visit!