Spend a Day In Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Falls, Ontario, is a city located on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. The city is situated on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, and is connected to its American counterpart, Niagara Falls, New York, by two international bridges.


Niagara Falls, Ontario, is home to the Horseshoe Falls, also known as the Canadian Falls, the largest of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls. 


The Horseshoe Falls is approximately 790 meters wide and 51 meters high, making it the most powerful waterfall in North America. During peak daytime tourist hours, more than 168,000 m3 (5.9 million cu ft) of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute.


Niagara Falls, Ontario, has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century, attracting millions of visitors yearly to witness its natural wonder. 


The area surrounding the falls has been developed with hotels, restaurants, and attractions, including the Niagara Parks system, which includes the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory.


In addition to its natural beauty, Niagara Falls, Ontario, is known for its hydroelectric power generation. The Niagara River provides a valuable source of hydroelectric power, with installations along the river providing more than a quarter of all energy used in Ontario.


History of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. The area was first inhabited by the Neutral people, an Iroquoian-speaking tribe, but their population was significantly reduced after attacks from the Haudenosaunee and Seneca. 


The Haudenosaunee people remained there until European contact in the late 17th century. The first European to visit the area was Louis Hennepin, a French priest and missionary who documented his journey in 1678. 


French colonists settled mostly in Lower Canada, but some settled in Niagara. The area was called Township Number 2 and Mount Dorchester, named after Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester.


During the American Revolutionary War, the British Crown made land grants to Loyalists to help them resettle in Upper Canada. 


This influx of settlers led to the town's establishment, which was initially named Elgin. Elgin merged with Clifton in 1856 and was renamed Niagara Falls in 1881. The town was incorporated as a city in 1904.


The city's early history was marked by significant events such as the Battle of Lundy's Lane in 1814, during which American forces advanced, and British forces defended the area. The battle is commemorated by a walking tour of key locations and museums.


The development of the rail system in the 1800s opened Niagara Falls to tourists, and it became a popular destination for honeymooners, including Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Jerome, who honeymooned there in 1804. 


The area's natural beauty and industrial potential led to the construction of hydroelectric power plants, which began operating in the early 20th century. Today, Niagara Falls is a major source of electricity for Ontario and a significant tourist destination.


Manufacturing, logistics, and information technology drive the city's economy. Notable points of interest include Queen Victoria Park, the historical museum at Lundy's Lane, and the Skylon Tower and Pavilion.


Geography of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Niagara Falls, Ontario, is located on the Canadian side of the Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. 


The city is situated on the Niagara Peninsula along the western bank of the Niagara River, which forms part of the Canada–United States border. On the other side is the twin city of Niagara Falls, New York.


The Niagara Region comprises two plains separated by the Niagara Escarpment. The Ontario Plain, located below the escarpment, has fertile sandy loam soil and a warmer climate due to Lake Ontario's moderating effects. 


The Erie Plain, situated above the escarpment, has clay soil and poor drainage. Niagara Falls combines three major waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls (the Canadian Falls), American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. 


Horseshoe Falls is the largest, with a height of approximately 167 feet (51 meters) and a width of 790 meters. The American Falls is 320 meters wide, while Bridal Veil Falls is the smallest.


The Niagara River, which forms the falls, has a total length of 58 kilometres and a drop of 99 meters between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The falls were formed by glacial activity about 10,000 years ago.


Demographics of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

The demographics of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, as of the 2021 Census, reveal a diverse population with various ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliations. Here are some key demographic insights based on the provided sources:

  • Population: In 2021, Niagara Falls had a population of 94,415, residing in 37,793 of its 39,778 private dwellings, showing a 7.2% increase from the 2016 population of 88,071.
  • Ethnicity: The city's population is diverse, with 20.9% being visible minorities, 3.5% having Indigenous ancestry, and 75.6% identifying as White. The largest visible minority groups include South Asian, Black, Filipino, Chinese, Latin American, and Arab.
  • Religious Affiliation: In 2021, 60.1% of residents identified with Christian denominations, with 33.2% being Catholic. The percentage of irreligious or secular residents increased to 30.9% from 22.5% in 2011. Non-Christian religions/spiritual traditions accounted for 9.0% of the population, with Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism being the largest groups.
  • Age Distribution: The median age in Niagara Falls is 45.0, with a male-to-female ratio of 1.1:1. The age groups of the population are distributed as follows: 0-14 years (13,895), 15-64 years (59,860), and 65+ years (20,665).
  • Language: Most of the population speaks English as their primary language, with French being spoken by a smaller percentage. Additionally, some residents speak Indigenous languages, other non-official languages, and multiple languages.
  • Country of Birth: Most residents were born in Canada, with smaller percentages born in America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.


These demographic details provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse population residing in Niagara Falls, Ontario, showcasing a blend of cultures, ethnicities, and religious beliefs within the city.


Economy of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

The economy of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is diverse and driven by several key sectors. Here are some key points about the economy:

  1. Tourism: Tourism significantly contributes to the local economy, with over $2 billion in annual spending. The region attracts over 13 million tourists annually, with many attractions, festivals, and events.
  2. Manufacturing: Niagara Falls has a strong manufacturing sector, which accounts for a significant portion of the region's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  3. Agribusiness: Agriculture is also an important sector in Niagara Falls, focusing on innovative agricultural technology and agribusiness.
  4. Commercial Retail: The city has a thriving commercial retail sector, with various shopping options and significant retail sales growth.
  5. Knowledge-Based Sectors: Niagara Falls is home to knowledge-based sectors such as smart factories, cutting-edge agricultural technology, and innovative warehousing and shipping solutions.
  6. Economic Development: The city has a dedicated economic development team that promotes investment and travel to the region, attracts and maintains jobs, and supports existing and new businesses.
  7. Unemployment and Participation Rate: Niagara Falls' unemployment rate is stable at 6.1%, compared to Ontario's 6.2%. The participation rate is lower at 61.3%, compared to 66.5% for Ontario.
  8. Housing Market: The housing market in Niagara Falls has seen a decline in prices, with a 16.5% fall in 2023, making it more affordable.
  9. Investments: Recent investments in the region include the Outlet Collection at Niagara ($178M), the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre ($62M), and the Meridian Centre ($50M).
  10. Economic Growth: Niagara Falls' economic growth has slowed after a strong pandemic recovery. The growth rate was 1.3% in 2023 and is expected to rise to 1.5% in 2024.


Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, has a diverse economy that strongly focuses on tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, and knowledge-based sectors. The city actively promotes economic development and supports local businesses to drive growth and job creation.


Education in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Several school boards and institutions provide education in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, offering a range of educational opportunities from elementary to post-secondary levels.


Elementary and Secondary Education

  • There are three public school boards in Niagara Falls: the District School Board of Niagara, the Niagara Catholic District School Board, and the French-language school boards Conseil Scolaire Viamonde and Conseil Scolaire Catholique.
  • The city has 137 elementary and 26 secondary schools, providing English, French, and French immersion instruction.
  • Education is compulsory from age 6 to 18 or until a secondary school diploma is obtained.


Post-Secondary Education

  • Niagara University in Ontario offers a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education (BPS) program accredited by the Ontario College of Teachers.
  • The University of Niagara Falls, Canada (UNF) is an innovative institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in biomedical sciences, business administration, data analytics, management, and digital media.


Continuing Education

  • Niagara Continuing Education offers a range of programs, including the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), Cooperative Education, Educational Travel, and Credit Courses.


Niagara Falls provides a diverse educational landscape, with options for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education and continuing education opportunities to meet the community's needs.


Transport System of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

The transport system in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is a comprehensive network of public and private services that cater to the needs of tourists and locals alike. Here is a detailed overview of the key components:


Public Transportation

  1. Niagara Region Transit (NRT) is a consolidated transit system that combines the services of Niagara Falls Transit, St. Catharines Transit, Welland Transit, and Fort Erie Transit. NRT operates seven days a week and offers reduced service on Sundays. The system includes regular bus routes, OnDemand, and specialized transit services.
  2. WEGO: WEGO is a state-of-the-art bus system that connects accommodations and tourist areas in Niagara Falls and Niagara Parks. It has three lines: the Blue and Red lines that serve the city's tourist areas and the Green line that runs through Niagara Parks. WEGO offers 24-hour and 48-hour passes for tourists.


Private Transportation

  1. Taxis: Several taxi companies operate in Niagara Falls, including Niagara Falls Taxi and 5-0 Taxi.
  2. Ride-sharing: Uber is available in Niagara Falls.
  3. Car Rentals: Niagara Falls has several car rental agencies, such as Enterprise, National, and Budget.
  4. Airport Shuttle Services: Niagara Air Bus Tours and Transportation provides airport shuttle services to Buffalo and Toronto.
  5. Long-Distance Bus Services: Greyhound Canada offers long-distance bus services across Canada.


Special Services

  1. Chair-A-Van: This paratransit service provides door-to-door transportation for people with disabilities.
  2. Niagara-on-the-Lake Shuttle: Starting in April 2024, this shuttle service will connect to WEGO bus services and offer one-way and round-trip tickets.


Tourist Services

  1. WEGO Niagara Falls Bus: This hop-on, hop-off visitor transportation system connects all Niagara Parks locations to hotels and other tourism areas. It is available for two days as part of the Adventure Pass.
  2. Tour Operators: Various tour operators in Niagara Falls offer guided walking tours, bus tours, private limo services, and Segway tours.


Overall, the transport system in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, offers a range of options for tourists and locals to get around the city and its surrounding areas.


Living in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Living in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, offers a unique blend of urban amenities and small-town charm. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Niagara Falls has a strong education system with three school boards: the District School Board of Niagara, the Niagara Catholic District School Board, and the Conseil scolaire du district catholique centre-sud.
  • The Niagara Health System (NHS) is a multi-site hospital amalgamation that serves 434,000 residents across the 12 municipalities of the Regional Municipality of Niagara.
  • Niagara Falls offers a variety of indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities, including parks, trails, and gardens for biking, hiking, and walking.
  • The city has a rich cultural scene with numerous museums, galleries, and festivals throughout the year.
  • Shopping in Niagara Falls includes themed boutiques, gift shops, and mainstream shopping centers like Niagara Square, Canada One Brand Name Outlets, and The Outlet Collection.
  • Niagara Falls hosts various events and attractions, including the annual New Year's Eve celebration, live theatre, and major entertainers.
  • Niagara Falls offers diverse housing options, from historic neighbourhoods to new subdivisions. Prices range from under $250,000 to over $550,000 for single-detached homes and $479,900 to $1,999,900 for condos.
  • Niagara Falls is located near Toronto and the US border, making it ideal for living and working.
  • Niagara Falls has a strong economic foundation anchored by tourism, manufacturing, commercial retail, and knowledge-based sectors.
  • While Niagara Falls offers many advantages, it has disadvantages, such as traffic congestion and parking challenges, which are common in popular tourist destinations3.


Healthcare in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Healthcare in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is provided by several key institutions and services:


Niagara Health System (NHS)

  • NHS is a multi-site hospital amalgamation that serves 434,000 residents across the 12 municipalities of the Regional Municipality of Niagara.
  • The Niagara Falls Site is one of NHS's locations, offering emergency and ambulatory care services.


Niagara Falls Community Health Centre

  • Provides primary healthcare to Niagara Falls residents, health promotion programs, and community development services.
  • Registered patients can access family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, dietitians and social workers.
  • It offers primary care, dental services, counselling, dietitian, health promotion programming, outreach support, COPD care, smoking cessation support, LGBTQ2+ support, occupational therapy, and kinesiologist.


Niagara Falls Public Health Office

  • Operated by the Niagara Region, this office is located at 7835 McLeod Rd. and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Other Healthcare Providers

  • Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, an independent regional medical center in Niagara Falls, New York, provides cardiovascular, women's health, bariatric weight loss and primary care services to patients across the Buffalo-Niagara region, Western New York, Ontario and beyond.


Niagara Falls residents can access various healthcare services, including hospitals, community health centers, public health offices, and specialized medical centers. The healthcare system serves the diverse needs of the local population.


Tourist places in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Here are some of the top tourist places to visit in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada:


Journey Behind the Falls

This attraction allows you to go behind the Canadian Horseshoe Falls for a close-up view of the powerful waterfall. Multiple observation decks and tunnels provide stunning vantage points.


Skylon Tower

Standing 520 feet tall, the Skylon Tower offers breathtaking views of the falls and surrounding area from its observation decks and revolving restaurant.


White Water Walk

Take a boardwalk along the edge of the Niagara Gorge and marvel at the class 6 white-water rapids of the Niagara River.


Niagara SkyWheel

Canada's giant observation wheel, the Niagara SkyWheel, stands 175 feet tall and provides panoramic views of the falls, the Niagara River, and the surrounding landscape.


Bird Kingdom

The world's largest free-flying indoor aviary, Bird Kingdom, is home to over 400 birds from more than 80 species, many of which fly freely in a rainforest setting.


Butterfly Conservatory

This indoor attraction features over 2,000 colourful butterflies fluttering among lush vegetation in an 11,000-square-foot glass-enclosed tropical garden.


Queen Victoria Park

This scenic park along the Canadian side of the Niagara River offers stunning views of both the American Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.


Other popular attractions include the Maid of the Mist boat tour, Clifton Hill entertainment district, Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, and the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve. 


With its iconic waterfalls, thrilling activities, and beautiful natural surroundings, Niagara Falls offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.


Local Food of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Some local food options in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, include:

  1. Local Cuisine: Niagara Falls offers a variety of dining options that showcase local flavours and ingredients. Visitors can enjoy dishes highlighting the region's culinary heritage, such as farm-to-table meals featuring fresh produce and locally sourced meats.
  2. Farm-to-Table Restaurants: Look for restaurants emphasizing farm-to-table dining, where ingredients are sourced directly from local farms and producers. These establishments often offer seasonal menus that reflect the best of the region's agricultural offerings.
  3. Wineries and Vineyards: Niagara Falls is in the heart of Ontario's wine country and is known for its vineyards and wineries. Visitors can explore local wineries and sample wines produced in the region, paired with local cheeses and charcuterie.
  4. Food Festivals: Look for food festivals and events in Niagara Falls that celebrate local cuisine. These events often feature food vendors, tastings, cooking demonstrations, and opportunities to sample various dishes unique to the region.
  5. Local Markets: Visit local farmers' markets and artisanal food shops to discover fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses, and other culinary delights from local farmers and artisans.


Niagara Falls offers a diverse culinary scene that celebrates local ingredients and flavours, giving visitors a taste of the region's rich food culture.


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