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Niagara Falls, Canada

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Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara Falls
City of Niagara Falls

Skyline of Niagara Falls, Ontario
Nickname(s): The Honeymoon Capital of the World, the Falls

Location of Niagara Falls in the Niagara Region
Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
Location in Ontario

Coordinates: 43°07′N 79°04′W / 43.117°N 79.067°W / 43.117; -79.067Coordinates: 43°07′N 79°04′W / 43.117°N 79.067°W / 43.117; -79.067

Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Region Niagara
Incorporated June 12, 1903
 • Mayor Jim Diodati
 • Governing body Niagara Falls City Council
 • MP Rob Nicholson
 • MPP Kim Craitor
Area[1] [2]
 • Land 209.71 km2 (80.97 sq mi)
 • Urban 382.68 km2 (147.75 sq mi)
 • Metro 1,397.50 km2 (539.58 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1][2]
 • City 82,997 (Ranked 65th)
 • Density 395.8/km2 (1,025/sq mi)
 • Urban 308,596 (Ranked 12th)
 • Urban density 545.02/km2 (1,411.6/sq mi)
 • Metro 390,317 (Ranked 12th)
 • Metro density 279.3/km2 (723/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal Code L2E,L2J,L2H,L2G
Area code(s) 905, 289, 365

Niagara Falls (/nˈæɡrə/ ) is a Canadian city on the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario, with a population of 82,997 at the 2011 census.[1] The municipality was incorporated on June 12, 1903. Across the Niagara River is Niagara Falls, New York.

The city is dominated by the Niagara Falls, a world-famous set of three large waterfalls on the Niagara River and benefits from the fact that both falls, the American and Horseshoe, can be best seen from the Canadian side of the river, thus giving the city one of the major tourist attractions of the world. The natural spectacle brings in millions of tourists yearly. The city permitted the development of a tourist area along the falls and the gorge. This area which stretches along the Niagara Parkway and tourist promenade is particularly concentrated at the brink of the falls and, apart from the natural attractions along the river, includes huge parking lots, souvenir shops, observation towers, high-rise hotels, casinos and theatres, mostly with colourful neon billboards and advertisements. Further to the north or south there are golf courses alongside historic sites from the War of 1812.


The Niagara Falls area has seen continuous settlement since the 17th century, first by the Iroquois and then by Europeans who were drawn to the immense falls. Louis Hennepin, a French priest, is regarded as the first European to visit the area in the 1670s.

Tourism started in the early 19th century and has been a vital part of the local economy since that time. As well as the obvious attractions of the falls, Niagara Falls markets itself as a honeymoon destination and is self-proclaimed as the honeymoon capital of the world.

In 1856, the town of Clifton was incorporated. The name of the town was changed to Niagara Falls in 1881. In 1882, the community of Drummondville (located near the present day corner of Lundy's Lane and Main Street) incorporated itself as the village of Niagara Falls. Thus there were two municipalities named Niagara Falls at the time (with the village being referred to as Niagara Falls South to differentiate it from the town). In 1904, the town and village finally amalgamated to form the City of Niagara Falls.

In 1882, Oscar Wilde visited Niagara Falls after lecturing in Buffalo, NY. He stayed at the Prospect House.

In 1953, Marilyn Monroe filmed Niagara, a major event for the city.

In 1962, the city amalgamated with the surrounding Stamford Township, resulting in a doubling of population.

With the creation of a Niagara regional government in 1970, the city absorbed the village of Chippawa, Willoughby Township and part of Crowland Township, creating the present-day municipal boundaries.

The city's official historian is Sherman Zavitz, who gives regular radio broadcasts on many aspects of Niagara's history.[3]

Geography and climate

Niagara Falls, Ontario is 130 kilometers (81 mi) from Toronto by road. The area of the Niagara Region is 1800 square kilometers (718 sq mi). The city sits at 43°7′N 79°4′W / 43.117°N 79.067°W / 43.117; -79.067.


The city is built along the Niagara Falls waterfalls and the Niagara Gorge on the Niagara River which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.


The city of Niagara Falls experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) which is moderated to an extent in all seasons by proximity to water bodies. Winters are cold, with a January high of −1.0 °C (30.2 °F) and a low of −7.9 °C (17.8 °F).[4] However, temperatures above 0 °C (32.0 °F) are common during winter.[4] The average annual snowfall is 162 centimetres (64 in), in which it can receive lake effect snow from both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Summers are warm to hot with a July high of 27.2 °C (81.0 °F) and a low of 16.7 °C (62.1 °F), with temperatures above 30 °C (86.0 °F) occurring on 13 days per year.[4] The average annual precipitation is 970.2 millimetres (38 in), which is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year.

Climate data for Niagara Falls
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.2
Average high °C (°F) −0.4
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.1
Average low °C (°F) −7.8
Record low °C (°F) −26
Precipitation mm (inches) 75.6
Rainfall mm (inches) 27.8
Snowfall cm (inches) 47.7
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 14.4 11.4 11.3 12.6 13.5 11.3 10.9 10.8 11.2 13.0 13.0 13.4 146.6
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 5.0 4.5 7.2 11.6 13.4 11.3 10.9 10.8 11.2 13.0 11.1 7.7 117.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 9.8 7.7 5.0 1.6 0.08 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.4 6.6 33.2
Source #1: Environment Canada (normals 1981–2010, extremes 1981–2006)[5]
Source #2: Environment Canada (extremes for Niagara Falls 1943−1995)[4]


Niagara Falls neighbourhoods

Business and tourist centres


With a plentiful and inexpensive source of hydroelectric power via the waterfalls, many electro-chemical and electro-metallurgical industries located there in the early to mid-20th century.

Industry began moving out of the city in the 1970s and 80s because of economic recession and increasing global competition in the manufacturing sector. Tourism increasingly became the city's most important source of revenue. Generally speaking, Niagara Falls, Ontario is a more popular destination than Niagara Falls, New York, in part due to the better view of the falls from the Canadian side of the river, combined in the past with a favourable exchange rate when comparing Canadian and U.S. currencies, and a greater focus on tourism. Also, Ontario's legal drinking age of 19, in comparison to a legal drinking age of 21 in the U.S., attracts 19- and 20-year-old potential alcohol consumers from across the border.

In the mid-1990s, the Ontario government introduced legal wagering to the local economy with Casino Niagara. The late 1990s witnessed an economic boom as numerous luxury hotels and tourist attractions were built. The first casino was followed in 2004 by the larger Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. Upon launching, the casino business was successful in attracting American tourists due to the then lower Canadian dollar. The presence of these casinos has made Niagara Falls the "Las Vegas of Canada". The casino business is still very successful, but now competes with the new Seneca Niagara Casino on the American side. Closer to parity, currency has not seriously affected tourism due to the difference in overall offerings between the two countries, with Niagara Falls, Ontario having more attractions and a more vibrant downtown, compared with a prolonged economic downturn and an empty downtown in Niagara Falls, New York.

The recent development has been almost completely centred on the Clifton Hill and Fallsview areas. The Niagara Falls downtown (Queen Street) is undergoing a major revitalization process; this area is being developed into an arts and culture district. The downtown was a major centre for local commerce and night life up until the 1970s, when the development of the Niagara Square Shopping Centre began to draw away crowds and retailers. Since 2006, Historic Niagara has brought art galleries, boutiques, cafés and bistros to the street and includes the renovation of the Seneca Theatre.

On October 3, 2012, the Mayor of Niagara Falls officially opened the new Queen Street Downtown Park featuring a children's playground complete with soft artificial turf, benches, seating, beautiful landscaping and the Water Molecule sculpture which was created by Derek Costello in 1967. The Water Molecule was first displayed in front of City Hall but has been held in storage for the past few years. It has now found its permanent home only steps away from its original location.


Niagara Falls City Council consists of eight councillors and a mayor. City elections take place every four years with the last election held on October 25, 2010. Council is responsible for policy and decision making, monitoring the operation and performance of the city, analysing and approving budgets and determining spending priorities. Due to regulations put forward by the Municipal Elections Act 2001, elections are held on the fourth Monday in October except for religious holidays or if a member of council or if the mayor resigns.


Census Population % +/-
1881 2,347
1891 3,349 %42.7+
1901 4,244 %26.7+
1911 9,248 %117.9+
1921 14,764 %59.6+
1931 19,046 %29.0+
1941 20,371 %6.9+
1951 22,874 %12.3+
1961 22,351 %2.2-
1971 67,163 %200.2+
1981 70,960 %5.6+
1991 75,399 %6.3+
2001 78,815 %4.5+
2006 82,184 %4.3+
2011 82,997 %0.9+
Ethnic Origin Population
English 22,880
Italian 15,425
Scottish 13,910
Irish 11,200
French 8,710
Source: 2001 Census of Canada[6]

In 2011, the population of Niagara Falls was 81,300 persons, while the metropolitan area enumerated 422,805 people. The population of Niagara Falls is older than Canada in general in terms of age structure. Youths under 18 years of age number 19.3%. Some 7,715 (9.5%) inhabitants described themselves visible minorities (non-white/non-European) with the majority of those being Black, Chinese, Filipino and South Asian people.[7][8]

83.97% of Niagara Falls city residents self-identified with Christian denominations. The largest denominations consist of Catholic (41.99%), Protestant (36.80%), and 5.18% other Christian mostly Eastern Orthodox, 14.10% claimed no religious affiliation, while other religions (1.93%) including Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim accounted for the rest.[9]


Niagara Falls has one post-secondary institution in the city and another in the Niagara Region. Niagara is served by the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board which operate elementary and secondary schools in the region. There are also numerous private institutions offer alternatives to the traditional education systems.

Post secondary

High schools


Niagara Falls is also served by a growing library system composed of four branches,[11] with the main branch located in the downtown area.[12] It is visited by over 10,000 people weekly. An extensive online database of photographs and artwork is maintained at Historic Niagara Digital Collections.[13]

Sites of interest

The Niagara Falls, Ontario tourist district is mainly centred around the waterfalls. Much of the land adjoining the river is parkland under the jurisdiction of the Niagara Parks Commission. Many attractions based on the local natural environment have been created. The city of Niagara Falls has a number of additional attractions in close proximity but not related to the natural features, including casinos and entertainment complexes. One new attraction, located in the Table Rock Centre at the brink of the Horseshoe Falls, is called Niagara's Fury and is a representation of how the Falls were created. The attraction creates a simulated ice age environment where the visitor is able to feel rain and snow fall, as well as experience a rapid temperature drop. The Niagara Peninsula is also a significant wine-growing area, with winery tours and festivals becoming a significant area of growth in the local economy. The Canadian side of Niagara Falls has more attractions.

Falls observation related attractions

Niagara River and parkway attractions

Tourist sector entertainment



Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls, New York are linked to major highways in Canada and the United States respectively, with the Queen Elizabeth Way acting as a major artery between Toronto and Buffalo, New York. Highway 420 (along with Niagara Regional Road 420) connect the Rainbow Bridge to the QEW. The Whirlpool Bridge is located at the end of Bridge Street. The Niagara Parkway is a road operated under the Niagara Parks Commission which connects Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie via Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls formerly had King's Highways passing through the city. These included:

  • The original routing of Highway 3, (which later became Highway 3A,) which ended at the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge via River Road
  • Highway 8, which ended at the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge via Bridge Street
  • Highway 20, which ended at the Honeymoon Bridge and later the Rainbow Bridge via Lundy's Lane and Clifton Hill
  • The Queen Elizabeth Way followed Roberts Street and Newman Hill to the Rainbow Bridge—later renamed Highway 420

Regional airports

Shuttle bus services connect the city with all three airports.


  • Via Rail runs out of the Niagara Falls station, and in the summers offers a bike train service on a limited schedule.
  • Amtrak has trains connecting it to Toronto and New York City. As of the of summer 2009, Go Transit Started a pilot project providing weekend and holiday train service from Toronto to Niagara falls From Mid June to mid October.
  • GO Train runs seasonally between Toronto Union Station and Niagara Falls.


Cabs and shuttle buses

  • Buffalo Airport Shuttle is a reservation based shuttle that operates from the Buffalo Airport to and from Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Hamilton, and Toronto.
  • Niagara Livery Service is a taxi/limo company in Niagara.
  • 5-0 is a local cab service. A taxi shuttle provides transfers to airports from Buffalo, New York to Niagara Falls, Ontario and Toronto, Ontario.
  • Niagara Falls Taxi is a local taxi service from Buffalo, New York and Toronto, Ontario airports back to Niagara.
  • Elite Taxi is a local taxi service that provides regular and wheelchair accessible taxi service to and from Niagara Falls, ON. Specialists in airport transfers (Buffalo, Hamilton, Toronto, Niagara Falls, NY).


Niagara Falls is served by two main local newspapers, three radio stations and a community television channel. All other media is regionally based, as well, from Hamilton and Toronto.


Local newspapers are:

Due to its proximity to Hamilton and Toronto, local residents have access to the papers like The Hamilton Spectator, the Toronto Star, and the Toronto Sun.


The area is otherwise served by stations from Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo.


  • Cogeco is the local cable television franchise serving Niagara Falls; the system carries most major channels from Toronto and Buffalo, as well as TVCogeco, a community channel serving Niagara Falls.
  • CHCH-DT (VHF channel 11) from Hamilton, Ontario also serves the Niagara Region.

Television stations from Toronto and Buffalo are also widely available.


Sports teams of Niagara Falls
Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Niagara United SC Canadian Soccer League Soccer Kalar Sports Park 2010
FC Niagara Falls Srbija Niagara Falls Soccer League Soccer St. George Serbian Orthodox Church 1974
Niagara Falls Canucks Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Hockey Gale Centre c. 1971

The Niagara Stars of the defunct Canadian Baseball League played in Welland, Ontario and the Niagara IceDogs play in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Notable people


Further reading

  • Mah, Alice. Industrial Ruination, Community, and Place: Landscapes and Legacies of Urban Decline (University of Toronto Press; 2012) 240 pages; comparative study of urban and industrial decline in Niagara Falls (Canada and the United States), Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Britain, and Ivanovo, Russia.

External links

  • City of Niagara Falls
  • Template:-inline
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