Interesting Facts About Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls: One Of The Natural Wonder Of The World

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Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful and attractive places around the world. It is truly a wonder of the mother of nature which attracts millions of tourists every year. It has been a popular tourist attraction for over 200 years. Niagara Falls is located on the Niagara River which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America. Niagara Falls is famed both for its beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. The word “Niagara” is derived from the Iroquois Indian word “Onguiaahra” meaning “the strait”.

Characteristics of Niagara Falls:

The famous Niagara Falls is located in Niagara River, North America; a 36 Mile (58 km) channel that connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The difference in elevation between the two lakes is about 325 feet (99 meters), and half of that height occurs at the falls. The Niagara Falls found at the border of New York, the United States and Ontario, Canada. The falls is actually made up of three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls (also known as the Canadian Falls), the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Horseshoe Falls is located on the Canadian side while the others are located in New York.


Height of Waterfall

Stretch Area

Horseshoe Falls – Canadian Side

167 Feet (51 m)

2700 Feet (823 m)

American Falls – New York

90-120 Feet (27.5 to 36.5 m)

940 Feet (286.5 m)

Bridal Veil Falls – New York

90-120 Feet (27.5 to 36.5 m)

45 Feet (14m)

Together, the average width of the entire falls is 3,950 feet (1,204 m).

The falls are 27 km (17 mi) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, and 121 km (75 mi) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Iguazu Falls also share Brazil and Argentina that is also a world-famous waterfall and tourist destination. Niagara Falls cover almost a land area of 212 sq. km. (81.9 sq mi). More than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 cubic meters), or about 70 Olympic-size swimming pools, of water, go over the falls every minute and the speed of water is around 25 mph. The deepest point in the Niagara River is just below Horseshoe Falls, at 167 feet (51 m) deep. Niagara Falls is not the tallest waterfall in the world; however, the beauty of the falls comes from the height and the incredible volume of water running over the falls at a given time. Niagara Falls Ontario Canada is known as the Honeymoon Capital of the world.

Interesting Facts About Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls was the largest hydropower facility in the Western World when the first hydroelectric project went live in 1961. It now produces a phenomenal amount of electricity for the US state of New York, around 2.4 gigawatts. There are several hydropower plants in and around Niagara Falls now, all producing electricity for America and Canada.

Interesting Facts About Niagara Falls:

  • The Niagara Falls are about 10,000 years old.
  • In October 1829, Sam Patch jumped from a high tower into the gorge below the falls and survived.
  • Englishman Captain Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the English Channel, drowned in 1883 trying to swim the rapids downriver from the falls.
  • On October 24, 1901, 63-year-old Michigan school teacher Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over the falls in a barrel as a publicity stunt.
  • The French built the first fort above Niagara Falls in 1679, known as Fort Conti. That fort only lasted for about a year.
  • The British captured Niagara Fort in 1759 during the French and Indian War.
  • The first man-powered ferry opened in 1820 to ferry passengers across the Niagara Gorge.
  • A canal to divert water from the river to power plants was built in 1861, and the first electric streetcar began operation in 1887.
  • Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in America, established in 1885 at the Niagara Reservation. The park covers more than 400 acres, which includes about 140 acres underwater.
  • Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse designed and built the first hydroelectric power plant in the world in 1895.
  • Power generation facilities along with the Niagara River supply more than one-quarter of all power used in New York State and Ontario.
  • The cities of Niagara Falls in New York and in Ontario were incorporated in 1892 and 1903, respectively
  • During periods of peak flow in the summer and fall, more than 700,000 gallons of water per second pour over Niagara Falls.
  • Four of the five Great Lakes drain into the Niagara River, (Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie) before emptying into Lake Ontario. These five Great Lakes make up almost one-fifth of the world’s freshwater supply.
  • The only recorded freeze-up of the river and falls was due to an ice jam on March 29, 1848. The years 1885, 1902, 1906, 1911, 1932, 1936, 2014, 2017 and 2019 are noted for partial freezing of the falls.
  • The flow over the American Falls was stopped completely for several months in 1969 just to determine the feasibility of removing a large amount of loose rock from the base of the falls to enhance its appearance.
  • The Minolta Tower rises 325 feet above the Horseshoe Falls. It is an observation tower that overlooks the Niagara Falls.
  • Skylon Tower rises 775 feet above the Falls. Skylon Tower, Ontario is an observation tower that overlooks both the American Falls, New York, and the Horseshoe Falls, Ontario, from the Canadian side of the Niagara River.
  • Hydro Electricity generated in Niagara Falls at the Sir Adam Beck 1 and Sir Adam Beck 2 power stations from redirected water flow serves the electrical needs of Southern Ontario and Western New York.
  • Until 1886, when the Statue of Liberty was erected, the Falls at Niagara was the symbol of America and the New World.
  • At Grand Island, the Niagara River divides into the west channel, known as the Canadian or Chippawa Channel, and the east channel, known as the American or Tonawanda Channel
  • The Chippawa Channel is approximately 17.7 km (11 m) in length and varies from 610 to 1220 metres (2,000 to 4,000 ft.) in width. Water speed ranges from 0.6 to 0.9 metres per second (2 to 3 ft. per second). This channel carries approximately 60% of the total river flow.
  • The Tonawanda channel is 24 km (15 m) long and varies from 460 to 610 metres (1,500 to 2,000 ft.) in width above Tonawanda Island. Downstream, the channel varies from 460 to 1220 metres (1,500 to 4,000 ft.) in width. Speed ranges from 0.6 to 0.9 metres per second (2 to 3 feet per second).
  • Excellent views of the falls are obtained from Queen Victoria Park on the Canadian side.
  • The Horseshoe Falls, which carry about 90 percent of the river’s discharge.
  • 3,160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second. This accounts for 75,750 gallons of water per second over the American Fall & Bridal Veil Falls and 681,750 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls.
  • The waterfalls at 32 feet per second over the falls, hitting the base of the Falls with 280 tons of force at the American Falls & Bridal Veil Falls and 2,509 tons of force at the Horseshoe Falls.
  • Niagara Falls is capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, which is shared by the United States and Canada.
  • The Niagara River ecosystems support many of New York State’s protected animal species, such as the Lake Sturgeon, Peregrine Falcon, and American Bald Eagle.

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