Niagara Falls

The Horseshoe Falls, American Falls & Bridal Veil Falls

The Falls of Niagara have been renowned for their beauty and power for centuries. Kings and queens, dignitaries, the rich and famous and millions of tourists have travelled from around the world throughout history to catch a glimpse of the magnificent beauty of the Falls. This breathtaking natural wonder is truly one of the most spectacular waterfalls on the continent, and is one of the top tourist attractions in Canada bringing over 15 million people to the region every year.

The Horseshoe Falls or Canadian Falls , is 173 feet high and spans more than 2,600 feet across, making it the most impressive of the three. Many waterfalls are much taller than the Horseshoe Falls , however, it has far more water flowing over it. Approximately 6 million cubic feet of water flow over the great cataract every minute during peak daytime tourist hours, and this sheer volume of water is what makes the Horseshoe so impressive. Victoria Falls in Africa is the only other falls that carries more water than Niagara Falls .

The Falls serves as a major source of electricity for Ontario and surrounding areas. Ontario Hydro and the New York Power Authority make use of the Falls’ sheer power to create hydro-electricity. During the peak summer months the two companies have agreed to maintain the water’s flow at 100,000 cubic feet per second, however, during the evening hours the water flow rate is reduced to 50,000 cubic feet per second, allowing the companies to maintain the levels of water needed for hydro generation. During the months of November to April the flow of water is reduced to 50,000 cubic feet per second on a daily basis.

Scientists have proven that through the process of erosion the falls have retreated several miles south to their current location in the city of Niagara Falls . They have determined that the Falls were originally located in the towns of Lewiston New York and Queenston Ontario . Today with large amounts of water being diverted for hydro-electricity generation, the rate of erosion of the Horseshoe Falls has slowed considerably. It is estimated that the current rate of erosion of the Horseshoe Falls is less than one foot per year.

The American Falls are taller than the Horseshoe Falls at 182 feet, however, they are only about 1,060 feet wide. The Bridal Veil Falls also known as the Luna Falls is by far the smallest of the three, with a height of only 78 feet and a width of 56 feet. Luna Island separates the American Falls from the Bridal Veil Falls .