Niagara Falls is a Canadian city of 82,184 residents on the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of south-central Ontario. It lies across the river from Niagara Falls, New York, and was incorporated on June 12, 1903.
The city is dominated by Niagara Falls, a world famous set of two 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 presenting 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 River 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.
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.
With the creation of a Niagara regional government in 1970, the city amalgamated with the village of Chippawa and surrounding Willoughby, Crowland, and Stamford Townships, 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 .
|Niagara Falls climate normals from Environment Canada||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Avg. temp. (°C)||-4.5||-4.1||1||7.3||14||19.1||22.3||21.4||16.9||10.6||4.7||-1.4|
|Avg high temp. (°C)||-1||-0.5||5.1||12.2||19.3||24.2||27.2||26||21.3||14.7||8||1.9|
|Avg low temp. (°C)||-7.9||-7.7||-3.2||2.4||8.6||13.9||17.2||16.7||12.5||6.4||1.3||-4.7|
|Source: 2001 Census of Canada|
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 Orthodox, 14.10% claimed no religious affiliation, while minor religions (1.93%) including Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim accounted for the rest.
With a plentiful and inexpensive source of hydroelectric power via the waterfalls, many electro-chemical and electro-metallurgical industries located here in the early to mid-20th century.
Industry began moving out of the city in the 1970s and 80s because of recession and increasing global competition in the manufacturing sector. Tourism tightened its grip as the city's most important economic engine. It is a more popular destination than Niagara Falls, New York, in part due to the better view of the falls from the Canadian side. Also, Ontario's drinking age of 19 (compared to the 21 drinking age in the United States) attracts many 19 and 20-year-olds from the United States to the bars on the Canadian side.
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. However, with the United States Dollar now lower than parity, the Seneca Niagara Casino open on the American side, and a casino facility coming to Buffalo, New York, as well as impending passport requirements on the American side, the local tourist economy is not without potential problems.
The recent development has been almost completely centred on the Clifton Hill and Fallsview areas. The Niagara Falls downtown is undergoing a major revitalization process, this area is being developed into a 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 (mall) began to draw away crowds and retailers. In 2006, New York City based developer Aaron Lichtman proposed a major investment in the area to encourage new retail development; the proposal, titled Historic Niagara, remains dependent on government funding of complementary services. Since then Historic Niagara has brought art galleries, boutiques, cafes and bistros to the street and includes the renovation of the Seneca Theatre.
Niagara Falls has two post-secondary institutions as well 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.
From humble beginnings in 1983, the Winter Festival of Lights continues to enchant and delight the many wintertime visitors to Niagara Falls, Ontario. In its first year of operation, approximately 250,000 people and 35 motorcoaches visited the Winter Festival of Lights. Since then, the celebration has grown tremendously with attendance reaching 1.3 million visitors and over 1,000 motor coaches.
The success of the Niagara Falls, NY Festival of Lights, which began in 1981 inspired the Niagara Falls Canada Visitor and Convention Bureau (now Niagara Falls Tourism), the City of Niagara Falls, The Niagara Parks Commission and numerous local businesses to band together to create a parallel event. Unfortunately, the Niagara Falls, NY event was discontinued in the 1990s.
The tremendous growth of the WFOL has had a positive impact on the local economy. In fact, it was recognized in the 2003 Festivals and Events Ontario Economic Impact Survey as having the largest economic impact ($60+ million) of all festivals in Ontario.
Over the past several years, the Winter Festival of Lights has been recognized for its achievements by many organizations. Awards and recognitions in that time include:
• Attractions Canada - Award for Best Cultural Event (2002)
• WinterLights Celebrations Competition (winter version of Communities in Bloom) – Best Overall Tourism/Promotion Award (2005)
• WinterLights Celebrations Competition (winter version of Communities in Bloom) – Winner in the 50,000+population category - Niagara Falls (2006)
• Festivals & Events Ontario – Best Website and Official Printed Programme (2005); Best Merchandise/Souvenir Idea (2006); Best Newspaper Insert (2007); Best Overall Marketing Campaign (2006 & 2007) all in the $500,000+ budget category
• Festivals & Events Ontario – Top 50 Event (2005, 2006 & 2007) & Top 100 (2008)
• American Bus Association – Top 100 International Known Event (2007 & 2008)
• Niagara Falls Tourism Misty Award for Progressive Development (2007)
The Festival includes a calendar full of festive events, such as:
Disney’s® Beauty and the Beast December 1, 2008 – January 3, 2009 It’s the classic love story of Belle, a young woman in a small town, and the Beast, who is really a prince trapped in a spell placed on him by an enchantress. This world-class performance rivals any Broadway production you may have seen and is sure to enthrall!
Concerts at the Arena: Randy Travis, Debbie Reynolds, the Stars of Hee Haw November 30 - December 3, 2008
Niagara Falls Comedy Fest November 21 & 22, 2008 It features some of the best comedic talent around. Last year featured John Pinette, Brent Butt, Terry McGurrin, Winston Spear, Rodney Pentland and Mark Matthews.
Candy Cane Lane 5k Race & Fun Run November 23, 2008 The competitive 5k Race includes cash prizes for the top overall male and female runners and medals are awarded to the top male and female finishers in various age categories. Fun Runners may walk, run, use sleighs or skis – the goal is to have fun while enjoying the outdoors.
Fireworks over the Falls During the Winter Festival of Lights enjoy spectacular fireworks as they explode high over the mighty falls. Enjoy them from the comfort of your hotel's dining room, stay in for a romantic, room service dinner or visit one of the many restaurants found nearby.
Schedule: Saturday, November 8, 2008 * 6:15 & 8 PM (approx.) Friday, November 14, 2008 * 9 PM Friday, November 21, 2008 * 9 PM Friday, November 28, 2008 * 9 PM Friday, December 5, 2008 * 9 PM Friday, December 12, 2008 * 9 PM Friday, December 19, 2008 * 9 PM Friday, December 26, 2008 * 9 PM Wednesday, December 31, 2008 * 9 PM & MIDNIGHT (as part of the NYE Party) Friday, January 2, 2009 * 9 PM
Winter Festival Candle Light Stroll December 13, 2008 Enjoy the romance and magic of a candle light stroll along Queen Street in downtown Niagara Falls. Then join Victorian carolers and listen to the sounds of choirs, barbershop quartets, vocal ensembles, bell ringing choirs, and more. The event also includes a re-enactment of the Live Nativity Scene and a Christmas Storyteller. Bring the children for a visit on Santa’s knee, enjoy hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, and romantic horse & carriage rides.
25th Annual Festival of Lights Cheerleading Championships December 6 & 7, 2008 It is the longest-running Festival event and attracts teams from Michigan, New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario. The competition is judged by the Universal Cheerleaders Association with the top teams from the USA Divisions automatically qualifying for the US National Championship held at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Full event details can be found at www.wfol.com
The Niagara Falls tourist sector is centred around the waterfalls and follows the from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. As much of the land adjoined to the river is parkland under the watch of the Niagara Parks Commission many attractions based on the local natural environment have been created. To prolong visitor stays 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. 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.
Shuttle bus services connect the city with all three airports.
Niagara Falls is considered part of the Toronto television market rather than the Buffalo television market. While Niagara Falls is directly across the Niagara River from the American side of the Buffalo area, Toronto is an hour and a half northwest. However, it is considered part of the Buffalo radio market.
Local newspapers are:
|Niagara Falls Canucks||Golden Horseshoe Junior B Hockey League||Hockey||Niagara Falls Memorial Arena|| 1979 ||2|
|Niagara IceDogs||Ontario Hockey League||Hockey||Gatorade Civic Center|| 2007 ||2|
Search continues for girl, 12, missing in Niagara River ; Victim slipped from a rock into fast-moving current
Aug 14, 2008; A massive rescue effort continued late Wednesday as searchers using night-vision gear tried to locate a 12-year-old girl who was...