Niagara Falls, Canada a natural world wonder welcoming millions of international visitors each year to experience the beauty and awe that stands 188 ft. high and flushes 681,750 gallons of water per second! Many visitors ask before travelling to the iconic destination, ‘Who made Niagara Falls’ and ‘Who Discovered this beauty?’ Niagara Falls, Canada is a destination that offers so much history that often leaves our visitors with their jaws wide open not believing the story that’s behind this ancient phenomenon.
GEOLOGY & HISTORY OF NIAGARA FALLS
It all started back 18,000 years ago when the Great Lake Basin and the Niagara River were formed from the 2 – 3 kilometers of ice that layered thick across the Southern Niagara Region. As the ice melted, areas formed gouges in the land creating lakes, and waterways. It was only 12,000 years ago that Niagara Falls became free of ice and pushing the ‘fossil water’ out that what became Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic Ocean. As there were five waterways from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, the route formed one creating the famous Niagara Falls. Many find it hard to believe that Niagara Falls once was located at the escarpment of Queenston and Lewiston, however it was time that the Falls continued a steady erosion pushing the rocks and body of water back to where visitors flock to today. Over 10,000 years ago through geological movements forced the change in water and land causing the glacier melts to be rerouted to Northern Ontario. The movement of the Falls will continue to erode 1 to 1.5 meters each year.
As time passed, 5,500 years ago the water was rerouted back to Southern Ontario giving the lakes and the mighty Falls the power and movement once again. Some say it lasted a few days while others say one week, but the geological movement intersected the riverbed and scoured the river bottom clean. What was left was a 90-degree turn in the Niagara River forming some of North America’s largest rapids known as the ‘Niagara Whirlpool’.
WHO DISCOVERED NIAGARA FALLS?
Many often asked who was the very first person to discover Niagara Falls? There are many speculations to this question as many believe it was the native Indians to the land o perhaps Father Louis Hennepin from the Spanish Netherlands who visited the destination in the winter between 1678-1679. Although some say the first to find the Falls was Samuel de Champlain who was a European Explorer who found the Falls in 1604.
His words: “…That there was a fall about a league wide and a large mass of water falls into said lake: that when this fall is passed one sees no more land on either side but only a sea so large that they have never seen the end of it, nor heard that anyone has…”WHAT NAME WAS GIVEN TO THE FALLS?
Niagara Falls believe it or not was once not referred to as its name to today, mighty Falls was derived from an Mohawk name, ‘Ongniaahra’. The name means, ‘Point of land cut in two’ also refers to the Iroquois town name
NIAGARA FALLS, TODAY
The past 100 years, Niagara Falls, Canada has transformed itself into a worldwide tourism destination offering hundreds of luxurious hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts and camp grounds, The destination offers thousands of exciting outdoor and indoor attractions and leisurely ones too. It doesn’t matter the time of year; visitors will flock to Niagara Falls within any of the four seasons to marvel at the beauty. The Falls has been a world wide attraction also welcoming thousands of royals and celebrities including Princess Diana, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and even Adam Sandler.
Visitors today continue to travel to Niagara Falls, Canada and view the falls from land and even on board the new boats with Niagara’s newest attraction (Hornblower Niagara Cruises). Visitors can experience the thrill of a lifetime on board the brand new 700-passenger catamarans that takes passengers as close as possible to feel the tingly mist on your face.
If you enjoying learning about the history of Niagara Falls, Canada then you will love our Souvenir Audio Guide that is available for purchase at the Hornblower Plaza upon arrival.
Step back in time and view images of Niagara Falls, Canada in its earlier years: https://www.flickr.com/photos/niagaracruises/sets/72157642008263654/