Niagara Falls is one of the most recognisable and impressive waterfalls in the world. It is also one of the most famous monuments in Canada and a bucket list destination for nature lovers, around 13 million people visit each year. Apart from being visually and aurally spectacular, these powerful falls are really fascinating too. Intrigued? Here are some of the most interesting facts about Niagara Falls.
7 Interesting Facts About Niagara Falls
1. Niagara Falls is in Canada and America
Niagara Falls straddles Canada and the United States of America. On the Canadian side, the Falls are about an hour and a half from Toronto, Ontario. On the American side, Niagara Falls is less than a half hour’s drive from Buffalo, New York.
2. Niagara Falls comprises three different waterfalls
Niagara Falls is located on the Niagara River, which flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario (two of the five Great Lakes of North America). The Falls is made up of three waterfalls. The smallest of these is Bridal Veil Falls which is on the American side. Next in size is the American Falls, you can probably guess which side this is on. Finally, the largest is Horseshoe Falls, which is also known as the Canadian Falls, which, as the name suggests, is on the Canadian side.
3. Niagara Falls is a city in Canada and America
Niagara Falls is also the name of a city in Ontario, Canada. Confusingly, it is also the name of a city in New York, United States of America. There’s also Niagara Falls State Park, which you’ll find in the City of Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York, United States. This lays claim to being the oldest continuously operating state park in America. Over 8 million visitors explore Niagara Falls State Park annually. The park is home to Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls and you can also see a portion of Horseshoe Falls from here too.
4. Niagara Falls the largest waterfall in North America
Some 3,160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second. In the summer and autumn months, during peak flow, more than 700,000 gallons (2,649,788.25 litres) of water per second cascades over Niagara Falls. This makes Niagara Falls the largest waterfall in North America as measured by average flow rate. It is this incredible volume of water that makes Niagara Falls so impressive.
5. There is a Nikola Tesla statue at Niagara Falls
Since the mid-18th-century, engineers have harnessed energy from The Falls for hydroelectric power generation. Bonus Fact: Nikola Tesla designed the first hydroelectric power plant in Niagara Falls. This is why there is a statue of Tesla at the Falls. Nowadays, the power plants at Niagara Falls can produce around 4.9 million kilowatts of electricity, which is enough to power 3.8 million homes.
6. Niagara falls is 3,950 feet wide
Niagara Falls is not the widest waterfall in the world. The crest line of Horseshoe Falls measures approximately 2,200 feet wide (670 metres). The American Falls measures about 850 feet (260 metres) and the Bridal Veil Falls measures about 50 feet (15 metres). Together, the average width of Niagara Falls totals 3,950 feet (1,204 metres). For comparison, the widest waterfall in the world is the Khone Phapheng Falls in Laos with an average width of 35,376 feet (10,783 meters).
7. Niagara Falls is 165 feet tall
Niagara Falls is not the tallest waterfall in the world. The height of Niagara Falls is 165 feet (50 metres). This is nearly 20 times shorter than Angel Falls in Venezuela, which is the tallest waterfall in the world. Angel Falls has a height of 3,212 feet (979 metres).