Niagara: Beautiful and Tacky, all at the same time.

I grew up in the suburbs west of Toronto, so the Niagara region has always been just a hop, skip and a jump away. My extended family lived far away in Alberta, and whenever they visited us, we would invariably head down to Niagara Falls to take in the sights.

The Falls are truly beautiful to behold. It doesn’t matter that Niagara Falls (the city) is tarted up, the streets lined with strange, carnivalesque attractions. It doesn’t matter that the area is a mecca for cross-border shoppers, or that casinos on both sides of the border cart in gamblers by the busload. It doesn’t matter that it looks like it’s trying to be a little Las Vegas North (at which it fails dismally).

Because no matter what you do to the city, you can’t wreck the Falls. To wit:

Niagara Fall, Canada

Niagara Fall, Canada – on a visit with my friend Liz in 2012

Beautiful! It’s loud and powerful. The mist makes it sort of mysterious (and provides the perfect atmosphere for rainbows). It’s stunning in every season, and even at night, when they bathe the Falls in light. Even with all the thousands of tourists that come to see the Falls daily (12 million people per year, apparently).

Photographs, frankly, hardly do it justice. It’s just so big and vast and loud and misty. I’ve been many, many times. And though my extended family members have all seen it by now, I have visitors come from abroad, and I love to have the excuse to visit again.

It also helps that Niagara Falls is about a half hour drive away from the much more picturesque city of Nigara-on-the-Lake. It has a lovely historic main street, beautiful gardens, the fabulous Shaw Festival theatres, and wineries. Lots of wineries.

And I’m happy to report that I have yet another excuse to visit the Falls next week. My cousin is coming into town on a 24-hour stopover with his wife (who has never seen the Falls) – and we’re going to watch waterfalls and drink wine. Perfect!

...with the grandparents.

…with the grandparents.

I’ll share pics from that trip in the next week or so. But until then, you can amuse yourself with photos from the late 1970s when we took my grandparents. I love my dad’s cool suede coat. I’m the one in bright yellow.


One thought on “Niagara: Beautiful and Tacky, all at the same time.

  1. Pingback: Niagara Part II – Still Beautiful in Winter | A Lens Full of Travel

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