When Americans travel to eastern Canada of course the one thing they have on their bucket list is to visit Niagrara Falls. But is the Canadian side of Niagara Falls that much more impressive? After spending most of a day traveling around Niagara Falls Canada, I’m pretty sure it is, eh.
This early July, while on a seven-week road trip across almost twenty states and one Canadian province, we spent ten days in the Greater Toronto Area. (GTA) In my travel blogging opinion, Toronto is not a fun place to visit. Unless you like hockey, lots of freeway traffic and big ugly cities…With lots of freeway congestion. Love to holiday in hot and humid concrete jungles? Then GTA might be for you! But of all the touristy things to do in Toronto, visiting Niagara Falls Canada was number two on my list. Of course, betting on the ponies at Woodbine Racetrack was number one! And we had a glorious afternoon at Woodbine, despite the fact that my favorite Canadian jockey was hurt in the very first race of the day and had to sit out the rest of the card. This led to all of my research and handicapping for the day flying straight out the window but we still had a beautiful afternoon at Woodbine’s Stella Artois Turf Terrace. Many fun family memories were made.
Local family legend has it that my uncle’s great-grandfather went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Seeing God’s glory and all that towering water of the falls, it really seems like, how can anyone have survived that? I might chock that one up to an urban family legend. We might have old-school family drama on the southern side of the border but on our eight-week road trip, I choose to explore Niagara Falls Canada as opposed to upstate New York Niagara.
Niagara Falls is a gorgeous natural wonder but for the love of God, plan out your adventures ahead of time. Visiting touristy places is not my cup of tea whatsoever but when in Ontario, come on you just have to do it. If I traveled back to Niagara Falls Canada again I would do a few things differently.
Let’s go…To Canada
Contrary to what you may have heard, it’s just not couth to yell across the Niagara River, let’s go, Brandon, to the Americans on the other side. This may be a traditional United States greeting but it’s just not classy. Or so I was told.
If I had plans to visit Niagara Falls from the Canadian side to go back and do it again I would stay overnight so we could see the sunset at the falls. A full day at Niagara Falls would be great because this area is just so gorgeous, I would have loved to have done a few different hikes. On our very quick road trip to Niagara, Ontario we hiked the Niagara Glen Loop which was down by the river, very scenic. Watch for bear scat! There is bear scat everywhere. If you trek this in late July there are wild berries such as currants and raspberries blooming everywhere on the trail. Which was amazing as a wild berry forage was the only sustenance I had until one p.m. on this late morning! Vacation problems am I right? So many days we are just so busy having fun, there is no time to eat!
I did try to smuggle us out of this maple syrup-scented country (Canada) on our way to Niagara Falls. I just wanted us to experience sweating in God-awful humidity while partaking in the best hike at Niagara Falls. If you plan one hike while at Niagara Falls Canada, well this is that stunning hike you were looking for. It is in New York state though!
As scenic as the Niagara Gorge hike looked on paper, well, it turned out that the hike is actually in upstate New York. Opsy wopsy. My thoughts precisely as I attempted a U-turn in the middle of the Rainbow Bridge. I am the planner in my family and I usually plan out every bit of our vacation ahead of time but all the work and planning of a two-month road trip is starting to stack up and I’ve made a few tiny mistakes in the planning process. Like when I made a huge SNAFU by not realizing why no, you can’t bring an entire cocktail bar into Canada with you. Just a heads up when traveling to Niagara Gorge, yes this hike is in New York! You don’t want to be like me and pull a U-turn in the middle of the Rainbow Bridge. It was just a lil bit stressful. Bring your passports if you are headed to New York for this scenic hike! Don’t be like us, if you are crossing the border for this one.
As the planner in our family, can you believe I did not plan out in advance a dog-friendly restaurant in Niagara Falls? This is easier said than done as the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is the least dog-friendly city I have ever visited. Maybe because it is just so un-Godly hot and humid here in the summertime.
Luckily around one p.m., we were finally able to have a few appetizers which was actually breakfast at the Evergreen Inn outside of Hamilton. I had grand plans for us to have lobster and dim sum at Hot Lobster Dim Sum in Niagara Falls Canada, but it turns out they are closed on Tuesdays! This was a huge bummer as we rolled into Niagara Falls and realized they mainly had tasty chain restaurant choices like TGIFridays and Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville. I actually adore the almond chicken baked salad at TGIFridays but I didn’t drive four thousand miles cross country all the way to Toronto, Ontario to dine at a chain restaurant.
We made the wise decision to head into Niagara Falls early a.m. We would be out of Niagara Falls Canada before 1 p.m. to avoid the GTA traffic during rush hour.
- Plan to leave Niagara Falls to drive back to the GTA before 1 pm to avoid that rush hour traffic.
- Plan a restaurant stop outside of the falls area, otherwise, you are asking for low-quality food and overworked restaurant staff.
- Even on a Tuesday in the summertime there had to be over five thousand tourists taking selfies with the falls. This could be very overwhelming for a lot of pups so if you are traveling with a dog, like we were, just be aware.
- The Falls Incline Railway is awesome but if you bring a dog it has to be in a carrier. The parking is much easier if you park up near the Marriot and Main Street and take the incline railway down to the falls.
- The Whirlpool Arial Car also looked so scenic. Being that it was not really pup-friendly, it was however not a good choice for our family. But if I was going back without man’s best friend, I would definitely check it out.
- When you head back into GTA around the Hamilton area there is very little petrol available. We accidentally pulled into a diesel-only truck stop as my Jeep screamed at me your fuel is in the low range. Petrol now bitch! Fuel up before you head to Niagara Falls and you won’t have this issue.
Our family had an awesome quick getaway to Niagara Falls Canada. It was just stunning to see the falls in real life. If I could go back and do Niagrara again I would totally love to go in the autumn instead. The hiking trails and views must be phenomenal with all those fall colors!