31 Things You Never Knew About Nigara Falls.

My hometown is many things to many people, perhaps moreso than any other city on the planet.

To some Niagara Falls is a city constructed around one of Mother Nature’s most powerful works of art.

To others it is a joke of a city constructed around a giant hole in the ground filled with water. (Obviously, those souls are deep thinkers.)

Some visit Niagara to scratch an item off their Bucket List.

Others come to Niagara to end an existence they feel has overwhelmed them.

To the world at large, Niagara Falls is a place of wonder and magic. Just how magical, you ask? Well let’s see…

 1)  I don’t just work in Niagara, I actually hang my bellman’s cap here.  Say what you will, but I still contend my smartassery is a form of magic.

2)  Niagara Falls’ citizenry is composed of many different races and cultures; as such, it is one of the most tolerant cities on Earth.  They haven’t kicked me out yet, so that’s saying a lot…

3)  Two-thirds of the water that would otherwise flow over the Falls is diverted for power generation,leaving one-third for tourists to marvel at.  Fun Fact: it also serves to hide the hangar of my nifty-cool lair from which I plan to run my evil empire.

4)  Someday I plan to create an evil empire.  I really have to get on that soon..

5)  In spite of what his Wikipedia entry says, Joel Thomas Zimmerman, known professionally as deadmau5, hails from Niagara Falls.  But otherwise, Niagara is pretty much rodent free.

6)  The Canadian Falls carry nine times more water than their American counterpart.  In your leathery face, Trump!

7)  The Falls at Niagara (as some old fogies still refer to them) are about 12,000 years old.  So they’re almost as old as Kris Jenner. 

8)  The Niagara River flows at approximately 35 miles/hour.  Which is still slower than the average Asian tour guide.

9)  Annie Taylor “Queen of the Mist” , a school teacher from Bay City Michigan was the first person to travel over the Falls in a barrel on October 24, 1901.  Little Known Fact: She continued to grade papers as she tumbled over. Now that’s dedication, kids.

10)  Two days before Taylor’s own attempt, a domestic cat was sent over the Horseshoe Falls in her barrel to test its strength to see if the barrel would break or not. Contrary to rumors at the time, the cat survived the plunge and 17 minutes later, after she was found with a bleeding head, posed with Taylor in photographs.  The cat then attempted to claw Taylor’s eyes out while hissing something that sounded like, “Do you realize how many of my nine I just used up, bitch? Why the hell hasn’t anyone invented PETA yet?”

11)  One of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812 took place on July 25, 1814 at Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls, Ontario. A total of 7,500 Americans and Canadians fought for six hours. By the end, 1,000 soldiers lay dead or wounded.  And yet, as a bellman, I’ve seen more carnage in a single hockey family check-in rush.

12)  The waters of Niagara Falls are thoroughly filtered before reaching a single tap.  And yet, I’m my own nightlight. So I have that going for me, which is nice.

13)  The Bridal Veil Falls, located next to the American falls, is named for its appearance.  Contrary to popular belief, it is not a prosecution-free zone where annoying spouses may be thrown over the side, thus eliminating the need for an otherwise-messy divorce. So stop asking me, every husband who has been married longer than twenty-five years.

14) About 5,500 years ago shifting ecological conditions pushed the waters of the Falls to the Whirlpool basin; it was a brief and violent encounter.  Not unlike most of the dates I went on before I met my wife.

15)  Millions of travelers visit Niagara Falls every year.  No, I don’t have exact figures. What am I, some kind of Poindexter who actually researchs what he writes? Have you read this blog before?

16)  Any visitor that quotes a Kardashian while within Niagara Falls city limits will be tazed. Repeatedly.  We’re kind of dicks like that.

17)  Every child born in Niagara Falls is blessed with the ability to speak to the animals.  Sadly, this ability only applies to extinct species. God is kind of a dick like that.

18)  Every daredevil who has ever failed to survive a plunge over the Falls was actually transported to an alternate reality via a portal at the bottom of the Niagara river.  Don’t believe me? Prove I’m lying.

19)  The Falls are illuminated nightly in a dazzling cascade of color.  The lights are powered, Matrix-style, by the bodies of tourists who have been unable to pay their hotel bill. And yes, it’s all perfectly legal in Canada.

illum-02

20)  Taps in Niagara Falls, Canada, have three options: Hot, Cold and Maple Syrup.

21)  Ned Hickson’s mustache is so bitchin’ we gave it honorary Canadian citizenship.

image

22)  The city of Niagara Falls is one giant underdog.  My city takes a beating on all fronts. Authors, DJs like that Joel Zimmerman guy with the ginormous mouse head, comedians and too many bullies to mention are always taking shots at Niagara. There are too many ill-informed folks out there who think Niagara is nothing but the world’s biggest natural spring surrounded by a collection of souvenir shops and tourist traps.

Granted, Niagara Falls is no London, England… but then again, we’re no Detroit, either.

23)  In Niagara, objects in your rear view mirror are actually further away than they appear.  Told you we’re kinda dicks…

24)  Like most cities these days, Niagara is a cultural melting pot, but one group stands apart.  Niagara is home to more Italians than you’d find at a Sopranos convention in Brooklyn. Yell, “Hey, Tony, The Godfather movies suck rocks!” in my city and you better be prepared for a riot, buster.

25)  Disney has Mickey Mouse; Niagara has Jimmy the Tail, the Mafia squirrel.

26)  The real reason the Disney company stopped participating in the Niagara Parks Festival of Lights had nothing to do with Niagara’s casinos.  It was because they refused to add Jimmy the Tail to the light display roster. These things are all political, don’t you know.

27)  There are only two comic book stores in Niagara Falls but six hundred Tim Hortons coffee shops.  Coincidence? I think not. #Conspiracy

28)  The local media and authorities don’t want you to know just how many lost souls actually end their lives by jumping into the Falls.  No jokes here, folks. This fact keeps me awake some nights. I don’t have any answers but I know this situation is slowly becoming an epidemic. And there’s no vaccine for this virus.

29)  Niagara Falls is home to more “Daves” than any other Canadian city.  Prove me wrong.

30)  At the peak of summer, Niagara is occupied by more nuts per square inch than a Planters factory.  But I love tourists, I swear.

31)  There’s nowhere on Earth I’d rather live.  I met my wife here. (Which probably explains why she wants to move.) My daughter was born here. I became a bellman in this city. Being a bellman has shown me who I really am. I love this city. What? Sometimes I can get to the point without a lot of jibber-jabber. Shut up.

And that’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this informative, somewhat-true post, kids.

See you in the lobby…

 

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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26 Responses to 31 Things You Never Knew About Nigara Falls.

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Thanks for the lesson. I still want to make my way back. Now I want Tim Hortons…tease.

  2. Carol says:

    I am a fairly new reader. You make me smile. Carry on…
    Oh I was a bartender in a small lounge for 30 years in a Holiday Inn. So I know a little about your life as a bellman.

  3. Paul says:

    Tim -mez! Tim-mez! Tim-mez!

  4. susielindau says:

    Thanks for the tour! I’ll have to stop by for a visit one of these fine days.

  5. lisaorchard1 says:

    I plan in visiting some day! It’s been on my bucket list for a long time. 🙂

  6. Tara says:

    I did not know this stuff! And I don’t know what this says about me, but I’m most disturbed by the cat going over the falls in a barrel. In any case, Niagara IS on my bucket list – especially the Canadian side. I haven’t been to Canada since I was a child. And, oddly enough, all I remember about it was the maple syrup, and eating Chinese food in Montreal. I tried to convince my husband to drive up from Erie two years ago when we were there, but we didn’t have the time.

  7. Ned's Blog says:

    Even more reasons for me to visit Niagra Falls again. Assuming my mustache will vouch for me…

  8. C.E.Robinson says:

    Robert, another one of your fun to read posts. Not that I’ll put Niagara Falls on my bucket list! Nope! Not a chance! Love to read about it and your bellman life there though! Keep it up! 💛 Elizabeth

  9. And now my life’s complete! ha ha! 😛

  10. umashankar says:

    To someone who might never physically visit Niagara, you summed up the history, geography, philosophy and the metaphysics of the falls.

  11. Niagra is the last stop on my bucket list. I wonder how that happened?

  12. The Guat says:

    Dude thanks for the inside information tour, wish I would have known earlier could have told my friends who went to Niagra Falls on their honeymoon. I’ll have to save up and visit.

  13. Doug in Oakland says:

    As for #3, were you referring to the tailrace tunnel? I once read a fascinating story by an “urban explorer” about breaking in to the old power station and climbing down to the tailrace tunnel clear to the end, where they stood there watching the falls from underneath. They called it their supervillain hideout. I tried to find a link to the story, but was only able to find this article which mentions it, but links to something else:
    http://pcgladiator.blogspot.com/2009/05/niagara-falls-tailrace-tunnels.html

  14. Doug in Oakland says:

    I just wrote a longish comment and it disappeared, but that’s good because I made a mistake, which I will now rectify: In #3, were you referring to the tailrace tunnel? Here is a story by an “urban explorer” who broke in to the old power station and climbed down into the tailrace tunnel, clear to the end where they stood there looking at the falls from underneath. They called it their supervillain hideout.
    http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/diy-guide-your-own-supervillain-hideout-aka-tailrace-tunnel-of-niagara.t5921

  15. curvyroads says:

    Very informative! My favorite is #19. 😉

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