|City of Niagara Falls|
The Honeymoon Capital of the World, the Falls
|Coordinates: 43°03′36″N 79°06′24″W / 43.06000°N 79.10667°WCoordinates: 43°03′36″N 79°06′24″W / 43.06000°N 79.10667°W|
|Incorporated||12 June 1903|
|• Mayor||Jim Diodati|
|• Governing body||Niagara Falls City Council|
|• MP||Tony Baldinelli|
|• MPP||Wayne Gates|
|• Land||209.73 km2 (80.98 sq mi)|
|• Urban||382.68 km2 (147.75 sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,397.50 km2 (539.58 sq mi)|
|• City (lower-tier)||88,071 (Ranked 64th)|
|• Density||419.9/km2 (1,088/sq mi)|
|• Urban||242,460 (Ranked 17th)|
|• Urban density||545.02/km2 (1,411.6/sq mi)|
|• Metro||390,317 (Ranked 12th)|
|• Metro density||279.3/km2 (723/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Forward Sortation Area|
|Area code(s)||905, 289, 365, and 742|
Niagara Falls is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is on the western bank of the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario, with a population of 88,071 at the 2016 census. It is part of the St. Catharines - Niagara Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Incorporated on 12 June 1903, the city is across the river from Niagara Falls, New York. The Niagara River flows over Niagara Falls at this location, creating a natural spectacle which attracts millions of tourists each year.
The tourist area near the falls includes observation towers, high-rise hotels, souvenir shops, museums, indoor water parks, casinos and theatres, mostly with colourful neon billboards and advertisements. Other parts of the city include golf courses, parks, historic sites from the War of 1812, and residential neighbourhoods.
Prior to European arrival, present day Niagara Falls was populated by Iroquoian-speaking Neutral people but, after attacks from the Haudenosaunee and Seneca, the Neutral people population was severely reduced. The Haudenosaunee people remained in the area until Europeans made first contact in the late 17th century. The Niagara Falls area had some European settlement in the 17th century. Louis Hennepin, a French priest and missionary, is considered to be the first European to visit the area in the 1670s. French colonists settled mostly in Lower Canada, beginning near the Atlantic, and in Quebec and Montreal.
After surveys were completed in 1782 the area was referred to as Township Number 2 as well as Mount Dorchester after Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester (and today is only honoured by Dorchester Road and the community of Dorchester Village). The earliest settlers of Township Number 2 were Philip George Bender (namesake of Bender Street and Bender Hill near Casino Niagara originally from Germany and later New Jersey and Philadelphia) and Thomas McMicken (a Scottish-born British Army veteran). Increased settlement in this area took place during and after the American Revolutionary War, when the British Crown made land grants to Loyalists to help them resettle in Upper Canada and provide some compensation for their losses after the United States became independent. Loyalist Robert Land received 200 acres (81 ha) and was one of the first people of European descent to settle in the Niagara Region. He moved to nearby Hamilton three years later due to the relentless noise of the falls.
In 1791, John Graves Simcoe renamed the town was Stamford after Stamford, Lincolnshire in England but today Stamford is only used for an area northwest of downtown Niagara Falls as well as Stamford Street. During the war of 1812, the battle of Lundy's Lane took place in July 1814. In 1856, the Town of Clifton was incorporated by Ogden Creighton after Clifton, Bristol. The name of the town was changed to Niagara Falls in 1881. In 1882, the community of Drummondville (near the present-day corner of Lundy's Lane and Main Street) was incorporated as the village of Niagara Falls (South). The village was referred to as Niagara Falls South to differentiate it from the town. In 1904, the town and village amalgamated to form the City of Niagara Falls. In 1963, the city amalgamated with the surrounding Stamford Township. In 1970, the Niagara regional government was formed. This resulted in the village of Chippawa, Willoughby Township, and part of Crowland Township being annexed into Niagara Falls.
An internment camp for Germans was set up at The Armoury (now Niagara Military Museum) in Niagara Falls from December 1914 to August 1918.
The city's official historian is Sherman Zavitz, who gives regular radio broadcasts on many aspects of Niagara's history.
Niagara Falls has had a Black population since at least 1783. Up to 12 African-Americans were a part of the Butler's Rangers, including Richard Pierpoint. When they were disbanded in 1783, they tried to establish themselves through farming nearby, making them among the first Black settlers in the region. It is estimated that nearly 10 percent of the Loyalists to settle in the area were Black Loyalists.
Niagara Falls' Black population increased in the following decades, as a destination on the Underground Railroad. In 1856, a British Methodist Episcopal (BME) Church was established for African-Canadian worshipers. The BME Church, Nathaniel Dett Memorial Chapel is now a National Historic Site, remaining in operation into the 21st century. Composer, organist, pianist and music professor Nathaniel Dett was born in Niagara Falls in 1882.
In 1886, Burr Plato became one of the first African Canadians to be elected to political office, holding the position of City Councillor of Niagara Falls until 1901.
Niagara Falls is approximately 130 km (81 mi) by road from Ontario's capital of Toronto, which is across Lake Ontario to the north. The area of the Niagara Region is approximately 1,800 km2 (690 sq mi).
The city is built along the Niagara Falls waterfalls and the Niagara Gorge on the Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
The city of Niagara Falls has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) which is moderated to an extent in all seasons by proximity to water bodies. Winters are cold, with a January high of −0.4 °C (31.3 °F) and a low of −7.8 °C (18.0 °F). However, temperatures above 0 °C (32.0 °F) are common during winter. The average annual snowfall is 154 centimetres (61 in), in which it can receive lake effect snow from both lakes Erie and Ontario. Summers are warm to hot and humid, with a July high of 27.4 °C (81.3 °F) and a low of 17 °C (62.6 °F). The average annual precipitation is 970.2 millimetres (38 in), which is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year.
|Climate data for Niagara Falls|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.2
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−4.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−26
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||75.6
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||27.8
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||47.7
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||14.4||11.4||11.3||12.6||13.5||11.3||10.9||10.8||11.2||13.0||13.0||13.4||146.6|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||5.0||4.5||7.2||11.6||13.4||11.3||10.9||10.8||11.2||13.0||11.1||7.7||117.9|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||9.8||7.7||5.0||1.6||0.08||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||2.4||6.6||33.2|
|Source 1: Environment Canada (normals 1981–2010, extremes 1981–2006)|
|Source 2: Environment Canada (extremes for Niagara Falls 1943−1995)|
Although more historical and cultural diversity exists, Niagara Falls has 11 communities and 67 neighbourhoods defined by Planning Neighbourhoods and Communities for the City of Niagara Falls.
|British Isles, n.o.s.||3,295||3.6%|
|Source: 2021 Census of Canada|
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Niagara Falls had a population of 94,415 living in 37,793 of its 39,778 total private dwellings, a change of 7.2% from its 2016 population of 88,071. With a land area of 210.25 km2 (81.18 sq mi), it had a population density of 449.1/km2 (1,163.1/sq mi) in 2021.
At the census metropolitan area (CMA) level in the 2021 census, the St. Catharines - Niagara CMA had a population of 433,604 living in 179,224 of its 190,878 total private dwellings, a change of 6.8% from its 2016 population of 406,074. With a land area of 1,397.09 km2 (539.42 sq mi), it had a population density of 310.4/km2 (803.8/sq mi) in 2021.
As of the 2021 Census, 20.9% of the city's population were visible minorities, 3.5% had Indigenous ancestry, and the remaining 75.6% were White. The largest visible minority groups were South Asian (6.3%), Black (3.1%), Filipino (3.0%), Chinese (2.4%), Latin American (1.6%) and Arab (1.1%).
60.1% of Niagara Falls city residents self-identified with Christian denominations in 2021, down from 74.1% in 2011. 33.2% of residents were Catholic, 13.9% were Protestant, 7.1% were Christians of unspecified denomination, and 2.4% were Christian Orthodox. All other Christian denominations/Christian related traditions made up 3.5%. 30.9% of residents were irreligious or secular, up from 22.5% in 2011. Overall, followers of non-Christian religions/spiritual traditions were 9.0% of the population. The largest of these were Islam (4.1%), Hinduism (2.0%), Sikhism (1.4%) and Buddhism (0.8%)
Tourism started in the early 19th century and has been a vital part of the local economy since that time. The falls became known as a natural wonder, in part to their being featured in paintings by prominent American artists of the 19th century such as Albert Bierstadt. Such works were reproduced as lithographs, becoming widely distributed. Niagara Falls marketed itself as a honeymoon destination, describing itself as the "honeymoon capital of the world". Its counterpart in New York also used the moniker. The phrase was most commonly used in brochures in the early twentieth century and declined in usage around the 1960s.
With a plentiful and inexpensive source of hydroelectric power from the waterfalls, many electro-chemical and electro-metallurgical industries located there in the early to mid-20th century. Industry began moving out of the city in the 1970s and 80s because of economic recession and increasing global competition in the manufacturing sector. Tourism increasingly became the city's most important revenue source.
In 2004, several tourist establishments in Niagara Falls began adding a three percent marketing fee to bills. The collected money is untraceable, and there are no controls over how each establishment spends it. The Ontario government—concerned tourists could be misled into believing the fees were endorsed by the government—warned hotels and restaurants in 2008 not to claim the fee if it was not being remitted to a legitimate non-profit agency that promotes tourism. The practise continues, and takes in an estimated $15 million per-year from tourists unaware the fee is voluntary and can be removed from their bill.
Recent development has been mostly centred on the Clifton Hill and Fallsview areas. The Niagara Falls downtown (Queen Street) is undergoing a major revitalization; the city is encouraging redevelopment of this area as an arts and culture district. The downtown was a major centre for local commerce and night life up until the 1970s, when the Niagara Square Shopping Centre began to draw away crowds and retailers. Since 2006, Historic Niagara has brought art galleries, boutiques, cafés and bistros to the street. Attractions include renovation of the Seneca Theatre.
In the 20th century, there was a favourable exchange rate when comparing Canadian and U.S. currencies.
Niagara Falls, New York, struggles to compete against Niagara Falls, Ontario; the Canadian side has a greater average annual income, a higher average home price, and lower levels of vacant buildings and blight, as well as a more vibrant economy and better tourism infrastructure. The population of Niagara Falls, New York fell by half from the 1960s to 2012. In contrast, the population of Niagara Falls, Ontario more than tripled.
The Ontario government introduced legal gambling to the local economy in the mid-1990s. Casino Niagara precipitated an economic boom in the late 1990s as numerous luxury hotels and tourist attractions were built, and a second casino, Niagara Fallsview, opened in 2004. Both attracted American tourists due in part to the comparatively less expensive Canadian dollar, and despite the opening of the Seneca Niagara Casino on the American side. When the Canadian and US currencies moved closer to parity in the 2000s, Niagara Falls, Ontario continued to be a popular destination for Americans, while Niagara Falls, New York, experienced a prolonged economic downturn. Ontario's legal drinking age is 19, which attracts potential alcohol consumers from across the border, as the American drinking age is 21.
Some cultural areas of Niagara Falls include Queen Street, Main and Ferry Streets, Stamford Centre and Chippawa Square. Community centres that are host to cultural activities include the City of Niagara Falls Museums, Niagara Falls Public Libraries, Coronation 50 Plus Recreation Centre, Club Italia and Scotia Bank Convention Centre.
|Niagara United||Canadian Soccer League||Soccer||Kalar Sports Park||2010
|Niagara Falls Canucks||Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League||Ice Hockey||Gale Centre||c. 1971
Notable attractions in Niagara Falls include:
Niagara Falls City Council consists of eight councillors and a mayor. City elections take place every four years with the most recent election held on 24 October 2022. Council is responsible for policy and decision making, monitoring the operation and performance of the city, analysing and approving budgets and determining spending priorities. Due to regulations put forward by the Municipal Elections Act 1996, elections are held on the fourth Monday in October except for religious holidays or if a member of council or if the mayor resigns. Jim Diodati has been the mayor of Niagara Falls since 2010.
As of 2023, the city's fire and emergency services are staffed by 130 firefighters and 104 volunteers. Provincial roads (namely the Queen Elizabeth Way) are patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the rest by Niagara Regional Police (NRPS) for city streets and general policing or Niagara Parks Police (NPP) on property relating to Niagara Parks Commission. Policing on the Canadian side of bridges (Whirlpool and Rainbow Bridges) are conducted by both Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations, but may involve Niagara Regional Police and/or OPP, as well as US agencies. Michigan Central Railway Bridge is an inactive railway bridge and closed off to prevent trespassing by the Canadian Pacific Railways and can be accessed by NRPS or CBSA/CBP if required.
See also: Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition
Niagara Falls is linked to major highways in Canada. The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), stretching from Fort Erie to Toronto, passes through Niagara Falls. Highway 420 (along with Niagara Regional Road 420) connect the Rainbow Bridge to the QEW. The Niagara Parkway is a road operated under the Niagara Parks Commission which connects Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie via Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls formerly had King's Highways passing through the city. These included:
Via Rail Canada and Amtrak jointly provide service to the Niagara Falls station via their Maple Leaf service between Toronto Union Station and New York Penn Station.
In summer 2009, Go Transit started a pilot project providing weekend and holiday train service from Toronto to Niagara falls from mid June to mid October. These GO Trains run seasonally between Toronto Union Station and Niagara Falls at weekends.
At other times, regular hourly GO train services are provided between Toronto Union and Burlington station, where connecting bus services operate to and from the rail station at Niagara.
As of January 2019, GO Transit offers two-way, weekday commuter service from Niagara Falls station (Ontario) to Union Station (Toronto) as part of the Niagara GO Expansion. The full expansion project is expected to be complete by 2025.
The City of Niagara Falls is working toward Bike Friendly designation and providing more resources to encourage active transportation.
Niagara Falls has one post-secondary institution in the city and another in the Niagara Region. Niagara is served by the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board which operate elementary and secondary schools in the region. There are also numerous private institutions offer alternatives to the traditional education systems.
Niagara Falls is also served by Niagara Falls Public Library, a growing library system composed of four branches, with the main branch in the downtown area. It is visited by over 10,000 people weekly. An extensive online database of photographs and artwork is maintained at Historic Niagara Digital Collections.
Niagara Falls is served by two main local newspapers, three radio stations and a community television channel. All other media is regionally based, as well, from Hamilton and Toronto.
Local newspapers are:
Due to its proximity to Hamilton and Toronto, local residents have access to the papers like The Hamilton Spectator, the Toronto Star, and the Toronto Sun.
The area is otherwise served by stations from Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo.
Television stations from Toronto and Buffalo are also widely available. Officially, Niagara Falls is part of the Toronto television market, even though it is directly across the Niagara River from its American twin city, which is part of the Buffalo market.
((cite book)): CS1 maint: location (link)