In 1960, a boat carrying 7 year old Roger Woodward and two other people capsized above Niagara Falls. His young sister was pulled to shore before she reached the edge. The adult who had been piloting the boat went over the falls and was killed. Roger plummeted over the side before he could be reached, but miraculously survived. I have no idea how this is possible, but it happened again in 2003 when a man threw himself into the river and emerged on the other side with only minor injuries. The 600,000 gallons of water that tumble over the edge every second has proved sufficient to pulverize the solid rock at the bottom; you’d think it would make short work of flesh and bone. The sheer relentless power of the falls is incredible to behold, and watching it is both mesmerizing and terrifying.
After you leave the US through a one-way gate on your walk toward Canada, but before you arrive at customs on the other side, you go across a long arch bridge with great views of the city of Niagara Falls. The name of this fine piece of civil engineering is Rainbow Bridge, which spans this gray area of political geography in the same location as its predecessor, Honeymoon Bridge, until it was destroyed by ice floes in the late ’30s. I really had no idea there were so many huge buildings around Niagara Falls but quickly realized that the Canadians have designed their side of river to extract maximum revenue from their neighbors to the south. My favorite part of this skyline is the casino, which if you look closely has all the lights out in its sign except those that spell “SIN.”
Side note: Does the order of these buildings make anyone else think of AT&T’s “more bars in more places” ad campaign?