Niagara Falls is one of the most famous destinations in all of Canada and a top tourist trap in the summer. Last summer we went to Niagara for a night and did some of the attractions and fun activities, but this often meant standing in line for an hour just to enter.
Thanks to covid-19, however, we had the place all to ourselves.
Now is actually a pretty good time to take some domestic trips. There are pretty much no inbound international tourists, and even going from province to province is proving difficult due to quarantine requirements and restrictions. Hotels are empty, most things are closed, and prices are low. It’s the perfect time to avoid all the tourists at Niagara.
We went for one night and stayed at the Embassy Suites, which was right on Horseshoe Falls, at the very end of the Niagara gorge. The view was incredible and definitely worth paying for. Usually in the summer there are fireworks every night, but because there were no tourists, they only lit up the falls at night, so no fireworks.
But being able to walk around the falls with NO TOURISTS was a joy! Usually there are so many thousands of people meandering around, pushing strollers, taking selfies, being obnoxious, etc etc. We truly had the falls all to ourselves.
From Horseshoe Falls, we could see the Hornblower Cruises, which is the Canadian cruise boat, down below, with only six passengers in red raincoats. But the cruise boat from the American side, the Maid of the Mist, was full of hundreds of tourists, which I think is a good indication of the difference between Canada and the US. During a pandemic, Canadians will err on the side of caution. Meanwhile in the US, they’re still packing them on the boats. Good thing the borders are closed!
The next day we exposed the usual chaos of Clifton Hill, and went to the Butterfly Conservatory, which was quite lovely. Again there were few crowds, and lots of controls for social distancing. The conservatory is like walking into a massive tropical dome, with hundreds of butterflies everywhere. They didn’t land on us — probably because we stink of hand sanitizer!
Now is a great time to visit Niagara Falls, even though a lot of things are still closed and you can’t eat indoors yet. But it’s a small price to pay for having one of Canada’s natural wonders all to yourself.