It all started in September 2012 when I read posts on Niagara Falls in our own website Ghumakkar.com. Details of Niagara falls and pictures with a detailed description of Maid of Mist. I started dreaming of visiting Niagara Falls and experiencing Maid of Mist. When we landed here in March 2013 I checked and found that Niagara Falls were closed at that time and will open in Summer. So I waited till Summer and finally on August 3, 2013 we decided to visit Niagara Falls.
Although it is very easy to Visit Niagara Falls from Toronto on our own but we decided to take a bus tour. Advantage of Bus tour was that we will get lots of information from guide , no discomfort being the first trip to Niagara and the main reason was that it was economical compared to if we go on our own. We took a bus tour by a tour operator name “Chariots of Fire”.There are many tour operators at Toronto for Niagara tour we choosen this because one of our friend has recommended it to us.Our boarding point was Yonge-Dundas Square.
Address : Chariots of Fire Ltd, Yonge St., Toronto, Ontario L9T2X9
Phone no: 905-693-8761
Yonge-Dundas Square – Yonge – Dundas Square is famous Square in Toronto and it says it is similar to Times Square at New York. Yonge-Dundas Square is a unique focal point of the downtown Toronto community. The Square is designated for use as a public open space and as an event venue that can accommodate events of various sizes.Wide range of activitiescan be discovered on the Square like community celebrations, theatrical events, concerts, receptions, promotions, Street Performers etc.
There were two options to book a tour we can either do it online or by reserving seats by calling them on phone. As we didn’t have Canadian credit card I called the tour office and reserved our seats. A day before tour we again got confirmation call from Tour operator and asked us to do payment to Driver while boarding the Bus. There were two pick up points at Downtown Toronto and we decided to board the bus from Yonge- Dundas Square at 0800. While boarding we did payment (CAD 68 per person) to our Driver cum Guide and he has given us a small label with a tour name on it so that it would be easier for all the Bus passengers to be in group.Bus started sharp at 0800 hrs and we were informed that Tour will include both way travel , visit to Niagara Falls , inclusive of Maid of Mist general admission ticket , Niagara on the lake Village , Floral clock and visit to Winery with a complimentary wine tasting.If anyone not interested to visit Maid of Mist then that person can opt for free visit to Skylon Tower.Otherwise visit to Skylon Tower and Helicopter ride were optional and on payment basis but will be assisted by the Driver.Bus was normal luxury type buse and water can be purchased inside the Bus from Driver.No food or drink was allowed inside the bus.
On our Way Our Bus Driver cum our Tour Guide was explaining each and every point coming our way starting from Yonge- Dundas square , CN Tower , Ontario Lake , Harbourfront Centre, Fort York Blvd, Exhibition, Mississauga, Hamilton , Niagara Village etc. Guide was very much knowledgeable or I can say expert in his daily work. He was well aware of each and every information about these places , history , populations, weather , other interesting facts etc. At around 1000 hrs we had entered Niagara Falls area.Our first stop was at Helicopter terminal where few of our co passenger got down to take a Helicopter ride above Niagara Falls. The price for Helicopter ride was CAD 100 per person and we decided to drop it.
From there he first took us to Skylon tower. Our driver cum guide already had entry tickets which we had taken from him and did payment to him when we returned back in Bus.Similar to CN Tower , even Skylon tower had the photographer service.They were clicking the pictures and editing it in two ways one you are near Niagara Falls and second you are floating in Barrel.Niagara Falls had a history about Barrel.October 24, 1901 a 63 old school teacher Mrs Annie Taylor decided that a trip over Niagara Falls will give her fame and fortune.So she has harnessed herself in a Barrel and crossed Niagara Falls.She has become the first person to conquer the mighty Niagara falls. As we had already visited CN Tower , we found Skylon tower very small but when we reached on top level we were thrilled to see beautiful view of Niagara Falls.
We were given half an hour to visit Skylon Tower.We came back and collected our picture (CAD 15 for one picture and CAD 30 for two pictures).They also had offer where by paying small amount we can get soft copy of picture. Also Professional click of Niagara Falls picture CD can also be purchased from here.
We came out of Skylon tower .Luckily all co passenger were respecting the bus rules and time allotted for each point and everyone reached on time so that the next point can also be covered in enough time.Our Next point was Niagara Falls itself with a closer view. Driver has parked the bus and given us another half an hour to see Niagara Falls. It was really amazing to see “Virat roop” of Water.Our Driver said while explaining that “Niagara Falls has enough water to fulfill Canada’s requirement for few thousand years more ” and he was so true.
Niagara Falls is a part of Niagara river and the falls on the Canadian side is known as Horseshoe Falls or Canadian Falls.Approximately 90% of Niagara river after diversion for hydro power generation flows over Horseshoe Falls.The remaining 10 % flows over American Falls.So we were fortunate to see Niagara Falls from Canadian side.
Driver has given us enough time at each point.But the view at each and every point was just superb that we even forgot that we didn’t have our Breakfast or any snacks or Lunch.Our time was just running and we were trying to capture such a beautiful view in our Camera. After seeing the closer look of Falls we returned back to our Bus. Our Next point was Maid of Mist….
So I will continue my series with Maid of Mist experience in my next post.Till then I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing Niagara Falls.