Niagara Falls, Ontario, along with with its sister city Niagara Falls, New York, is the self-proclaimed "Honeymoon Capital of the World." For hundreds of years the grandeur of the Falls of the Niagara River have attracted many to this destination.
Peak numbers of visitors occur in the summertime, when Niagara Falls are both a daytime and evening attraction. From the Canadian side, floodlights illuminate both sides of the Falls for several hours after dark (until midnight). The number of visitors in 2008 is expected to total 20 million and by 2009, the annual rate is expected to top 28 million tourists a year. The oldest and best known tourist attraction at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise, named for an ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character, which has carried passengers into the whirlpools beneath the Falls since 1846. Cruise boats operate from boat docks on both sides of the falls.
Many of the main attractions are within walking distance if you get a hotel that is near the Falls, and the rest are easily accessible by transit. During the busiest tourist season (May - October), the Niagara Parkway and Queen Victoria Park, along the Canadian side of the Falls, can become very crowded and finding a "picture perfect" view of the Falls can be hard to do. Walking to the attractions can also be slow during peak tourist season with thousands of people bustling by.
Most visitors' first view of the Falls, from the Canadian side of the river, is at Queen Victoria Park, along the Niagara Falls Parkway. This grand, royal garden provides the perfect vantage point for experiencing both the nightly illumination of the Falls and the summer fireworks displays. The Falls are illuminated, every evening until approximately midnight (see website for exact times) and there are Fireworks over the Falls, Friday and Sunday nights in the summer months.
Niagara Parks offers a Great Gorge Adventure Pass, that includes access to the Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, White Water Walk, and the Butterfly Conservatory, a one-day People Mover pass and discounts for other attractions. Pass components do not have to be used on the same day. In general, it takes about 6 hours to complete the main attactions on the pass. One way to use the pass is to do the Maid of the Mist and Journey Behind the Falls on one day, and use the one-day People Mover pass to do the White Water Walk, Butterfly Conservatory/Botanical Gardens, and Aero Car (all of which are near each other, but farther from the Falls) on the second day.