Niagara Falls Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Niagara Falls, Ontario - ON, Canada)
One of the most visited sites in the whole of Canada, Niagara Falls is famed for its outstanding Horseshoe Falls, which regularly attract many millions of visitors each year, who travel from all over the world to visit this natural spectacle. Much of life in the Niagara Falls area is based around the enormous tourism industry and endless shops, museums and attractions line the central streets.
At night, city life is centered around the numerous bars and restaurants, together with the eye-catching Casino Niagara, which offers a range of gaming tables. A number of travel information bureaus are available in Niagara Falls, containing many leaflets, maps and top travel tips. Internet access is now available at the main public library, which is free of charge and a popular place to check and send emails.
Tourism and Tourist Information
Table Rock Center
Address: Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario (ON), Canada
Tel: +1 905 356 2241
Operated by the Niagara Parks Commission, this is the most central travel center in the city.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 18:00, summer - 09:00 to 22:00
Niagara Falls Visitors and Convention Bureau
Address: 5515 Stanley Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario (ON), Canada
Tel: +1 905 356 6061
Containing a range of tourism-related pamphlets and travel advice.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 20:00, reduced opening hours during the winter months
Ontario Travel Information Center
Address: 5355 Stanley Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario (ON), Canada
Tel: +1 905 358 3221
Located between the Queen Elizabeth Way and the Rainbow Bridge, with maps and useful information about the whole province.
Open hours: summer, daily - 09:00 to 20:00
Niagara Falls Public Library
Address: 4848 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario (ON), L2E 4C5, Canada
Tel: +1 905 356 8080
Dating back to the 1870s, the city's main public library offers a number of computer terminals with free access to the Internet.
Open hours: January to December, Monday to Thursday - 09:00 to 21:00, Friday and Saturday - 09:00 to 17:30; October to April only, Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00
With upwards of 300 languages spoken throughout America and Canada, English and French have always been the main languages in Niagara Falls, with the majority of highway signposts and tourist leaflets displaying both languages. Canadian English is widely spoken in the Niagara Falls area and is based upon British English, often featuring many distinctive expressions. In the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba, Canadian French has long been the main language. Niagara Falls contains numerous different nationalities and multiethnic residents. A number of regions in Canada are known for their local dialects and colorful colloquialisms, and this is particularly so in and around Newfoundland.
Currency in Niagara Falls, Ontario and throughout Canada is structured in a similar way to the USA, with Canadian dollars. Noteworthy denominations include:
- 1c - penny
- 2c - quarter
- 5c - nickel
- 10c - dime
- $1 dollar - loonie
- $2 dollars - twoonie / toonie
Paper notes in Niagara Falls consist of $5, $10 and $20 dollar notes, known locally as 'bills'. These are daily currency, with higher notes such as $50 and $100 dollar bills being less used. Tourists staying in Niagara Falls are able to use both their credit and debit cards at the city's many ATMs, which are located almost everywhere, offering a convenient way to exchange currency. Also, travel agent companies in Niagara Falls, such as American Express and Thomas Cook, provide good rates of exchange, together with local banks. Most banks in Niagara Falls open from Monday to Friday, with opening hours being slightly less than most shops in the city of Niagara Falls. A number of central banking branches in the Niagara Falls area now also open their doors during the evenings and on Saturday mornings.
Visas and Documents
Visitors to Niagara Falls and other cities in the country need to bring photo identification and also at least two or three types of formal ID. Passports are always required when traveling to Niagara Falls, except for those arriving from the USA and Greenland. A driver's license is no longer satisfactory identification for US citizens arriving in Niagara Falls and should be used together with a valid birth certificate or similar, such as an official certificate of citizenship. People visiting Niagara Falls from Commonwealth and Western countries do not require visas, although visitors from most other countries do, bar Mexico
. Visa applications for travel to Niagara Falls and throughout Canada need to be made at least one month in advance. All inquiries must be directed to Canadian Immigration Centers.
Motorists hoping to drive in the city of Niagara Falls must get hold of a 'Canadian Nonresident Interprovince Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card' or 'Visitor to Canada Insurance', which is available at most US insurance companies. Car rental companies in Niagara Falls usually require that you are at least 21 years of age when renting a car, although for some this is 26 years. In Niagara Falls, Ontario and all over Canada, cars always drive on the right-hand side of the road.
Tipping in Niagara Falls is expected and many restaurants look for around 10% to 15% of the bill as a tip, although a number of restaurants automatically include service charges on the bill. Taxi drivers, barbers, hairdressers and hotel staff in Niagara Falls also expect gratuities.
Smoking and Alcohol
All over Canada you can only purchase alcohol at local government-run shops, although in the provinces of Alberta and Quebec, many privately owned outlets are allowed to sell a range of alcohol. The country's legal drinking age is 19 years old, with the exception of Alberta and Manitoba provinces, where the age is only 18. Smoking is now restricted at many places in Niagara Falls, including public transportation and restaurants.