It turns out that the honeymoon capital of the world is a pretty sweet place to put down roots and raise a family. Of course the city is and will always be a tourist destination, both for regional families and for Canadaphiles who need to check Clifton Hill and Lundy’s Lane off their bucket lists every few years. Not surprisingly, it ranks #1 among small cities in Canada for Family-friendly Activities, #2 for Theatres and #3 for Sights & Landmarks. After two-and-a-half years of pandemic devastation to its vital tourism industry, the city is on the comeback trail, with investments in tourism and community not seen in decades. With many on both sides of the border still tentative about flying, Niagara Falls is positioning itself to once again be the jewel in the North American road trip crown.
New attractions and hotels are opening around the city, with none larger than the Tailrace Tunnel at Niagara Parks Power Station. By day, visitors can explore the preserved interior of the historic power station, transformed with new exhibits and guest amenities, and descend 60-plus metres below the main floor via a glass-enclosed elevator to reach the tailrace tunnel that connects the plant to the Niagara River. At night, CURRENTS, an immersive sound and light experience, brings the enormous century-old tunnel to life through state-of-the-art projection mapping technology.
But the investment isn’t all tourist-obsessed. Opening later this summer, the new Niagara Falls Cultural Hub & Market (also known as Niagara Falls Exchange, or NFX) will become a vibrant cultural and social centre of activity by providing shared spaces where artists, musicians, food vendors, patrons and local businesses can come together and create. Located in the historic Main and Ferry district, it includes a large culture and market hall, café, artist studios and creative workshops surrounded by two multifunctional civic plazas that interconnect the flanking streets. This much-needed public space will feature a farmers’ market, public concerts and lectures, and will finally give the city a piazza folk can gravitate to without a wristband or paid ticket.
Talk to most locals, and they’re just as likely to rave about the area’s urban and natural bounties as they are about the visitor economy. Rivers flow everywhere, and the proximity to a very prominent and prosperous wine region blends a satisfying reward at the end of a long hike—sweet validation of the city’s #4 ranking in our Parks & Outdoors subcategory. The Niagara Falls story is being told loud and proud, with the most Instagram hashtags and TripAdvisor reviews of any small Canadian city, ranking #1 in our overall Promotion category. Rest assured that future residents are taking note.