Niagara Falls Canada are a popular destination and are considered a wonder of nature. The falls are indeed stunning, but it made me sad to see how exploited and commercialized they are.
I admit it, maybe it was my fault. I had very high expectations of the Niagara Falls. I had heard so much and I had seen so many beautiful pictures, that I had idealized it before getting there. I had created in my mind an image that was not real. And when I saw the reality, well… I felt so sad that I wanted to cry.
Let me explain. I had imagined it as a kind of North American version of the Iguazú Falls. I had been in Iguazú, at the border of Argentina and Brazil, in 2012, and I totally fell in love with it.
Iguazú Falls are in a very well preserved National Park. There are walking trails that allow you to enjoy the nature and you might even get a glimpse of animals. It’s beautiful and tropical, the forest is lush green with palm trees and the power of the falls is overwhelming.
I don’t know why, but I thought Niagara Falls in Canada would be something similar.
Niagara Falls, wonder of nature
I must also say that when I heard that access to nature in Canada was free I was really impressed. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, the Niagara Falls are one of the most visited sites in the country. And they are free!
Iguazú Falls were wonderful, but you had to pay to access the National Park. I don’t really remember the price but it wasn’t cheap, at least compared to the cost of traveling in Argentina in 2012.
I admired Canada for not trying to make money from nature.
I was impressed until I saw the place with my own eyes, that is.
Niagara Falls, an exploited wonder of nature
All this to say that I arrived to Niagara Falls in Canada expecting a National Park. I was expecting trees and trails and nature around the falls. But there was no National Park.
In fact, the bus drove directly to the falls. The road gets right to the falls. You just drive there, you don’t walk there. That was the first surprise.
The second surprise were the buildings. Right next to the road, right next to the falls. Those huge four and five star hotels. The casino.
Wait, what? A casino?? Next to a wonder of nature??
That’s definitely not how I had imaged it. And thinking that I admired Canada for not charging an entry fee! I felt a lump in the throat.
It was very crowded, but that was expected. It was summer, it was high season, and it’s a popular destination.
While we made the queue for the boat tour around the falls, we all got a waterproof plastic cover.
I understand the use of the plastic cover, of course, you really get wet when the boat approaches the falls.
But I did not want to count how many people were there at that precise moment. How many people would take the tour that same day. How many people got a plastic cover every month, every year.
I just hoped they recycle them.
I didn’t want to look either at the color of the water around the boat quay.
Once I was on the boat I got a storm of emotions. I wanted to smile and at the same time I wanted to cry.
In front of me I had a wonder of nature, a breathtaking sight that reminded me that nature is wise, and powerful. I’d have liked to see the face of the explorers who discovered the falls for the first time. The sight must have been stunning, overwhelming.
In front of me I also had the skyline of the huge buildings. Where there should be trees there were hotels. Where three should be wild animals there were cars and buses. My heart sank.
Once more I remembered the Iguazú Falls, and wished with all my heart that it always remains a National Park. I’ll happily pay the entry fee as far as the nature gets preserved.
It’s already too late for the Niagara Falls, but please, please, don’t let this happen to the other wonders of nature that still exist in the world.
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