As one of the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls makes a nice day-trip from Toronto but for some travellers, the city itself just doesn’t live up to the hype.
Niagara Falls is beautiful and while not the tallest in the world, the combined height and volume of water make it a natural wonder. The crestline of Horseshoe Falls in Canada measures approximately 670 metres, and during peak tourist season in the summer it has 168,000 cubic metres of water going over every second.
But this spectacular display of nature’s power is overshadowed by the city’s tacky shops and rampant commercialism, according to a Reddit thread.
A Reddit user posed the question: What city disappointed you the most when visiting?
Atlantic City came up as one of the most disappointing, along with Marrakesh, Morocco and Bali, Indonesia. But Niagara Falls also topped the list as an overhyped place surrounded by tourist traps.
“I didn’t know the falls would be in a city. I thought it would be a national park. The whole place just felt like a giant shopping mall,” said user youburyitidigitup on a Reddit thread, which has 2,700 upvotes.
The user later edited the comment suggesting the Canadian side is better and noted that the falls are worth a visit.
“The falls are beautiful and well worth driving across the country,” youburyitidigitup added.
But still, plenty of people agreed with the user’s first comment.
“Niagara Falls is the worst,” said pukingpixels. “I worked for a special events company and we did a lot of work there. It’s so trashy.”
“Went for first time this summer. Total waste of time,” another person wrote.
Confirming Americans’ notoriously bad sense of Canadian geography, some people suggested the city had many good restaurants due to Niagara Falls being “close” to Toronto. Another discussion noted Niagara Falls is becoming a suburb of Toronto because of the high real estate prices, which is actually not too far off the mark.
“The Canadian side is managing to become a suburb of Toronto, so that’s helping to clean it up a bit,” the_clash_is_back said.
Other people suggested the Canadian side is safer if you stay in the right areas.
“The Canadian side is way nicer than the American, but there are bad areas just when you leave the tourist district just the same as the American side,” SaraAB87 said.
And those who only visited the falls and avoided tourist traps were pretty impressed.
“…Niagara actually surprised me with how awe inspiring it was,” said balancedinsanity. “I had always seen pictures but was not at all expecting the raw majesty and power of nature that being there instills. That said, we did it as a day trip and did not go into the city.”
Other people agreed, suggesting visitors avoid the city and get out to wine country or other natural areas.
Next time Reddit users should stick to viewing the falls, take a side trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake and, of course, stay on the Canadian side.