Niagara Falls is actually a straddle of three falls collectively.It is situated at the border of Canadian province of Ontario and U.S state of New York and constitute the Niagara Gorge at the southern end.
The theories about the origin of the very name of this mighty water falls is not beyond controversy. According to Bruce Trigger, an Iroquoian scholar, the name Niagara has been derived from the name of the locally residing native called the "Niagagarega" in the seventeenth century. Another scholar George R Stewart has opined that the name of the falls has derived from he name of the Iroquois town "Ongniaahra" which means 'point of land cut into two parts'
The three water falls are called Horse Shoe Falls as they form the shape of a horse shoe.The Bridal Veil Falls, a small one, is located on the side of America separated from other falls by Luna Island. The boundary line drawn in 1819 has been disputed for natural erosion.
|Niagara hydro-electric plant.|
The mighty and enormous waterfalls has long been recognized as a potential source for power generation. In this connection a five member committee headed by Sir William Thomson deliberated on the expansion of Niagara hydro electric project on the basis of seventeen proposals in 1890 but none of he proposals was sought t be adopted for power generation and the proposals ended in smoke.
Later the invention of alternating current by Nekola Tesla made the generation and transfer of electricity easier. In continuation of this process in 1893 Washington Electric started generating the world's first large AC powerplant and it started power generation in the month of August in 1895.
The year 1950 stands important as a treaty was signed between the U.S and Canada for limited use of water for power generation to preserve the natural beauty of Niagara Falls. It was decided that both the countries will be careful enough to ensure "unbroken curtain of water" flow especially at day time during the tourist season expanding from the beginning of April to the last of October. The most powerful two hydroelectric companies on the Canadian side are now in operation are Sir Adam Beck 1 and 2and on American side Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant Lewiston Pump Generating companies are generating power. The joint production of hydroelectric companies aforementioned amount to 4.4 gigawatts of power.
Through the Welland canal ships can bypass NIagara Falls and the canal was improved and incorporated into the Saint Lawrence Seaway in midway of 1950s.
There runs Niagara River Recreation Train that runs a distance of 35 km from Fort Eric to Fort George and offers a unique scope seeing natural beauty around. On the Canadian side Whirlpool Aero car was built in 1916 to take the passengers over the Niagara Whirlpool.
There are two international bridges for closer view of the falls and those bridges connect the the cities of Niagara Falls ,Ontario-Canada and Niagara Falls New York-U.S.A. Doubtlessly it can be said that the bridges have added a unique scope of enjoying the superb beauty Nature has preserved for the people universally.
There is an observation tower in the Canadian side named Skylon Tower which offers the highest overhead view of Niagara Falls and it also offers the distant view of Toronto on the opposite side.
The explorers, travellers, authors and above all the people all over the world have been attracted at Niagara Falls for beauty and it has become a source f inspiration for multifarious reasons.But during 1970s visitors had a limited access to Niagara Falls and mostly they had to pay for a mere glimpse as industrialization was expanding up to goat island. So a proposal for a park was submitted to Lord
Dufferin, the governor-general of Canada. In this connection a survey team for promotion of the falls described in the report that it was "sacred obligation to mankind" to restore the beauty of Niagara Falls and in subsequent time Niagara Reservation State Park cam into being. Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park was also established in thr province of Ontorio. There are a good number of hotels of international standard for the visitors world wide.In fine it can be said that Niagara Falls will go on quenching the thirst of nature lovers in the days ahead