Niagara Falls – Queen Tour from Toronto

Niagara Falls – Queen Tour from Toronto

I’m not sure if I mentioned this much on my blog, but in one month time my husband and I are planning to move to Canada. (Eep! Just one month to go!) We’ll be moving to Vancouver, so hopefully quite soon I’ll be able to write about walks near actual mountains!

So anyway, I thought I would celebrate my one month count down with a post about having fun in Canada. We have only visited Canada once before when we visited Toronto, Ottawa and Québec. While we were in Toronto we both loved the idea of seeing Niagara falls. I was a little worried about driving, so I attempted to find a tour company that would get us to the falls. I don’t have much experience with tour companies (I normally walk, and work things out for myself!) But The Queen Tour folks seemed to have good reviews, so we checked the weather, chose the best sounding day, and hoped for the best. I wrote a review on yelp after the tour, which included the following:

Why I loved it:
– They picked us up from the house we’re staying in so it was really easy.
– I didn’t feel rushed in any of the places we visited. We had plenty of time to look around and take photos.
– In addition to falls, we got to visit whirlpools, a power station, Niagara on the lake, a winery (we got to try ice wine and normal wine all included in the price) – bargainous!!
– The bus is small, so you can make friends with everyone. There were just 7 people in our group.
– The seats are comfy and there is plenty of leg room.
– It leaves a little earlier than most tours, so you arrive at the falls before most of the crowds.

Nathan, the guide, was awesome! He was really entertaining, friendly and told us soooo many useful titbits of information! He also had some really funny (and fun) rants about various things like how awesome junk food can be!!

Here is a little information about what we got up to:

Journey Behind the Falls
We arrived pretty early in the morning, when the queues for the boat tours were not too bad. Our lovely guide Nathan told us to go straight into the line if we fancied going on a boat right up to the falls. BUT he also told us that you get an amazing close up view if you go for the Journey Behind the falls instead.

Basically the journey behind the falls takes you down an elevator, so you can walk along some tunnels behind the falls. That isn’t particularly impressive (apart from the loudness!) The best part is just before you go down the tunnels, there is a platform with stunning views of the water cascading down. You can see right under the waterfall! There are also gorgeous views of the Canadian side of the waterfalls. We stayed looking at the display for a while. Several boats whooshed past did a spin by the falls and left again while we were there!

Walking around:
After we’d explored under the falls, we still had plenty of time. So we had a lovely walk along the edge of the river, past the American waterfalls and past the bridges that lead from Canada to the US. There is a viewing platform by the Hornblower boat cruises, so we popped up there too.

Whirlpools:
Once our mini bus picked us up again we were whisked off further down the river where you can see some huge whirlpools. There was a bright red,  antique cable car that was carrying visitors across the Niagara River so they can see it’s whirlpool. Apparently this has been in operation since 1916! We didn’t actually ride it – but we took the time to stare down at the whirls of water!

After we’d seen this, we were driven past a huge power station that harnesses the river to create clean energy. We just popped out to have a look, rather than going on a tour around the station, but I thought it was cool to see it.

Niagara-on-the-lake:
Our next stop was this pretty town on the shores of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Niagara River. The houses were all really pretty and covered in summer flowers so it was a gorgeous place to visit and wander around. It was also pretty touristy, with plenty of horse drawn carriages (if that’s what you’re into!?)

We had a bit of a walk and found gorgeous home-made ice creams. Then we sat and watched some dancing on a green area near the centre of the town. To my great surprise, as part of a wine festival, the Japan Foundation Toronto had sponsored a performance that included a huge Japanese Dragon! I work at the Japan Foundation back in London. But I definitely did not expect to see my workplace on display in a teeny Canadian town!!

Wine Time:
Our last stop was to one of the many wineries in the area. We had a mini wine tasting, and we had some time to peek around at the wine shop. The wines included the Canadian ice-wine, which they make by leaving the grapes to freeze on the vines before picking them by hand. It was incredibly sweet. I think it’d be a good addition to prosecco, rather than as a wine on its own.

All in all it was a perfect day! It cost $75 including tax, so it was pretty good value. If you’re in Toronto and thinking of doing something similar, their website is here. This is not an affiliate post and they aren’t expecting me to write about them. I just had a fantastic day so I am happy to share information about them.

36 thoughts on “Niagara Falls – Queen Tour from Toronto

  1. That looks like such a great trip! And hopefully you’ll be a Vancouver expert by the time we visit in October and you can give me lots of tips 😀

    1. YES! By then I should be able to tell you about yummy food and good places to explore! Please do give me a shout before you come!!

  2. We stayed a couple nights in Niagara on our honeymoon – it was very beautiful but interesting that the town was very much built around the tourist industry (it’s still a must do at least once in your lifetime though 🙂 ) & we took a trip to Niagara on the Lake too (there was an amazing all year round Christmas shop there, which was like an aladdins cave!)

    1. I saw that crazy shop! I thought the whole place seemed geared for tourists!

      Goodness – did you find good food on your honeymoon? We had amazing fod in the rest of Canada, but at Niagara the choices were pretty grim…

    1. Oooh that is a good place to stay! While we were there there was some sort of modern dance in water going on in front of that sign. You’ve had an amazing view!!

  3. Great post as usual – and love the photos! When I moved to Canada way back, we flew to Toronto and then drove several days to Vancouver. Spent only an hour at Niagara Falls – so I’ll definitely have to go back.

    1. Woooah that must have been such a long drive!! How long did it take?

      Going through the mountains must have been amazing.

    1. Oooh I didn’t realise you are so close to the boarder! 😀

      We’ll move to the other side (over by Vancouver) BUT I’ll still be on a new side of the pond!

    1. Thank you!! I am soooooo excited to see the scenery in your side of the world! 😀

      Let me know if you have any tips!

    1. Aww thanks! That means a lot coming from you as I loooved your photos too!

      I didn’t see the US version of the office, but I’m taking it as a complement anyway. 😉

  4. Your photos are so pretty! <3 Canada's one of the places I would love to visit and Niagara Falls is on top of my must-see list, haha.
    Anyway, good luck on your move! 😀

  5. I’ve always been fascinated with Canada, and hope to visit sometime. Went to Toronto for a long weekend when I was younger. But I only remember the shopping, which is very unlike me, ha! I want to try Tim Horton’s! Good luck with the move, and being there! I shall be following your adventures.

    And I just downloaded the book you recommended. I like you even more now, because it sounds perfect, haha!

    Lorna

    1. Yaaay! We just read it for our book group, and when I read one of your posts I just thought you might like it too. I’ll be really chuffed if you do!! 😀

      We did try Tim Hortons, but it wasn’t the most impressive thing! My husband said the coffee was pretty rubbish. I had a breakfast muffin, which was sort of the same as something from maccy Ds. BUT it was cheap, and they are friendly!!

  6. I’ve seen incredible waterfalls, but comparing to this ones now they seem nothing to me, This is literally breathtaking. I need to visit it . this is an Awesome post

    1. Thank you! I am really glad you like the look of it! I’d never seen a waterfall quite as impressive as this before either! I’d quite like to come back and see it when it’s all icy!!

    1. I liked it, but not quite enough to buy loads(!) i think it’d be a good additive to a cocktail, but it was a little too sweet to just drink on its own.

      Thinking about it, it’d be amazing to add a splash of it to prosecco.

      1. My parents are big into wine, but I drink literally no wine haha. I’m a whisky drinker, myself! They have assured me that when you pay more, it is more of an enjoyable taste, but I’m not paying $200 for a bottle that gives you six teeny glasses 😐

        1. You can get good wines for less as well…you just need to follow a friend that knows what they are talking about!

          I’m afraid I am still pretty clueless!

    1. Oooh but it was so close! Does that mean you didn’t get to see the horse-shoe shaped part of the waterfall? Or did you go on one of the boat trips to see both?

    1. That would be the main problem with hiring a car and doing a DIY version of the tour – you couldn’t have the wine!

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