Closet Canuck's Great Big Canadian Train Adventure DAY 9: Niagara Falls, Dan Aykroyd Wine, On to Ontario


American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls as seen from Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I went on an all-day tour to Niagara Falls with Magic Bus Tours. The $75 ticket includes R/T transportation from Toronto; lots of time at the falls; a visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake; a stop at a local winery and other attractions along the way.



The Canadian Horseshoe Falls are 167 ft. high, and in fact almost 1/3 of the falls lie within the US (according to the USGS). They are located between Terrapin Point on Goat Island in New York state, and Table Rock on the Ontario side of the falls.



I loved being there in the off-season. Sure, the Maid of the Mist wasn't running, but there weren't hordes of people, either. And the weather was perfect! Niagara Falls has long been on my bucket list, so if you're in Toronto, go see them.



The town of Niagara Falls, Ontario is a little cheesy and Vegas-esque, and lunch dining options were somewhat limited. I ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe, where I had a very overpriced hamburger that wasn't all that great. But I hear the Canadian side of the falls is much better than the American side.



We spent about an hour in Niagara-on-the-Lake, located on the shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River. It's known for the Shaw Festival that runs April-November, and has no shortage of upscale shops and restos.



Our tour concluded with a stop at the 20 Bees Winery, where we enjoyed a wine tasting that featured a few sips of Dan Aykroyd's Sauvignon Blanc. Yes, that Dan! He's a Canadian born in Ottawa and his father was a policy adviser to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Dan was first introduced to wine during his Saturday Night Live days and now it's a big part of his life.


VIA Rail Canada's Canadian pulls out of the Toronto station at 10 PM on Thursday night. Our next stop will be in Horneypayne, Ontario on Friday afternoon. My little room on the sleeper car Mackenzie was small but cozy. The room next to me was empty, so I stowed my luggage in there.





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