From the Toronto Sun:
It started as a way to keep up with our American competition.
Now, nearly three decades later, the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights has no competition.
When rumblings of a winter lights festival first started in 1982, organizers watched what was happening across the border with envy. Established two years earlier, the Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, N.Y., was an immediate hit, attracting 250,000 people during its first year. It was one of the rare times our American counterpart got the tourism jump on us.