Man swept over falls

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    From The Review
    Saturday, May 14, 2005, page A3

    NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara Parks Police say a man was swept over the falls Wednesday afternoon. According to a press release, the man, who appeared to be between 30 and 40 years old, had been spotted in the fast-flowing waters of the upper Niagara River around 3:45 p.m. then was seen heading over the brink. Maid of the Mist boats were enlisted to search for the man at the foot of the falls. Police believe the man entered the water of his own accord. They are continuing to investigate.

    Complimentary Passes

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    Over the last couple of weeks we’ve received complimentary passes for the following attractions:

    We’ll post our thoughts on each as we go.

    Falls Avenue Developments

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    Both of these signs are currently on the side of the Hershey store as well as in the ground outside Planet Hollywood on Falls Avenue:

    Falls Avenue Developments

    The City of Niagara Falls
    Public Meeting
    Date – May 16, 2005, 7:00 PM
    Council Chambers, City Hall
    4310 Queen Street, Niagara Falls
    File – AM-03/2005
    City Council will consider an application to change the official plan and the zoning by-law for these lands, to permit
    A 229 metre (751 foot) tall hotel and observation tower on 5705 Falls Avenue with the parking in the balance of the adjacent lands owned by the applicant.
    Additional information and a copy of the written notice available by contacting the planning & development department
    City Hall, 8:30 – 4:30, Telephone 356-7521

    Falls Avenue Developments

    The City of Niagara Falls
    Public Meeting
    Date – May 16, 2005, 7:00 PM
    Council Chambers, City Hall
    4310 Queen Street, Niagara Falls
    File – AM-05/2005
    City Council will consider an application to change the zoning by-law for these lands, to permit
    An increase in building height from 15.8 M (52 ft) to 41.7 m (137 ft) for the garage behind the Skyline Brock Hotel, for a new waterpark. Also, an increase in building height from 10.7 m (35 ft) to 34 m (112 ft) for a series of enclosed pedestrian bridges
    Additional information and a copy of the written notice available by contacting the planning & development department
    City Hall, 8:30 – 4:30, Telephone 356-7521

    Blondin returns to Niagara

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    We have previously reported on the rebuilding of Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks on Victoria Avenue.

    For many years, one of the most recognizable city landmarks was the fiberglass figure of tight rope walker Blondin, who was the first funambulist to cross the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope. Blondin had been seen crossing Clifton Hill on his tightrope for more than 40 years when he was taken down when the original location for the Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks closed.
    The figure has now be re-erected across Victoria Avenue with a fresh coat of paint and a new cape.

    Read the write up from the Niagara Falls Review

    Blondin on tightrope over Victoria Avenue in Niagara Falls

    Blondin has a new home perched high above Victoria Avenue, near Clifton Hill.
    Photo: Mike DiBattista, The Review

    Blondin returns to skyline
    Wax museum preparing

    By ALISON LANGLEY Review Staff Writer
    Local News – Thursday, May 12, 2005 @ 02:00

    NIAGARA FALLS — Blondin is back and he’s better than ever.

    After a four-year hiatus, the famed tightrope walker has returned to the heart of the tourist district, this time perched on his tightrope across Victoria Avenue in front of the new location of the Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

    Construction is still going on at the new museum. However, Blondin was put back in business Tuesday night.

    “This is the first time he has seen daylight,” Tim Parker, general manager of Ripley’s in Niagara Falls, said Wednesday morning.

    The fibreglass figure had been a familiar fixture on Clifton Hill for more than 40 years.

    The metre-and-a-half tall statue was taken down in the fall of 2000 after the museum closed its doors.

    With work on the new facility almost completed, Blondin was taken out of storage and given a complete makeover.

    “He looked a little old when we took him down. So, we rejuvenated him with a fresh coat of paint and a new cape,” Parker said.

    The large swashbuckling cavalier that welcomed visitors to the museum is also returning.

    The massive figure is scheduled to be installed at the new site tonight.

    The new Tussaud’s museum is set to open in June.

    The 125 wax figures, which had been stored at Ripley Entertainment head office in Florida, are back in town awaiting the completion of their new home.

    “We won’t be bringing them in until every last speck of drywall dust is gone,” Parker said.

    The original Tussaud’s opened on Clifton Hill in 1959.

    It was an instant success and was credited with launching a new era in the tourism industry as it spawned a number of themed museums and other family attractions in the area.

    Updated image gallery

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    I’ve added another 50+ pictures to the gallery and now have over 800 images. Here are a few highlights of what I’ve added today:

    Of course you can always see the whole gallery at http://www.accessniagara.com/gallery/ and be sure to vote for your favourite images!

    Niagara Falls in the Movies: Superman II

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    One of the most famous movies that features Niagara Falls is Superman II.

    Superman II cover

    Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to marry Lois, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.

    The movie stars Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, and Gene Hackman

    Here are some Niagara Falls specific scenes in the movie:

    0:33:10
    A shot of Table Rock is shown. The camera pans up the river and you see the Skylon Tower.
    You see Lois and Clark in a hotel room and Lois explains why they are in Niagara Falls:
    “[we’re] posing as newlyweds to expose a honeymoon racket in Niagara Falls.”
    0:36:39
    This scene ends.

    0:37:10
    Overhead shot of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. This is the scene where the boy falls in the water and Superman appears to save him.
    0:37:31
    Clark looks at the Falls and says, “Golly, isn’t it beautiful?”
    0:39:29
    The boy falls into the crevasse. You see him falling with a backdrop of the Falls. I guess for 1980 the effects weren’t bad, but today they looked pretty cheesy.
    0:39:51
    You see the Maid of the Mist IV and the people on the boat cheer Superman along.
    0:39:58
    Superman catches the boy before he hits the rocks below. Apparently it takes at least 29 seconds to fall the entire height of the Falls.
    0:40:30
    As Superman flies away, you see the Minolta Tower. Notice that there are no large hotels around it. Today there are large hotels surrounding it and the Minolta Tower actually looks small.
    0:41:41
    This scene ends.

    0:46:17
    This is the start of the scene where Lois tries to make Clark admit he’s Superman. They are at “Niagara’s Great Gorge Trip” and while they are talking you see several of the boats (Ray Weaver’s boat, Major L. Hill’s boat, William “Red” Hill, Sr.’s boat) that are now in the Daredevil Exhibit at the IMAX Theatre in Niagara Falls.
    0:47:31
    Lois jumps into the rapids
    0:47:42
    Superman runs down the walkway and walks past a couple and a child. This is Neil and Denise Burton (of Thorold, ON) and a kid who isn’t theirs. I know Neil and he tells a story that he was told not to turn around and look into the camera, but he did anyway since he thought it was more realistic (if someone bumped you as they ran by, wouldn’t you turn and look?). The director was upset that he turned around, but they didn’t want to reshoot it so they left it in.
    0:49:30
    Lois is ok, and Clark’s secret is still a secret.
    0:49:40
    This scene ends.

    0:51:38
    They are back in the hotel room.
    0:52:28
    Clark trips over a pink bear rug, and falls into the fire. He isn’t hurt so Lois confronts him.
    0:53:18
    Clark officially reveals himself to be Superman, right here in Niagara Falls!
    0:54:52
    The last of the Niagara Falls scenes ends.

    2:06:44
    During closing credits
    “The producers wish to thank:
    The Niagara Parks Commission

    You can purchase Superman II from Amazon.ca.

    Thanks go out to my sister Andrea who helped me record all these details.

    Another Development in the tourist core

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    I was having dinner at Kelsey’s on Clifton Hill last night when I saw the following public notice posted across the street between House of Frankenstein and Ripley’s Moving Theater. This is the first time I saw this posting, though the meeting is next week.

    We have been told this is a formality to allow them to erect the rides they had last year (a rock climbing wall and a slide) while providing future approval for 3 unstated mechanical rides.

    Publc Meeting Notice for Amusement Rides

    The City of Niagara Falls
    Public Meeting
    Date – May 16, 2005, 7:00 PM
    Council Chambers, City Hall
    4310 Queen Street, Niagara Falls
    File – AM-48/2004
    City Council will consider an applicaiton to change the zoning by-law for these lands, to permit
    3 amusement type rides
    Additional information and a copy of the written notice available by contacting the planning & development department
    City Hall, 8:30 – 4:30, Telephone 356-7521

    Niagara Falls in the Movies: Canadian Bacon

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    I was over at my sister’s place yesterday and she asked me to look at the DVD player in her computer. Movies would play, and then cut off. The movie she brought out to show me was Canadian Bacon. I saw it along time ago, and had forgotten about it.

    Canadian Bacon cover

    The movie was written and directed by Michael Moore.

    The U.S. President, low in the opinion polls, gets talked into raising his popularity by trying to start a cold war against Canada.

    The movie stars John Candy, Alan Alda, and Rhea Perlman.

    The reason I mention it is because the movie takes place in and around Niagara Falls, NY.

    Here are some Niagara Falls specific scenes in the movie:

    During the opening credits there are some beautiful aerial shots of the Falls while the song “God Bless America Again” (written by Bobby Bore and Boyce Hawing; performed by Tex Ritter) is playing.
    Throughout the first few minutes of the movie there are several shots of the Falls.

    0:36:11
    From the viewing platform on the American side by the America Falls, you can see the Canadian side with a hotel and the Minolta Tower.
    0:50:40
    There is a similar shot, but this time it is from water level. You see a shot from below of the American Falls, and you again see a hotel and the Minolta Tower on the Canadian side.
    0:50:56
    You see one of the hydro electric dams up the river on the edge of the gorge.
    1:01:11
    The “Omega Force” is sent to invade Canada. You see them scale down the gorge on the US side, cross the Niagara River and then land on the Canadian side.
    1:30:24
    As the movie ends, you see someone in a boat (who is supposed to be John Candy’s character) just about to go over the Horseshoe Falls.
    1:33:30
    During the closing credits, the following references to Niagara Falls are made:
    Special Thanks to:
    The People of Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls Parks Commision

    Filmed entirely on lcation in
    Niagara Falls, NY; Niagara Falls, ON; Toronto and Buffalo.

    No Canadians were harmed during this production

    You can purchase Canadian Bacon from Amazon.ca.

    Be careful of the wax…

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    It’s not uncommon for an attraction’s exit to be into a retail store or some other place where the proprietor can make extra money. Both the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and Movieland Wax Museum of Stars exit into an area where wax hands are made. With the help of the wax hand artisan, a person puts their hand in wax, it hardens, and then they are able to pull their hand out of the “cast”.

    Well, apparently earlier this week (Sunday or Monday) a couple was at the counter where they make wax hands after leaving Ripley’s, and they had an 18-month-old baby with them that they sat down on the counter. Well, the baby squirmed, and ended up in the wax vat! The baby is (or will be) fine.

    Wolfgang is coming!

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    Wolfgang Puck logo

    I’m sure everyone is sick of my posts about the Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe Niagara, but it’s just that I keep getting more information. The restaurant is officially open for business now, but they will be having a grand opening on June 28, 2005 and Wolfgang Puck himself will be there!

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