The other day I was at Coles book store in the Pen Centre where I was browsing the Canadiana books (there were lots of them because of the Canada 150 celebration). One that caught my eye was 25 Places in Canada Every Family Should See by Jody Robbins. As expected, there was a Niagara Falls section.
When I was at Value Village the other day, I also found the Fodor’s Great American Vacations: 25 Affordable Trips to the USA’s Best-Loved Destinations book. It has 13 pages of information about Niagara Falls (page 226 to 238).
From Niagara at Large:
Few jounalists I know have captured the power, the drama the beauty and theatrics in and around one of the world’s most scenic wonders – the Great Falls of Niagara – with as much passion and insight as Michael Clarkson.
So it makes all the sense in the world that Michael Clarkson has written a book on the many daredevils that have tempted fate in the roaring waters of the Falls.
At another store, I recently saw this book called Visions of Canada. It is a collection of stories and essays about different parts of Canada. The section about Niagara Falls is from novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s visit in 1832 (but not published until 1835).
Oh, that I had never heard of Niagara till I beheld it! Blessed were the wanderers of old, who heard its deep roar, sounding through the woods, as the summons to an unknown wonder, and approached its awful brink, in all the freshness of native feeling. Had its own mysterious voice been the first to warn me of its existence, then, indeed, I might have knelt down and worshipped. But I had come thither, haunted with a vision of foam and fury, and dizzy cliffs, and an ocean tumbling down out of the sky–a scene, in short, which nature had too much good taste and calm simplicity to realize. My mind had struggled to adapt these false conceptions to the reality, and finding the effort vain, a wretched sense of disappointment weighed me down. I climbed the precipice, and threw myself on the earth–feeling that I was unworthy to look at the Great Falls, and careless about beholding them again…
All that night, as there has been and will be, for ages past and to come, a rushing sound was heard, as if a great tempest were sweeping through the air. It mingled with my dreams, and made them full of storm and whirlwind. Whenever I awoke, and heard this dread sound in the air, and the windows rattling as with a mighty blast, I could not rest again, till, looking forth, I saw how bright the stars were, and that every leaf in the garden was motionless. Never was a summer-night more calm to the eye, nor a gale of autumn louder to the ear. The rushing sound proceeds from the rapids, and the rattling of the casements is but an effect of the vibration of the whole house, shaken by the jar of the cataract. The noise of the rapids draws the attention from the true voice of Niagara, which is a dull, muffled thunder, resounding between the cliffs. I spent a wakeful hour at midnight, in distinguishing its reverberations, and rejoiced to find that my former awe and enthusiasm were reviving.
Gradually, and after much contemplation, I came to know, by my own feelings, that Niagara is indeed a wonder of the world, and not the less wonderful, because time and thought must be employed in comprehending it.
Whenever I go to Costco, I always check out the book section. Recently I noticed a book called Lonely Planet The World: A Traveller’s Guide to the Planet. I checked to see if Niagara Falls was listed, and it was, under the section called Canada.
Crowded? Cheesy? Well, yes. Niagara is short, too – it barely cracks the top 500 worldwide for height. But come on, when those great muscular bands of water arc over the precipice like liquid glass, roaring into the void below, and when you sail toward it in a mist-shrouded little boat, Niagara Falls impresses big time. In terms of sheer volume, nowhere in North America beats its thundering cascade, with more than one million bathtubs of water plummeting over the edge every second
From The Guardian:
Canadian writer Craig Davidson is best known for his short-story collection Rust and Bone, which inspired the 2012 film. The inhabitants of his second novel live within earshot of Niagara Falls: a constant roar defines and, in a sense, sustains them. Their lives are hard. They have raw, uneuphonious names. They start out with ambitions and end up working in the biscuit factory. As a result, they never forget someone else’s aspiration fulfilled, which they receive as a slight; and they never let you get away with it. Cataract City narrates itself through the pursuits that entertain them on a Saturday night: wrestling, boxing, dog fights and demolition derbies, all those sweaty, noisy, violent pastimes that exploit, along with animals and human beings, the narratives of luck and skill, of cheating and fairness, of give and take – but mostly take.
Annie Edson Taylor left her boarding house room in Bay City in October 1901 to take the ultimate bumpy ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
The extraordinary achievement is told by East Grand Rapids-native Chris Van Allsburg, in his new book, “Queen of the Falls.”
“I read about her in the early 1970s in an old Sports Illustrated magazine I spotted on the windowsill of a factory I worked in during the summer,” Van Allsburg, 61, recalled in a phone interview from his Providence, R.I., home with the Grand Rapids Press. “The story was about people who went over Niagara Falls, and I was amazed the first person to do it was a 62-year-old woman.”
From the Globe and Mail:
What a wordsmith! What a work of depth and breadth! What a world newcomer Cathy Marie Buchanan brings to propulsively glittering and gorgeous life in The Day the Falls Stood Still.
Few first novels exhibit the mastery, maturity and majesty of Buchanan’s riveting fictional debut, a heart-wrenching, soul-racking, spell-binding tale interwoven with guts, anguish and glory guaranteed to remain in readers’ minds long after they’ve crossed its devastating finish line.
Commencing in 1915, in this gripping storyteller’s hometown of Niagara Falls, against the backdrop of the full-force arrival of hydroelectricity and the First World War, this almost entirely first-person narrative relates the saga of 17-year-old Bess Heath, the youngest daughter of a once well-heeled family down on its luck.