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The History of the Falls

Niagara Falls was formed approximately 14,000 years ago when the retreating glaciers changed the course of the flow from Lake Erie from a southward direction to a northward direction towards Lake Ontario and over the Niagara Escarpment.

The constant flow of water over the escarpment eroded the soft shale and limestone cliffs, forcing the falls back at a rate of 1.2 m a year. Today the falls are actually 11 kms inland from their original location at Queenston.

Niagara Falls is made up of several waterfalls. The American Falls makes up 10% of the flow, while the Canadian or Horseshoe Falls makes up 90%. Another smaller falls referred to as The Bridal Veil Falls is also located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island.

Niagara Falls has the largest volume of water cascading over it than any other waterfall in the world, and this power has been harnessed at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station, in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Water is diverted from above the falls by a series of canals and tunnels and returned back to the river after use below the falls to continue on it’s flow to Lake Ontario.