A centuries-old power tunnel will open at Niagara Falls to boost Ontario’s tourism industry

Visitors flock to Niagara Falls over Canada Day weekend for a glimpse of the cascading falls, previously hidden from the public.

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A centuries-old 2,200-foot water tunnel, almost 200 feet below the surface of a power plant, leads to a water-level observation deck. It offers unobstructed panoramic views of the Horseshoe and American Falls.

“It really is the light at the end of the tunnel for COVID-19. People can get out and enjoy life and exploring again,” said Kim Viney, senior director of business development at Niagara Parks.

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Officially opening on July 1, The Tunnel enhances the visitor experience at the Niagara Parks Power Station by providing a subterranean look at the building’s vast underground infrastructure.

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Upon entering the power plant, visitors are propelled down a 180-foot-deep elevator shaft with glass doors and rewind time in the historic trail-race tunnel.

Once they reach the set depth, they are greeted by a massive brick-covered tunnel. This is where the 2,200-foot journey begins. In this tunnel, the used water from the power plant flowed through the technical marvel on its way back to the Niagara River. Instead of torrential waters, they are now greeted by a concrete walkway accessible to all.

Interior of the Niagara Parks Power Plant Tunnel.

Niagara Parks

The journey through the tunnel appeals to all the senses. As visitors venture further in, they can begin to smell moisture in the air and hear the thunderous sound of falling water.

Finally, you’ll be greeted by the roaring waters of the Niagara River as you emerge from the tunnel onto a brand new observation deck perched just above the water.

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Niagara Parks Power Station opens a centuries-old tunnel to the public over Canada Day weekend


Niagara Parks Power Station opens a centuries-old tunnel to the public over Canada Day weekend

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“We started this project in earnest a week before the global shutdown in March 2020 and had to make a heartfelt decision whether to proceed or put it on hold,” said Viney. The project received a $25 million loan from the Ontario government, set aside to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Niagara’s $2.4 billion tourism industry.

Rather than face these challenges, Niagara Parks decided to double in size and retain 500 employees during the first year of COVID. The project was completed on time and on budget.

“This has been a very challenging time for the tourism sector, but today the Niagara region will begin to reopen its world-class attractions and begin the path of recovery,” Heritage Secretary Lisa MacLeod said during a press release in Sommer 2020

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When visitors first viewed the tunnel and falls, many could be heard marveling at the breathtaking views that presented themselves.

“As you turn the corner, you start to hear the rumble and see the light. It’s scary and beautiful at the same time,” said one visitor.

The attraction is open daily and is expected to be open year-round. More information, including ticket prices, is available online.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8960660/century-old-power-tunnel-opens-at-niagara-falls-in-bid-to-boost-ontario-tourism-industry/ A centuries-old power tunnel will open at Niagara Falls to boost Ontario’s tourism industry

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