The Niagara Parks Commission (Niagara Parks), an agency of the Government of Ontario which maintains the Ontario, Canada shoreline of the Niagara River, has launched a call for proposals for a new visitor transportation system linking Niagara Parks sites a with a focus on Queen Victoria Park.
Welcoming millions of guests each year, Queen Victoria Park encompasses the lands that hug the Niagara Gorge overlooking Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, including some of the destination’s top attractions like Journey Behind the Falls, the Niagara City Cruises Boat Tour, WildPlay’s Zipline to the Falls and the Niagara Parks Power Station, local dining, shopping, gardens and pathways, and more.
From its beginning, Niagara Parks has operated steam trains, trolleys, incline railways and bus systems to facilitate access to the viewpoints along the scenic Niagara Parkway overlooking Niagara Falls. The principle is included in the Niagara Parks Act (1885) which states that the Commission construct and operate incline railways, aerial cars, lifts, and works to assist the public in reaching and viewing points of interest in the Parks.
Over the past several years, Niagara Parks has made significant investments in the area, from opening a brand-new attraction, the Niagara Parks Power Station and Tunnel, to the $22 million redevelopment of Table Rock Centre. There are also plans underway to redevelop the historic Toronto Power and Ontario Power Generating Stations.
In 2018, Niagara Parks established the Queen Victoria Park Master Plan to guide the future redevelopment of the area. Additionally, the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario, with the participation of a range of tourism stakeholders including Niagara Parks, recently completed a “Connectivity Study” that examined future needs for visitor transportation.
The new visitor transportation system is expected to enhance the overall guest experience by allowing seamless travel and connection between key Niagara Parks sites, while also acting as a new visitor attraction and visitor demand generator for the area. It will also “present an environmentally sustainable and fully accessible solution that decreases carbon emissions and improves traffic congestion and visitor flow by reducing the number of vehicles within Queen Victoria Park” and “provide a new revenue-generating opportunity for Niagara Parks, while reducing operating expenses, similar to other successful tenant partner agreements the organization currently manages,” according to an announcement sent to the press.
For more information, including the link to the Request For Proposals, visit niagaraparks.com/visitortransportation.
Since its establishment in 1885, Niagara Parks has remained a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, entrusted to preserve and protect the land surrounding Niagara Falls and the Niagara River. Today, Niagara Parks boasts gardens, a horticulture school, recreation, golf courses, restaurants, heritage and historic sites, gift shops and, of course, Niagara Falls.
For more information, visit niagaraparks.com.
Photos, from above: The Canadian side of Niagara Falls in 2023; and Niagara Parks Incline Railway ca. 2022 (courtesy Niagara Parks).