When you are standing in Queen Victoria Park, you can look out onto the Falls, feel the mist on your skin, and listen to the thundering river rush past. When you venture below, on the legendary Maid of the Mist or the Journey Behind the Falls, you can hear and see up close the power of the mighty Niagara and get drenched by its massive spray. However, it is only when you travel high into the air, to see the waterfalls and the surrounding region from above, can you truly appreciate the beauty and brawn of Niagara Falls.
In the long history of the Falls, most visitors have been resigned to viewing the natural wonder from a handful of lookouts positioned around Niagara Parks. However, as soon as Niagara became a vacation destination, savvy architects began experimenting with structures and towers that allow alternative vantage points of the fantastic falls. If you are staying in Niagara Falls sometime soon, you can’t miss the unparalleled scenery provided at these high-up locations.
The first endeavor to provide travelers with new perspectives on the Falls, Brocks Monument was first constructed in 1824 as a tribute to British Major General Isaac Brock, who was a fierce leader during the War of 1812. Unfortunately, in 1840, agitators against Britain’s continued domination of Canada blew up the monument.
However, this tragedy led to the construction of a newer, better Brocks Monument in the 1850s, and it is this second monument that still stands in Queenston Heights today. The tower is 184 feet tall, and visitors can climb to a small observation deck to look out over the countryside.
Prospect Point Observation Tower
Not to be outdone by their northern neighbors, architects on the American side of Niagara began constructing their own tower in 1888. Sprouting out of Tower Hotel and looking over American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, Moose Tower Observatory boasted elevators — unlike Brocks Monument — that brought visitors to any of its multiple viewing platforms on the way to the top of the 250-foot-tall steel tower. It was such a superbly soaring structure that inventor Guglielmo Marconi used Moose Tower to transmit one of the world’s first wireless messages. Unfortunately. Moose Tower was dismantled and shipped to St. Louis, leaving Americans without an observation point for half a century.
In the early 1960s, Americans once again began construction on an astounding tower to call their own. This new lookout was built at Prospect Point, the busiest and most beautiful place in American Niagara, and looks out over much of the Niagara region. This 282-foot-tall tower still stands proudly today.
Yet, a much more impressive architectural feat was already in the works when Prospect Point’s tower was completed. In the heart of downtown Niagara Falls, Ontario, engineers set to work constructing Skylon Tower. Reaching more than 520 feet into the crisp, Niagara air, Skylon was and is the most remarkable lookout in the region, providing unprecedented views of all three waterfalls and the surrounding landscape.
Skylon provides not only jaw-dropping views, but shopping and restaurants for Niagara visitors to enjoy. The eatery at the top observation deck makes for an excellent space to watch the nightly fireworks.