Niagara Falls declares 'state of emergency' as tourists flock to landmark for rare cosmic event

Niagara Falls declares 'state of emergency' as tourists flock to landmark for rare cosmic event

WATCH: Residents in Niagara Falls react to news of tourists coming into the city

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 30/03/2024

- 13:34

The Canadian side of the attraction made the alert 'out of an abundance of caution'

A state of emergency has been declared in Canada's Niagara region ahead of a rare cosmic event.

The region is expected to gather massive crowds to areas in and around the region's popular waterfalls to watch the solar eclipse on April 8.

Many people are splurging on hotels and rentals in advance to experience the phenomenon at one of North America's most famous natural wonders.

However, a spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday that Regional Chair Jim Bradley had declared a state of emergency "out of an abundance of caution."

\u200bNiagara Falls

Niagara Falls is expected to see a mass influx of visitors


A spokesperson said: "Declaring a state of emergency ... strengthens the tools the region has at its disposal to safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors and protect our critical infrastructure in any scenario that might arise."

Meanwhile, the mayor of Ontario city of Niagara Falls Jim Diodati predicted "by far the biggest crowd that we've ever had" on the Canadian side for the eclipse.

He estimated that up to a million people will be there, compared with the 14 million who typically visit during the course of an entire year.

The region will also be modifying some of its programs and services and closing some facilities to keep traffic off the roads on April 8.


Jim Diodati

Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati


The dramatic waterfall on the border between the two countries is in the path of the eclipse.

The eclipse will be a busy time both on the Ontario side and the New York side of the waterfall, with numerous special activities planned.

Many enthusiasts are planning to drive thousands of miles (km) across Canada to be there when the moon's shadow covers the sun for about three to four minutes starting at 3.20pm ET.

For Canada, this marks the first total solar eclipse since 1979, with the next forecast for 2044.

President and CEO of regional tourism promotional agency Destination Niagara USA John Percy said in a press release that he expects the eclipse to bring "the largest influx of visitors we've ever seen" to the US side of the falls.

Some visitors like University of Toronto physics professor Jason Harlow will travel with their families.

Professor Jason Harlow said: "Seeing something that's so rare and so beautiful - to see the stars come out in the day - yeah, something that my kids will remember their whole lives."

Meanwhile, local business owners such as Gabriel Gabrie said the solar eclipse will bring "more people and more luck."

The owner of Bravo! Pizzeria & Grill in Ontario's Niagara Falls said: "I am calling back our staff from the previous year and training them again. We are expecting to have a full house,"

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