This is a transcript of the video “Niagara Falls on Wheels” (Described Video version) on the Homepage
Niagara Falls on Wheels:
Seeing is Believing
Copyright 2015 Linda Crabtree
Welcome to Niagara Falls, Ontario. I’m Linda Crabtree and I’ll be your guide today.
Chances are you’ll be staying at one of the many hotels above the falls
The easiest and safest way down to the falls is on the Falls Incline Railway: two enclosed cars on a vertical rail that descend 85 feet in one minute. That’s me on my scooter entering a car with my husband, Ron.
The view is the thundering Horseshoe Falls!
The base of the incline railway leads out to a long, wide ramp that takes you to the Table Rock Welcome Centre and the falls.
The view from Table Rock’s Grande Hall with its wall-to-wall widows takes in all three falls. In case you’re wondering I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a progressive neuromuscular disorder. I haven’t walked in more than 20 years. Just off the Grande Hall near the elevator at the Horseshoe Landing Patio and Grill there’s an unobstructed panoramic view for seated photographers.
The elevator takes you down to ground level and the service and information desk where wheelchairs are rented on a first come, first serve basis.
And then, just outside, is the Horseshoe Falls – You can get so close to the rushing, dark green water it takes your breath away.
Here you can also take the Journey Behind the Falls. An elevator carries Ian and Faye Greaves down to a long tunnel ending at a watery platform tucked in behind the Horseshoe Falls. Ian has multiple sclerosis and uses an electric wheelchair.
Our next stop is Bird Kingdom, where I spent time amongst colorful tropical birds including little parrots called Lorikeets eager to be fed.
Now we’re going on a Hornblower Niagara Cruise to the base of the Horseshoe Falls and we could get very wet. Joining Ian and Faye are Jim and Loretta Davis in their sports chairs. Jim was born with cerebral palsy and Loretta, spina bifida.
Ian and Faye stay back undercover so his motor and controls won’t get wet. The trip takes 20 minutes and is unforgettable no matter what your disability.
Jim and Loretta stay on the outside deck of the boat and don’t mind getting wet.
They both look up. Hi, you two, how’s it goin’ down there.
If you’re still not exhausted there are colored lights on the falls every night and fireworks over the falls several nights a week. And, there’s Clifton Hill, the zany, loud flashy part of Niagara Falls offering a huge arcade, bowling, billiards, miniature golf and even a gigantic white Ferris wheel.
In fact, the next morning finds Ann and Bruno Villalta boarding the Niagara Skywheel, at the top of Clifton Hill. Anne has had a stroke and uses a manual wheelchair which is gently pulled backwards by an operator into the enclosed, climate controlled capsule. The view from 175 feet up stretches for miles.
Bruno finds an opportunity to give Anne a kiss.
Anne and Bruno’s next stop is the Skylon Tower. They travel 775 feet to the top in 52 seconds where the view of the falls and surrounding area is magnificent.
Back on the ground, Bruno and Anne head over to the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse greenhouses. Colourful seasonal flowers as well as a steamy tropical area make this a restful spot. During the summer it’s surrounded by flower beds including a raised circular scent garden out back.
And now, on to the turbulent rapids at the White Water Walk with Jim and Loretta. Here there’s a quarter mile of wide, wooden boardwalk and above you on the Niagara gorge wall, 420 million years of layered, multi-coloured rock.
Next Jim and Loretta board a WEGO Green Line bus taking them to the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. One thing we learned from this active couple was that, depending on your upper body strength, you may need help with various ramps.
The 99-acre Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens features a vast variety of plants and, the glass-domed Butterfly Conservatory. More than 2,000 blue, yellow, orange and pink butterflies land on tropical flowers, fruit-filled feeding stations and, Jim’s hand.
A bit further down the Niagara Parkway, Ron and I take in the huge, round floral clock featuring some 16,000 bedding plants laid out in an intricate design.
To give you an example of the accommodations available we visited two hotels: the Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel and Spa that has a great view of the falls from the room.
And, the Hilton Hotel and Suites directly across the road from the Fallsview Casino Resort. Both hotels are within rolling distance of the Incline Railway. The rooms we visited at both hotels had a full four-piece bathroom with tub and roll-in shower. Both rooms allowed me to move about on my fairly large scooter.
For more accessible place to stay, parks to wander, wineries to visit, restaurants to tempt your palate, great shopping and much more. please see AccessibleNiagara.com. We’re here to help you have a memorable, barrier-free visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Writer, Producer – Linda Crabtree
Director, Editor – Jordan Brock Fowler
D.O.P – Jeff Garriock
Music – Whitney Pea
Additional Video Provided by:
The Niagara Parks Commission
Thanks to our participants:
Ian and Faye Greaves
Jim and Loretta Davis
Ann and Bruno Villalta
Linda Crabtree and Ron Book
Thanks to our sponsors:
The Niagara Parks Commission
Niagara Falls Tourism and
HOCO Entertainment and Resorts
And for access to their properties
The Niagara Parks Commission,
WEGO Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation,
Bird Kingdom, The Skylon Tower, Hornblower Scenic Cruises,
HOCO Entertainment and Resorts, Hilton Hotel and Suites
and the Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel and Spa
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