Skipping the Light Fandango

Niagara’s Rink at the Brink turns five
  • Oct 31, 2013
  • 293 words
  • 2 minutes
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The Niagara River thunders over the Niagara Escarpment at the rate of 5,720 cubic metres per second, creating three waterfalls — the colossal Horseshoe Falls and American Falls and the slighter Bridal Veil Falls — collectively known as Niagara Falls. Roughly half to three-quarters of the water flow is seasonally diverted to produce hydroelectricity for communities on each side of the Canada/U.S. border — but the remaining rush of water creates a dramatic spectacle that has thrilled generations of visitors to the Niagara region.

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Even better news? The Falls is by no means just a summertime show. When the temperatures drop, the perpetual mist thrown up by the relentless cascade of water crystallizes on surrounding surfaces, creating a magical winter wonderland. Adding its own unique lustre is the Rink at the Brink, a skating surface roughly two-thirds the size of an NHL rink. Part of the Winter Festival of Lights, the rink is considered a cornerstone of the Niagara-in-winter experience, and on December 1, it celebrates the start of its fifth season. With Horseshoe Falls and American Falls in plain sight, pull on a pair of skates (if you don’t have your own, there are rentals), and take a twirl under some of the 300 million sparkling lights illuminating the park. Every Friday through the end of January, weather permitting, skaters tripping the light fantastic can enjoy a bird’s eye view of Fireworks over the Falls.

While there’s typically an admission fee, there are also several free skate days through the season (Dec. 9 and 16, Jan. 13 and 17, and Feb. 3 and 10). Bring the family and check out what all the fuss is about.

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