A Million People Expected At Niagara Falls For The Solar Eclipse

Niagara Falls is set to receive its largest ever influx of visitors on April 8, with the iconic landmark lying slap bang on the path of the total solar eclipse. And with enormous numbers of people expected to travel from far and wide to view the event at the famous waterfall, hotel prices have become astronomical.

Situated on the Canadian-US border, Niagara Falls has the highest flow rate of any large waterfall in North America and is sure to provide a stunning backdrop to this once-in-a-lifetime celestial spectacle. A popular tourist destination even on a bad day, the site is now gearing up for its busiest-ever period as eclipse enthusiasts flood the region.

According to Reuters, Niagara Falls mayor Jim Diodati has estimated that up to a million people will be present on the Canadian side of the waterfall for the eclipse, making this “by far the biggest crowd that we’ve ever had.” Given that the site usually receives around 14 million visitors over the course of an entire year, the numbers expected on April 8 are likely to put a major strain on local services, which is why Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley has preemptively declared a state of emergency in the area.

In place since March 28, the emergency measure gives local authorities extra powers to ensure the safety of people and property, such as the right to restrict movements or to create temporary legal sanctions banning certain behaviors. Within the context of a mass gathering, this may result in the closure of certain roads and other measures designed to prevent traffic jams and relieve the pressure on emergency services.

Most schools in Niagara will also be closed on April 8, which is great news for all kids in the area who would rather watch the eclipse than do algebra. Considering Canada hasn’t seen a total solar eclipse since 1979 and won’t witness another until 2044, you’d have to be a pretty joyless soul to begrudge the local pupils a day off school to see it.

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