From reading some useful answers on this site and following links helpfully provided, it appears that Niagara Falls all but shut down after the first week in November. I did see that they are not closed at night, but the winter season isn't mentioned.

Is there any point in going to Niagara Falls in mid-November? Short of watching the Falls from one's hotel window, what else can one do there - that is "Falls" related - in mid-November?

And, if so, would the Canadian side be more winter-friendly?

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    is your issue "Can I see/get to the Falls?" or "are any other attractions in the town open?" or "are any Falls-specific attractions (walk behind, eat at the lip of, whatever the boat is called this year if it's even running) even open in the winter?" Please edit to be clear. Sep 11 '17 at 14:59
  • @KateGregory - I've edited the Q with "that is "Falls" related" Sep 11 '17 at 15:25
  • @Dorothy - thanks for editing as per site style. :-) Sep 11 '17 at 15:26
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    Canada side: niagarafallstourism.com/seasons/winter
    – mkennedy
    Sep 11 '17 at 17:14

So the Falls themselves just "are" - they can't be open, closed, shut down, or whatnot. There are sidewalks and such that lead to places where you can see them, and the water flows year-round. From a natural point of view, winter brings two important changes: shorter days and more cold.

The shorter days means it's more likely to be dark when you're there, which is cool because they shine coloured lights onto the Falls (they call them Illuminations) to very nice effect.

enter image description here

(Family picture)

The cold means that the spray may freeze onto things which can be interesting and fun to look at. The tourist board wants people to come year-round, so they do things like the Festival of Lights to attract you. As a result you can expect the usual restaurants, souvenir shops, and non-Falls attractions to be ready and waiting for your custom.

Journey Behind the Falls is open year-round. So is the Table Rock Welcome Centre and the restaurant in it, Elements. Back when we went, the boat that goes close to the falls was called Maid of the Mist, then it had another name, and now it's Hornblower Cruises but anyway it stops running Nov 30 so it's not an option in the winter. That seems to be about the only thing you won't be able to do year-round, but since you intend to come in mid-November, even that is an option for you.

Dress warm, embrace the dark, and prepare for a magical experience!

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    Actually, in low-flow months you could shut off the Niagara Falls simply by letting the hydroelectric power stations already in place consume the entire flow -- they already take up more than two thirds of the outflow from Lake Erie, and their capacity is managed specifically to avoid drying up the Falls. (Following a 1950 treaty between the US and Canada, at least 100,000 cubic feet per second must be allowed to fall naturally in daytime during the tourist season). Sep 11 '17 at 18:04
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    @HenningMakholm, I think they drop the winter flow to no less than 50,000 cfs, the same as summer nights (the natural flow in the river is in the 200,000 cfs ballpark). They must not do that until the end of November, though, since I think the used-to-be-Maid-of-the-Mist can only sail at 100,000 cfs. I doubt they can ever dry the falls entirely since the dam that controls the flow only spans half the river's width (Canadian side just downstream of the Welland River).
    – Dennis
    Sep 11 '17 at 23:46
  • Thanks! That's the info I was hoping to get. BTW - my comment about it being closed at night (was actually edited so now it looks like part of the question, but) was in response to the FAQ snipper posted here: travel.stackexchange.com/a/2011/67797 Sep 12 '17 at 7:55

My son Jacky went there 20 years ago passing through on his way to Toronto. He stopped for gas in Niagara and almost froze while filling up.

The roads were iced up and he made a 180-degree spin while driving onto the highway.

I would recommend giving Niagara a wide berth in winter.


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