Detailed Guide of My Solo Road Trip to Niagara Falls, Canada

zipline to the falls photo near the bottom of niagara falls canada

I’ve been wanting to do this solo road trip for over 3 years now. One day the idea was just there, and I’ve talked about it non-stop since. I was unable to make it happen for a while due to the pandemic, but also because of all the injuries I’ve sustained. I’ve been in physical therapy off and on for the last two years dealing with everything. The last time I planned to go, in May of 2022, I had just sustained a torn hamstring in my driver’s leg, the speakers in my car blew out, amongst other technical issues. It really felt like it wasn’t the time yet, so when things did work out well this time around, it felt right.

Today I’m giving you a full detailed guide of my trip to Niagara Falls, Canada. No bullshit, everything you’d ever need to know right here. From is it foreigner and tourist-friendly, to currency, must-haves if you’re doing a road trip, price breakdown, and more!

CONTENTS

**Anchor & Jump links aren't working; sorry for the inconvenience. Nothing I can do.**
  • The Full Idea
    • Toronto Issues
  • Phone & Network Service in Canada
  • Prior to Trip Expenses & Must-Haves
    • What I bought
    • Must-haves
  • Currency
  • The Drive & Pre-Departure Guide
  • Entering Canada
  • The Stay
  • Food
    • I-Hop 
    • TGI Fridays 
  • The To-Do List
    • Boat Tour 
    • Journey Behind the Falls Tour 
    • Skylon Tower 
    • Walk along Fallsview Scenic Trail 
    • Seeing the sunset or sunrise over the falls 
    • Niagara Falls Sky Wheel 
    • Zipline to the Falls 
    • Claw & Kitty (Maybe) 
    • Souvenirs
  • Getting Gas in Canada
  • Price Breakdown
  • Conclusion


THE FULL IDEA

So, this whole plan and trip started because I wanted to visit Niagara Falls, and I figured, like any person, if I'm going to Niagara Falls I might as well go to Toronto also. Right? 

WRONG! 

Planning and trying to make Toronto possible was stressful at best. Planning and booking Niagara Falls was so easy and effortless. That’s how planning a vacation SHOULD BE

Therefore, I shifted my perspective and realized for whatever reason the universe/God/higher power/whatever out there did not want me in Toronto during this time. 

Originally, I was supposed to go away for a full week, leave Niagara Falls on October 5th, and move over to Toronto. But I was met with so many fucking issues it was unbelievable. Just like this trip couldn't happen for many years because I was met with many issues. I truly believe the universe has my back and anything that I have to FORCE to happen just isn't meant to be at this current point in time.

Toronto Issues

There were numerous issues I ran into when trying to plan out Toronto. I didn’t even book yet, didn’t get the chance to. I did thorough research beforehand to make sure it was all feasible, and it wasn’t.

The first of my issues was I couldn't find a decent parking garage. All parking garages had horrible reviews on them. Most of them being that their cars were vandalized or broken into. And this was in DOWNTOWN TORONTO. I can't risk that! Seeing as I was driving my personal car into the country and needed to get home at the end of the trip. I was not going to drive a rental, that defeated the whole purpose of the road trip. It had to be my car and therefore risking the safety of my car, even a rental car, is just not it.

The parking garages that I found that were decent, didn't take cash and I don't trust putting a foreign card in some unknown machine. Also, my card does have the whole international transaction fee on top of it. Not foreigner friendly. The other option was to pay through an app, but I wasn't sure how much my phone's data & network would slow down in Canada. Just because I was covered didn't mean anything when the fine text read:

If the network is busy things will slow down. 

I was warned that it could hit 2G, and therefore, that also was not an option, and again was not a tourist or foreigner-friendly option. If you read this far, then you’ll know why street parking was also not a possibility. Most are cashless and have to either pay by card or app and like any city has its own street parking rules that make no sense. Something I could not risk.

So then I considered getting a hotel on the outskirts of Toronto and grabbing a Lyft or Uber. But again I'd have to use my phone, and again that was uncertain if I didn't have the network for it. Also, the hotel staff I talked to in various locations were just such assholes, unhelpful to potential guests, they sounded really miserable over the phone, and then some of these places looked so run down I could NOT willingly spend money or time in these locations.

I found a decent hotel, that looked stunning inside, near downtown Toronto with a small parking lot, but oh wait, the reviews said they were right next door to a strip club and it was always loud at night. 1) Fuck no as a solo female traveler and 2) fuck no to the noise. No one wants to be near that shit.
 
Then I found a hotel near the airport and hoped to find public transit that would go into Toronto, also not an option. What I was met with instead was, I would have had to walk for 30 minutes, take a bus, then walk again, then another bus. Is Toronto even a city? The fact I couldn’t find reliable public transit is insane, and I’m so well-traveled, people weren’t joking when they said Toronto’s infrastructure is outdated.

Then I looked into furthering my stay at Niagara Falls and seeing if there's a train that goes into Toronto. There is one train, BUT it doesn't come back to the falls. So it would have been a pointless one-way trip. So what do you do then? Seriously.

It made thinking about Toronto absolutely pointless because there was just no feasible way that this was going to work without risking SOMETHING. I also had a friend send me a message from another friend, who lives in downtown Toronto. She said that people were going around hijacking cars in downtown Toronto. Clearly, I dodged a bullet with that also! It really just seems like Toronto is so landlocked, which it's not, and that the only feasible way of visiting Toronto is by air and staying very downtown in an Airbnb or hotel. Because all the downtown hotels didn't have parking garages! During my time in Niagara Falls, I met a local Toronto resident who also urged me to avoid the big airport AT ALL COST. That it IS best to fly into Toronto and to come to see it in the summertime because there’s more to do then.

Moreover, I read an article that by 2024 they should have a ferry system that goes to and from the falls to Toronto, and I think that will be great considering everything up until this point. 

Also, I've been told Toronto's traffic is worse than LA's. I don't know how bad it actually is, I sit in traffic quite often because 76 sucks ass, but I really had nothing to compare it to because I never got to try it. I don't mind traffic on certain occasions, but the fact I couldn't feasibly plan Toronto without risking my safety, my car's safety, a migraine, regressing my injury, and just a numerous bunch of things, I really began to believe the universe did not want me there for a reason. And you know what, Toronto is NOT going anywhere. I can come back with other people one day, and I'll fly in to save myself the migraine. Or come back when the ferry system is running.

Toronto was just a plus, not a must. Niagara Falls, the Canadian side, was always the main reason I wanted to take and do this trip. There’s much more to see and do on the Canadian side of the falls than on the United States side anyway.

Phone & Network Service in Canada

For a long time, I was with a subnetwork of T-Mobile. It was great until it wasn’t. It had no international or roaming plans possible for Canada, and for a long time, I thought I was going to have to buy a Google Fi sim card just to use for the 1 trip. Luckily I didn’t have to because my family switched to AT&T’s Unlimited plan that had me covered in Canada. Majority of the time, I still had 5G, but there were times it dropped to LTE.

If you’re really foreign and a tourist coming out of the country or even want to take a similar trip, there’s not really a Canadian sim card you can get. Not even at the airport, not on Amazon, I did talk to someone who once visited Toronto who now lives out of the country. They were able to find a random sim card at a random stall in a mall, but that’s seriously a gamble. It’s not just Canada, it’s all of America that has this problem. It’s not as tourist-friendly as it may seem. 

I have an unlocked phone. 

I always have an unlocked phone for a reason. I buy my phone straight up from the brand and not from a carrier. I do my own setup. I do it for a specific reason, and I’ve been doing this for years. That’s because if your phone is locked to a carrier and their roaming plan is non-existent or terribly expensive, you’re fucked when it comes to traveling. Me, on the other hand, I always have an unlocked phone. I can take my phone to ANY carrier in the world that I want that offers GSM (sim cards).

When I go away to Europe, to Asia, they have made it available for foreigners to get a travel sim card for their entire stay whether on location or online prior to arrival. It’s connected to your passport, rather than an address like it is here in America. It is pay-as-you-go, but it’s not the same as any place that offers pay-as-you-go in America. You really aren’t left with many choices, and if you’ve traveled to some places in Asia before you also have the option of renting a portable wifi router which is also not a possibility in America at all.

Luckily, I switched in August, so that was my first sign that this trip might just work out this time around.

Prior to Trip Expenses & Must-Haves

There were certain other things and expenses I needed to make so this trip could happen. Some stuff I had, some stuff I didn’t. It will be different for everyone, but there are certain must-haves that I had during this trip that I will definitely be using in the future.

You can find my entire Travel Necessities & Car Necessities list on my Amazon storefront.

What I bought

The first and main thing I bought and invested back into myself is a new phone. I took a day trip into the mountains back in early September with my old phone, a OnePlus 6t. It was then I learned, my phone can only handle basic tasks. It almost left me stranded in the middle of nowhere, and I had to constantly restart my phone because it kept freezing and glitching multiple times. It wasn’t mercury in retrograde yet, but it was over 3 years old. I would have liked to push it a little more but it’s fine. If this trip was going to happen before the end of 2022, a new phone was necessary. 

Therefore my very first purchase was the Google Pixel 6, and because I was a month away from the Pixel 7’s release, it was $100 cheaper than its original price. Still pricey considering I dropped $600+ on it, but it was a new phone.

Everything else I purchased is as follows:
The last thing I purchased, and legit I purchased this day before I left, was a GoPro Hero 10. Why? Because you’re going to get super soaked at the falls. Most of these phones are expensive and aren’t as waterproof as you might think. “Water-resistant” does not mean waterproof. It can only handle so much water before there’s water damage. Does your insurance plan cover that? Most don’t. Also, if you want any good footage, you’re going to want a waterproof camera and a hand & wrist strap. And of course, you’re going to also need to buy a memory card that’s suitable for GoPro. 

I had a lot of old accessories from my old GoPro way back when, but I purchased the bundle pack and got some great accessories with it. That being said, the hand & wrist strap is an additional charge, but let me tell you it’s worth it!!

I was originally considering on buying the DJI Osmo, and I understand the magnet is heavy-duty, but I didn’t trust it completely. Plus, I couldn’t find a hand & wrist strap for it, therefore, the GoPro wins.

Also, if you set your sights on ziplining anywhere, you’re not allowed to hold a phone while going down. It doesn’t matter which zipline you are on. They won’t let you, simple as that. You need either a body mount that’s super secure or the hand & wrist strap. Mine was so tight it was cutting off circulation, but I legit got some of the best footage of my life! I live for this stuff! Wait and tune into my YouTube channel for all the cool cool stuff.

Some last purchases I made were batteries for the doorstop alarm, snacks for the road, and two servings of Honey Grow for the road. I didn’t want to dilly-dally through towns. I did it once for a bathroom because I had too much tea, and it was just so out of the way. So one of my game changers was bringing food with me.

niagara falls canada bullet journal spread

Must-haves

Besides what I have mentioned above, a few other must-haves are as followed:
  • MyRadar app - it helped me track the storm and make sure the weather was perfectly dandy once outside of Norristown/Allentown area. It was gorgeous during my stay in Canada.
  • A dash cam - great extra camera for footage of the road, you will drive through some amazingly stunning areas. It’s stuff like this that makes me feel like I could seriously drive forever. But in general, it’s great to have one in case something bad does happen on the road and you have proof.
  • Car Battery Booster Pack - I was not leaving for this trip without it. If something were to happen to my car battery, I didn’t want to trust anyone with my car especially since females tend to be easy prey to men. Unfortunately. Mechanics are no exception. I think we women should all know at least the basics of our vehicles, especially if we drive a lot, it’ll save us long-term headaches.
  • Makeup mirror - so this is something I didn’t have on me but I wish I did have! My sister had one during our trip to Florida in 2021, and I should have gotten it then. The lighting and mirror angles available in hotel rooms, and even Airbnb's, aren’t always the greatest. I put in contacts to see, and it was hard finding an angle and a mirror to work with. I was switching between three mirrors to put on my makeup and my phone's camera because the lighting was god-awful.
  • Fake wedding band - as a solo female traveler having a gorgeous ring that can double as a fake wedding band helps keeps the creeps away, to an extent. 
  • Good shoes - enough said.
  • Passport holder - it’s not really a holder just for your passport, I also keep cash in it, an extra pen, etc. 
  • EZ Pass - It’s cheaper to drive there and back on EZ Pass than cash or get it sent to you through the mail. You get a discount essentially as a tag holder. For example, crossing the Peace Bridge by cash is usually $8; I only paid $4 as an EZ Pass tag holder.
  • A planner with all the details and plans - I have many different planners, but for this trip I used my travel bullet journal that I created just for adventures.
  • Luggage locks - I don’t trust hotel staff. I lock everything up again before I leave the room.

And then lastly some go-figure stuff, any cables I need, a first aid kit, and any medicine I’ve been taking.

Currency

I’ve been told you can buy Canadian currency at the border and sell it back to the border, but when crossing I didn’t see any place where to actually do that. So if you know, let me know! Crossing was confusing because I would have thought you’d get border patrol before crossing the bridge, not after. I did see a large building after crossing, and a small building before crossing, so maybe one of the two. I was just so confused and happy and dumbstruck that I didn’t bother stopping to find out. 

Prior to the trip, I did some research on currency exchange shops. These are almost everywhere in different parts of Europe, and they’re safe, I trust them. The ones I found near Niagara Falls, I wouldn’t trust them at all.

Ultimately, it would be best to have a credit card that has no international transaction fees. But here’s where I’m like, America isn’t exactly tourist-friendly again. I have family in Europe, and I don’t quite see them using credit cards like we do in capitalist countries. They exist but not in the same regard. But if you are an American or live in a capitalist country, get yourself a credit card that offers no international fees.

If you are using a debit card, you’re going to want to tell your bank you’re leaving the country, to where, how long, etc. So they know not to block any transactions while you’re away.

You can remove Canadian money from an ATM in Canada, but you will be met with an international fee, a currency exchange fee, as well as a transaction fee. Know your bank’s fees before you go.

Personally, I bought Canadian cash from my bank, Santander. There are certain locations of different banks that buy and sell different currencies. Just pop into your local bank to ask, they should know where. I used the Newtown, PA Santander bank to buy Canadian cash. And they said if I have anything left over, they’d also buy it back from me. 

NOTE: If you pay in cash, in Canada, a lot of restaurants and shops will give you a cash discount.

I bought $317 USD worth of Canadian cash. It came out to $400 CAD at the time. Currency exchange rates fluctuate daily. But man is Canadian money gorgeous! And it smells nice.

The Drive & Pre-Departure Guide

Did I mention this was a solo road trip into Canada? I drove about 8 hours both ways, and in general, prior to leaving there were a few things that were a must.
  • Get your car checked
  • Make sure the oil is changed
  • Make sure tires are in tip-top shape and have enough air
  • Make sure you have all the documents needed, including an EZ Pass if you are a tag holder.
  • Set up your vehicle with whatever you need the day before you leave, cables, phone holder, etc.
  • Get a full tank of gas the day before leaving.
The drive there was about 8 hours and cost me $18.10 via EZ Pass. I left on October 3rd at 8:40am and arrived a little past 5pm.

Once you make it to Allentown, PA on the turnpike, there are a lot more frequent rest stops. In general, there are so many more texting stops, and rest areas, in New York than in PA. I’ve had nothing but an amazing time driving through NY. It may have been more expensive, but the laws made sense, the way people drove made sense, and it was nothing but pleasant. It wasn’t even a turnpike, and there were a lot of frequent opportunities to stop and take a break, unlike PA.

The drive back was $10.40, and also, about 8 hours. Only about 20-30 minutes faster, with a different route, still gorgeous, through PA, lots of mountains, but less frequent rest stops. More little towns.

The drive itself wasn't bad. Not at all. I was fearing it would be because I always dread driving home. Love being home, but once you hit the city limits, driving in it is ugly. Remember how I said 76 sucks ass way above? Well, it does. How is it that I drove 7 hours just fine, but the second I'm at the city's limits (aka near King of Prussia) no one knows how to drive? Even New Yorkers, who get shit on for their driving, were much better and made more sense than southeast of Pennsylvania. I just don't understand. My road rage legit only comes out around here, but everywhere else I'm at peace and could drive forever. 

It's those moments when I am reminded of my dad. My dad drives a lot or rather he used to. He's always been known to drive a lot. The distance between where my dad's family lives and my mom's family lives in Poland is about 8 hours. So the drive legit made me feel like I drove through Europe, and made me feel ready to take on an actual Euro trip. 

I got into the zone of driving and it was a very pleasant drive if I do say so myself.

Entering Canada

This one’s a no-brainer, but you need a passport. It’s really not hard to get a passport at all. It doesn’t take long either.

Going off-season is better, you will have little to no wait times.

canadian border peace bridge

As mentioned above on the topic of Currency, you deal with border patrol AFTER you cross the bridge, not before. They ask you a bunch of questions. Mine just happened to be centered around why a solo female traveler was crossing into Canada, alone. And my answer is the same as always because I can, life is too short to wait on others for what I want to do, and it’s empowering as a female!

Lastly, you pay either an $8 cash toll for entering Canada or $4 for EZ Pass holders.

The Stay

Oh, man. This one’s going to be a doozy. 

niagara falls canada bullet journal spread

I stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview, and let me just say the photos are overrated. I splurged and got myself a Fallsview room, and the photos make it seem like you’re close to the falls. In reality, you are not that close to the falls. You’re still blocks away, blocked by buildings and trees. If you want a closer stay, they’re probably going to be the hotels with rooms that are estimated at about $800 for 2 nights. Maybe one day. 

The rooms were outdated. The ceiling was cracked in some places and falling apart. Parking on deck (on-site) off-season is $50 CAD a night (see below for price breakdown and currency conversion), and off-site (across the street) is $20 CAD a night. Because I couldn't risk my car, I chose to park on-site. I’m sure they have cameras off-site, but I felt better about it being on-sight. It was also very easy to go to and from my car when I needed anything.

I got comped for parking because they decided to do maintenance on Tuesday, October 4th, during my stay and the day I was going out and about on the falls. October 5th I was to return home. I came back to no running water in my toilet, shower, or bathtub. Thankfully, I had running water in my sink otherwise it would have been a completely unlivable place. And because they were fully booked they couldn’t switch my rooms, so it made no sense to me as to why do maintenance on the day it was fully booked? Maintenance should be done on the least busy days. My friends told me I could have gotten way more out of it, but by the end of the day I was so tired and in so much pain I could give a rat's ass. Comping my parking was enough for me as I was leaving the next day. It just made me think, this is why I need a partner. I love traveling alone and doing things alone, but having a partner that’s my anchor, and can deal with this type of nonsense for me is my must. When I’m on vacation, I don’t want to have to put on big girl pants and be super responsible. Unfortunately, not everything goes according to plan.

Needless to say, I definitely won’t be returning to this hotel. Other hotel guests on the floor were really rowdy and loud. It made me feel like I was living in a college dorm rather than a hotel. For a 4-star hotel and the price, definitely not worth it. I would rate this a 3-star at best.

The only thing I did like was:

  • waking up to the sunrise (because the sun rises in the East and sets in the west), 
  • being able to see rainbows from my window from the falls, 
  • and seeing the fireworks from my window.
  • The staff was kind.
  • Bed was comfy also. 
Moreover, it was a little hard to control the air unit in the room. It was also very outdated. And the lighting was god awful! One of the things I wish I had during my stay but didn’t was a makeup mirror with actual LED lights. Not just for makeup, but to also have a better mirror to put in my contacts.

Food

I didn’t buy food that much while I was on this trip. I had a short trip, and packed food to bring with me including snacks. The only day I needed food was Tuesday for breakfast, which turned into brunch because I started my day late, and then dinner which I splurged on. I even had leftover food from dinner for my lunch for my drive home. 

I had listed out, prior to the trip, possible places to eat or grab food:
  • I-Hop (on-premises)
  • TGI Fridays (lower level of the hotel)
  • Tim Horton’s (around the corner)
The only place I didn’t get to eat at or try out was Tim Horton’s, but I’m not mad about it. I know there will be other opportunities.

Overall, I didn’t spend much of the cash I brought with me on food nor did I have to use my card. Which reflecting on the trip now, $400 Canadian cash would have not been nearly enough for food and my to-do list. $500 Canadian cash could suffice, but I’d still find myself using a card at some point. Now if you’re going for a much longer stay, it’s not exactly safe to bring around that much cash with you, but you’re going to be in a similar boat.

Ultimately, it would be best to get yourself a credit card that has no international fees.

I-Hop

I had “brunch” at I-Hop which was on the premises of my hotel. I call it brunch because I started my day late. The crepes were okay, very mediocre, and the server was rude. I was warned ahead of time that these people add their tips to the check, and I did clearly see that she did in fact include her tip. It came out to be just $27.33 JUST for crepes. Didn’t want to be the bitch and ask for change so I just rounded up and gave her $30 CAD ($21.61).

TGI Fridays

I wish I could say TGI Fridays was better. Also on the premises, on the lower level of the hotel, I ordered a medium rare bacon bleu burger, jalapeno poppers, and it all came with a side of fries. I used my card for this purchase and gave her a nice tip also which all came out to $68.33 CAD or $50.42, plus an international transaction fee of $2.02. 

My burger came well done 😒, I hate when people don't listen to my instructions when I ask for a MEDIUM RARE BURGER. The poppers were TO DIE FOR. I decided to save the poppers for lunch as I know I would have hated a cold well-done burger on the road. The fries were amazing though, so it wasn’t too horrible, but I did wait forever at first to just order. The girl kept pouring the same old heads drinks over and over again before ever reaching me. 😑

The To-Do List

I honestly know there’s not much you can do on the US border of Niagara Falls, and if you want to get your stays worth it’s best to do it on the Canadian side. BIG PERK! Canada is now open to all visitors, no vaccinations are needed, no ArriveCan app, and no randomized testing. So tourism, when I arrived, was booming, and I wasn’t expecting it, but I should have. 

Before hitting the road I had listed out possible things I wanted to do on the trip.
I’m going to go through each of them individually, break down the price, the time it took, whether was it worth it and more.

Boat Tour

boat tour niagara falls

I honestly would recommend doing this one either first thing of your day and then getting changed at the hotel room or the last thing of your day. Don’t wear jeans. You’re going to get super-soaked! I got so drenched, and the winds up close to the falls were swirling all around me, I definitely caught a cold from it. I was wearing very water-resistant clothes, and it was 74 degrees Fahrenheit outside, but up against the falls, it was FREEZING.

The poncho they give you barely helps, and they have a recording playing talking about the history and facts of the falls. Through the wind and water, you can’t hear a thing. The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes and was $34 Canadian cash, which is about $24.81 USD.

boat tour price voyage to the falls niagara falls, canada

This is where you’re going to really want that waterproof camera. I still haven’t finished going through all the footage, but the ones I saw were funny and great! I got to see some gorgeous views thanks to what the GoPro captured!

After the boat tour, the gift shop at the end is legit the best gift shop I ran into during my entire stay on this trip! Definitely take full advantage. I like to collect a sticker from all my stays to sticker bomb on my memory-keeping planner–the Passion Planner Daily. This was the only place that had something for everyone, and wish I knew about it sooner. 

Journey Behind the Falls Tour

journey behind the falls

I honestly thought this was going to be a guided tour but it’s not. I showed up about 40 minutes before closing (6pm) and it was more than enough. This takes you behind the falls and to the bottom of the falls. There are placates around with history and fun facts about the falls from the boy who survived going over the falls to stunters. There is even a wishing well type area, and one of my wishes came true already somewhat so…

journey behind the falls

This main area is just for people to take photos because you get super up close. You get another poncho, but I barely even got drizzled on. Unfortunately, I did see some people litter their ponchos and leave them without taking them back to be recycled. That’s just plain rude and disgusting, don’t be one of those people.

journey behind the falls

It cost $26.56 in Canadian cash and about $19.13 in USD.

Skylon Tower


skylon tower views

Honestly, the elevator for this tower is more secure than the ones that were at my hotel. You got to see some gorgeous views from way up, but you are barred in with a metal fence. Overall, it is kind of overrated, and it’s not the prettiest tower I've been in, but the sights are stunning from the top! 

skylon tower views

I was originally thinking of going to see the sunset over the falls here, but the sun sets in the west which is not over the falls. A one-time flight up is all you need ($22.04 CAD; $15.87 USD). 

skylon tower views

I did purchase the photos, but I regret it and wouldn’t recommend it. $40 Canadian cash ($29.18 USD) for 2 photos, and the rest for digital download. They look somewhat cool and okay, but I got better photos from my stay.

They also have plenty of souvenir shops, and I did buy a few knick-knacks here and there. And like anywhere, souvenirs are going to be the bulk of your expenses. Merch doesn't come cheap.

Walk along Fallsview Scenic Trail

This is something that’s naturally going to happen because everything you want to do is right along this trail. There are other things to do along this trail besides the very touristy fall areas, but I stuck to the tourism side of things. Nonetheless, I got some great shots of my 2022 Artist of Life workbook by Lavendaire. It’s thanks to the workbook that I was able to make this trip happen!

artist of life workbook by lavendaire in canada

Seeing the sunset or sunrise over the falls


sunrise over niagara falls

I was contemplating doing the Instagrammer thing and waking up extra early to catch the sunrise over the falls, but honestly seeing it from my hotel room was enough. It was just as gorgeous! Maybe next time.

The sunset on my last day here was also stunning.

sunset over niagara falls

Niagara Falls Sky Wheel

This is one of the things I didn’t get to do on my list because it was much further away from the falls than I originally anticipated. And since I was already on Skylon Tower, I just didn’t see a point to it. I can see children enjoying this if you’re here for a much longer stay as it is in a quaint area, but I stuck to being by the falls at all times.

Zipline to the Falls

When planning this trip, and I saw ziplining was possible, I knew I was going to do it. I had already gotten over my fear of it when I went down one of the longest ziplines in North America at Camelback Mountain. Although, I didn’t have a GoPro at the time to film it on. It was there, that I learned, no phones are allowed, you have to have a GoPro and it has to be SO SECURE ON YOU otherwise they won’t let you take it on.

There was about a half-hour wait even off-season, but everything went down smoothly. I paid for the full package of photos and videos. I would highly suggest getting the photos as they are my favorite from this entire trip! The videos, although they’re cool, they’re not separate videos. They’re short-spliced together in a one-minute video. 

zipline to the falls

The full package costs $39.99 CAD ($29.18 USD) + tax after you zip down, but if you purchase it prior at the kiosk it is $34.99 CAD ($25.53 USD) + tax. 

Admission to zip down alone without the photo & video full package is $69.99 CAD ($51.06 USD). 

Everything came out to $123.53 CAD or $88.97 USD.

I do have a few grievances I want to share about it though. 

So I think what’s great is they let travelers who are traveling together go down together, so you’d assume a solo traveler would go down alone, right? Wrong. I was pushed off to the corner and forced to go down with 2 others. I would have understood if I got the better view and seating arrangement, but to push me off to the side like that. I felt it to be rude. I would not have minded purchasing or paying extra to do so.

It just reminded me that people don't care about you. Even if it’s their job to. People won't be as nice as you are. They won't have common courtesy so you need to make sure you put yourself where you want to be first. Because no one else will do it for you. Other people will take what they want to take, so you might as well be the bitch in the situation and get what you deserve.

zipline to the falls

Overall, I got some great footage. The workers probably thought I was weird but on the bright side, I will never see them again.

Lastly, you don't have to worry about having your personal items with you. When you're getting strapped in there's a bag attached to your harness where everything personal goes into. I had my mini backpack, my hydro flask, my sunglasses, my phone, and my keys. I don't know why I was walking around with my keys, but yet here I was.    

Claw & Kitty

I heard about Claw & Kitty from a friend and highly debated and wanted to try and make it happen. The only downside is Claw & Kitty is on the outskirts of Toronto, which is about a 2-hour drive. Their hours did not align with my trip, and I would have had to rush through my Niagara Falls exploration, leave early, not finish everything, just to drive 2 hours there, enjoy it for an hour, and then drive 2 hours back. Therefore, I just didn’t go. 

I also did not know how my GPS was going to perform further into Canada, even though I had the maps for it downloaded and ready to go just in case. But in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t go.

Although I can see it getting franchised in the future, and as I said, Toronto isn’t going anywhere. I can always check it out in the future. 

My trip wasn’t about Toronto, Claw & Kitty, or making the impossible happen. It was always about seeing Niagara Falls and enjoying my stay without the risk but with total reward.

Souvenirs

Considering I’m usually the one in my family that travels the most, I try to get everyone something. My mom and one sister like magnets, but this sister also likes to collect snowglobes. My dad likes to receive something he can use, but it can’t be a pen because he already has his favorite pens. It can be a notebook either because he already has those. He’s very particular which makes him hard to shop for. But I found a magnet, that doubles as a bottle opener, with a view of the falls on it. He quite liked it. 

My oldest sister, I’m actually not sure what she likes to receive as a souvenir but I got her a different magnet from the one I got my mom and other sister. As for my niece and nephew, I got them some keychains. In some places, I’m not sure what to get them either, but I don’t want people to think I didn’t think about them, or only thought about myself. 

If I have extra money I purchase for friends, but I find I usually end up breaking even. 

I did have SOME money left over, but I didn’t want to spend that money. I wanted some money to keep as a souvenir, just like I kept some Japanese Yen around.

As for myself, I bought myself a keychain as everyone knows my keys are just … something else. My friends joke around and call it my utility belt, and well they’re not wrong! It’s cute but functional at the same time. 

I also bought myself some stickers, and the only place I was able to find stickers was the Grandview Marketplace after the boat tour. Ever since I bought my Passion Planner Elite Black Daily Undated on sale, and started to use it as a memory-keeping journal, I decided that the cover will be perfect to sticker bomb from all the locations I’ve been to. So far, since I started it this year, hasn’t been many. There are 93 empty pages inside which means 93 adventures, but of course, I don’t plan on finishing it all by 2022, or even by 2023. But it’s going to look so awesome over time!

passion planner daily undated memory keeping journal

And like anywhere, merch is always on the pricier side, especially in highly touristy areas! The magnets cost me the most, followed by the keychains. The stickers were also pricey, but they’re made from really good vinyl so I’m not too surprised. 

The souvenir I regret the most, as mentioned in Skylon Tower, is the Skylon Tower photos. They’re green-screened, and they look cool, but I know they’re fake. You get two printed (day and night), and you get all of them for digital download for $40 CAD ($29.18 USD). I think it's just best to get them digitally downloaded, no prints necessary. Looking back, they are quite amusing, but not amusing enough to get them printed.

skylon tower photos

I’ve gotten much better photos from my stay. Now I know better, lesson learned. Case closed.

Getting Gas in Canada

You’d think getting gas anywhere is the same, pre-pay then pump, and the same can be said for Canada, but not certain places in Europe. In Europe, when pumping gas, in certain locations, you pump and then pay. Which is super odd! Luckily, Canada is pre-paid, but what you do have to be careful about is that some gas stations won’t take foreign cards. Therefore, it’s good to have some cash with you.

Also, it is more bang for your buck to get gas in the United States rather than Canada because in Canada you’re pumping per liter rather than per gallon. You’re getting less for your Canadian dollar.

But I needed gas because I did not have enough to get me across the border and then some. I tanked for $30 CAD ($21.85 USD) for regular. I got about 18.6 liters which is about 5.9 gallons, which was about 60-70% of my tank. I generally get about 75-90% with just $20 in the US, for regular. 

Price Breakdown

Creating a price breakdown has been a challenge because I didn’t realize I missed some areas because I don’t know what I did with the receipts. I tend to keep all my receipts and whatever I’m not finding, I don’t know where it’s at. So my initial price breakdown has a lot of whiteout on it because of this. But I decided to condense things in a more organized manner to be more understandable for the general public. Because even when I looked at the bullet journal spread, I couldn't comprehend the price breakdown.

price breakdown of solo trip to canada

price breakdown of solo trip to canada

price breakdown of solo trip to canada

price breakdown of solo trip to canada

price breakdown of solo trip to canada

Altogether,

I had a blast and would definitely do it again. My mom wants to go up at some point. Since I've been back I caught a cold that morphed into a gnarly sinus infection. Finished physical therapy as my insurance won't cover it anymore, but the healing journey is forever. My leg is better but nowhere near 90%. And now my car is having issues again. So I have to be an adult again with adult responsibilities! Ode to life. 

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Till next time!
~Diana

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