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Exploring the Niagara Gorge in The Whirlpool Aero Car

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As a kid we visited Niagara Falls quite a few times. As an adult, it was where my husband and I would celebrate Canada Day every year.  And while I have seen the falls from both sides of the border, I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have never driven up the Niagara Parkway to see what parks and attractions were in the North Niagara area.

After a bit of research I found a couple tours that I thought my boys would like.

The Whirlpool Aero Car is an exciting, quick trip that offers incredible views of the Niagara gorge.  Located between Niagara-on-the-lake and the falls, this cable car, which was originally designed almost 100 years ago, is suspended high above the famous Niagara Whirlpool.

In 10 minutes it makes the one kilometer round trip to the other side of the gorge and back while carrying up to 35 standing passengers.

View of Whirlpool Aero Car Niagara Falls

When we arrived we took our spot in the middle of the car, excited to get a better look at the two waterways that intersect to create the whirlpool.

View from Whirlpool Aero Car

My boys are pretty small so the operator let them stand at the end of the row so they could see better.

As the car moved along the cables the announcer treated us to some interesting facts about the whirlpool. The rapids, he said, are a class 6; which are considered to be ‘so dangerous that they are effectively unnavigable’.

View from Whirlpool Aero Car Niagara Falls

Over the years(1961, 1967 and 1984), the car’s design and function has been updated.

When we stopped at the other side, passengers on the outside switched sides by walking around the perimeter of the car in a circle.  This gives everyone the chance to see the gorge from all angles.  Riders in the middle are up a little higher than the outside row so they can see both sides throughout the trip back and forth.

View from Whirlpool Aero Car Niagara Falls

Views from all sides of the car are stunning.  You can see all the way down the gorge on both sides. If you look carefully the water in the gorge comes down and then turns 90 degrees and keeps going creating the whirlpool

View from Whirlpool Aero Car

In the whirlpool, you can see the “reversal phenomenon.” When the Niagara River is at full flow, the waters travel over the rapids and enter the pool, then travel counter-clockwise around the pool past the natural outlet. Pressure builds up when the water tries to cut across itself to reach the outlet and this pressure forces the water under the incoming stream.

After you exit the ride there are a few platforms that overlook the gorge that allow you to get more pictures.  There is also a gift shop and cafe to grab a quick bite.

Whirlpool Aero Car

My boys loved this ride and could have gone back and forth on the Aero Car all day long. Tickets only work, however, for one time.

Admission is $13.50 Adults (13+ years), $8.50 Children (6 to 12 years). Children 5 and under are free! Parking is also free and located right in front of the attraction.

  • Thank you to Niagara Parks for providing us with an Adventure Pass to facilitate our review of the Whirlpool Aero Car.
Lisa Arneill
Lisa Arneill
Canadian mom of 2 busy boys (one with #ASD), photo addict, lover of adventure and wrinkly dogs. Also founder of Growing Your Baby - a parenting website.

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  1. I live about an hour and a half from Niagara Falls (on the US side) and have been there what feels like a million times, but I’ve never heard of this. Thanks for enlightening me! It’s always good to have something new to do around the area!

    • I live on the other side, about the same distance away and I had never heard of this before either. It was a pleasant surprise. You can see it from the US side, but can only go across from the Canadian side.


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