The Skylon Tower in Ontario styles itself as the ‘Centre of Niagara Falls’. As the premier observation deck and centrepiece of the Niagara Falls Hotel – and one of the prime viewing locations of Niagara Falls – it’s one of the most famous landmarks in Ontario and a major tourist attraction.
Skylon Tower History
Construction of the tower began in May 1964 and was approved during planning by both the Canadian and US governments. At its grand opening in October 1965, the building was officially opened by both the New York governor Nelson Rockefeller and Ontario Premier John Robarts.
Interior features aside the tower itself has always been the most striking aspect of the town surrounding the falls, and its aesthetic has remained largely unchanged since the 1970s. It’s become a symbol of the region in the same fashion the Space Needle has for Seattle, with the exception being that the Skylon’s view of one of the world’s largest waterfalls is arguably more unique.
Skylon Tower Observation Deck
With its primary observation areas standing 775 feet above the falls themselves, Skylon Tower allows the full panoramic view of the entire range, from the American Falls to the Horseshoe Falls. Both indoor and outdoor observation decking is maintained, and the ‘Yellow Bug’ elevators are glass-walled and travel along the outside of the tower, offering landscape views on the way up the 520 foot tall structure.
The observation deck features a world-class restaurant and revolving dining room. It completes one rotation per hour, offering views of not only the falls but of the surrounding scenery and nearby vineyards. At night or in the right conditions during the day, observers along the decking can see across Lake Ontario to the Toronto skyline, or southward towards Buffalo on the other side of the border.
Skylon Tower Attractions
As further enticement to tourists the tower has slowly evolved into a site with self-contained attractions and activities alongside the views it commands of the falls. The focus is family entertainment, and its centrepiece is a ‘3D/4D’ movie cinema showing films centred around Niagara Falls and the history of the region, including local folklore and legend. In recent years the tower has also expanded with a dinosaur exhibit, family arcade and shopping complex.
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