Take a walk across the Rainbow Bridge between two Niagara Falls


Published April 25, 2023 at 1:17 pm

While it’s estimated that 7.2 vehicles cross the Rainbow Bridge every year, figures are tougher to find for how many pedestrians and bicycles do the same trek on the structure that’s open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Certainly, the number crossing the bridge is much lower November to April when, frankly, it’s as cold as sin up there. But during the warmer months, it’s probably hundreds of thousands in total.

However, the bridge connecting Niagara Falls, Ontario to Niagara Falls, New York has one common factor. It cost $1 to walk across either way and it doesn’t matter if it’s Canadian or American currency. (Vehicles cost $5 U.S. or $6.50 Canadian.)

The 442 meter (1,450 feet) bridge was first build then opened November 1, 1941 after the famous collapse of the Honeymoon Bridge on January 27, 1938, due to ice blockage on the Niagara Gorge weakening the steel support beams at the footing.

Truth to tell, the Rainbow Bridge, which cost $4 million at the time, had already been commissioned before the Honeymoon Bridge’s collapse. However, that lent a sense of urgency to the new bridge project.

So how long does it take to hoof it across the Rainbow Bridge? Somewhere around 25 minutes depending on walking speed and, of course, hundreds of people stop along the way to snap pictures as it offers a perfect view of the Horseshoe Falls in Canada and the American and Bridal Veil Falls in the U.S.A.

How much did it cost to walk across the Rainbow Bridge in the beginning? No figures are available. However, we do know it was 10 cents in the 1960s and 1970s before jumping to 25 cents in the 1980s. Best guess is it was a penny to start in the 1940s before jumping to a nickel sometime in the 1950s.

Finally, why is it called the Rainbow Bridge? Well, during a 1939 Royal Visit, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the late Queen Elizabeth’s parents) dedicated it as such. Granted, they didn’t conjure the name themselves so it’s likely from the constant rainbows cause by the mist at the Falls.

Here, GTA travel vlogger, “Say Hi To Matthew,” takes us across the bridge.

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