Today what we call Niagara Falls really consists of three falls: the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, The American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Ninety percent of the water flowing down the Niagara River goes over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls which is almost entirely owned by Canada. The American and Bridal Veil Falls, owned by the United States, are separated by an island called Luna Island.
Niagara Falls was the child of a massive ice sheet, that covered North America as far as Kansas 12,000 years ago. When this glacier receded, it shaped the five Great Lakes that we have today. Water from these lakes then carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment to the Atlantic Ocean creating the Niagara River and gorge.
This constant erosion has seen the falls move back, from Queenston on the Canadian side and Lewiston on the U.S. side of the border about 11 kilometres north of the falls. This created the falls we now know. Constant erosion has seen the falls move over the passage of thousands of years and it is now estimated that today the recession of the falls is 30 centimetres (one foot) every ten years. Eventually, the falls will recede back into Lake Erie. Good thing we’re here today to see these falls!