Whirlpool Aero Car – Cable Car Ride over the Niagara Gorge

Whirlpool Aero Car

Whirlpool Aero Car

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Hop on the historic Whirlpool Aero Car for an unforgettable ride over the vibrant, teal-coloured waters of the Niagara River. Witness spectacular views of the swirling Niagara Whirlpool and the river’s Class 6 rapids as you soar 3,500 feet across the Niagara Gorge.

Although it travels between two points on the Canadian shore, this antique cable car will actually take you across the international border between Canada and the United States a total of four times due to the way the river elbows. No passport required!

  • Seasonal Apr - Nov
    Seasonal Apr - Nov
  • Approximate Duration 45 min. (varies)
    Approximate Duration 45 min. (varies)
  • Free Parking
    Free Parking
  • Snack Bar Available
    Snack Bar Available
  • Self-guided Experience
    Self-guided Experience

Niagara Whirlpool

The immense volume of water rushing over the Horseshoe Falls crushes into the narrow Niagara Gorge, creating the whirlpool rapids. The Niagara Whirlpool is formed at the end of the rapids where the gorge abruptly turns counterclockwise. The river’s abrupt change of direction creates one of the world’s most mesmerizing natural phenomena.


A Historic Ride

The Niagara Whirlpool and its swirling waters had been a popular tourist attraction dating back to the late 1800s. During this time, local developer Samuel Colt purchased seven acres of land for $250 and constructed an inclined railway to take visitors from the top of the Niagara Gorge to the bank of the whirlpool rapids below.

In 1913, Niagara Parks was approached by a group of Spanish businessmen interested in building a new cable car that would take visitors across the Niagara Whirlpool. It would provide an entirely new perspective of the gorge with unobstructed views of the natural phenomenon below.

Design and Construction

Designed by famed Spanish engineer, Leonardo Torres Quevedo, the Whirlpool Aero Car has been soaring the Niagara Gorge since 1916.

Construction on the aero car began in 1915 and progressed rapidly. Significant excavation was needed on both sides of the gorge in order to house the machinery chambers, a design choice that was made to avoid interfering with views of the river from the surrounding area. The carriage itself was built overseas and shipped to the site where it was installed onto a cable spanning over 500 meters across the swirling waters of the river below.


Recent Refurbishments

In the winter of 2023, the Whirlpool Aero Car was removed from its tracks and sent to Saint-Jérôme, Québec, to undergo refurbishments. The lower section of the Aero Car was restored with brand-new mechanical parts, non-slip floor, roof and fresh paint. The iconic yellow arch, designed by renowned Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres-Quevedo was replaced with an identical arch that will extend the life of this historic attraction.  

Throughout the entire refurbishment process, meticulous care was taken to ensure the integrity of the stunning original design was preserved. 

Today, over 100 years after its first ride, over 100,000 individuals ride the Whirlpool Aero Car annually, and these recent refurbishments will allow for future generations to continue to enjoy this world-renowned attraction.

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The last car departs 20 minutes before closing time. To make the most of your visit, please arrive at least 30 minutes before closing.

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3850 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8

1 (877) 642-7275

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Still have questions about planning your trip to Niagara Parks? Call our Guest Services Centre at 1.877.642.7275 Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.