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How Tourism Influenced Style

The Influence of Tourism on Style: Niagara Falls

The Influence of Tourism on Style: Niagara Falls


Niagara Falls, with its breathtaking natural beauty and awe-inspiring power, has been a premier tourist destination for centuries. The massive waterfalls situated on the border of the United States and Canada have attracted millions of visitors from around the world. Over time, the tourism industry around Niagara Falls has greatly influenced various aspects of style, including architecture, fashion, and art. This article aims to explore the historical significance and impact of tourism on these different styles in the context of Niagara Falls.


The development of tourism at Niagara Falls led to a boom in construction and architectural innovation. As visitors flocked to witness the mighty falls, numerous hotels, attractions, and viewing platforms were built to accommodate the growing tourist influx. Initially, in the mid-1800s, the architectural style predominantly resembled the classical and neoclassical forms of the time.

However, as the popularity of Niagara Falls as a tourist destination continued to soar, there was a shift towards more lavish and ornamental architectural styles, such as the Victorian and Gothic Revival. Elaborate hotels like the Clifton House and the Prospect House, known for their intricate detailing and grandeur, emerged in response to the demands of the tourists.

Furthermore, the construction of purpose-built observation towers and viewing platforms became a prominent feature of Niagara’s architectural landscape. The Skylon Tower, opened in 1965, is a prime example of mid-century modern design that provided tourists with panoramic views of the falls.


Tourism at Niagara Falls has had a profound impact on fashion trends throughout history. In the early days, when travel to the falls involved long journeys, formal attire was the norm. Wealthy tourists would don their finest clothing, including stylish hats, tailored suits, and elegant dresses. The fashion of the era mirrored the social expectations of the time, and visiting Niagara Falls was seen as a sophisticated endeavor.

As travel became more accessible and Niagara Falls attracted a broader range of visitors, the fashion landscape diversified. The rise of the middle class in the 20th century led to a more relaxed dress code, where tourists opted for comfortable and casual attire. This shift towards informal dressing reflected the changing lifestyles and values of the era.

Moreover, the introduction of new recreational activities, such as boating and hiking, influenced fashion choices. The need for practical and functional clothing arose, resulting in the popularity of sportswear and outdoor clothing styles. Brands like Columbia and The North Face became associated with the Niagara Falls experience, catering to the adventurous spirits of tourists.


The rich natural landscape of Niagara Falls has inspired countless artists throughout history. The tourism industry played a significant role in promoting and showcasing various art forms associated with the falls. Paintings, photographs, and sculptures depicting the grandeur of Niagara Falls became sought-after souvenirs for tourists.

In the 19th century, renowned artists like Frederic Edwin Church and Thomas Cole captured the falls’ magnificence through their romantic landscape paintings. These artworks not only gave visitors a glimpse into the awe-inspiring views but also fueled their desire to experience Niagara Falls first-hand.

The modern art movement of the early 20th century also found its place within the tourism industry. Artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Marcel Duchamp exhibited their works in galleries and museums near the falls, creating a cultural attraction alongside the natural marvels.

In recent years, the emergence of digital and multimedia art has further expanded the art scene in Niagara Falls. Light shows, projection mapping, and interactive installations have transformed the falls into a canvas for artistic expression, captivating visitors and enhancing their overall experience.


Niagara Falls’ journey from a scenic wonder to a bustling tourism hub has significantly influenced various styles, including architecture, fashion, and art. The ever-growing number of visitors prompted the construction of architectural marvels, with each era leaving its mark on the skyline. The changing fashion trends reflected the evolving demographics and activities of tourists, while artworks captured the falls’ beauty, serving as lasting reminders of the tourist experience. Niagara Falls continues to inspire and shape styles, making it a true testament to the enduring influence of tourism on culture and aesthetics.

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