18,000 years ago, ice sheets 2-3 kilometers thick covered on southern Ontatio.
According to scientists and based on their research, the first humans arrived in the Niagara region almost 12,000 years ago, just in time to witness the birth of the Falls The peninsula around the basins had, according to the experts, become free of ice about 12,500 years ago and as the ice retreated northward, the water released began flowing down creating well-known tourist destinations today, like Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, down to the St. Laurence River and ultimately towards the sea. Back then, the land was much different than what it looks like today, but people were part of the environment, as evidence suggests. Nomadic hunters, named by historians as the Clovis people, were in fact Niagara's first inhabitants. Much later, when the European explorers arrived at the beginning of the 17th century, they found another tribe living at the area, known as the Iroquois. The word "Niagara" is derived from the Iroquois Indian word "Onguiaahra," which means "the strait." However, due to inter-tribal warfare and the European's invasion, the Niagara territory ceased to be an area in which people lived in harmony with nature and the territory became rather volatile. Today, spited between two nations, the United States and Canada, the Niagara Falls is part of the tourist industry that is witnessing a time of great growth.
Yet, the battle of man and nature has not come to an end. In fact, during the past ten years, two people have lost their lives trying to conquer Niagara's forces. But, although man has not been able to completely control the flow of the water that is coming at great speed over the falls, modern engineers have attempted to take up this difficult challenge. The outcome, which was constructed by the human hand in order to use the water's volume and speed to provide power, took the form of the hydroelectric power stations existing now in the area. These power plants are located near the basins, in order to use the water that comes down from the Niagara Falls. These immense water quantities are fed, through underground channels and pipes, into factories, which in turn use them to produce electricity. The visitor remains speechless during the summer evenings, when intense spotlights, with different shades of color, bathe the falls creating a breathtaking spectacle.