AuthorCraig Forcese
Looking southeast FroM the escarpment above the famous
Niagara Horseshoe Falls, Navy Island appears as a f‌lat, for-
ested feature, dividing the western channel of the river as
it sweeps on either side of Grand Island, New York. To a casual eye,
there is nothing remarkable about Navy Island no one lives on it,
and Parks Canada has closed the small, erosion-prone landmass to
visitors for ecological reasons. Where it passes by the island, the river
is a bright, aqua-blue ribbon, but ordinary when contrasted with the
magnif‌icent cataracts just downstream.
Probably for this reason, most visitors seem to venture no far-
ther upriver than the overf‌low parking area west of the international
control dam. As I visit on a sunny day in late June 2017 — f‌irst on an
early morning run, and later with my patient family by car the
Niagara Parkway has virtually no trac past the old power station.
There are even fewer tourists on the Niagara Parkway upriver from
the little town of Chippawa. And we are alone in stopping in the pull-
over area near Service Road 30 to view the fast-moving river and to
peer at Navy Island, only a few hundred metres away.
Those who do pause here may simply sit on the viewing bench to
enjoy the scenery. Others may also decide to visit the historical marker,

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