Ask a foreigner what he or she thinks about when Canada is mentioned, and the answer is likely to be Niagara Falls. It’s the image that most defines us, for better or for worse, and no matter how inaccurately. But what does the place say about this country? Not all of the answers to that question are flattering to us as Canadians, and they might very well surprise you. To judge by the history of the falls, Canadians – or at least some Canadians – are more American than, well, Americans. In Niagara Falls: Seeing Canada Through a Window of Water, award-winning Toronto Star journalist Oakland Ross explores the myths and realities of the famous cataracts, chronicling their history and development and the brave, sometimes demented folk who have dared to challenge them, by tightrope or – God help them -- in barrels.
Oakland Ross is a feature writer for the Toronto Star. He’s the author of two other Star Dispatches eReads: Cuba Libre and Ace: How Tennis Star Milos Raonic Served His Way to the Top. The winner of two National Newspaper Awards, he has written four books, including a collection of short stories, a travel memoir and two novels, the second of which was published in April 2013 by HarperCollins Canada. It’s called The Empire of Yearning.
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