Maid of the Mist in peril: Bidding war over Niagara Falls’ tour service raises concerns over what will become of the iconic name
It began with a bridge in 1848, an infrastructure improvement that threatened to kill off the two-year-old ferry service across the Niagara River. The construction of a suspension bridge spanning the river nearly choked out the newly minted Maid of the Mist ferry service, but ownership soon saw a new opportunity — that of a sightseeing vessel, and created a local icon in the process.
The Maid of the Mist has shuttled Marilyn Monroe to the foot of Horseshoe Falls for her role in the film Niagara, borne Prince Charles, the late Princess Diana and their sons, William and Harry, as well as former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, among others.
But the Maid is in peril again, as the Niagara Parks Commission has forced the Glynn family, which has operated the boat tours on the Canadian side of the falls for more than a century, into a bidding war against other would-be operators. Prompted by scandal, the commission aims for the first time to bring the service into line with other Ontario Parks projects. (Photo: Janne Wooddridge/Miami Herald)