Ice causes historic barge perched atop Niagara Falls to break into pieces

A century-old shipwreck that has been lodged in the powerful upper rapids above the Canadian Horseshoe Falls since 1918, has broken into three pieces.

Changing weather conditions over the weekend caused large pieces to break free from the remaining wreck as it shifted further downriver. The last time the scow moved was Halloween night in 2019, when it shifted 50 metres toward the Falls, and attracted worldwide media attention, and speculation about whether or not it would wash over the brink. The main section of the wreck now sits approximately 600 metres from the edge of the Falls. According to a spokesperson with Niagara Parks, if it were to go over, there is no threat to public safety as it’s severely rusted and would likely disintegrate. The ferries also do not get close enough to the Falls for it to be a concern.

The scow has remained stuck in the shallow, fast-moving water since 1918, when it broke loose from its towing tug, stranding two men onboard.  A heroic rescue ensued and the scow has been there ever since, save for its recent shifts. The 100th anniversary of the rescue was celebrated by Niagara Parks on August 6, 2018, and William “Red” Hill Sr. was recognized for rescuing the two men on board.