Category Archives: UNESCO Canada

Canada – Niagara Escarpment

The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment, or cuesta, in the United States and Canada that runs westward from New York State, through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. It is composed of the Lockport geological formation of Silurian age, and is similar to the Onondaga geological formation, which runs parallel to it and just to the south, through the western portion of New York and southern Ontario. The escarpment is most famous as the cliff over which the Niagara River plunges to form Niagara Falls, for which it is named.
In February 1990, the Niagara Escarpment was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, making it one of 12 in Canada. Development and land use on and adjacent to the physical escarpment is regulated by the Niagara Escarpment Commission, an agency of the Ontario government.