Published Jul 16, 2019Wild Side are a Niagara Falls-based hardcore band who released their debut album, Who the Hell is Wild Side?, in May on Triple B Records. The band are dedicated to the pretty and the gritty sides of their hometown. Vocalist Brandon MacFarlane describes Niagara Falls as "a strange, lovely, dangerous and exciting place," and shared with us where to find some of those experiences. Location photos by Stephanie Montani.
The Falls (6650 Niagara Parkway)
The city's namesake and the only Wonder of the World that I recognize. One never tires of the 51-metre cascade as it spins the turbines that keep the city supercharged and looking great. Best viewed at night when they are lit by LED lights.
Fitness Zone (4300 Drummond Rd.)
A real deal, old school gym. Everything you need to exercise, powerlift or bodybuild. There's an outdoor area complete with atlas stones and kegs. This is the type of place Arnold would have trained in. Friendly members, great owner, great place.
Country Fresh Donuts (5076 Victoria Ave.)
People from all walks of life frequent this local, 24-hour donut shop. You might witness or be directly involved in trouble at Country Fresh. Come for the world-renowned wonton soup, stay for the trouble.
Tourist trap or locals' playground? Discover for yourself. On the hill overlooking the Falls you'll find haunted houses, funhouses, arcades, rides and literally everything else. Expensive as all hell. Come unlock its secrets. But watch out for scams!
The Niagara Gorge
The water that barrels over the Falls flows via the Niagara River, upon which thrill seekers can ride rapids in a speedboat, hike through or rock climb in the gorge carved out by the might of the Falls. Try and find the old car hidden down there. Warning: this can be dangerous. On no account should you go in the water and always be careful on the rocks.
The Evel Knievel Daredevil Museum (4602 Victoria Ave.)
Although a museum in name, the Evel Knievel Daredevil Museum doubles as a pawn shop — Old Emporium & Exposition Antique & Pawnbrokers — that has a lot of weird stuff, in addition to the giant museum of additional oddities in the back. Wild Side use some equipment that was traded for or bought from these shops. Watch out for scams. Not for the gullible or faint of heart.
Strange retailer stores, City Hall and a lot of empty storefronts and buildings — kind of cool just to see. They're always trying to bring this part of the city back to life, but it never really happens. Sloan played on the street here one time. Come check out urban decay.
Irwin Boxing (5881 Thorold Stone Rd.)
Learn the "sweet science" from Olympian boxer and world champion Billy "The Kid" Irwin. Go in for the exercise or step in the ring and get some work in. Learn from a Niagara Falls legend.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Sarira Stupa (4303 River Rd.)
The giant Buddhist temple right by the Falls is very striking and stands out amongst the tourist shops, hotels and construction along the Niagara River. Worth a visit. Be respectful.