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8 Things to Do In Niagara, Ontario

FARblog7.jpegNiagara Falls, Ontario has a wealth of activities to keep any kind of traveler busy and happy. Everyone who comes to Niagara will, of course, spend some time visiting the falls itself but the entirety of the journey can’t be devoted to the natural wonder. Below is a list of activities for individuals and couples who come to Niagara when they’re not at the falls.

Water Park

A great place to take the kids, Fallsview Indoor Water Park has been a staple of Niagara Falls for nearly a decade. With seven pools and 16 water slides, even the adults are sure to be excited and kept busy by the water park for the day. However, should you tire of the thrills of the park, you can dry off and visit a host of nearby museums or the Clifton Hill area, both of which are easily within walking distance.

Magic Show

The Greg Frewin Theatre is host to the eponymous magician. Greg Frewin has been awarded several prestigious illusionist awards including, “World Champion of Magic” and the Gold Medal of Excellence from the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Winery Tours

Niagara is a burgeoning winery region. This is evidenced by the variety of awards that regional wines are beginning to win at international competitions including the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, the International Eastern Wine Competition and Indy International Wine competition. Details on tours and wines in the area can be found here.

Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill is a veritable center of activity with a large variety of potential pastimes from shopping and dining to night life and mini-golf. Wax museums, haunted houses and video arcades also populate this fun-packed area. Clifton Hill is a particularly popular destination for families with children or teenagers.


There are at least 12 Canadian golf courses within a 20-mile radius of Niagara Falls. These range in difficulty and quality as do courses in any region. The most difficult of which, as well as the closes to the falls, is Thundering Waters. The courses of Niagara Falls reflect the natural beauty of the area and are often populated with dense woods and serene water features.

Arts and Culture

Queen Street has undergone a recent revitalization and is now the center of the arts in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The district boasts several cafes, art galleries and performance venues. Examples of this are the Q Club which holds community-driven concerts that are open to the public and the newly rennovated Seneca Theatre.

Fine Dining

Outside of Queen Street which boasts several high quality eateries, there are many options for fine dining in Niagara Falls. One of the tops of these is the Skylon Tower restaurant. This restaurant is a revolving dining hall that makes a full rotation every hour and yields incredible views of the falls and city of Niagara Falls that the diner can appreciate with his or her meal.


FARblog8.jpegCasino Niagara was the first casino in Niagara Falls and brought with it a boost of tourism. Following in its lead is the Niagara Fallsview Resort and Casino which is home to the water park. The gambling age in Canada is 19 and very popular, in part due to the comparatively weaker Canadian dollar which gives Americans more game for their buck.

Altogether there are a wide variety of ways to spend your day in Niagara Falls. Most people won’t be able to take in all of them on their first trip and can repeat their favorites easily when they come back.

Niagara Falls: The Adrenaline-Junkie’s Dream

FARblog50.jpegNiagara Falls is pretty extreme, considering the sheer size and amount of water pummeling down every second. Many visitors feel inspired by the power of the falls to participate in some exhilarating and spine-tingling activities while they’re on vacation. Here is a list of the most adrenaline-inducing extreme activities that Niagara has to offer, barring the dangerous and stupid ones, like descending the falls in a human-sized container (of which you can learn more at the local Daredevil Museum).

Snowboarding and Skiing

Though they are familiar pastimes for many snowbirds, snowboarding and skiing remain pretty intense sports, especially in the areas around Niagara Falls. Though Niagara Falls itself is relatively flat and not suited for the speed and obstacles of extreme skiing and snowboarding, you can find excellent slopes surprisingly close by.

During your next winter stay in Niagara Falls — because who can resist the lower populations of tourists and serene winter landscapes — bring along your skis and snowboards to experience a cold-weather thrill like no other.


Skydiving is, simply put, the ultimate adrenaline sport. What is more extreme than willfully jumping from a plane, freefalling without support for minutes on end and then floating peacefully as the ground rises up to meet you? Skydiving is terrifying, even though it’s completely safe, and most action-seekers hope to do it at least once in their lives.

Though it may be hard to believe that you’ll be able to focus on anything other than the air rushing past you after you’ve jumped from the plane, you should trust that the scenery you’re hurtling toward makes all the difference during a skydive. Niagara Falls and the surrounding region is undeniably beautiful, so while you’re watching the ground approach faster and faster, you’ll get uncompromised views of one of the most stunning locations on Earth.


Many people believe that rock climbing is a dangerous sport, but those people just haven’t heard about bouldering. This is rock climbing without the security of ropes and tethers. Avid boulderers climb, jump and hike without following set routes or clipping into the complicated system of belays. Bouldering, like most sports, has different levels of difficulty, but generally requires intense physical training and fitness to master. The Niagara parks system has plenty of opportunities to boulder, though permits are required for some of the areas.

White Water Walking

FARblog51.jpegIf after all this you still want to go mano-a-mano with the falls, instead of throwing some pillows into your barrel, try taking a stroll down the White Water Walk. This boardwalk takes you right alongside some of the world’s most intense rapids so you can see the sheer force of the Niagara River up close.

The churning water is moving at a quick 30 miles per hour, and at its height near the Whirlpool Rapids, the waves reach a mind-bending 16.5 feet tall. Plus, you’ll get a view of the gorgeous million-year-old rock layers on the sides of the gorge. For an additional fee, you’ll get access to the Whirlpool Aero Car which provides visitors the only view into the eye of the huge, stirring whirlpool.

Niagara Falls Is Perfect for Ecotourists

FARblog40.jpegThe hottest trend in holidays right now is that of ecotourism, or participating in eco-friendly activities while on vacation to lessen one’s environmental impact. Tourist spots the world over have begun implementing ecotourism attractions and activities to catch the eye of environmentally friendly travelers. Niagara Falls has always been especially dependent on the health of the surrounding ecosystem — without the falls and forests, Niagara Falls wouldn’t even exist.

Vacationers shouldn’t be surprised at the wealth of ecotourism activities already available in the Niagara region. If you’re interested in giving back to the Earth on your next trip, check out what Niagara can do for you — or rather, what you can do for Niagara.

Go on an Ecotour

If you are new to ecotourism and want to find out some basics before you get into anything too intense, Niagara offers a few guided ecotour packages to introduce you to the activity. Local guides will walk you through various types of terrain, depending on which package you choose, and teach you about the natural landscape and how humans are affecting it. Perfect for beginners, these packages come in many different flavors depending on the participants’ interests. You might book a tour that focuses on:

  • Native bird populations, including specialized tours about predatory birds or water fowl
  • Eco-friendly photography
  • Eco-friendly fitness
  • Local sustainable vineyards
  • Indigenous vegetables, fruits and herbs

Hike Around Niagara’s Nature

Once you feel you’ve mastered the introductory materials, you can create your own ecotour by wandering around Niagara Falls’ myriad parks and forest trails. Utilizing the tenants of ecotourism (pack it in, pack it out; leave no trace) you can discover for yourself the natural beauty of Niagara and the surrounding areas. These city, state and national park areas exist to protect the natural features, flora and fauna from human intrusion. Perhaps you might be interested in walking a bit of Canada’s most famous hiking trail, the Bruce Trail, which goes from the southern tip to the northern tip of the Niagara Escarpment.

Participate in Clean-Up Activities

FARblog41.jpegBecause of the extensive tourism in the area, Niagara Falls usually has quite a bit to do to keep the city and parks clean and healthy. Plenty of the city’s attractions aren’t 100 percent sustainable — the disposable ponchos distributed on popular attractions like the Maid of the Mist or the Journey Behind the Falls, while useful, don’t always make it into waste or recycle bins and instead can be seen floating around the city and parks.

While city workers do their best to keep the waste maintained, you can help Niagara’s environment by participating in ecotourism and working to clean up the city and parks. The Niagara Heritage Partnership is a group of Niagara’s citizens who work to save the natural beauty of the region, and volunteering for any of their activities would benefit the local area significantly.

Whether you’ve been green all your life or you’re just looking for something new to do on vacation, ecotourism is a fantastic opportunity to unwind while helping a worthy cause.

Laura Secord: Canadian Heroine

FARblog10.jpegOne of the most popular historic attractions around Niagara Falls is the Laura Secord Homestead, which, straightforwardly enough, was the home of Canada’s most famous heroine, Laura Secord. But, how much do you know about Laura Secord?

If you’re coming from Canada, you might only know about her brave feats in the War of 1812, while if you went to school in the U.S., you probably don’t know anything at all. For your pleasure and education, here’s a bit more about one of the most courageous women in Canada’s history so you can have real admiration for her immense struggle.

In the Early Days

Laura Secord was born Laura Ingersoll to Thomas and Elizabeth in Massachusetts Bay in 1775. Thomas and Laura were descendants of some of the first inhabitants of the area; their ancestor Richard Ingersoll landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1629. Laura’s father was a fairly successful milliner and military man, fighting with the American revolutionaries for freedom from Great Britain.

When Laura was eight years old, her mother died and her father remarried. Laura’s stepmother was far from evil; she taught her stepdaughters crucial skills like reading and needlework before her untimely death four years later. Laura was then put in charge of raising her two younger sisters, forcing her to mature quickly and maintain the household. By then, Laura’s father Thomas was becoming increasingly disgusted with the revolutionaries’ harsh treatment of loyalists — many British loyalists were persecuted in varying degrees, from forced relocation to tarring and feathering. In 1795, when Laura was 20 years old, the whole family moved to Canada.

Laura soon married the son of a wealthy French family, James Secord, and began her own family. In the span of nine years, Laura gave birth to five children, four girls and one boy.

During the War of 1812

FARblog11.jpegJames and Laura lived in Queenstown, which was a center for activity during the War of 1812. James was a prominent military man in the region and was injured in one of the more important battles that took place in the city. Legend has it that Laura heard of her husband’s state and rushed from her home to try to help him back to safety. The story goes that she found James wounded and about to be brutally beaten by three angry American soldiers; instead of watching her husband suffer, she offered her own life to save his. Just in time, an American captain happened upon the scene and saved both Laura and James from the soldiers’ wrath.

However, this event is not even close to matching Laura’s bravery later in the war. In the middle of the war, Laura learned of a surprise American attack on the British troops occupying Beaver Dams. Though history has forgotten exactly how Laura procured this information — some sources claim she overheard some American soldiers discussing their plans over dinner — it was found to be true. Because James was still recovering from battle-won injuries, Laura herself set out on foot to walk the 20 miles to warn the British of the Americans’ movement.

After the War

The Secords struggled mightily after the war, as their store and house was badly damaged and they had no other source of income. They lived for a while on James’s soldier’s pension, but soon they were fighting to get by. Despite their important aid during the war, the government and their fellow Canadians failed to note the Secords’ assistance during the war and Laura’s crucial acts of bravery. It was not until after her death in 1868 that the pleas of her grandchildren and the writings of the British Lieutenant who received her in Beaver Dams brought Laura’s strength to national fame.

Laura Secord was truly one of Canada’s bravest women, and you can pay tribute to her and her struggles by paying a visit to her homestead on your trip to Niagara Falls.

Homestead image by antefixus 21 from Flickr’s Creative Commons.

Statue image by Tjololo from Flickr’s Creative Commons.

The Most Romantic Places in Niagara Falls

FARblog5.jpegFor over 200 years, couples have flocked to Niagara Falls to bask in one another’s charms before the backdrop of one of North America’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Whether you’re here for your wedding, honeymoon, second honeymoon or just a romantic weekend away, Niagara Falls and its quaint surrounding villages will be sure to charm both you and your special someone.

Of course, no one visits Niagara Falls without spending some time at the falls themselves. Book a hotel room with a view of the falls — if you do a little digging, you can even find a room with a balcony Jacuzzi overlooking the falls. But don’t miss some of the town’s other attractions, including a haunted house attraction that will give you the perfect excuse to cling to your sweetheart.

Maid of the Mist

If you’re like most visitors, the first thing you and your honey are going to want to do in Niagara Falls is see the falls themselves. There’s no better way to do that than from the Maid of the Mist boat. Since the 1840s, coal-powered steam boats have been taking visitors right up to the base of the falls. You’ll get close enough to feel the mist on your face. Don’t worry — complimentary rain gear is provided.

Helicopter Ride Above the Falls

What could be more romantic than a helicopter ride for two over Niagara Falls? Take your journey on the last flight of the day, right before the sun sets — that’s when you’ll get the best views. You can even get married aboard a helicopter hovering above the falls.

Nightmares Fear Factory

Nightmares Fear Factory bills itself as the scariest haunted house in Niagara Falls, and for most visitors, it doesn’t disappoint. If you’re an adrenaline junkie or a horror film buff, don’t miss this hair-raising attraction. But if you, or your partner, are claustrophobic or don’t like being touched, it might be best to skip it.

Journey Behind the Falls

FARblog6.jpegIf you were impressed with your view of Niagara Falls from the front, just wait until you see them from behind. At Journey Behind the Falls, you can stand safely behind the curtain of falling water that makes up the falls. The tour will take you through the caverns about 150 feet behind the falls. Informational placards and audio guides will give you an education on the history of the falls. Arrive early to beat the crowds.

Cave of the Winds

On the American side of the border, you’ll find the spectacular Cave of the Winds tour. Follow wooden walkways to just a few feet from Bridal Veil Falls. It’s the closest you can get to the falls on any tour, and you can count on being blasted with wind and water spray. In the early spring, a special seasonal tour allows you to see the decks being constructed for the summer season — the boardwalks and decks are removed each fall and reconstructed each spring, due to the harsh winter weather conditions that plague the Niagara Gorge.

There’s no better place for romance than Niagara Falls — a fact to which generations of lovers can attest. Experience the majesty of the falls with your sweetheart, and don’t forget to take in some of the town’s other attractions. You’ll find love blooming on both sides of the border.

The 4 Most Beautiful Wedding Venues in Canadian Niagara

FARblog20.jpegNiagara Falls has been a destination for honeymooners since the early 20th century, but countless couples have also found Niagara a beautiful place to host their nuptials before they vacation in wedded bliss. Something about the misty air and stunning scenery makes Niagara one of the most sought-after areas for destination weddings. Affianced couples looking for a location are wise to scope out their options in Niagara Falls; venues here are not only budget-friendly but beautiful to boot.

Falls Avenue Resort

Our own resort boasts dozens of fantastic areas for both wedding ceremonies and receptions. Because our hotel is directly across from the falls, our conference rooms feature unparalleled views of the rushing water, either glittering with sunlight during the day or colored by fireworks at night. Plus, you can capture wedding pictures to remember the event in the lush, green forests surrounding the hotel.

Our services can be scaled whether you’re planning an intimate affair for 10 or a 1,000-guest bash. If you’d prefer a venue that deals with all the minutia so you can enjoy your day, planning your wedding with a resort is the best option for you.

Butterfly Conservatory

If you’d rather keep the resort as headquarters while you celebrate at a different location, Niagara’s Butterfly Conservatory offers you a tropical wedding ceremony in the middle of temperate and beautiful Niagara Falls. The strikingly vibrant blossoms necessary to sustain the butterfly populations provide a unique backdrop to your vows, and the 2,000 different species of vibrant butterflies create an unforgettable atmosphere to your most important of days. While the Butterfly Conservatory isn’t perfect for huge celebrations, you can easily house an intimate ceremony and go all out for your reception back at the resort.

The Maid of the Mist

Ever since Jim and Pam’s historic semi-elopement aboard the vessel in the popular U.S. version of “The Office,” couples all over have been clamoring to be wed right beneath the glorious falls. There are several tour groups that take visitors up to the base of the falls to feel the exhilaration that comes with the power of the rushing water, but the most famous and historic is the Maid of the Mist.

With this venue, you’ll need to do much of the organization yourself, including procuring a license and finding an officiant, but if you want your wedding to take place at one of the more adventurous and romantic areas of the falls, it might be worth it.


FARblog21.jpegNiagara-on-the-Lake is one of the more quaint towns in the surrounding Niagara region. This little area has maintained the feel of a small town while providing all the culture and amenities you’d find in a big city. The subtle beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake is precisely what many betrothed couples look for in a destination wedding venue. The gazebo at the center of the town frames the vow ceremony with charm, and the park around it will suit both large and small parties perfectly.

The 3 Best Ways to Avoid Crowds in Niagara Falls

FARblog3.jpegThere are all sorts of amazing things to do and see in Niagara Falls — but most visitors would not put navigating though large crowds of other tourists high on their list of vacation highlights. In fact, the prospect of long lines, endless waits for food and restrooms and photographs peppered with strangers’ faces are enough to cause some would-be travelers to say “thanks, but no thanks” to a trip to Niagara Falls.

We’re not going to lie: During high season, Niagara Falls can be a crowded place. But that doesn’t mean you need to stay home or see less than you hoped to. You can still enjoy the area along with thousands of other visitors if you plan well and make a few adjustments to your typical daily routine.

Crowd Avoidance Tip #1: Come At the Right Time

The absolute best way to avoid crowds in Niagara Falls is to visit during the winter months. Even though the Falls themselves are beautiful in a different way (Think ice. Lots of ice.) there is still plenty to do here. We understand, though, that you may prefer to visit in the summer so you can cruise on the Maid of the Mist and see the falls in their full glory. However, you don’t have to visit on the weekends, or during major holidays, such as Victoria Day (July 1), July 4, and Labor Day weekend (for American visitors.) By avoiding those times when thousands of other visitors will also be descending on the area, you can enjoy less crowded attractions.

Crowd Avoidance Tip #2: Start Early

When you’re on vacation, it’s tempting to sleep in and take your time in the morning. But consider this: While you are sleeping in, so is a large majority of the other travelers visiting Niagara Falls. So why not get a jump on them and head out early? Plan to be up and ready to start exploring by breakfast; not only will you be able to see a number of attractions before the crowds build, you’ll also have a better chance of getting some photos of the falls without other people in them. Reserve a hotel as close to the falls as possible to save on drive time and get out there early.

Crowd Avoidance Tip #3: Plan Ahead

FARblog4.jpegOne of the biggest time wasters on any trip is waiting in line to buy tickets to major attractions — and it’s no different in Niagara Falls. You could spend hours waiting in line to buy tickets for attractions like the Hornblower Cruises to the base of the falls… or you could buy your tickets in advance. Do your research before you leave home and decide which attractions are “must see,” and then buy tickets in advance. The aforementioned Hornblower Cruises even allow you to choose a time for your tickets, meaning you can buy in advance and just show up a few minutes before your scheduled cruise. Instead of spending time standing in line, you can spend that time experiencing more of what Niagara Falls has to offer.

The fact is, you’ll almost never feel like you have Niagara Falls to yourself. But with some smart planning and a little legwork, you can feel like a VIP and avoid the crowds.

How to Plan a Girls’ Getaway in Niagara Falls

FARblog1.jpegWhether you’re planning a “last hurrah” bachelorette party or an “escape the kids” moms’ weekend, Niagara Falls is the perfect destination. You might think of Niagara Falls as a honeymoon spot, and have visions of being surrounded by happy couples in the early days of wedded bliss, but the area is actually a prime destination for all types of travelers — even a group of girlfriends who need a few days of R & R.

If you want to plan the perfect getaway for you and your gal pals, follow this easy guide.

Step 1: Choose the Right Place to Stay

The perfect girls’ getaway requires a hotel with plenty of space for everyone to relax, comfortable beds to actually get a good night’s sleep and a wide variety of amenities, from a full-service spa to a place to just hang out and chat with a cocktail or glass of wine. Falls Avenue Resort is the ideal spot: With more than 1,000 rooms in three interconnected hotels, plus several restaurants, a casino, spas and additional entertainment options, it offers everything that you and our friends could ever need for your getaway.

Step 2: Book Special Experiences

FARblog2.jpegWhat’s a girls’ getaway without some pampering? Niagara Falls is home to a number of spas, any of which are great for letting your cares melt away on a massage table — or erasing the effect of time with anti-aging and rejuvenation treatments.

While spas are always a good choice, Niagara Falls offers a number of other options too. Take a wine tour of the Niagara region, visiting some of the many wineries for tastings, or visit Niagara-on-the-Lake, a quaint town that feels like it was frozen in time. Or stick closer to the falls themselves; Hornblower Cruises now offers a Sunset Cocktail Cruise to the base of the falls, or you could just hang out on the rooftop of one of the area hotels to enjoy a few drinks and the nighttime light show on the falls.

Step 3: Eat Your Heart Out

What’s a girls’ getaway without throwing caution to the wind and forgetting about how many calories you’re eating? It’s easy to blow your diet in Niagara Falls, with so many excellent restaurants to choose from. Of course, you’ll find the standard chain favorites, but why not splurge on something fantastic, like dinner at Skylon Tower, the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra, Elements on the Falls or the Horseshoe Landing Patio, all of which combine incredible views of the falls with top-notch cuisine. Of course, you can’t forget to stop at Hershey’s Chocolate World for a delectable snack — or stop by Chocolate F/X in Niagara-on-the-Lake for a tour of the factory that will dip almost anything in chocolate.

Whether you’re planning a trip for just you and your best friend or a group of ten or twenty, there’s plenty to see and do in Niagara Falls to please even the fussiest member of your circle of friends.

Five Summer Restaurant Options At Falls Avenue Resort

RR_FacebookHeaderIf you’re looking for dining options during your visit to Niagara Falls look no further than the Falls Avenue Resort! The restaurants are all a close distance to your hotel stay and offer a wide range of meals that are suitable for the entire family. If you’re looking for something fun that’s close to all of the fun on Clifton Hill with a view of the falls, The Falls Avenue Resort has you covered!

The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra

The Rainbow Room offers a fascinating view of the Falls with an intimate setting and hand-crafted menu. Massimo Capra uses local ingredients to create a menu that changes whenever the seasons do ensuring that the choices are fresh and delicious. The restaurant has fed royalty and Hollywood stars since the fine dining establishment opened and with its extensive wine list ranging from international and local favourites your food and wine pairings will be remarkable.

Fallsview Buffet

The options are endless at the Fallsview Buffet with its breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet options. The beautiful view of the Falls and the live action stations are ideal for a satisfying meal. The buffet is perfect for any picky eaters as it offers many options!

Rainforest Cafe 

Eat in this rainforest sitting with animatronic animals, an indoor thunderstorm, lightning and a wall of rain. This restaurant is a great option for those looking for some entertainment and live action during their meal. The menu offers sandwiches, wraps, salads and delicious desserts that are great options for lunch or dinner.

Hard Rock Cafe 

Music enthusiasts rejoice at the Hard Rock Cafe complete with music memorabilia from top to bottom. Close to many of the attractions at the Falls Avenue Resort, this restaurant is an excellent option for when you’ve had a full day touring the city and want to grab a bite close by. The menu is tex-mex so if you’re looking for some delicious Mexican this is the place to be!

Planet Hollywood 

Dine with Hollywood’s stars at this restaurant option found in the heart of downtown Niagara Falls. Hollywood memorabilia covers the walls and inspires the large menu. Find some unique sandwiches, salads, wraps, burgers and desserts on this fun menu. If you want to try something new make your way to Planet Hollywood for a glamorous and inspired meal.

All of these options offer a delicious menu and with its short distance from most hotels you won’t have to go far for a great time!

4 Wine Makers, 8 Chardonnays and 32,000 KMs

wine pouring 2 glassesCelebrate Chardonnay in Niagara Falls during the 2014 International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration. Peller Estates will host a guided tasting and dining experience at its vineyard.  The day starts off with a reception at the Barrel Cellar with tastings.

After the reception enjoy a four-course lunch prepared by Jason Parsons that will be accompanied with a striking view of the vineyard. Each of the courses will be paired perfectly with one of the four chardonnays from Canadian and International Winemakers that will showcase their wine at the reception.

The event is held during the day, which means you’ll get the entire evening to enjoy in Niagara Falls and have a night out on the town. Pair it with our Ultimate Couples Experience Package and you’ve got yourself a weekend well spent in the city.

Ultimate Couples Experience Package

  • One Night Hotel Accommodations at the Sheraton on the Falls or Crowne Plaza Fallsview
  • Three Fallsview Dining Gift Cards:
    • $40.00 at Windows by Jamie Kennedy
    • $40.00 at Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra
    • $20.00 at Fallsview Buffet
  • Two Winery Tasting Passes at Trius Winery at Hillebrand and Peller Estates
  • $40 Credit at the Fallsview Christienne Spa
  • Two Cocktails at the Hard Rock Cafe
  • Special Hershey Gift
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