"As a community, we are united on the fight to stop the spread of the virus.”

By Cailey Rizzo
March 23, 2020

Empty hotel buildings around Niagara Falls are sending messages of solidarity from their windows.

Hotels and casinos around Niagara Falls, which are sitting empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have illuminated windows on their facades to create the shape of a heart. The messages are being called “Niagara Heart of Hope.”

"As a community, we are united on the fight to stop the spread of the virus,” Niagara Falls Tourism wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

The pandemic has shut down the international tourist attraction as the border crossing between Canada and the U.S. at the Falls has been indefinitely closed for nonessential travel.

Some hotels and businesses are continuing operations on the Canadian side of falls, Niagara Falls Tourism said in a blog post. However, all dine-in restaurants (except those serving takeout) have been closed in Ontario. Park attractions on the Canadian side of the falls that require face-to-face interaction are closed, according to Niagara Parks.

Queen Victoria Park, where visitors can get up close to the falls, remains open.

Niagara Falls.
An aerial view of Niagara Falls.
| Credit: Getty Images

On the American side, Niagara Falls State Park, Goat Island and Prospect Point Park remain open to visitors. However, large indoor visitor facilities are indefinitely closed, according to New York State Parks. All nonessential businesses on the New York side are subject to the state shutdown, which began Sunday at 8 p.m.

All around the world, people are sending out messages of positivity during the coronavirus outbreak.

The captain of a Carnival Cruiseship illuminated the boat’s windows to spell out the message: “WE WILL BE BACK” with a heart at sea. And on land, people are putting their Christmas lights back on their houses to spread neighborhood cheer with #LightsForLife.