Toronto

Wallenda still hopeful to tightrope walk over Niagara Falls

Acrobat and daredevil Nik Wallenda says he's hopeful he'll be allowed to tightrope walk over Niagara Falls after meeting with Ontario's tourism minister.

American daredevil Nik Wallenda is hopeful the Niagara Parks Commission will give him another hearing on his plan to walk across Niagara Falls on a high wire.

Wallenda says he had an excellent two-hour meeting Friday morning with Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan, and feels he is one step closer to getting permission for his tightrope walk.

The 32-year-old acrobat says he didn't expect Chan to overrule the Niagara Parks Commission, which already rejected his proposal to walk the high wire from the United States to Canada.

However, he is confident Chan will suggest the commission give him another hearing on the plan, which he estimates would mean a $120-million shot in the arm to the Niagara economy.

Niagara Falls Liberal Kim Craitor says Wallenda's high-wire walk over the world famous falls is simply too big an event to pass up.

Wallenda, a seventh-generation descendent of the famous Flying Wallenda family of high-wire performers, has a backup plan to walk over the Niagara River between two points on the U.S. side.

However, he wants to do the international walk from the United States into Canada in part to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.