Jay Cochrane – preparing for his “high-wire” walk in Niagara Falls, ON. Photo by: Norm Johnstone © 2012

I went to Niagara Falls, ON for a few days on my vacation and on July 4, 2012, went out sight-seeing with my Dad, Norm Johnstone. We started our walk at the Fallsview Casino, and proceeded to walk down the hill towards the falls. When we got near the bottom we ran into a young couple who asked us if we had seen the man near the top of the hill, as he was working on rigging cables. We told them that we hadn’t seen him, and then were told that he was the man that was going to walk on a cable from the Skylon hotel, over to the Hitlon hotel on Friday, July 6, 2012. We thought we had better go back up the hill and see if we could get some pictures of him.

I ended up getting a few quick photos of Jay, and then had the opportunity to talk to one of his crew about this upcoming event. I was told that Jay would do the walk 88 times (one show daily), (weather permitting), and that it was approximately 1300 feet and he would be 600 feet in the air walking on the wire, without a safety harness. The shows begin at 7:00 p.m. and the walk can take up to 45 minutes.

The rigging took 4 weeks to complete and the crew were a bit behind schedule, so I believe that there now will be 80 walks throughout the summer. I actually left Niagara Falls on the Thursday before he did his first walk, but am hoping to get back up there this summer to get a few pictures of him coming across on the wire.

Jay Cochrane is originally from Sudbury, Ontario, but now lives in the United States, and has been doing these “high-wire” walks his entire life. He has raised over 43 million dollars for charity, and at the age of 68 continues to do the walks.

Jay was doing a walk on the high-wire back in 1965 in Toronto, when the tower collapsed, he fell 90 feet and hit concrete. He ended up in hospital for 4 years, and the doctors said that he would be lucky to be able to walk with 2 canes the rest of his life. He ended up recovering, and is able to walk without any canes, and continues to do his high-wire walks.

For more images that I took, click on Jay’s picture to see the rest of the gallery.