NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO (WIVB) — The Canadian dollar exchange rate is strongly favoring the U.S. right now. The loonie ended the week exchanging at $1.45 U.S. It’s one of the lowest rates for the Canadian money in a decade.
“The pendalum has shifted the other way,” said Jim Diodati, the Niagara Falls, ON mayor. “Right now it’s hugely to our advantage with the Canadian dollar being devalued right now.”
The devalued dollar is at their advantage because they’re seeing more people cross the border and finding more value for their American money.
“Tourism benefits in a huge way,” said Mayor Diodati. “Our operators here in Niagara Falls have had one of the best seasons ever, certainly in the last decade.”
“We cashed in about $250, $260 and got $350 back so that was really good,” said George Weber, a Buffalo native traveling to the Canadian side for a quick getaway. “[We’re] Definitley going out to eat, hotel, included, drinks entertainment.”
“I was looking at stuff in the store and now the $20 things don’t seem as expensive,” said Nicholas Bills who is visiting with his family from Eastern New York around Kingston.
Diodati says some of the local businesses are reporting 20% to 60% sales increases just over the last month while their dollar has slowly devalued. The cause – oil prices.
“It isn’t worth pulling the crude out of the ground unless it’s a certain price,” said the mayor.
Across the country, there have been major layoffs in the oil industry. It’s likely the price per barrel will remain low, keeping the Canadian dollar’s exchange rate low.
While that’s going on though, the mayor is looking at the positives that come with it.
“Even when there’s a gray cloud, there’s a silver lining,” said Diodati.”The upside to a devalued dollar is increased tourism and in Niagara Falls, that’s a good thing.”