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Oct. 17, 2018 | Wednesday
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OPINION: No, Niagara Falls is not getting a Harry Potter theme park
Diagon Alley at night in Universal Studios Florida. (Sam Howzit)

No, Niagara Falls is not getting its own Harry Potter theme park, contrary to what an article that’s circulating online suggests.

In reality, the idea of bringing the Wizarding World to Niagara Falls is not on the table and has never been.

The article, published Feb. 21 by Narcity, states Niagara Falls is the “best location” for a Harry Potter theme park, though it gives absolutely no backing to support this idea, besides points made by its author Eul Basa — who in the story couldn't be bothered to find the proper name for the Winter Festival of Lights (an annual festival in Niagara Falls).

The article is click-bait at its finest and seems to be the result of the author running out of ideas.

Perhaps worse, an accompanying headline reads: “A Harry Potter theme park in Niagara Falls? YES PLEASE!” — almost as if Narcity is trying to suggest this fairy tale development is grounded in some sort of reality. It is not.

Basa has a hard time sticking to one topic in the story. He starts off reminiscing about a trip he had to Harry Potter World, before proclaiming there should be a Harry Potter theme park closer to him so he doesn’t need to pay to travel to Florida.

“Canada should get its own Harry Potter theme park,” he writes, continuing on about which cities he thinks would be best in his opinion.

“If I had to choose a location, I would definitely pick Niagara Falls."

Basa then suggests a few reasons he thinks such an attraction might succeed in Niagara Falls, such as the proximity to the US border and fact the Falls already draws millions of visitors every year. To be fair, these are valid points, though they would apply to any tourist-geared development in the city.

The article then suggests the best site for the new theme park is Marineland — sure, if we're just throwing ideas out there, why not? 

I'm not sure what to make of the next bit.

“It’s unfortunate, but the sad truth is that Canadians have fallen in love with Marineland over the years. Its controversial practices of capturing sea mammals and keeping them in captivity have severely diminished its reputation, and it could be time for a fresh change. Investors would have to buy out Marineland and get all levels of government involved in the project, but it would be totally worth it in the end.”

What is it? Have Canadians have fallen in love with Marineland over the years or is its reputation severly diminished? Sure, it "could" be time for change. It could also be time for a sandwich. And I'm not sure why "all levels of government" would need to be involved, but by this point, I’m thinking perhaps he’s talking about the Ministry of Magic, because every word is speculative hocus pocus.

The problem with an article like this is people are seeing it, sharing it and thinking there is actually a development happening. I've seen people joking about moving to Niagara Falls because they think it's happening. It's misinformation.

Next time somebody sees Basa with a pen, please cast an Expelliarmus.

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