Daredevil Nik Wallenda is eager to walk the walk after getting approval for his plan to cross Niagara Gorge on a tightrope.
The Niagara Parks Commission board gave its thumbs up at a public meeting this morning, reversing an earlier decision against the stunt.
Mr. Wallenda says it brings him one step closer to his dream of walking along a cable five centimetres in diameter stretched across the Niagara River from the United States to Canada.
“To get that green light, I feel like I'm on top of the world,” he said.
The board says it now has 45 days to work out details with the man who calls himself “King of the High Wire” — including a date for the walk.
Mr. Wallenda, 32, had been hoping for a day in July or August but the commission is looking at June, before the busy tourist season begins.
The tightrope walker, who is a descendant from the famous circus performers The Flying Wallendas, saw his request turned down in December, when the commission cited its policy against stunts.
But he met with senior staff earlier this month after talking to Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan about the proposal.
Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last year directing state park officials to allow Mr. Wallenda to walk across the Niagara Gorge.
A study has suggested that live television coverage of the event could help generate a $120-million shot in the arm to the Niagara economy.
Janice Thomson, chairwoman of the Niagara Parks Commission, said Mr. Wallenda provided additional information and was able to prove he had the proper controls and safety measures in place.
The board will now only consider requests for such events once every 20 years, and only by people who are skilled professionals, she added.
“This decision was approved in part in recognition of the role that stunting has played in the history and promotion of Niagara Falls,” Ms. Thomson said.
“We have made it clear that this is a very unique one-time situation. It's not an everyday activity and will not be allowed to become an everyday activity.”
Mr. Wallenda said he was just happy his persistence had paid off.
“It's a dream and I hope it's inspirational to everybody out there to never give up. It's been passed down for seven generations in our family that you pursue your dreams and don't ever give up,” he said.