Jay Cochrane and the Skylon Tower
The Skylon Tower once played host to a man who would never refer to himself as a daredevil but who has actually accomplished some of the more incredibly risky feats ever to be undertaken in the Niagara Falls region.
Jay Cochrane once walked on a tightrope, over the Niagara waterways which are filled by the Niagara Falls themselves, from the top of the Skylon Tower to the rooftop of the Hilton Hotel. July 12th, 2012 marked the beginning of the greatest single skywalk in North American history—and anywhere outside of China—at the time. Higher than fifty stories in the air, Jay Cochrane walked all summer long at the young age of 68. With only his balancing pole Jay walked a ¼ mile tightrope above the crowd.
With only his balancing pole, Jay Cochrane walked the entire quarter mile between the Skylon Tower and the Hilton Hotel. He would then proceed to mingle with the watching crowds and accept donations for the Tender Wishes Foundation, a private charity.
The Skylon Tower and Jay Cochrane also formed a unique partnership in 2005, where he did his very first “Skylon Tower Skywalk,” but this time it was between the Skylon and the Fallsview Casino.
Across his lifetime, Jay Cochrane would enliven the Niagara Falls region by performing his skywalks to music and chatting with the crowd as he went. He constructed for himself, for the Skylon Tower and for the region itself an enduring legacy which he would take with him wherever he went.
On one occasion, Jay Cochrane even took his skywalks to China, where he went 2098 feet across the Qutang Gorge, 1340 feet above the Yangtze River.
Yes, Jay Cochrane had built himself an enduring legacy, and his name will forever be linked with the Niagara Falls region and the Skylon Tower in particular, which was his terminus point for so many of his walks by virtue of its superior construction and height.
Jay Cochrane was able to raise $157,000 USD for the Tender Wishes Foundation. Jay Cochrane also made substantial donations later in his life to the Boys And Girls Club of Niagara Falls, and continued until he passed away, to work very hard for the welfare and happiness of the children in the area.
We’ll always remember Jay Cochrane for his daring, affable nature, his dedication to community, to charity, to risking himself in no small way to do the things that he loved to do and the Skylon Tower recognizes him as an outstanding human being who did the Niagara Falls region a great service.