Thanks to an effort spearheaded by Jay's sister, Constance Cochrane, a permanent display on Jay Cochrane has been added to Daredevil Alley in downtown Niagara Falls. Though most of us would never consider Jay a daredevil, it is the first step to keeping his memory alive in a place he truly loved. Jay was a consummate performer and never liked being called a "daredevil" but I do think he would be happy with the images chosen to show his prowess on the wire.
The Queen Street attraction features panels and plaques commemorating the likes of Blondin and Farini, fellow wirewalkers who performed over Niagara Falls at the turn of the 20th century.
In eleven years of skywalks above Niagara Falls, Jay Cochrane completed over 800 walks in the sky touching the regions highest buildings and attractions. Celebrate Jay Cochrane's life and learn more about Canada's Prince of the Air.
The display will be officially unveiled at a ceremony on Thursday, March 2, 2017, starting at 4 p.m. with former Mayor and longime Cochrane friend Wayne Thompson giving remarks about Jay's time in Niagara Falls.
THE GREAT CHINA SKYWALK IN THE BOSTON GLOBE ON OCTOBER 28, 1995
The Great China Skywalk by Jay Cochrane is the greatest high wire walk ever completed. Cochrane skywalked 2,098 feet across Qutang Gorge, 1,340 feet above the Yangtze River.
Higher than the Twin Towers, Jay's accomplishment has always been overshadowed by Philippe Petit's walk at the World Trade Center.
On the 25th anniversary of Jay Cochrane's spectacular skywalk and the release of "The Wire" chronicling Petit's walk,
a retrospective of THE GREAT CHINA SKYWALK.
The "Skylon Tower Skywalk" began atop the 32-story, 364 feet (111m) Niagara Fallsview Casino, traversing a distance of 1,250 feet (381m), and finishing atop the Skylon Tower at a height of 520 feet (160m). Jay's performance was astounding, set to music as he talked to the crowd below, giving the spectators a first-hand experience of what it is like to be on the wire. Jay Cochrane completed the longest and highest skywalk ever performed outside of China. He would surpass this walk with Skywalk 2012, but for seven years this skywalk had the distinction of the highest and longest skywalk in North American history.
For over Fifty Years, Jay Cochrane graced the skies with each skywalk a spellbinding performance as he created "highways in the sky."
His skywalk above the Yangtze River in China's Qutang Gorge is considered the greatest highwire walk ever. The Great China Skywalk was viewed in-person by an audience of 250,000, and live China TV coverage was viewed in the PRC and around the world by an estimated one-billion people. Jay's skywalk stretched 2,098 feet (639m) over the Yangtze River at a height of 1,340 feet (408m), the highest and longest highwire walk ever completed.
His death from cancer on October 30, 2013, was a devastating blow to all who loved and adored him. Jay Cochrane will be remembered forever for his genorisity and his showmanship.
Read Shane Peacock's tribute to Jay Cochrane, celebrating a life that truly was above the world.