Deaths at Ontario Waterfalls

Sadly, the risks of visiting waterfalls are real. People have lost their lives at more than 30 waterfalls in Ontario.

This is why this website continuously stresses the need for people to stay safe when visiting waterfalls.

Waterfalls are not waterparks!. People forget that waterfalls are wild places that haven't been designed, engineered, or safety checked.

Deaths at waterfalls occur to several primary reasons:

Falling: Many waterfalls are surrounded by high cliffs, and the risk of falling exists when people don't stay back from the edge.

A fall of just several metres can also be deadly in some circumstances. Serious injuries can also occur. Stay back from cliffs!

Drowning: Swimming, wading, sliding, canoeing and jumping look like fun. But each has led to drowning in Ontario. Just stay away from the water.

Slipping: Rocks that are wet, icy or covered in algae can be slippery. Slips lead to falls and drowning. Stay back from the edge, especially where rocks are smooth.

Jumping: Cliff jumping can be fun, provided that the water beneath is sufficiently deep. At waterfalls, the foaming, frothing water can hide rocks that are just below the surface. Don't do it.

The purpose of the following lists is not to place blame on visitor behaviour.

But they illustrate that seemingly innocent activites can turn deadly. Your safety is your responsibility.

If a specific story here hits close to home, please contact me to suggest that it be removed.

Deaths at Ontario Waterfalls

Injuries and Rescues at Ontario Waterfalls

Many people have been injured while visiting waterfalls. Most injuries are minor scrapes, bruises or sore muscles. But there have also been very serious injuries that could have been fatal.

In some instances, people have had to be rescued from precarious places by emergency services.

Repeated rescues have resulted in some waterfalls being closed to visitors. This is another reason why it's important to stay out of prohibited areas.

Injuries and Rescues

Waterfalls of Ontario Project

This project has been online since 1999, in print since 2003, and on social since 2011. (See archives: 2003, 2012, 2018). It was the first to inventory and map Ontario's waterfalls for recreational purposes. With your continued help, it grows. Learn more...
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This page last updated on May 16, 2024. Earlier versions can be examined on, dating back to 2003.