Welcome to Waterfalls of Ontario!
This web site is about visiting and enjoying natural waterfalls in Ontario, Canada.
Waterfalls are great places for hikes, photography, family outings, or just to find a way to reconnect with nature.
This is the 6th edition of this web site. The first was uploaded in 1999. The site compliments the 262-page, full colour book published by Firefly Books
(click the book cover for more details). There is also a Facebook Group
with over 20,000 members, as well as new Wall Maps for purchase
If you are new to exploring waterfalls, please read through the tips below. This includes the Waterfall Safety Page
Visiting Waterfalls in Ontario
Most natural waterfalls in Ontario are located on public lands. This means that you can visit them at almost any time. Some are located in parks with closing hours, and some may require an admission. But the majority are free to explore.
What you can Expect to Find
Waterfalls come in all shapes and sizes. In some cases you will be awestruck. In others, you will be asking "That's it? You're kidding, right?!" This is where this web site comes in handy! The Regional Guides
will help you to know what to expect.
Here are a few things to remember about waterfalling:
- Some waterfalls are bigger than others
- Some waterfalls are better than others
- Big isn't always better
- Waterfalls differ dramatically through the seasons
- Some can dry up completely in summer
- Almost all of them can be safely visited
- Almost all of them can be dangerous if you aren't careful!
- Some have signs, parking lots, fences, shelters… others have nothing!
- Some waterfalls are easily accessed by car...
- …others are only reached by helicopter!
Where to Visit
The 500+ waterfalls in Ontario are spread across the province. They aren't found just anywhere, and you may need to travel an hour by car in order to find one. That's where this web site comes in handy! You can pick a waterfall region from the Waterfall Guide
, or look at a big Google Map.
When to Visit
For many causal waterfall visitors, summer is the time of year when they come across a waterfall. While this is certainly the nicest time to be outside, waterfall visits in summer can sometimes be disappointing. The streams and rivers that flow over waterfalls are usually at their lowest levels during this time. Depending on the falls, it may drop to a trickle for weeks on end.
More experienced waterfall enthusiasts know that spring and fall are often the best time to visit. Stream flows are higher, and the harsh shadows cast by thick vegetation are absent (see Photography Tips
). Winter can be an interesting time to visit too, with some waterfalls morphing into frozen wonderlands.
How to Visit
In most cases, you will need a car to get to Ontario's natural waterfalls. If you live in the city of Hamilton, Owen Sound, or even Ottawa, you are luck in that you can visit some waterfalls by city bus.
The more popular waterfalls may have paved parking lots, good signs, and sturdy boardwalks to make visitng easy. The shot of Fenelon Falls, above, was taken from a sturdy concrete overlook, just a few steps from the sidewalk.
Much more often, you will need to do some hiking to find some of the lesser-known (but equally rewarding) examples. The shot of High Falls, below, is taken after 2 km hike along Eels Creek. In these situations, you will need good footwear and be ready to follow unmarked paths. In some more extreme cases, be prepared to get dirty! Waterfalls can be surrounded by wet, muddy terrain, and usually have steep slopes.
Each waterfall featured on this web page is accompanied by a short description and a photo. If a photo is missing, or is grainy, that means that I need people like you to send one for the web site! In addition to a Google Map, there is also a button that you can press to give you Google driving directions from any location.
. You do also need to be aware of private property.