Photo: james.peltzer on Instagram
Scrolling through social media, it’s hard to miss the many picturesque shots of tropical waterfalls. These bodies of water, flowing majestically through caves and jungles, leave many Canadians envious and in desperate need of a vacation. However, with summer closely approaching, it’s the perfect time to discover the hidden gems Ontario has to offer. If you’ve got a serious case of wanderlust but want to stay local, there are quite a few waterfalls just hours from Toronto. From the outskirts of Manitoulin Island to the nation’s capital, there are a number of falls to cool down in this summer. Here are some must-see waterfalls in Ontario.
Devil’s Punch Bowl Falls, Stoney Creek
While Hamilton boasts over 100 waterfalls, Devil’s Punch Bowl Falls is definitely an eye catcher. Located in nearby Stoney Creek, it consists of two separate falls: Lower and Upper. The Upper Falls boasts 33.8 metres of ribbon waterfall. It flows right into the Devil’s Punch Bowl, which was created at the end of the last ice age. Its name reflects the gorge’s striking resemblance to a punch bowl. It does dry up but when the water isn’t flowing, the lookout offers a view of Stoney Creek and the Hamilton Harbour.
Bridal Veil Falls, Manitoulin Island
Located on Manitoulin Island at the entrance into Kagawong, Bridal Veil Falls is one of the Lake Huron waterfalls. A steel stairway leads to the gorge and offers visitors a view of the falls. Now a spot for photographs and tourists, the falls used to power the Kagawong Mill. It’s an area rich with history on top of its natural aesthetic.
Decew Falls, St. Catharines
Similar to Bridal Veil Falls, Decew Falls in St. Catharines once powered a mill. It’s located in the western stretch of Decew Road and consists of Upper Decew Falls and Lower Decew Falls. It’s best viewed from above the Morningstar Mill, which was restored. Lower Decew Falls can be seen at the bottom of the gorge however, it is said to be extremely steep and dangerous.
Rideau Falls, Ottawa
Found just outside of Ottawa’s downtown core, Rideau Falls is where the Rideau River empties into the Ottawa River. Unlike the others on the list, Rideau Falls is found in the heart of a city, providing a scenic view for locals and tourists. You can view the falls from the top or if you’re feeling brave hop on a boat cruise to get as close to the falls as you can.
Kakabeka Falls, Thunder Bay
This 40 metre-high waterfall is the second highest in Canada. Kakebeka Falls is located just west of Thunder Bay on the Kaministiquia River. This massive display of cascading falls has year-round access for viewing. There is a boardwalk that wraps around the top of the falls for visitors to view the waterfall and gorge.