hamilton waterfalls frozen

These epic frozen waterfalls are just one hour from Toronto

The cold spells that envelop Toronto and much of Ontario isn't without their benefits. Of the various pleasures that the onset of winter brings, the freezing of Hamilton's waterfalls is certainly one of the prettiest.

These majestic layers of ice are a legitimate winter wonderland just an hour away from Toronto. It might be a bit more challenging to hike into them through the snow, but the scenery is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Some of the lower flow waterfalls like the Devil's Punchbowl start to freeze over in mid-December, but it's the extreme cold of many winters that leave the rest of these natural wonders in suspended animation.

Tiffany Falls is particularly stunning. It froze over a couple of weeks ago, but heaps of snow help to make the surrounding backdrop an idealized picture of winter beauty. 

The ice climbers will be out here every winter, but the area is a mostly undisturbed sanctuary worthy of Queen Elsa. Some of the ice build-ups are incredibly intricate. On the whole, the place is sublime.

There are other highlights, of course. The secluded Sherman Falls looks incredible tucked within the tree canopy. If we get some wet snow that hugs the tree branches, the scene will be even more amazing than it already is. 

Webster's Falls also looks great, with the entire Spencer Gorge area acting as a winter playground for those willing to brave the cold.

What's so incredible about this spot is the area around the falls. The cliff face, trees, and leaf-less shrubs are all coated in a layer of ice that is remarkably picturesque, especially when it's lit up by early morning sunlight. 

Winter can take its toll with consecutive months of freezing temperatures, driving snow, and city streets filled with feet-soaking slush, but a day trip out to Hamilton's waterfalls offers a timely and restorative reminder of how scenic the season can be. 

Lead photo by

@travis_paul. Written by Derek Flack.


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