hamilton waterfalls frozen

These epic frozen waterfalls are just one hour from Toronto

The recent cold spell that's enveloped Toronto and much of Ontario isn't without its 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.

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Some of the lower flow waterfalls like the Devil's Punchbowl started to freeze over in mid-December, but it's been the extreme cold of the last few days that's left the rest of these natural wonders in suspended animation.

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

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The ice climbers will be out here in the new year, but for now 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.

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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. 

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Webster's Falls is also looking great, with the entire Spencer Gorge area acting as a winter playground for those willing to brave the cold. There was a still a little trickle of water through here the other day, but it's bound to freeze completely at any moment. 

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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. 

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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. 

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