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Hamilton Ontario Canada Pictures, Information

Waterfalls near Hamilton, Dundurn Castle, Niagara Escarpment

When Hamilton makes the news, chances are it's about steel, its major industry. But there's so much more this GTA (Greater Toronto Area) city on Lake Ontario. Hamilton has a wealth of natural scenery, though, like the 27 waterfalls and cascades that flow over the Niagara Escarpment. Many waterfalls can be reached through well maintained conservation area parks, pictured below. The Niagara Escarpment splits Hamilton into  Lower and Upper; Streets designated 'Upper' mean lake-level streets that continue up the mountain.

The city of Hamilton is located on the west shore of Lake Ontario roughly midway between Mississauga and Niagara Falls, in Ontario. Related: Webster's Falls Park, northeast of Hamilton.



Borer's Creek Waterfalls near Hamilton, Burlington, Ontario Canada Borer's Creek near Hamilton and Burlington ontario canada

Armed with a trusty Tourism Hamilton Waterfalls brochure, I set out one fine spring day to try to see several falls that are located north west of the landmark Royal Botanical Gardens.

Lilacs, mostly white-blossomed, grow wild in this area, and in early June, they are usually in full bloom.

I happened upon Borer's Creek when I walked back along the roadway. This idyllic brook gave no clue to the size of the nearby falls.

There's a scattering of houses with tidy lawns and flower beds, and you will often have the trail to yourself.

The Hamilton area waterfalls are at their mightiest a few days after a good rain, usually in Spring or Fall. While they are lovely cascades, they merely whet one's appetite for Niagara.

Path to Borer's Falls north of RBG (Royal Botanical Gardesns) lands Hamilton ontario Canada lilacs bloom along Path to Borer's Falls viewpoint

From Hwy.6 midway between the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) exit on Hwy. 403 and Dundas Street (Hwy. 5), I went west on York Road a short distance, then north on Old Guelph Road, that turned west again as Patterson Road.

When it intersected with Rock Chapel Road, I went left on Rock Chapel about half a mile, and found a small parking lot.

A more direct route would be to turn south from Dundas Street (Hwy. 5), just west of Clapperton's Corners, on Rock Chapel Road.

There's small parking lot about a mile south of Dundas that's a half mile walk south from the creek above; the access trail shown here is just off the road.

Watch for a small sign. There are few amenities here so bring your own food and drink. Clapperton's Corners is a major highway stop with good facilities.

Borer's Creek in late Spring Borer's Creek above Borer Falls Hamilton Ontario halton conservation area canada

The road bridge spans Borer's Creek above where the falls drops over the cliff.

The undergrowth was fairly dense in this area, and views of the creek were possible only from the bridge.

A section of the extensive Bruce Trail runs through here, and you may encounter other walkers at this point.

Borer's Falls aka Rock Chapel Falls Borer's Falls also called Rock Chapel Falls is a waterfall near hamilton ontario canada

Borer's Falls is a 'curtain' waterfalls 58 feet (17.7m) high. It's also known as Rock Chapel Falls.

The base of the falls is located in the Borer's Creek Conservation Area, and owned by the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

The top of the falls is on lands owned by the Royal Botanical Gardens.

For 100 years, this falls powered the Rock Chapel village sawmill that the Borer family operated.

Then, land clearing eventually reduced its flow, and so, its power.

The entire Niagara region is popular for Geocaching. Get online, get a handheld GPS, and you're good to go.

Tew's Falls walking trail to Webster's Falls Near Hamilton, Dundas ONTew's Falls near hamilton ontario canada

From Borer's Falls, I returned to my car, and continued west on what had become Harvest Road.

This is a long-settled area, with many country roads running in interesting directions from main highways.

After about mile or so, past Sydenham Road, watch for Ofield Road, and turn south on Ofield.

There should be a sign for Tew's Falls, but it may be difficult to spot. There's a small village located here.

The falls access is well-signed, though, with a good-sized parking area at the base of a hill. From the east end of the parking lot, follow the stairs and path up the hill.

From Tew's Falls, a walking trail leads up past Spence's Gorge and to Webster's Falls.

I was told to allow an hour to walk to Webster's Falls and back, but I didn't have time. I plan to return in the Fall, when the gorge views are especially lovely.

Tew's Falls an example of Ribbon Falls near Hamilton ONTew's Falls is a ribbon waterfall near hamilton canada

Tew's Falls is a 'ribbon' falls 135 feet/41 metres high.

It's located on Logie's Creek, in the Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area.

This view is from one of several viewing platforms in the park.

The trail in this area is part of the Dundas section of the Bruce Trail.

Webster's Falls from the top of the falls at the Conservation AreaWebster's Falls is a curtain waterfalls near hamilton and burlington ontario

Webster's Falls is a 'classical curtain' falls, 73.5 feet/22.4 metres high, and like Tew's Falls, is located in the Spencer's Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area, in Greensville.

Across the top (crest), the falls measures 79 feet/24 metres, making it one of the largest of the area's waterfalls.

From Tew's Falls, I went by car about a mile west on Harvest Road, and turned left on Brock Road (Hwy. 8), the village of Greensville.

When the highway turns left (east), a road leads off into the park and parking area.

This is billed as one of the easiest waterfallls to access in the area. This is the view from the southeast; take a trail to reach this lookout.

At the base of Webster's Falls in Hamilton Conservation AreaAt the base of Webster's Falls near hamilton ontario

Cross a cobblestone footbridge (c1936) over Spencer Creek to the west side, and you'll reach a series of stairs that lead down to the base.

The main falls has a break near the middle. To the west is a smaller cascade known as Baby Webster's Falls.

I counted 122 steps from the top to the bottom, and another 122 on the way back up.

Well worth the hike! This land was owned by the Webster family; the house is on Webster's Falls Road.

See also Webster's Falls Park

Grindstone Falls known as Great Falls in Waterdown ON Dundas StreetGrindstone Falls also know as Great Falls in Waterdown ontario

Grindstone Falls is a 'curtain' falls 25 feet/9 metres high. It is owned by the City of Hamilton, though it is located in the town of Waterdown.

Dundas Street (Hwy. 5) is the main street going through Waterdown. There's a traffic signal at Mill Street: turn south and go down the hill under the railway overpass.

Park your car in Smokey Hollow Park, and walk towards the sound of rushing water.

Smokey Hollow was once an industrial area, and Grindstone Falls powered several mills. There is a good viewing platform located a feet from the parking lot, to the east of the falls, near the crest.

To get this shot, I inched my way carefully off the trail along on the slippery slope, a tactic I don't recommend.

Many smaller waterfalls dry up over the summer, so for best views, time your visit for the shoulder seasons, or after a heavy rainfall following a summer storm.

Hamilton Ontario viewed from Hamilton Mountain Hamilton ontario and burlington skyway viewed from the Mountain escarpment

From Hamilton Mountain (the Niagara Escarpment), looking east, it's easy to see the source of the city's smog woes as well as its major employers.

The thin grey ribbon over Lake Ontario's blue is the Burlington Skyway, the bridge/bypass for the QEW between Niagara Falls and Toronto.

Mohawk College is located up the 'mountain'; McMaster University is located down the mountain, to the extreme left in this view.

There is GO bus service between McMaster and Square One terminal in Mississauga.

Dundurn Castle a National Historic Site National Historic Site Dundurn Castle  near burlington hamilton ontario boundary

Dundurn Castle and the Hamilton Military Museum are located (in the view above) to the left, near the end of the skyway bridge.

This area around Lake Ontario was the site of battles during the War of 1812, and the museum holds artefacts from that era.

Dundurn Castle was the mid-19th century home of Sir Allan McNab, one of Canada's first prime ministers.

The bicentennial of the War of 1812 will be marked with several ceremonies and events in 2012.

On the site, there's a popular gift shop and the Coach House Restaurant.

Hamilton Ontario Homes seen from the mountain / escarpmentHamilton Ontario Canada Homes in older neighborhoods viewed from the escarpment

From halfway up the mountain: Good views of one of many older neighbourhoods nearly covered by leafy canopies.

See also buy homes in Canada.

The city is also a favorite of first time home buyers looking for value for money and houses with character.

Just an hour's drive by freeway from Toronto, Hamilton is also finding favor as a location for movie shoots, with up to five movies shooting at the same time.

Trendy shopping in Hamilton Ontario Trendy shopping in Hamilton ontario Canada older stores renovated

Of course there are lots of shopping malls, but the older downtown area has wonderful small and trendy boutique shopping.

For a great farmer's market, head to Hamilton's downtown area during the season.

There are textiles and fabrics stores on Ottawa Street, and antique hunters will want to check out Locke Street (shown here), with many antique stores and trendy cafes.