Hamilton. The capital of steel and waterfalls

By Christian Pedersen

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There are people who think that Hamilton is just a city with lots of industrial chimneys that lies halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls, but that impression can turn into a pleasant surprise.

Hamilton is a port city that lies in the center of the most highly industrialized area of the country where manufacturing is the most important economic activity. Sixty percent of all Canadian steel is produced there, hence its title of the Canadian Steel Capital.

Hamilton, Tiffany Falls. (Photo by City of Waterfalls)

At least 130 waterfalls

Yes, you read that correctly: Hamilton municipality is home to more than 100 waterfalls! Well, the City of Waterfalls non-profit organization registered 130 of them, while the renowned North American educational and research Smithsonian institution managed to catalog 156. Regardless, it contains the largest number of waterfalls of any city in the world.

Despite this amazing number, according to the Hamilton Conservation Authority, 30 of these waterfalls are inaccessible, but the city is working on improving access by building a system of trails. This is certainly important because some people have already had to be rescued when trying to reach some waterfalls that are dangerous to access.

Hamilton, Webster Falls. (Photo by Jay-Poel)

Tiffany and Webster

The good news is that there are those that can be visited, such as Tiffany Falls, for example, which is a 21-metre-high ribbon waterfall whose source is in the vicinity of Tiffany Creek. This attraction can be found in the Tiffany Falls Conservation Area in Ancaster.

The most popular and well known waterfall in Hamilton is Webster, created by the water flowing down Spencer Creek, located in Webster’s Falls Conservation Area in Greensville. It has a crest of 24 metres and is the largest in the region, and has the largest park associated with a waterfall. According to the City of Waterfalls website, Webster’s Falls has the largest number of vintage postcards, which means it has been visited by tourists for more than 100 years.

A good source of information on Hamilton’s natural attractions is conservationhamilton.ca

Hamilton, Middle-Glendale. (Photo courtesy of City-of Waterfalls)

All because of the escarpment

The reason why Hamilton has so many waterfalls is because it is on the Niagara Escarpment, a rocky cliff that stretches for nearly 1,600 kilometres through the Great Lakes region. The escarpment is most famous for being the cliff over which the Niagara River plunges creating the Niagara Falls, from which it takes its name.

The Escarpment is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It has the oldest forest ecosystem and trees in eastern North America.