waterfalls canada

The most breathtaking waterfalls from across Canada

Of all the geographical features of the world, waterfalls may be a bit of a fan favourite. Perhaps it's because they make such easy, relatively safe day trips (compared to, say, some whitewater rafting or a mountain climb). Or maybe it's because they're scientifically proven to make us happier.

Fortunately for Canadians, we have some of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls in the world. Here are some of them.

Bridal Veil Falls, British Columbia

Located in an eponymous provincial park just east of Chilliwack, BC, Bridal Veil Falls are a 60m waterfall just a short walk from the park's picnic area and parking lot. They are named for the veil-like effect of the cascading water over their smooth rock face, and were employed in the 1900s to generate electricity for a local chalet.

Athabasca Falls, Alberta

Found just south of the town of Jasper within Jasper National Park, Athabasca Falls may not be the tallest waterfall in Canada at 23m, but is thought to be the most powerful. Erosion from the namesake river feeding the falls, which is a designated heritage river, has created a number of unique features, including multiple potholes and a canyon.

Virginia Falls, Northwest Territories

Nestled in the Nahanni National Park Reserve and located 120km from the Yukon border, Northwest Territories's Virginia Falls are nearly twice the height of Niagara Falls at 96m. Water tumbles around a large rock formation, Mason Rock, named after Canadian canoeist and filmmaker Bill Mason.

Pisew Falls, Manitoba

The scenic Pisew Falls in Pisew Falls Provincial Park, Manitoba can be taken in from a suspension bridge and a number of observation platforms overlooking the 13m, multi-directional feature. Pisew is best saved for those looking for more than just a day trip, as the hike in and out is approximately 12 hours total. But those who venture to the falls are in luck, as there are backcountry campsites a short walk away.

Albion Falls, Ontario

Though Hamilton boasts a lot of waterfalls, Albion is one of its most popular — and one of the most picturesque, saccording to the City itself. The water flows and spreads out gracefully over 19m of seemingly endless natural step formations.

Montmorency Falls, Quebec

A short trip away from Quebec City, Montmorency Falls offer tons of things to do beside just standing in awe of the scenery. The surrounding park has a double zipline, a suspended bridge, a restaurant and gift shop, and a 487-step staircase to access the bottom of the falls for the perfect photo op.

Silence Falls, Nova Scotia

Like Albion Falls, the water at Silence Falls branches down a series of steps (though on a much smaller scale). Also known as MacInnis Brook Falls, this little natural wonder is a perfect slice of heaven to sit and picnic around.

Hunt Falls, Saskatchewan

Unfortunately, for those looking to view Saskatchewan's largest waterfall, the 60m-wide Hunt Falls have no road access. A canoe trip in through Grease River is possible, but difficult, so the best option is a float plane from neaby Stony Rapids. The payoff? Pristine beauty with no one around for kilometres.

Pissing Mare Falls, Newfoundland

Don't let the name put you off — Pissing Mare Falls are a sight to behold at 350m tall, making them one of the highest falls in eastern North America. Found at Western Brook Pond in Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park, the falls are surrounded by fjord cliffs that were formed by prehistoric glaciers. They are most powerful in the spring due to precipitation, and can be accessed by a ferry from Rocky Harbour.

Helmcken Falls, BC

In the winter, these falls — the fourth largest in Canada at 141m tall — freeze partway up the canyon they reside in. Fed by the Murtle River, the falls are easily reached by foot from the aptly named Helmcken Falls Road in Wells Gray Provincial Park. If you're unfazed by heights, a viewing platform looks over the torrent from the canyon's rim.

Wilberforce Falls, Nunavut

If you ever make your way up to Nunavut, you may want to consider a plane ride over the breathtaking Wilberforce Falls in the gorge of the territory's Hood River. Sadly, the only way the falls can be witnessed or hiked around is via plane, as the area is extremely remote.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

A list of the best Canadian waterfalls isn't really complete without Canada's most famous waterfall, Niagara Falls. The falls, which flow voraciously between Lake Ontario and Lake Eerie over the Canadian-American border, have a complex geological history of more than 10,000 years, during which glacial meltwaters rerouted multiple times. The falls erode at a rate of around 30cm per year through the fastest type of erosion, cavitation.

Lead photo by

@schueoli at British Columbia's Hunlen Falls


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