There are many types of travelers in this world. There are the city slickers, the concrete jungle strutters, the city-by-taxi crowd. And then there are the coastal junkies, for whom paradise is not a question of whether or not to be on a beach, but which beach has the optimal white sand to blue ocean ratio.
And then there are the wisest travelers of all: those who love waterfalls. It’s no joke that the concept of a cascade of water falling through the sky, simple though it is, proves again and again to be one of Earth’s most captivating natural wonders.
Canadians are blessed with an abundance of natural wonders with enough lakes, mountains, and rivers to explore for a lifetime.
The Most Beautiful Waterfalls In Canada 2019
10. Kakabeka Falls
Nicknamed “Niagara of the North,” this magnificent waterfall is located 30 kilometers west of Thunder Bay on the Kaministiquia River. Ojibwe for “waterfall over a cliff,” Kakabeka Falls is easily accessible with numerous trails and a platform that wraps around the top. Plunging 40 meters, the tumbling waters descend into a gorge that has been carved out of Precambrian shield.
9. Bridal Veil Falls
Pretty and delicate, the Bridal Veil Falls are located just east of Chilliwack, B.C., and really do look like their namesake, with water gently cascading over smooth rock. An easy 15-minute walk to the falls takes you through lush foliage, which includes cedars, hemlocks, and ferns.
Picnic tables are available, and there are lots of opportunities for viewing wildlife along the way. Mount Cheam, where the falls are located, is also a popular hang-gliding and paragliding site for adventurous types wanting a bird’s eye view.
8. Montmorency Falls
Located just outside of Quebec City, these magnificent falls are actually higher than Niagara Falls. A suspension bridge over the crest of the falls allows for multiple views of the tumbling torrent, the St. Lawrence River and even as far as Île d’Orléans.
A funicular is available to transport you from the top to the bottom (or vice versa), and for those a little more energetic there is a wooden staircase. The waterfalls are accessible year-round, and in the winter the spray freezes to create a layer of flowing ice, which is climbed by only the bravest souls.
7. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls are Canada’s most famous falls and understandably so. Actually made up of three different falls, the aptly named Horseshoe Falls is the only one located on the Canadian side. Easily accessible and awe-inspiring, Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful in North America.
Receding glaciers formed the falls thousands of years ago and the beautiful green color is due to dissolved salts and finely ground rock. Multiple viewing options are available including the Hornblower boat cruise which replaced the Maid of Mist tour boat
6. Virginia Falls (Northwest Territories)
Coming in at twice the height of Niagara Falls, this massive waterfall is located on the South Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories. Called Nailicho in the South Slavey language, the word means “big river falling”—and it’s an apt description.
The remote location means it receives only about 1,000 visitors per year who must make their way by either canoe or floatplane. Both options allow for beautiful views and vistas with opportunities for wildlife watching.
Takakkaw translated from Cree loosely means “the magnificent,” and it’s a suitable word for the second-highest waterfall in Canada. After a steep drive up a winding road, these falls are only a short hike from the parking lot along a wheelchair accessible path.
Even though the falls can be seen from far away, up close the spectacular views, magnificent roar and cold mist provide an awe-inspiring sensory experience. The road to visit the falls is generally only open from the end of June to mid-October and is weather–dependent.
4. Shannon Falls
Shannon Falls is a beautiful waterfall tumbling over a series of granite cliffs into the Howe Sound and eventually the Pacific Ocean. Easy to access and just two kilometers south of Squamish along the Sea to Sky Highway, getting to these falls is a breeze.
Best viewed in the spring or autumn, the falls are only 200 meters from the parking lot along a paved path. Once you arrive at the falls, a series of trails and boardwalks allow you to further explore the pretty surroundings. Named after William Shannon, a brick maker who settled in the area in the late 19th century, these falls are third highest in the province.
3. Pissing Mare Falls
Pissing Mare Falls may have a funny sounding name but they are amongst the highest in Eastern North America. Located in the stunning Gros Morne National Park, the falls are only accessible by boat tour and most of the time the pristine area is pretty much left alone.
The falls drop into Western Brook Pond, which is actually a freshwater fjord carved out by glaciers many years ago. Billion-year-old cliffs covered with emerald green foliage provide a dramatic backdrop to this natural phenomenon, making these falls a site to remember.
2. Athabasca Falls
are stunning, but they are only part of this beautiful site in Alberta’s legendary Jasper National Park. Cutting through rock or opening onto sweeping mountain vistas, multiple routes and bridges allow for a variety of viewpoints. Before reaching the falls,
you’ll walk along the magnificent limestone gorge where fast flowing water has carved away smooth formations leaving pretty little crevices and swirling whirlpools. Ranging from milky white to aqua blue, the striking color of the water changes throughout the year but is always beautiful.
1. Helmcken Falls
Helmcken Falls are located in beautiful Wells Gray Provincial Park, which was created in part to protect the powerful falls. Tumbling water has gradually created a large canyon at the base of the falls and in the winter frozen spray creates an icy wonderland along the edges.
Easily accessible by road, there is a platform available for getting that perfect shot or for an even closer view, there are several hikes in the area. Despite being named after John Sebastian Helmcken for his role in bringing British Columbia into confederation