Webster's Falls

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Webster's Falls
Flickr - paul bica - websters falls revisited.jpg
Webster's Falls
LocationHamilton, Ontario
Coordinates43°16′34″N 79°58′51″W / 43.276241°N 79.980898°W / 43.276241; -79.980898
Total height22 m (72 ft)
Total width30 m (98 ft)
WatercourseSpencer Creek

Webster's Falls, noted for its panoramas, is a 22-metre-high (72 ft) classical curtain/ plunge waterfall found in the Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The water flows down Spencer Creek. In the past the falls have been known by various names such as Dr. Hamilton's Falls, Spencer Falls, Hart Falls, Fisher Falls and Flamborough Falls.[1]

The cobblestone footbridge, as well as a newer and narrower stone/concrete footbridge, crosses over Spencer Creek to the west side.[2] A shuttle service now runs between a large parking area just outside Dundas and Spencer Gorge/Webster Falls Conservation Area, for visitors to access this popular conservation area on weekends and holidays from Saturday, May 13 to Sunday, October 29, 2017.


Ownership of the land has changed several times. Originally the waterfall was known as Dr. Hamilton's falls, after Dr. James Hamilton purchased the land in 1818. The waterfall, and 78 acres (320,000 m2) of the surrounding land, were purchased shortly after by Joseph Webster when his family arrived from England in 1820. The Webster family manor still stands on Webster's Falls Road, and their gravestones have been preserved in a small section just off the trail, on the way to Tew's Falls. In the will of former Dundas Mayor, Colonel W.E.S. Knowles, a request to the town was issued asking for the area around Webster's Falls be made into a public park. A foundation was established to channel revenue into park improvements. In 1933, the grounds were landscaped, a stone bridge constructed across the creek above the falls, and an iron fence installed to make the viewing at the ledge safer. The current owner of the land is now the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

While the bequeath of monies by former Dundas Mayor Knowles resulted in a lasting misunderstanding that Webster's Falls is located in Dundas, it is actually well beyond the Ward 13/14 boundary (CN Rail tracks), along with the associated "peak" lookout, in the Greensville RSA (Rural Settlement Area) of Flamborough.

In August 1999, the Optimist Club of Greensville undertook a campaign to repair the cobble stone bridge above the falls. A total of $365,000 was raised by the club, and a grand opening of a re-built bridge took place on July 1, 2000.

In popular culture[edit]

Webster's Falls, according to Joe Hollick, has the highest number of vintage postcards bearing its image; this suggests that it has been the most frequently visited waterfall in Hamilton for more than a century.

Webster's Falls is shown in the 2005 Sci-Fi movie "Descent", though it is portrayed as being an anonymous waterfall in the Pacific Northwest. During the movie a river of lava pours over the falls, nearly killing the star, Luke Perry.

Russian professor, Oleg Polyansky, was part of a team that had discovered water vapour on the sun when working in Waterloo. When giving lectures internationally about his discovery, he always uses an image of Webster's Falls as a key example.

Webster's falls is a topic in "Na-Go-She-Onong, A Legend of Webster's Falls" by J.L Lewis, originally published in 1895. This is the poetic legend of a romance between an indigenous maiden and a fair, blue-eyed explorer, which ends with their suicidal descent over the falls.

Webster's falls is a topic in J.R. Ramsay's poem titled "The Temple," in his 1873 book "One Quiet Day."

"Baby Webster's Falls"[edit]

Baby Webster's Falls is a complex ribbon waterfall which has water mainly during seasonal storms and after the winter snow melts. Its height is 20 metres and its width is 3 metres (10 ft) It is located on a tributary of the Spencer Creek, on a separate ravine near Webster's Falls and can be seen from the top of the gorge.

Hamilton Firefighters have performed a total of 163 rope rescues between 2005 and August 2016, many of which have occurred at Webster's and Tew's falls.[3] In 2016, two deaths had occurred at Hamilton waterfalls by July.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hamilton- Waterfall Capital of the World". (www.cityofwaterfalls.ca). Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  2. ^ Hamilton Waterfalls and Cascades: Research & Inventory Report, 2nd Edition. Hamilton Conservation Authority. November 2007.
  3. ^ "Think rope rescues are up in Hamilton? Think again - CBC News".
  4. ^ "Hamilton fire conducts rope rescue at Webster's Falls - CBC News".

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