Webster's Falls

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Webster's Falls
Flickr - paul bica - websters falls revisited.jpg
Webster's Falls
Location Hamilton, Ontario
Coordinates 43°16′34″N 79°58′51″W / 43.276241°N 79.980898°W / 43.276241; -79.980898
Type Curtain/Plunge
Total height 22 m (72 ft)
Total width 30 m (98 ft)
Watercourse Spencer Creek

Webster's Falls, noted for its panoramas, is a 22 metre high 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]

Within the associated park, there are washroom facilities (outhouses), a sheltered area at the top of the waterfall, as well as a parking area. The cobblestone footbridge, as well as a newer and narrower stone/concrete footbridge, crosses over Spencer Creek to the west side.[2]

Please note that there is no access to the bottom of the falls from Webster's Falls Park. Parking on weekends is limited with extra parking located at Crooks Hollow Conservation Area. The parking fee is $10 a vehicle. There is also a $5 per person admission fee. Buses are not permitted.

Other nearby attractions include a convenience store and an antique shop.


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.

Webster's Falls 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 an romance between an indigenous maiden and a fair, blue-eyed explorer, which ends with their suicidal decent 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.


In Hamilton, take Main Street West past McMaster University and straight into Dundas. Take it straight past the library and up the hill. There are signs pointing in the direction of the falls. Admission is $10 per vehicle.

To reach Webster's Falls by car, take Highway 8 from Dundas. Keep right on Brock Road and go right at the light onto Harvest Road. Turn right on Short Road, then left onto Fallsview. Keep following the signs all the way to the parking lot.

From Toronto you can go West on Dundas Street (Highway#5) until you turn south on Brock Street (To Greensville), left on Harvest road.

Take care to heed all signs and good-sense during your visit. 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. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/rope-rescues-1.3737456
  4. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/rope-rescue-aug1-1.3703432

External links[edit]


Video clip[edit]