If I asked you to name a waterfall in the Toronto area other than Niagara Falls, could you? What if I told you there were at least a dozen of them, all within a 1-2 hour drive? They may not be as large or well known as Niagara Falls but they do have a great charm being nestled among hiking trails of the Bruce Trail on the Niagara Escarpment, and not feeling like the "tourist trap" that Niagara Falls can sometimes feel like. Probably the better known of these other waterfalls are the ones at the Elora Gorge.
I found time to visit Webster Falls and Tews Falls, which are two of at least half a dozen waterfalls in the Hamilton area. Unfortunately, as you can tell by the pictures, the waterfalls right now are more like a trickle due to the low water levels that our drought-like summer has caused. Usually, the cascades are much more spectacular. There are also at least another half dozen of them up in the Owen Sound / Blue Mountains area.
My inspiration for discovering these waterfalls was my recent trip to Iceland, where I spent a week with a group of other great photographers (big thanks to Improve Photography, in particular Jim and Nick, for the amazing workshop) driving to all corners of the southern part of the country, discovering waterfalls just about everywhere you turned. Upon my return home (I actually started on my flight back), I did some research to see what other waterfalls existed locally to me and discovered these dozen or so. I still need to find out if any of these waterfalls have trails to the bottom or if the vantage points are only from the overhead lookouts. I also plan on visiting some of the other waterfalls in the coming weeks.
In my visit to Webster Falls and Tews Falls, I also discovered that the parking areas are limited, so it won't take much for them to fill up with the locals who frequent them. Not only is there the usual importance of planning your time of day and weather conditions so that you have the best light available for shooting, but also in planning the day of the week to go. That will help avoid crowds of people getting in the way and preventing you from getting the composition you're looking for...unless you don't mind using Photoshop magic to make the people disappear! It goes to show that you don't need to spend a lot of time to discover new, amazing locations that are right in your backyard.