Story Ideas

10 things you need to know about… Canada’s spectacular waterfalls.

Winter turns these marvels of nature into works of majestic still-life art.

27 November 2015

Suggested tweet: Discover 10 Canadian waterfalls that become frozen works of art in winter #explorecanada

Sculptured masterpieces or still-life art? Viewing a frozen waterfall can feel like visiting an outdoor art gallery, with nature’s grandeur on sparkling display. Here are 10 Canadian cascades that are wondrous to behold in winter.

1) Hike through a snow-covered forest to reach Johnston Canyon near Banff, AB. A catwalk leads to the upper falls, where curtains of pale blue ice hang dramatically off the cliff face.

2) Walk on a river of ice into Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park, AB. The canyon’s limestone walls are draped with icicles and conceal hidden ice caves. Ice climbers love to tackle the 30-m (98-ft) falls.

3) With its enormous volume of water, Niagara Falls, ON, doesn’t turn completely solid in winter, but some of its water and billowing mist freeze into huge mounds of ice— as thick as 15 m (49 ft)—along the banks.

4) Kakabeka Falls, near Thunder Bay, is Ontario’s second-highest falls, plunging 40 m (131 ft). In winter, all appears calm at the “Niagara Falls of the North,” but listen carefully and you can hear water gurgling beneath its icy veneer.

5) Minutes from Québec City, Montmorency Falls can be viewed comfortably from the warmth of a cable car. Outdoorsy types snap on snowshoes and head to the foot of the falls where freezing water forms a “sugar loaf.”

6) A cascade of freezing salt water turns the cliff at Middle Cove Beach near St. John’s, NL, into something out of Disney’s “Frozen.” Turquoise icicles make the perfect backdrop for an ice princess such as Elsa.

7) A trickling brook creates the massive frozen waterfall near Midland, NB. The Midland Ice Caves form behind the wall of ice, and are so big you can stand up inside them.

8) In winter, Helmcken Falls in BC’s Wells Gray Provincial Park changes from an explosive torrent to a silent still-life, with ice crystals hanging in the air.

9) Manitoba’s Pisew Falls may drop only 13 m (43 ft), but surrounded by spruce trees bent under the weight of freshly fallen snow, it’s still magical.

10) At more than 90 m (295 ft), Virginia Falls in Nahanni National Park Reserve, NWT, is twice the height of Niagara Falls, but a lot harder to reach. According to Neil Hartling, who guides paddlers there in summer, it “freezes like a crystal veil interwoven with solid ice buttresses. On a clear day, the spectacle is unmistakable, even when viewed from a jet at 30,000 ft.”

Looking for more visual inspiration from Canada’s winter experiences? Browse our Brand Canada Library for thousands of images and videos from all over Canada.

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