The Best Known Waterfalls in Canada

Canadian waterfalls are among the country’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. So take the plunge as we explore the best known waterfalls of Canada.

Travel and Exploration
20 March 2023

The second largest country in the world, Canada is rich in natural beauty, and this is especially true when it comes to waterfalls. Whether in the form of rushing cascades or roaring plunges, this is the place to go.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best known waterfalls in Canada and what makes each one so special. So water we waiting for? Canada’s best waterfalls await.

Niagara Falls | Ontario

As the Niagara River makes its way from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, it flows over a cliff on the US-Canadian border, plummeting into the gorge below. The result is Niagara Falls, the best known waterfalls of Canada and the US, as well as one of the world’s most famous natural wonders. Niagara Falls are in fact three separate waterfalls. The American and Bridal Veil Falls are in the US. The Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the trio, is known as the Canadian Falls and straddles the border. Approximately 180 feet tall, it’s also arguably the most visually striking, its crest formation spanning some 2,200 feet. Approximately six million cubic feet of water drop over the edge of this single waterfall every single minute. That’s enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall twice over.

Della Falls | British Columbia

Della Falls | British Columbia (Photo: Jessica Mendez / 500px via Getty Images)

Located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Della Falls is known as the tallest waterfall in Canada. A horsetail-type waterfall, it keeps contact with the wall of rocks behind it as it plummets over 1,443 feet into the Drinkwater Creek valley. Its waters derive from the glacier-fed Della Lake and it’s watched over by four of the biggest mountains on the island, all over 6,000 feet.

Takakkaw Falls | British Columbia

Takakkaw Falls (Photo: theartist312 via Getty Images)

Said to be the second tallest waterfall in Canada, Takakkaw Falls is located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. Fed by the Daly Glacier, this powerful waterfall is over 1,224 feet high and at its full majestic force in July. Like Della Falls, Takakkaw takes a horsetail form as it descends in a series of drops, the longest being 853 feet. Its name, also spelled “Takkakaw”, is said to translate from Cree to mean “magnificent” or “wonderful”.

Athabasca Falls | Alberta

Athabasca falls (Photo: Carolin Kertscher via Getty Images)

Located in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Athabasca Falls is one of the most powerful Canadian waterfalls. Set amidst jagged limestone that’s been carved by the force of the water, the falls themselves are over 80 feet high.

Kakabeka Falls | Ontario

Kakabeka Falls (Photo: Onfokus via Getty Images)

Kakabeka Falls is a spectacular split waterfall located in Ontario. Interestingly, part of what makes this one of Canada’s best waterfalls is found at the bottom of its approximately 130-foot drop. Firstly, its base is a spawning site for endangered Lake Sturgeon. What’s more, the power of the waters of Kakabeka has split the rocks beneath, revealing 1.6 million-year-old fossils.

Montmorency Falls | Quebec

Montmorency Falls | Quebec (Photo: Peter Unger via Getty Images)

Fewer than 10 miles north of Old Quebec, in a park that takes its name, is one of the best known waterfalls in Canada, Montmorency Falls. Marking the point where the Montmorency River empties into the St. Lawrence River, it does so in dramatic style, spread over 150 feet in width as its waters rush 272 feet over a cliff. Also known as Chute Montmorency, visitors can hike to the top of the falls or take a cable car to get an aerial view. There are also a number of bridges that provide different perspectives.

Shannon Falls | British Columbia

Shannon Falls (Photo: stockstudioX via Getty Images)

Legend has it that Shannon Falls was created by a sea serpent travelling the length of its mountainside. It is the namesake of the park in which it is set, located approximately 37 miles north of Vancouver. Somewhere between 820 and 1,100 feet in height, this waterfall’s ethereal quality and accessibility make it one of the most popular waterfalls in Canada.

Virginia Falls / Na'ili Cho | Northwest Territories

Virginia Falls (Photo: Noel Hendrickson via Getty Images)

Located in Nahanni National Park in the Northwest Territories, Virginia Falls is one of the most visually striking yet remote waterfalls of Canada. A wall of water some 850 feet wide and 294 feet tall, this horsetail cataract is part of the Nahanni River and is also known as Na’ili Cho, which translates to “big water falling down”.

Canada's Best Waterfalls

Niagara River (Photo: Naeem Jaffer via Getty Images)

These waterfalls in Canada are just a few examples of the many natural wonders that have visitors rushing to this vast and beautiful country.

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