Denlow Falls-Hamilton

It's been over a few weeks since going to Upper Chedoke, but I thought I would do a little bit of a write up on her next door neighbour, Denlow Falls.   To get here, you will have to be a bit of a skilled rock hopper as you will be deciphering many moss-laden stones and large cragged boulders.  But perseverance will eventually take you to where you need to go.  If you park in the lot off of Scenic Drive and Upper Paradise Road, you can descend the metal staircase down half way venturing east (right) into the woodland of the marked Bruce Trail and follow it toward Lower Chedoke.  Once there, you can climb upward off the marked trail and continue south until you reach Denlow Falls (on the left) and Upper Chedoke (on the right). 

Later I learned, you can also get here by parking at the east end of the Chedoke Golf Course parking lot and following the ravine upwards.   

Denlow Falls at her base looking upwards reaches a height of 19 metres.  Her crest is any where from 2-9 metres at different point of the "Horse tail" cascade.  She doesn't really have much of a flow, except after a good rainfall, which is why she isn't photographed that much.  A word of caution though, it really is pretty dangerous getting here, so good rubber waterproof boots with good traction and always plan your footing ahead of time.  

I like water-falling and especially the more challenging terrains, mostly because it forces me to slow down and be more methodical in my thinking. 

Great Falls in Springtime-Waterdown

 One of the first waterfalls that I photographed with my new Canon camera was 'Great Falls' in Waterdown and it was here that I remembered looking at photography as more than a point and shoot experience, but rather as an extension of who I was.  I realized that this was true when my Canon was in the shop for a few weeks getting repaired.  I had felt depressed and directionless for awhile.  Suddenly I saw the world through the eye of a camera and anguished myself over all the great shots that I thought I was missing.  Okay, so maybe I am being a little over dramatic, but the truth is I really did miss it.  That's when I realized that photography was my new found passion.  
So here I was back at the beginning sort of speak and tried to collect everything I learned from the gracious members of the Hamilton Waterfall group and to ease drop on the small groups of photography classes that I encountered in my travels.  Photographers in general tend to be passionate, creative with a strong desire to create that all encumbering 'great shot' that will make viewers ooh and aah.  Although I am proud of a small few of my photos, I still have a lot to learn.
With that I bring you Great Falls in Waterdown, which also comes with a nice hike up the trail in Dundas Valley as well.  There's a flat, good sized rock that is within proximity of the waterfall making it a neat and natural stand for your tripod! Great Falls is 10 metres high and 5 metres across and has a year round flow so you won't be disappointed to find it dried up. 

Dundurn Castle-Hamilton

I've been to Dundurn Castle several time over the last three years, and have yet to find my way inside her doors.  I just haven't shown up at the right times I guess.  Since weekend hours are limited too.   Dundurn Castle is located at 610 York Blvd. in Hamilton.  It's an historic site now, and was built in 1835 and was once the home of the Sir Allan McNab who later became the Prime Minister of the "United Province of Canada between 1854 and 1856. 

This castle is huge and now owned by the City of Hamilton it has 72 rooms in an area of over 18000 square feet! It took three years to build.  I haven't gone inside yet, but will make that an item on my bucket list.  The outside grounds are stunning enough, which includes a "mystery building" on the eastern part of the property.  A beautiful house that no one actually knows who or what it was for.  Some assume it was meant for a chapel, or a theatre. Others believe there were tunnels being built under the castle grounds leading to the 'mystery building' perhaps for some cockfighting? The grounds also contain a civic museum and Dundurn park which is a great backdrop for wedding photography.
More on castles to explore in Canada and beyond are added to my bucket list.

Todmorden Mills, Toronto

Todmorden Mills was discovered actually quite by chance while on an unadventurous bike ride southbound on the Don River recreational trail. Deciding to veer west off Pottery Road in Toronto, I saw the ‘Fantasy farm’ up ahead.  I had always wondered where this was as you could see it off the Don Valley Parkway, but I had never seen it up close.  As I discovered it’s a banquet hall, and set in some really pretty and private country-like scenery great for Weddings.  Right across the lane is ‘Todmorden Mills’.  It’s an historic site owned now by the City of Toronto, but was once a Lumber mill located in a small settlement called, "Don Mills" in 1790's.  
There remains todays two historic miller’s homes, a Brewery building and over 10 hectares of fields containing wildflowers and walking trails including upland and bottomland forests. 

I was surprised when I walked into the historical mill house near the entrance of Todmorden, there were walls of artwork and a stage door leading to a renovated Papermill Theatre and Gallery.  Interesting setting for this.  Honestly didn’t even know it was here.   If you want to find out more about the Papermill Theatre and what's on, click here.

Upper Chedoke Falls- Hamilton, Ontario

The Upper Chedoke Falls is a challenge to get to, but the experience in retrospect was a great one.  I had been here before to the Chedoke Trail and had already known where the ‘Lower Chedoke Falls’ were.  What I didn’t know was where the ‘Upper Chedoke Falls" were or how tricky my ‘rock hoppin’ skills would have to be.  

 Stuck literally between a rock and hard spot several times, this rocky crag left much to my problem solving skills.  About 10 minutes into the trek and my partner falls and as he is lying and moaning on top of a bed of rocks, worrying about his phone.  I say, “are you ok?’ to which his reply is “yeah, but I think I fell on my phone” with that I am determined evermore to get to the Upper Chedoke, and for a moment, I am tempted to use his back as leverage to get across the

Upward and onward, I can hear the rush of water, and up ahead in the distance, I didn’t see a shimmering light, but I did see the movement of waterfalls.  Not one, but two! This was exciting and while he mutters something to me like, ‘remind me not to do this again’, I laugh with the determination of getting ever closer to take that photograph that will instill in my memories forever.  

There she is!  The top of the Niagara Escarpment she is a 15  metre ribbon waterfall and there I am standing at the foot of a beautiful wave of rushing water of the Upper Chedoke Falls!  Chedoke Falls was beautiful! 

Mountview Falls, Hamilton

You’ll have to excuse this picture of Mountview Falls. It was taken over a month ago (in very early spring) and like all photographs, it brings with it memories that attach itself to it. While several other attempts at taking a better shot did happen that day, it unfortunately occurred when my Canon camera had decided to shut down. It wasn’t even a battery issue either, but I remember after hiking several other falls along the Chedoke trail, this was the final stop before packing it in for the day. 

Thankfully, others have been here, and it is with their great effort and camera in tow, they will give you much better angle views than I was able to get on this day. Sure I’ll be back, but instead I’d rather keep the blog entry with as much integrity as possible and share with you the intent on which it was taken.

Mountview Falls in Hamilton is considered a 10 metre high classic-complex cascade. When the water flows are more intense after a good rainfall, Mountview can be an interesting sight, although some say not the most picturesque. I find it interesting how the rock formation resembles somewhat like a display of egg cartons layed out at the base as you work your way towards her upper crest!

Mountview Falls is located off the Chedoke trail, which is adjacent to the Chedoke Golf Course in Hamilton. It was also easy to find a beautiful depiction of Mountview Falls can be found ON YOUTUBE !

I did however learn on this day, how much I depend on my camera and how much I miss it when it isn’t a part of my daily life! : )

Historic Distillery District

I preferred this one when I put it on B&W :)

If you ever travel to Toronto, you must visit the Historical Distillery District. It has been widely photographed by novice and professional photographers and is now a member of the CONTACT Photographers Exhibition currently running throughout he month of May in Toronto!  It features exhibits from camera pros around the world is a national Historic Site. 
Courtesy of CONTACT Photography Festival
While at the Distillery, you have many photo opportunities to take of historical cars, the old Mill Street Brewery, the famous Gooderham and Worts Distillery was founded in 1832 (World’s largest).  In fact you’ll find 13 acres of 40 historical buildings, 10 streets, and the largest collection of Industrial architecture form the Victorian era (my favorite) found anywhere in the world.  I took plenty of pictures, and created my first black and white album from this site.  You’ll enjoy the art galleries, and boutiques and coffee houses.  It’s a beautiful piece of history preserved here that I wanted to add it to a list of many things to do in Toronto.

Note: I will be adding more photographs on my flickr account soon! Including my first B&W album