Muscat Daily - - BREAK -

Ni­a­gara Falls might be the most vis­ited wa­ter­falls in North Amer­ica but the true ‘Wa­ter­fall Cap­i­tal’ of the world lies 50 miles to the west, in the Cana­dian city of Hamil­ton. Sit­u­ated in the heart of the most highly in­dus­tri­alised re­gion of the coun­try, Hamil­ton is also a place of great nat­u­ral beauty. Its most fa­mous nat­u­ral fea­ture are its wa­ter­falls.

Hamil­ton is home to more than 100 wa­ter­falls, one of the high­est in any ur­ban area of its size.

The abun­dance in wa­ter­falls is due to the city’s lo­ca­tion along the Ni­a­gara Es­carp­ment, an arc­shaped ridge that passes through the mid­dle of the city as it runs from New York, through On­tario, Michi­gan, Wis­con­sin and Illi­nois. Any river, creek or stream that flows to­wards the Great Lakes over the Ni­a­gara Es­carp­ment re­sults in one or more wa­ter­falls.

Typ­i­cal of a large in­dus­trial city fo­cused on mak­ing steel, Hamil­ton’s wa­ter­falls went largely un­no­ticed by its half mil­lion res­i­dents un­til 2008, when Chris Eck­lund, a Hamil­ton na­tive, founded the City of Wa­ter­falls, a non-profit ini­tia­tive aimed at pro­mot­ing the city’s cas­cades.

The lo­cals knew about some of the city’s larger falls and vis­ited them on the week­ends as swim­ming holes and pic­nic sites, but no­body knew the true ex­tent of Hamil­ton’s wa­tery as­set.

Even to­day, no­body can give a true count of Hamil­ton’s wa­ter­falls. Eck­lund’s web­site men­tions by name some 130 wa­ter­falls, but some sources claim fig­ures as high as 150-plus.

The un­cer­tainty could be due to the fact that only about 50-60 of the wa­ter­falls flow year round, so the count could vary depend­ing on the sea­son of the year. Then, some wa­ter­falls are on pri­vate prop­erty whose count might have or have not been ac­counted for.

Fur­ther­more, many wa­ter­falls in cen­tral Hamil­ton has slowly been van­ish­ing with the rise in pop­u­la­tion and con­struc­tion.

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