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About This Site

In the spring of 2008, Chris Ecklund decided to increase public awareness of a secret treasure known to only a few: its 100-plus waterfalls.

Up until that point, when one thought of Hamilton, one envisioned Stelco, McMaster University, the Tiger-Cats, or the Bulldogs. Except for locally famous falls like Webster's and Albion, the city's water resources were assumed to be limited to the harbour. The majority of Hamiltonians had no idea how many waterfalls and cascades danced and flowed within the city limits.

"I ran a poll on Facebook's Hamilton network," Ecklund said, "and the results floored me. Over 73% of those who responded did not know (about the falls)."

He began an aggressive campaign to promote Hamilton as not only the 'City of Waterfalls', but also the 'Waterfall Capital of the World'.

Ecklund, who was twice nominated for Citizen of the Year, sponsored the design and maintenance of the City of Waterfalls website at www.cityofwaterfalls.ca. With its Facebook group, which is the largest on the Hamilton network, and highly interactive Keepers of the Water social network, the site has converted thousands of people into dedicated 'waterfallers'.

Ecklund commissioned a graphic designer to create a stunning vehicle wrap consisting of waterfall photos by site visitors. He donated one of his personal vehicles, a Honda SUV, to receive the wrap. The 'Waterfall Car', as onlookers call it, was part of the 2008 Hamilton Santa Claus Parade.

Assisted by Joseph Hollick and author Rose Keefe, Ecklund has privately published three books celebrating the waterfalls of Hamilton: The Golden Age of Waterfalling, which consists of a rare photos dating from 1889-1905; Hamilton- the City of Waterfalls, a glossy hardcover volume cataloguing all the waterfalls known at the time of publication, and Winter Waterfall Magic, a photo collection of Hamilton's most scenic falls in their winter coats. . He also arranged for the Sheraton Downtown to hand out free postcards that proclaim "Hamilton: The Waterfall Capital of the World."

Almost every weekend, Ecklund coordinates a 'waterfall walk'. Webster's Falls, Hermitage Cascade, and the Devil's Punchbowl are among the locations visited so far. People have traveled from as far away as Chatham and Buffalo to participate.

Kevin Werner of the Hamilton Mountain News noted in a November 7 article that Ecklund has compiled "a comprehensive promotional package that would put any public relations organization to shame."

"I've spent about $100,000 on this venture. And I don't expect to get it back. I don't care about that," Ecklund told Werner. "This is about improving the image of Hamilton. This is something in our own backyard that we can promote to the world. We need to open the door and get people to see what we have."

 

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