Hermitage Cascade is a cascade waterfall measuring 4 metres (13 feet) in height. Located in the Dundas Valley Conservation area, its source is Hermitage Creek. It has year-round flow and is comparatively small, but it’s attractive to view and very accessible, being beside the Hermitage Gatehouse.
The property on which Hermitage Cascade is found was originally owned by Otto Ives, who bought it in 1833 and moved in with his wife and niece. Coachman William Black fell in love with the girl, and when Ives blocked the marriage proposal, Black went to the property’s gatehouse and killed himself. Suicides were rarely given cemetery burials in those days, so he was interred at the nearest crossroads, now locally known as Lover’s Lane because of the ill-fated affair. It is believed that Black’s final resting place is on property now owned by Chris Ecklund.
George Gordon Browne Leith purchased the Hermitage in 1855. The Hermitage itself was a magnificent place to behold and visit: its ground floor contained an opulent dining room, library, drawing room, and stately entrance all, all furnished with original works of art and the best furniture. Leith spent over 2000 pounds in modernizing the place. After his death in 1901, his daughter Alma bought the estate from the rest of the family and lived there until 1934, when a fire broke out during a party and burned the house down. All that can be seen today is the old gatehouse and the ruins.
According to Joe Hollick, general awareness of the Hermitage Cascade originated with the book Waterfalls: The Niagara Escarpment, by Jerry and Mikai Lawton (2000). This fall is also included in two posters: “Waterfalls of Hamilton- Seasons” and “Waterfalls of Hamilton- Autumn.” On the posters, it is referred to as Hermitage Falls.
How to get there
To reach the Hermitage Cascade by car, drive along the 403 and take the Rousseau exit west to Ancaster. Go along Rousseau until you hit Wilson Street, then go left onto Wilson. From Wilson, turn right onto Sulphur Springs Road, then right again at the stop sign. Continue until you see the Hermitage sign on the right. The falls are situated behind the gatehouse. Please stay on this side of the trail, as the other side is private property.
To reach the site by walking trail, take the Dundas section of the Bruce Trail in the Dundas Valley.
Hermitage Cascade Photo Gallery