Chaudière Falls - Gatineau, Québec
Posted by: Weathervane
N 45° 25.300 W 075° 43.113
18T E 443784 N 5030045
Quick Description: The Chaudière Falls are a set of cascades and waterfalls in Ottawa, Ontario.
Location: Quebec, Canada
Date Posted: 11/22/2011 5:50:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMD5QA
The falls are about 60 metres (200 ft) wide and drop 15 metres (49 ft). They are at the centre of the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area where the Ottawa River narrows between a rocky escarpment on both sides of the river. The area around the falls was once heavily industrialized, especially in the 19th century, and provided a significant contribution to the growth of the surrounding cities.
The name of the falls come from the French Chutes de la Chaudière, meaning "Cauldron Falls" but has been historically translated as "Kettle Falls". The shape of the falls before its development resembled a large cauldron.
The damming of the river and the presence of industry have greatly altered the waterfall's appearance, especially in the summer when the Ottawa River is low. Then the falls all but disappear because the water is diverted to power stations. The development also greatly limits the locations from which to view the falls.
It is true that the Chaudière Falls are but a shadow of their former self but when Champlain came to this area, he wrote that the falls could be heard from a long distance away (10 kilometres).
Taking a photograph of the falls is not necessary but if you wish to do so, note that access to the site can be challenging. Taking a photo, therefore, is not easy but possible as the photos I uploaded will show. You can park on the Gatineau or Ottawa side of the river and walk on the sidewalk on the East side of Chaudière Bridge. While the flow of water changes depending on the time of year, you will be able to see water cascading down the falls and see the bare rocks over which the river once flowed and does so on occasion. Staying on the sidewalk will allow you to get a decent photo of the falls and get a sense of how the environment has changed from the time the Voyageurs regularly passed this way. There is talk of returning the falls to its natural state. Should this eventually take place, the Chaudière Falls will become a prime destination for tourist visiting the National Capital Region.
Two photos of the falls as seen in 1860 and 1867 have also been uploaded. The photos are from Library and Archives Canada.
Please exercise caution and refrain from walking on the West side of the bridge as there is no sidewalk.
Wikipedia: (visit link