Day Trips – Down the QEW

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Living in the GTA presents many opportunities for hikes and exploration.  However, sometimes you just want to get away and plan a day trip.  We stop and explore wherever we find ourselves and so there are several posts that are outside of the geographical area we call the GTA.  Here is a pair of them that are close together and just about 100 kilometres from downtown Toronto.  Presented below is a mini review of Ball’s Falls and La Grande Hermine.  There is a link to each story where more details and pictures can be found.

Balls Hermine

Ball’s Falls

Balls Falls features two waterfalls and several historical buildings.  The old mill still survives as well as a lime kiln, the house and barn.  A historic church has been moved to the location for preservation.  Trails connect the upper and lower falls and provide opportunities for hiking.  The upper falls are pictured below.


Near the lower falls, George and John Ball built a house and barn and like any settlers along the escarpment, they also built a lime kiln.


The mill also is an interesting place to visit as there are not too many left in Southern Ontario.


Near the upper falls stand the remains of the woollen mill.


When you’re finished with your exploration of Ball’s Falls you can make a side excursion to see the abandoned ship in Jordan Harbour.

La Grande Hermine

This ship is visible from the QEW and somehow seems to have been here longer than it really has.  The ship was built in 1914 and used as a ferry and cargo ship for 77 years.


In 1991 it was outfitted with a wooden shell to make it look like La Grande Hermine the largest of the three ships Jacques Cartier used when he explored Canada.  It was brought to Jordan Harbour in 1997 but the owner died and has become a relic in the harbour for the past 20 years.  A fire burned most of the wood cladding off the ship.


You can’t actually reach the ship but you can get pretty close on 3 sides.  Enjoy your day away.

Google Maps Links:  Ball’s Falls  and  The Grande Hermine

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