“Frozen Falls in Altona” – Altona, Ontario

Icicles in Frozen Fall near Altona Ontario

Many years ago, just north of Pickering, Ontario, was a flourishing hamlet called Altona. There was a school, a couple of churches, a hotel and many beautiful farms, as well as a mill. In the 70’s the lands were expropriated by the Canadian government to build an airport. Well, the airport seems to have become a distant memory and the lands sat, essentially abandoned. The mill, and several other historical buildings, along Altona Road, were demolished a few years ago, as they sat decaying and neglected. The mill pont silted over to become a weedy meadow, indistinguishable for the surrounding fields. However, Duffins creek, the source of the former pond, continues to flow through and beneath the remnants of the pond and eventually, spills out over a small waterfall at the the end of the man-made pond. It’s quite interesting to find a waterfall in the middle of nowhere.

These ‘small falls’ have offered me  many photo opportunities over the years. I happened to visit them in the winter a few years back and they had frozen almost solid, over a few particularly cold days. The resulting ice sculptures were beautiful and the cool winter light made for some interesting effects and colours.

Above is a view of a small section of the falls which had frozen into a multi-layered formation of icicles. The day I made the photo was particularly cold and the photo captures this feeling quite well.

It’s sad that all that is left of Altona is a few shells of buildings and hints of things that once were, but there is still some beauty left in this mostly abandoned space and I can see why early settlers were drawn to the area.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 185 mm
1/60 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

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