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Dufferin Islands


Caption Large Left Image: Main trail on Dufferin Island, Caption Top Right Image: Large Embayment, Caption Bottom Right Image: Water meandering through Dufferin Island 

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General Information

Dufferin Islands are located just south of Niagara Falls on the Niagara Parkway. The potential of this area was obvious and as a result it was used for a saw and grist mill in the late 1700s. Subsequently a unique feature was discovered within the area, the “Burning Spring”. A natural gas well was soon discovered which lead to the bubbling of the surface water. This feature was utilized to attract tourists. The gas well was corked with pipe/barrel contraption to build pressure in the vent. When tourist audiences arrived the cork was released and a match was lit, thus giving it is name. Today the area is the responsibility of the Niagara Parks Commission to remain a beautiful nature area. In the summer season a swimming area is maintained as well.
In recent years, the introduction of fish, the installation of bird feeding stations and bird boxes, as well as planting indigenous vegetation appropriate for this environment have help to naturalize the area. The "catch and release" fish program has been incredibly popular with the public.

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Hours of Operation

Open Year-Round


From Toronto: Head Southwest on QEW approximately 118km
Take Exit 27 for Mcleod Rd approximately 0.7km
Merge onto Niagara Square Dr approximately 11m
Left (east) at Mcleod Rd approximately 2.8km
Continue onto Marineland Parkway (southeast) approximately 1km
Continue onto Portage Rd (southeast) approximately 0.6km
Left (northeast) at Burning Spring Hill approximately 0.3km
Parking for Dufferin Islands is on the right
From Fort Erie: Head west on QEW towards Exit 1A approximately 11.4km
Take Exit 12 for Netherby Rd towards Welland (north) approximately 0.7km
Left (north) at Niagara River Parkway approximately 10.7km
Continue onto Bridgewater St (southwest) approximately 0.5km
Right (northwest) at Welland River Bridge approximately 0.1km
Continue onto Portage Rd (northwest) approximately 1.6km
Right (northeast) at Burning Spring Hill approximately 0.3km
Parking for Dufferin Islands is on the right


This landscape is a series of four islands each connected by a total of several small bridges all within a land mass of only sixteen hectares. They are located approximately .8 kilometers upriver of the Niagara Falls. The area is in fact an embayment left to us after the Wisconsin Glacier retreated over fifty thousand years ago, and the islands are a left over debris. There are two recognized factors in the formation of this landscape; 1) the current of the Niagara River, 2) the geologic formation of the Great gorge itself. The strongest current speed can be found along the Canadian shoreline of the Niagara River, which leads to rapid erosion. The rock shelf responsible for the cascading falls of the Great gorge actually tilts approximately 20 meters toward the Canadian shore for about 1.5 kilometers. Both factors lead to the run-off of water into the embayment.


The islands were originally called the Cynthia Islands and Clark Hill islands.
The islands remained privately owned until 1886. After being purchased by the Province of Ontario during the creation of Queen Victoria Park, they were later purchased by the province of Ontario and renamed after the Canadian Governor-General, the Earl of Dufferin.


Dufferin Islands is home to the "Winter Festival of Lights" from November to January each year, when several animated lighting displays are placed around the perimeter of the islands.


Open-air Picnic Tables, Fishing, Bird watching, Hiking, Wheelchair Accessible, Washrooms

Google Paths

Below is the path with destinations along the way

View interactive map and turn-by-turn directions


Open-air picnic tables, Fishing, Bird watching, Hiking, Wheelchair accessible, Washrooms

Admission Fee

Admission is Free. Voluntary donations are accepted during the Winter Festival of Lights.


Niagara Falls, Ontario

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.068512
Longitude -79.071007

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