Badly damaged waterfall area won’t fully reopen in Mississauga when it’s restored

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Published June 26, 2023 at 1:49 pm

Small waterfalls, no matter where they're found, are often hidden gems. (Photo: Unsplash)

A once-hidden natural gem in the heart of Mississauga that’s closed until at least 2026 after partying teenagers and others discovered and then nearly destroyed the area around the small waterfall will be much less accessible to the public when it reopens.

Wahoosh Falls, a small cascade waterfall about 10 feet in height and wider than it is tall that’s tucked away behind homes on the east side of Mississauga Rd. just steps north of Burnhamthorpe Rd. W., was fenced off to visitors in late 2021 after City of Mississauga forestry crews discovered extensive damage to the natural area.

At the time, City officials told insauga.com that repair and restoration efforts would require the waterfall and surrounding area to be closed down for at least five years.

Asked late last week for an update, a City spokesperson said in an email that the initial time frame still applies.

“Wahoosh Falls continues to be closed to the public for restoration of the natural area. Our forestry team undertook a restoration project there in 2022 … and continues to monitor the area for planting and rehabilitation opportunities,” the spokesperson said. “The site will be closed for the remainder of the five years, until 2026, at which time staff will revisit and assess how well the plantings have re-established, and make a decision about reopening at that time.

“If the site is reopened, the public will likely have less/limited access to the site in order to preserve the site and prevent further damage.”

Described earlier by the Ontario Hiking website as a “charming little waterfall,” Wahoosh Falls is part of Mullet Creek, which takes a meandering north-south route in the city’s west end before emptying into the Credit River just north of University of Toronto Mississauga. 

City officials said in late 2021 that the area around the waterfall was so badly damaged by an explosion of foot traffic, bonfires and young people partying in the previous year that staff had to act quickly to begin to rehabilitate the spot.  

Map shows Mullet Creek (top left), which includes Wahoosh Falls.

A City official noted that the area had lost a good bit of its charm after being mistreated for an extended period of time.

The official said people found out about the previously little-known spot via social media in early summer 2020, and that’s when trouble started. Subsequent Facebook posts began notifying young people of parties at the location, and what followed could be characterized as “drinking, drugs and damage,” the City said.

The situation became out of control as “hundreds and hundreds of people were showing up to this site. It exploded, and went the wrong way,” the official said, adding people of all ages started to explore the Wahoosh Falls area, but it was the younger visitors who ruined things.  

“Crowds and crowds of teenagers…and inappropriate behaviour started showing up, using it as a major party spot.”

As a result, City crews were cleaning up beer bottles, remnants of bonfires and other debris almost daily after being notified by area residents that loud music, fires and partying were taking place.

The additional foot traffic, fires and other mistreatment of the area destabilized the banks of the watercourse and exposed tree roots, the City said back in 2021.

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