In Awe of Ouimet Canyon

Take a journey through Northwestern Ontario’s most picturesque canyon.

The north shore of Lake Superior is one of my favourite places in the world. I travel there to explore and photograph as often as possible, lured by the scenery and scale of the landscape. On one of my first trips up there, I'd made it as far west as Thunder Bay and settled into a hotel with plans to start my journey back eastwards early the next morning. With a glass of wine in hand, I was scanning a map for interesting places to stop during the drive home when Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park jumped right out at me! A canyon in Ontario? There was no way that I, a guy who loves to photograph landscapes, could pass up on adding this spot to my route home. So I set my alarm clock for and fell deep asleep, dreaming about a canyon.  

Pulling out of Thunder Bay in the dark of early morning, it was just over an hour drive northeast before arriving in the parking lot for Ouimet Canyon. The sun hadn’t come up yet, so I had time to organize my camera gear and make the short hike down the trail to the viewing platform. The first light of day was starting to illuminate the sky as I stepped out on the overlook and laid eyes on the canyon for the first time. It was majestic. Absolutely breathtaking! The canyon was so much larger than I’d imagined and thought possible in Ontario. I stood admiring its vastness in awe.  

When I regained my composure, the sun was just rising over the horizon and painting the canyon walls with glorious golden light. I began photographing with a wide-angle lens to capture the enormity of Ouimet. Satisfied with the big vista photos, I switched to a zoom lens and started focusing on canyon details. A huge rock pillar with the contours of a facial profile was a prized find! Lastly, before leaving the canyon to drive home, I snapped a quick selfie to remember the morning that I first discovered the majesty of Ouimet Canyon, one of the most amazing landforms in Ontario. I can't wait to get back there again soon!

About Ethan Meleg

Ethan is a freelance photographer and writer from the Georgian Bay area who specializes in photos  and stories on outdoor recreation, landscapes, ecosystems, birds and wildlife. He has been published by National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, Forbes, Ontario Tourism, Lonely Planet, Popular Photography and many more. Ethan is a popular keynote speaker, workshop leader and magazine columnist. 

Growing up near world-famous birding hotspot Point Pelee National Park, Ethan often skipped school to watch songbirds during migration. Before becoming a pro photographer, Ethan had developed a career as a nature guide and communications specialist in national parks.

His greatest passion in life is exploring the natural world through his camera, whether on exciting trips or in his own backyard.

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