A shroud of mystery cascades over the name of a waterfall in Orleans, and it may involve British royalty.
It has been said that the falls are named after Princess Louise, the daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of the Marquis of Lorne. The Marquis was appointed Canada’s Governor General in 1878, and they moved to Ottawa. The Princess was a known sculptor and artist, and may have been looking for somewhere to escape, as she apparently did not enjoy Ottawa. It is said that she would travel out to the falls to paint watercolours, however there is no evidence that the princess was ever there, or that she painted the falls.
David Villeneuve, who had seen many of the paintings done by the princess, does not recall viewing one that appeared to be similar to the falls in Fallingbrook. About 10 years ago, he contacted the National Archives, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Governor General’s staff, but was unable to get firm evidence of Princess Louise’s historical ties to the falls. Some believe that the falls were actually called Taylor Falls, which would make sense because the water flow comes from Taylor Creek. The Taylor’s were a family that owned the land around the falls in the 1800’s.
Either way, the falls present a serene place to explore. The spring runoff makes the falls particularly spectacular, so be sure to visit soon. If you are able-bodied, park above the falls on Princess Louise Drive and walk down. There is a nice path with a few foot bridges, but it’s not great for folks with strollers. If your interest lies in the falls itself, you can park really close to them on St. Joseph Blvd., east of 10th Line Road. There is no signage or parking lot for the falls along St. Joseph, so be sure not to miss it.