Abel, from Laval, Que., ended up in sixth place after scoring 343.00 points at the end of her five dives, while Heymans, from St-Lambert, Que., finished 12th and last place with 295.20 points.
"I'm proud with what I accomplished today," Abel said. "There were more highs than lows. Experience is important in diving. Most of the other girls today were at least 24-25-years-old."
Although both had been medal hopefuls, Abel and Heymans struggled on Sunday as the two competitors from China blew away the competition.
Wu Minxia won gold with a whopping 414.00 points, while her He Zi won the silver medal with 379.20 points.
China has won Olympic gold in the women's individual three-metre springboard at every Games since 1998. The last diver from outside China to win the competition in that event was Quebec's Sylvie Bernier, at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Mexican Laura Sanchez Soto, who amassed 362.40 points, grabbed bronze in the competition on Sunday, ahead of Italy's Tania Cagnotto by 0.20 points. The daughter of former diver Giorgio Cagnotto, who won four medals, was looking for her first podium finish in four Olympics.
Heymans and Abel were trying to become the first Canadian divers to win two medals at a single Olympics since Anne Montminy in Sydney in 2000.
Abel and Heymans won a bronze medal in the synchro three-metre last Sunday, making Heymans the first diver in history to win a medal in four consecutive Olympics.
"The last three days were long and I think I lacked energy and concentration," Heymans said. "Even in training my rhythm was different than usual. But if I look overall at my career I was able to stay among the world's best for many years. Not many athletes were able to do that."