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McMaster C1939



Take a look at this video: McMaster C1939. Now picture the fact that Cootes Drive, then known as Highway 8D (Dundas Diversion) was already built (opened in 1937) as a divided highway. A truly modern highway that even today never runs at capacity.

The highway was built and paid for by the Provincial Department of Highways under Hamilton's own Thomas B. McQuesten, Minister of Highways at the time.

Dundas town council was adamant they did not expect to pay for the roadway's connecting links to Dundas, just as Hamilton refused to pay for the intersection with highway 8 (Main Street).

 Why was it built here, and at this time? Well, it was likely a small demonstration of the future, a tactic employed by McQuesten to give people a taste of, and time to get used to, what was to come: in this case, the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW) being constructed as a limited access divided highway.

 Filling in the Dundas marsh with soil taken from the hillside west and north of the McMaster campus made the road possible, with its modern grading and engineered long curves. Modernity over marshes.

It would be another 3 decades until McMaster filled in Coldspring Valley and Binkley's Pond to create massive cheap parking, further eroding the beautiful natural habitat of the Cootes Paradise/Dundas Marsh region.

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