Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Urquhart Butterfly Garden speaker series

A lovely butterfly garden is the perfect setting for this annual speaker series. August 4, 2018, Guest speaker: Doreen Nicoll You cannot have Monarch Butterflies without milkweed.  Doreen Nicoll has recently become a heroine for monarch butterflies, by insisting on her rights to grow milkweed in her naturalized garden in Burlington. Doreen  Nicoll has long understood that garden with nature and not against her is the best thing for our planet. She also knows that native plants are great at attracting butterflies and bees of all species. Doreen will be the first presenter in the Summer Series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and her topic will be Monarchs and Their Milkweed and naturalized gardening. She has wealth of information and is fun as well! The session will begin at 11 am Saturday on August 4 and last approximately one hour.  Please bring a chair. If it rains the session will be cancelled. For more information about the Urquhart Butterfly Garden please visit ur

In the beginning

I've sometimes wondered how certain plants started growing in our yard. I'm guessing seed dispersal: the wind floats some through the air, sticky burrs caught on a racoon's fur drop as they pass through at night, a nuthatch drops some seeds from its tail-end while searching for bugs on the side of a tree. The methods of delivery are varied, but the process of growth continues with time and the right conditions - rain, sun, soil -  and the wind, the racoon, the nuthatch are forgotten like the seed itself. We see goldenrod, sumach, dogwood, and it appears as though nothing preceded this moment, this forest stands inexplicably before our eyes. This is the way too with social or environmental change. Generations of germination and growth. The fruits may come after the planter has long disappeared. Like a monarch butterfly migrating - it's the generation that begins the journey that makes it possible for the next generation to arrive. I feel a little of this with the

stepping up the battle for trails

I share the columnist's (see below) angst about some of the trail closures in Cootes Paradise and the observation that the impacts of walking on habitat are less damaging than driving. Nevertheless, I can appreciate that some of the trails can and should be closed to preserve sensitive habitat. It is because Cootes is surrounded by a city that the impacts of both cars and yes, even feet, can cumulatively degrade the integrity of this nature sanctuary. Blocking trails with bushes generally seems to occur on "unofficial" trails, though I have   previously expressed my concern with closing trails that once provided access through Cootes to hook up with the Spencer Creek Trail in Dundas. The utility of a trail as a path to someplace, rather than just a recreational loop, means a lot to me , and I have hoped the RBG would reconsider the trails layout with this in mind. Again, with so many people accessing Cootes, on foot and on mountain-bikes, the threat