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Showing posts from June, 2012

Mental Shifting Landscape

When we think of parking at McMaster, we see parking as something we will always need. With over 1,000 spaces available during peak demand, some of us have questioned - first the "need" and then the rationale for maintaining so many excess spaces.

Little in the way of rationale has been offered from McMaster, except "demand for vehicular transportation continues and the need for parking remains."




















The photo on the left shows the Hamilton - Brantford Radial Electric railway climbing the escarpment, and the photo on the right shows the same scene today, sans railway, now known as the Chedoke Rail Trail.
I'm guessing that in 1908 they thought this railway would be there forever. In 1931 the last of the hourly trains made the trek, and the railway was abandoned. Decades later , in 1995-96, Hamilton developed the former rail line into a multi-use trail that is a busy corridor for non-motorized traffic: running clubs, joggers, cyclists, and Bruce Trail hikers, to name…

Scenes from a History Hike

A lucky group of 13 enjoyed the perfect weather during the hour-long Ponds to Parking lunchtime History Hike jointly conducted by Restore Cootes and OPIRG McMaster.

The history walking-tour includes the founding of McMaster University in Hamilton in 1930, the original six buildings meant to be "indistinguishable from the neighbouring Royal Botanical Garden parkland;" an overview of the importance of the ecology of neighbouring Cootes Paradise; the H&D Railway (1880), Cootes Drive (1936) as one of the first "modern" highways in Canada; and in the west campus, the loss  of Royal Botanical Gardens' land in the 1963 as McMaster expanded an ambitious parking plan into Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary (1958-1963).

[more photos on our Facebook page]
McMaster's parking expansion (1969) was based on projections that suggested 7,000 spaces would be required by 1980. Currently there are just under 4,000 spaces, with peak demand well below capacity (only 2,803 …