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Ancaster Campus

Periodically when I am sorting through research archives I come across tidbits that don't relate directly to my pursuits, but connect in a tangential way.

Case in point: looking into the history of how McMaster turned a Royal Botanical Garden nature sanctuary known as Coldspring Valley into a massive parking lot in the late 1960s, I have found references to a McMaster satellite campus plan in Ancaster.

As anyone around McMaster knows, we don't have a campus in Ancaster, but there were plans as far back as the 1960s to build there, at a spot now being referred to variously as the McMaster Forest, the 115 Acre McMaster Forest, and as part of the McMaster Conservation Corridor.

McMaster Forest table lands, site of (formerly) proposed Ancaster Satellite Campus
The land is located upstream of McMaster, along Ancaster Creek, accessed by vehicle via Lower Lions Club road, just off of Wilson Street in Ancaster.

When I was first looking into the history of west campus I wasn't aware that McMaster owned property here. But revisiting the archives recently, the mention of the Ancaster campus made more sense.
So here is the reference: 
Memo, June 10, 1969
From W.C.M Luscombe [Director of Planning and Physical Plant, McMaster University] 
Re: Revised Interim Internal Traffic and Parking Report
....The future report will update all of this information and will cover the period to post 1988 when the university may have expanded to 12,000 students on the Central Campus and perhaps 4,000 students on the Ancaster Campus. 
While this interim report indicates the establishment of an Ancaster Campus in 1980, our present enrolment forecast indicates a requirement in 1975.
and from another report to the University in 1969:
...it is expected that the population will be limited to approximately 12,000 students, with further growth directed to a satellite campus.
The future of the site is less likely as a building site for a campus, and more likely (and hopefully) an outdoor research facility. Indeed, research is underway here as biology undergraduates and graduates gain hands-on experience doing things like removing invasive species such as the plentiful Buckthorn, or applying a Smithsonian Grid to be able to track changes to ecology over time.

Recently a visiting artist to McMaster set up his easel on site and painted a canvas featuring, of all things, the nasty Buckthorn!

Jim Reid's Buckthorn Painting

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