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Showing posts from August, 2010

Trails on the South Shores of Cootes

Some Cootes Paradise south shore trails mapped out for you! Ginger Valley/Ravine Road trail   - a commute route! Caleb's Walk/Sassafras trail   - down to the water! Chegwin Loop  - from McMaster University, down to the water on a boardwalk! The description says it touches Grindstone Creek, which it most certainly does not. You can find more trail maps for Cootes here


I had the good fortune to present a history of Cootes Drive to the Dundas Historical Society as part of their 2009 Lecture Series. I have (finally) uploaded a pdf version of my talk, and added some images from the slides I used in the presentation. You can read it as a pdf (updated link)  here .   I would love your feedback as well, so feel free to comment, or e-mail me with any thoughts regarding this document. Again, my appreciation to the Dundas Historical Society board for making the request for this history, which forced my hand, and brought me to an ongoing relationship with the microfiche wheel at the Dundas Public Library.

oil and water

  The Yellow Fish program marks catch basins with the brightly coloured symbol to remind people not to pour contaminants down the drain, since the drain is part of a water collection system that will find it's way into our taps, and in some cases, into nearby bodies of water. This scene is from McMaster University, in front of the Life Sciences building. You can see the oily water in the puddle. McMaster University abuts Cootes Paradise, so of course any developments there have a potential (often negative) impact on the natural lands to the North and West of the campus.  A look at paved surfaces at the campus, and any further development that encroaches on Cootes, needs  attention. Replacing paved with permeable surfaces would help filter contaminants, and take the burden off the water collection/treatment systems which can be overwhelmed as water collects on paved surfaces before being channeled into these catch basins. Do you have any concerns relating to Mac and the Envi

How many cities have portage points?

Between Cootes Paradise and the Hamilton Harbour, a few steps are required to get a canoe across by the Desjardins Canal. The juxtaposition of this ancient means of travel with the noisy and polluting traffic roaring past on the 403 highway always makes me imagine how much more beautiful and intact this landscape, this ecology, and our lives might be without such overbearing infrastructure.

behind the scenes of the Velodrome

A reader of this blog sent the following background to me to share here. There appears to be a very interesting back-story to the ongoing Velodrome siting issue.  - - - - Regarding your recent web posting “ millions more to encroach on Cootes? ”, two main points need clarifying.  First, you say, “they are still talking about siting it in Dundas”.  Actually there is only one person/group calling for this.  This is Andrew Iler of the National Cycling Centre Hamilton. Iler is a politically connected lawyer from Hamilton who is directing a cycling organization created by the corporate right wing lobby.  This NCCH is not democratic and is not connected to the cycling community.  As well, it has no connection to the city of Hamilton.  John Kernaghan and the Hamilton Spectator (Torstar Corporation) have done everything they can to try and legitimize Iler and the so-called National Cycling Centre. The city of Hamilton and the cycling community want the velodrome in a promine

millions more to encroach on Cootes?

Is anyone really surprised? Cost estimates for the proposed velodrome for Hamilton's Pan Am games have doubled in price, an extra $15 million . They will be spending up to $25 million dollars for this cycling track, and they are still talking about siting it in Dundas , despite the fact the bid originally stated in would be built along with the Pan Am Stadium (and that's another story!). Problem is, the site in Dundas is in an area that is close to Cootes Paradise, on a former landfill and in the middle of an area that many hope will be developed as a natural park that will enhance the ecological integrity of this environmentally significant area. As we are seeing in the wranglings over the Pan Am Stadium, the warning of urban philosopher Jane Jacobs against these kind of projects involving "cataclysmic money" stands today. We should not hastily make decisions that will have a lasting impact on the quality of our natural assets, especially if we are interested in r