Tag Archives: Architecture

Lift Bridge and Lighthouse Places To See Hamilton

Lift Bridge and Lighthouse Places To See Hamilton

July 31 2011

Skyway bridge and lighthouse

Burlington Canal Lift Bridge and Light House

A low-lying barrier known as “The Beach” separates Burlington Bay from the western end of Lake Ontario. A natural channel connected the upper end of the bay with Lake Ontario, but it was too shallow for navigation. In 1823, a Hamilton merchant by the name of James Crooks urged the House of Assembly to authorize the construction of a canal linking Lake Ontario to Burlington Bay. Work on the project began the following year, and on July 1, 1932, Lieutenant Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland officially opened the waterway even though it wasn’t quite yet finished. The Burlington Canal led to the development of Hamilton Harbour, which was a mixed blessing as industries established there led to the pollution of the beach strip between Burlington and Hamilton that was bisected by the canal.

The Beach Strip

Using a portion of the proceeds raised by the toll required of ships passing through the canal, a wooden, octagonal lighthouse was constructed along the canal in 1837 by John L. Williams. As steamers transited the waterway, they would often rub against the canal’s wooden piers, and occasionally this friction or sparks from the steamer’s smokestack would catch the piers on fire. On several occasions, George Thompson, who became keeper of the Burlington Canal Lighthouse in 1846, or the operator of the ferry across the canal had to douse fires on the piers.

Lift bridge
Lift Bridge in action

On July 18, 1856, the steamship Ranger caught a pier on fire as it passed through the canal. High winds quickly spread the fire, leading to the destruction of the lighthouse, ferry, keeper’s cottage, and a local log home. Until the present redbrick dwelling was completed in 1857, Keeper Thompson was required to live in a shanty while he tended a temporary light.

In 1858, John Brown built a new fireproof tower at the Burlington Canal using blocks of dolomite limestone at a cost of $10,479.98. The 90-foot tower was similar to the six Imperial Towers that Brown erected on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay around this same time. The new lighthouse was the first in Canada to burn coal oil. This move away from whale oil angered whalers, who felt their livelihood was being threatened. Keeper Thompson found that using coal oil during the frigid winter months could be problematic. “I had much trouble in warming the coal oil in the pier and lighthouse. I wrapped the oil lamps all round with flannel and rope yarn. I was wearing mittens with the earflaps of the cap down. I kept the large lighthouse burning but the coal oil partially froze!”

George Thompson kept the Burlington Canal Lighthouse for twenty-nine years before he was forced to retire by poor health in 1875. He passed away a few years later in 1879.

Skyway bridge


The Hamilton Waterfront Trust


The Hamilton Waterfront Trust is a charitable organization with a mandate to make it possible for everyone to use and enjoy Hamilton’s waterfront.

Carols Bay

Our organization is leading the way with various developments designed to enhance the waterfront experience and promote easy access to the water’s edge.

Hamilton Harbour

Recent developments include the construction of an integrated, environmentally-conscious waterfront trail and the introduction of two 37 passenger trackless Hamilton Waterfront Trolleys.


Aboard a Hamilton Harbour Queen Cruise, passengers have the opportunity to view the waterfront from the water while dining or dancing. The Hamiltonian Sightseeing Tour Boat provides a narrated tour highlighting the history of one of North America’s most noteworthy harbours.

In May 2006, the Williams Coffee Pub provided the first waterfront restaurant with outdoor patio on the Hamilton harbour. With seating for almost 200 people, the view of the harbour and marina offers an ever changing landscape.

Summers would not be complete without the taste of a hand scooped ice cream cone. Waterfront Scoops features “Hewitt’s Dairy” ice cream in a variety of flavours.

All profits from these venues are re-invested into future waterfront developments in the City of Hamilton.

Swan songs

Come and discover Hamilton’s Waterfront …  As I do and many other Joggers, Bikers, Hikers, Roller Blade’s, Joggers, Tourists, etc… are using this trail and enjoying the wonderful Hamilton Shoreline.

The Queen of the Bay

Information, Hamilton Waterfront trust, Wikipedia


Doug Worrall Photographer


Architectural Photography Built Environment Hamilton

Architectural Photography Built Environment Hamilton

Saturday April 9 2011

Architecture and nature

Hello, As site coordinator, All shots are recent, and some images from the following article may not be present. Some shots are HDR and most are from the Raw format.Enjoy the article and  my newest images

Doug Worrall

Dundurn Castle Hamilton

Architecture is the ART and inspirational ideas from designers in the technology captured in the lens of a camera. Architecture is the ART we live in and Urban Design shapes our cities, as Winston Churchill said: “we shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us.” Today, architecture in the modernist design is more than copying shapes, but, rather functionality is the key element. Interestingly, there is also the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Julius Shulman gives many interesting facts in his book entitled – The Photography of Architecture and Design. What you aim to capture in architectural photography is a magazine-quality photograph. Of all the architectural design values the NATURE and organic design applies quite well because the design value is based on nature – all sorts of living organisms. The basis of this design value provides inspiration, functional clues and aesthetics. SIMPLICITY (minimalist) is a closely related to the design value of Nature. Simplicity design value highlights TRUE (REAL) ART FORM and folk wisdom; light, shadow; colour and line. The VENECULAR design value emphasizes a simple life and its design value closely relates to Nature as it emulates the simple life being superior to modernity. In architectural photography with a camera lens your focus is to capture art in the buildings environment – light, shadow, color, and line . This environment gives the photograph simplicity of the image which emplifies several of these elements of architectural design values. The magic hour to photograph architecture can be about fifteen minutes before sunset when the ambient light inside a building matches the intensity of the evening sky. Or, locally at the CIBC Commerce Building at King and James Sts., Hamilton at mid-to-late afternoon can capture shadows and clouds floating in a mirror-image fashion into this glass structure. And at Dundurn Castle capturing the evening sunset or morning sunrise with the Lake in the backgrond can make the Castle glow using various light settings and filters. Then there is the new Downtown Library cloaked in eye-popping-state of the art glass facade with programmable coloured LED light built into it. Inside, the new library has spaces for WI-FI laptop use, reading areas with modular furniture and bright lights illuminating it against a colour palate of white and grey. A San Diego symposium speaker said : ” the modern library should look in design like an iPad; mirror the way customers will use it.” The architect, David Premi’s interest “is in how the built environment can help facilitate growth and interaction in the community…Hopefuly this wil have an impact on downtown renewal as well.” Hamilton has a professional history of architects designing buildings, such as, (1) James Belfour architect for Canadian Life Assurance Co., King and James (1883) and Hamilton’s Old City Hall (1888),; (2) John M. Lyle architect for New York Public Library (1897), the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto (1907), Union Station in Toronto (1914-1921); and (3) Bruce Kuwabara architect for the Art Gallery Of Ontario Phase 111, and Kitchener City Hall.

Cibc building Hamilton

In multidimensional photographic applications digital-image processing and computer vision usually require specific integrated circuits and/or multiprocessor systems. Wavelet-based algorithms have been found promising among these applications due to the features of hierarchical signal analysis and multidimensional analysis. Because of the large size multidimensional imput data, off-chip random access memory (RAM) based system, have been necessary in algorithms in these applications. Here, either memory address pointers of data pre-processing and rearrangements in off-chip memories are employed. Photographing architecture in black-and-white (B&W) gives the image a more dramatic effect especially when it depends on the light and shadows to show details in the image. Unlike colour photography, B&W photography has a special impact on the viewer’s eye giving a dramatic effect compared to colour photos. Colour photography uses different colours to show the image, B&W photography abstracts the image to use only one colour. It is better to take photographs in colour and convert it to B&W, using your favourite image editing tools. This gives you the ability to control the B&W in the image as well with more control at all levels, brightness and contrast.

Rooftop Architecture HDR Photography

Locally beautiful architectural photography opportunities abound in the Hamilton Region. The fist stop would be Hamilton’s new Library, followed by, Dundurn Castle which has historical significance being Sir Allan McNab’s residence. In Dundas along South Street are many old homes. And, at 42 Osler Drive in Dundas is a historic century home built in 1827 which rests on a ravine overlooking Dundas and the escarpment photographs beautifully with all the greenery in its landscape. In Hamilton a drive along Aberdeen Avenue gives many architectural photography opportunities. As you climb up the Queen Street hill from Aberdeen there are several architectural opportunities and lots of wooded escarpment areas to photograph.

Architecture meets nature

Globally there are some amazing mind-boggling architectural buildings including : Australia’s Sydney Harbour with its Arts Complex; The Great Bayan Sergey Skashkor (Russia); and the designs available for the future World Trade Centre in New York City. In a Wall Street Journal article, Glenn D. Lowry, director of the National Museum of Modern Art was quoted saying: “I think Integral House in Toronto’s Rosedale area is one of the most important private houses built in North America, in a long time.” Architecture Design Magazine has Integral House on Toronto’s tours. Integral House is owned by Dr. James Stewart, a Mathematics professor at McMaster University who made millions writing calculus textbooks, and interestingly, he was concertmaster violinist with the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra and violinist in Hamilton Philharmonic. In Canada 90% and in the U.S. 70% of University students use his math books that are translated into 12 languages, published by Thomson Learning Group. In 2,003 the James Stewart Math Centre at McMaster University was named after him. It is interesting that some of the money he earned from textbooks Dr. James Stewart renovated houses first in Hamilton and then in Toronto. Dr. James Stewart bought a home on this land in 2,002 and in 2,003 tore it down to build Integral House. Yes, Integral House is an architectural photographer’s dream to do a photo shoot ! Dr. James Stewart spent $30 million on this home and he interviewed architects around the world before giving the project to two young unknown architects – Brigette Shim and Howard Sutcliff. In this architectural project Dr. James Stewart gave the following expectations: to create his residence in a ravine in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale: to make it 18,000 square feet; to design multitudes of seductive curves ,to use massive amounts of floor to ceiling glass, and build a spectacular glass staircase. He also wanted a private concert hall with lots of curves to seat 150 persons for concerts and costume balls. This was excluding a parina, a classical semi-Scandinavian simplicity that makes the house seem older, and more established than a new house. The staircase includes hand-blown blue glass with rectangle shapes (geometry) that these architects designed.giving a sense of dynatism as if the building were in motion, rolling along ever so slowly or perhaps coming to stillness after a long architectural journey. Only the first two floors are visible at street level, and the focus from inside Integral House is the trees outside in the ravine. The challenge of the architectural photographer, then, would be not only to capture the many features of this house, but to emulate in the photographs this sense of dynatism giving the viewer to say – Ah, look at that ! That shows you have created images that illuminate both the design and the stylized space that promote the photographed images in a successful light. Now, looking around Hamilton Region there are many spectacular architectural photography opportunities in Urban Design awaiting your camera lens. So, on the next sunny day, head out with camera, tripod and extra batteries for an exhilarating experience in architectural photography.

Downtown Hamilton

Sources: The Toronto Star, The Photography of Architecture and Design, The Wall Street Journal; Gallerie Spring 2,011, Hamilton Spectator


By Jacqueline

Doug Worrall Photography