Tag Archives: Hamilton Waterfront Trail

Things To Do This Long Weekend Hamilton

Things To Do Victoria Day Hamilton

Saturday May 19 2012

Fireworks Hamilton Harbour

Over the last week I have been seeing the very quick change from Spring to Summer.Each day I would experience a new treat.Today was no exception. Being quite cool with  NW winds this morning it was still cloudy at 8AM by Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise. Then the sun came out and viewing my images from last year at this time I noticed I saw my First Deer. Today I saw my first Five Deer. Two gracefully pounced into the woods when they saw me chasing them with stealth. Something a Nature photographer must learn.

White-tail Deer
White-tail Deer

This summer I highly suggest checking out Hamilton Harbourfront Park, which is easily accessible by car, e-bike, bus, or ride the Tramway from Haida all the way into Cootes Paradise. The Harbourfront Park not only offers activities, festivals and events all year long, but a place where you can take in the many sights and sounds of the RBG Centre. You can also bike, walk, hike, kayak and canoe into Cootes Paradise. Should you drive there, you’ll find ample parking close to all the amenities.

Last year, after biking the trail for three months, I still have much to discover, observe, and accomplish as a photographer. It seems the potential is endless, as each day the water beckons me to awaken before first light and immerse myself in Mother Nature’s cycle, which is always brimming with life.

Proud mother
Great Blue Heron

I welcome you to join me on a journey to the hidden gems in Hamilton, Tobermory, Niagara Falls, and many other places. My hope is that together we enjoy an enlightening experience, to gaze through the camera lens together, to see the power, beauty, and wisdom of Mother Nature’s gift


Dundurn Castle
Dundurn Castle

Dundurn Castle is an historic chateau built to house Sir Allan MacNab, later prime minister of the united Province of Canada between 1845 and 1856. He hired architect Robert Wetherall and construction of this stately home was completed in 1835. It became the property of the City of Hamilton, and in the late 1960s, it was restored as a Centennial project. It is now designated as a National Historic Site.

Shake it up baby

It operates as a civic museum, and its grounds house other attractions. Dundurn Park, and associated green spaces, is a favourite for wedding portraits. The Hamilton Military Museum is housed in an outbuilding which was relocated when York Street was widened as York Boulevard in the 1970s. Another outbuilding, the Cockpit Theatre, occasionally housed outdoor events and dramas.

Grindstone Creek

Operating Hours Victoria to Labour Day: Daily 10 am – 4 pm Labour Day to Victoria Day: Open Tuesday to Sunday 12 pm – 4 pm. The admission prices is $10 and also includes a ticket to the Hamilton Military Museum.

Canada’s largest Botanical Gardens, the RBG has five garden areas, including RBG centre, Hendrie Park, Laking Garden & the Arboretum. It also has four nature sanctuaries, including Cootes Paradise, Hendrie Valley, Rock Chapel & Berry Tract.

Hamilton Harbour

RBG Centre – The main centre for the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Centre has indoor greenhouses with a vast collection of cactus & exotic plants and flowers. Most popular is the Mediterranean Garden(cool, so bring a coat), where the bloom season is actually winter!

Hendrie Park – Gardens featured include Rose Garden (beautiful @ June & Early Summer), Medicinal Garden (herbs & spices), Small-flowered Clematis, Garden Lily (Lilium) Collection, Scented Garden (plants with attitude!), Thyme Garden, The World of Botany, Vines, Climbers and Espaliers, Kids’ Gardening Zone (plant veggies), The Morrison Woodland Garden, Border Buffet (whole collection of plant borders to give you creative edge), Queen Beatrix Narcissus Collection (daffodil gift that Queen Beatrix gave during her visit in 1988) & a Collection of Canadian-Originated Trees. This garden really tickles of five of your senses & offers a comforting atmosphere.

Rock Garden – My personal favourite, the Rock Garden is actually a hillside valley garden that uses altitude & the rocks to compliment the flora. It is also a favourite among photographers & newlyweds, who love the fact that the garden is surrounded by hills, gardens and a pond & stream. This garden also has many trees & shaded areas, so it is a comforting walk in the baking sun.

Webster Falls

It is open all year (except Christmas & New Years), from 9 a.m. to dusk. Remember the gardens are seasonal, so come when your favourite flowers are in bloom.

The Hamilton Waterfront Trail (7.5km):Known for its heavy industrial waterfront, Hamilton will surprise new visitors. The past decade has dramatically changed the waterfront bringing with it new recreational uses and restored natural and cultural features.

The trail follows Hamilton Harbour from Princess Point (Cootes Paradise) through Bayfront Park, Pier 4 Park, the Discovery Centre and on to HMCS Haida. You’ll also find Williams Coffee Pub, a Waterfront Ice Cream stand and the Hamilton Harbour Queen Cruises nearby

Whitetail Deer

At Cootes Paradise there is an impressive staircase with a cycling trough leading to Dundurn Park and some amazing lookouts. From here you can connect to Burlington via York Street- extreme caution is needed when crossing the ramp from the 403.Note: The staircase at Coote’s Paradise is quite large and steep and can be a challenge for cyclists with full paniers.

Main Access Points (with parking)  Hamilton Waterfront Trail:

Dundurn Park-York Blvd.

Bayfront Park-Harbourfront Dr and Bay St.

Hamilton Harbour

Pier 4 Park – Leander Dr. and Guise St.

Pier 8 – Canada Marine Discover Centre

Turkey Vulture

HMCS Haida at Catherine St.

The Haidia

Enjoy The Images and the bountiful wildlife this weekend

Whitetail deer


Doug Worrall Photography

What Is Behind Photographing Hamilton’s Jewel

What Is Behind Photographing Hamilton’s Jewel – the Waterfront ?

Friday January 28 2011

Great lakes sports

In the heritage of Hamilton, it is fortunate to start with La Salle visited the Hamilton area in 1616, a fact commemorated at a park in nearby Burlington. In 1788 (1788-1793) the township at the Head-Of-The-Lake were surveyed and named. The area was first known as Head-Of-The-Lake for its location at the western end of Lake Ontario. In 1812, the Town of Hamilton was conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand Farm shortly after the War of 1812. In 1816, Hamilton was a Village. And, George Hamilton’s settlement was incorporated as a police village in 1833 ( Hamilton included Ancaster then, and Ancaster was a police village). On January 8, 1833 Legislation passed to a further Act: “To define the limits of the Town of Hamilton, in the District Gore, to establish (1) a police station, and (2) a public market.” As Hamilton continually grew, it became Canada’s fifth largest city with a population of 114,000 in 1921. Hamilton’s population continues to increase. A major influx was a 75% population increase during 1901 -1912, just prior to World War 1. Currently the amalganated Hamilton Region has a population of over 500,000.

Breeding grounds
Big stretch

Let us start at the Waterfront, a photographic jewel in Hamilton’s cityscape’s. The area between Burlington Bay (Hamilton Harbour) and the Niagara Escarpment has been greatly altered for residential, industrial and recreation purposes.
But, to access the waterfront, travel down James Street called Lake Road in 1835, because obviously it lead to Lake Ontario. Now going back to 1803, over two hundred years ago, John Ryckman describes the area as “The city in 1803 was all FOREST.. The shores of the Bay were difficult to reach or see because they were hidden by a thick, almost impenetrable mass of trees and undergrowth (Forest). Bears ate pigs, so settlers warred on Bears. Wolves gobbled Sheep and Geese, so they hunted and trapped Wolves. They also held organizations on Rattlesnakes on the mountainshide. Deer abounded and were seen jumping freely. There were millions of pigeons which we clubbed as they flew low.” Now, James Street is a lower arterial road in Hamilton, Ontario which starts at the base of the Niagara Escarpment from James Mountain Road. This James Mountain Road in the city, originally was a one-way street going south throughout but now it has sections that are two-way. It extends north of to Hamilton Harbour Waterfront at the North End, where it ends at Guise Street West right in front of the Harbour West Marina Complex and the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. Life in Hamilton in the 1800s was difficult as in 1849 and 1854 there was major outbreaks of cholera, and in 1860 the hottest day was recorded at 41.4 C , before air conditioning. But, civic bathing at the Bay was common until it was closed in 1944 by the Department of Health.

Happy fisherman

Here at the waterfront, the HMCS Haida (Canada’s most famous warship and last remaining Tribal Class in the world ) moved to the City of Hamilton by Parks Canada where she has become a focal point of a revitalized waterfront. The main contributor of this revitalization is the Waterfront Trust who in 2,000 opened the Hamilton Waterfront Trail. Among their many accomplishments is the new NHL size Ice Skating Rink that overlooks the Hamilton West Harbourfront. Shipping has always been an asset to Hamilton Harbour. That is the growth to Hamilton in 1827 was aided by a channel cut to link Burlington Bay directly with Lake Ontario, thus improving its marine transportation. In 1813, two American Schooners, the Hamilton and the Scourge, capsized in Lake Ontario. When Hamilton’s population was 2,000 the Beach Canal opened, in 1834. More recently, in 1958, the Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway Bridge, known as the Burlington Bay Skyway, or the Skyway Bridge is located in both Hamilton and Burlington. It is part of the QEW Freeway linking Fort Erie with Toronto in Ontario. And, shipping still abounds in Hamilton Harbour as in 2,006 the Hamilton Port Authority handled over 12 million tons of cargo and Hamilton Harbour is visited by over 700 vessels each year. This activity in Hamilton Harbour ranks the Harbour as the busiest of all Canadian Great Lakes ports.

HMCS Haida

If you asked the question where WETLANDS were in this area, most Hamiltonian’s would say Cootes Paradise Marsh (Dundas Marsh). That answer is true ! But, there was also a BOG ! That is, James Street was extended south, but was interrupted by a BOG at Hunter Street which eventually, in 1844, was drained and graded. Thirteen years later, in 1857, when the Great Western Railroad Train made the present opening of the Desjardines Canal, the bones of a mammoth were found. At the waterfront, Bay Street derives its name from its proximity to Hamilton Harbour, which was once Burlington Bay. In 1919, a Federal-Order-In-Council changed the name of Burlington Bay to Hamilton Harbour. We know that going west to Princess Point and the Westdale Ravine Trails where the properties are now owned by RBG. But, it was King George V who in 1937 allowed the City of Hamilton to use the name, Royal Botanical Gardens as of May 19, The RGB was established as an independent entity in 1941 by an Act of the Provincial Government, but the project’s origins are traceable to the late 1920s when the City of Hamilton began acquiring land for the beautification of Hamilton’s North-West Entrance. This jewel of Hamilton Harbour waterfront is Breathtaking and has much to offer for both residents and visitors. It has become a four-season playground at our doorstep.

Cootes paradise

By  Jacqueline

Photographer Doug Worrall