A Green Gem in Crown Point

The Family Friendly Pipeline Tail

Photo 2: Pipeline Trail in 2014 (Photo credit Caitlin MacMillan)

To many people, trail walking is a healthy weekend activity. For Crown Point residents, it can be a daily family routine thanks to the Pipeline Trail which lies centrally across the boundaries of Crown Point. It is convenient, accessible and friendly for all ages.

Did you know the Pipeline Trail is more than 160 years old? Did you also know that Hamilton was the second city in pre-confederation Canada to provide water services?

Here are some more fun facts about our Pipeline Trail.

Underneath this trail is a 6-kilometre long cast-iron water pipeline. It is 18 inches in diameter, and was made in Scotland. The pipeline was designed and installed in the 1850’s to carry pumped water from the waterworks by Lake Ontario on Woodward Avenue. It went diagonally to Ottawa St., and north up to a reservoir at the escarpment near the Kenilworth Access, where gravity allowed the treated water to flow down to the lower areas. The pipeline is still working today.

Since the city doesn’t allow anything to be built above the water pipe, and 20 metres (or a road allowance), is protected on either side of the pathway which can be clearly seen on a Google satellite map. 

Photo 3: Local cyclists or ‘wheelman’ in 1899 advocate for a cycling trail from downtown to the waterfront.
The Pipeline Trail has come alive again and is truly a green gem in the east end. (Peggy Goddard)

The trail was once in a bad shape. It was in disrepair and became dangerous to walk on. Thanks to lobby groups and volunteers like the trails steward the past eight years, Elizabeth Seidl – who worked closely and tirelessly with the city, our Pipeline Trail has come alive again since 2015 and is truly a green gem in the east end.

From the London Street entrance just behind Dairy Queen at Main St East and Ottawa Street North, the trail rolls along a 4.3 kilometre paved path down to Barton Street East. and Strathearne Avenue. It is wheelchair accessible, and many young children ride their bicycles on it, people jog the path, roller-blade, and walk their dogs through this evolving space. During the warmer weather, flowers bloom in the three pollinator gardens and along the trail.

Just like icing on a cake, there are three popular murals that decorate the trail near the beginning, in the middle, and near the end. The trail also connects A.M. Cunningham Parkette on Roxborough Avenue, Andrew Warburton Memorial Park at Cannon Street and Britannia Avenue, and Mahoney Park on Barton Street East. All these parks have a playground. Additionally, Andrew Warburton has a basketball court, and Mahony Park has four ball diamonds and a public washroom. 

During the warmer weather flowers bloom in the three pollinator gardens along the trail. (Peggy Goddard)
The Tiger-Cats logo is painted on the side of a business on the east side of Kenilworth along the trail. (Peggy Goddard)
Today’s Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology used to be the pump house for the pipeline. (Peggy Goddard)
A copy of a 1930’s Webster’s Falls wood print by Canadian artist Leonard Hutchinson. (Peggy Goddard)

The Pipeline Trail begins to fade after reaching Mahony Park. Many factories put gates with ‘Stop’ or ‘No Trespassing’ warning signs to block the way. Some workers there don’t even know they are standing on the trail. It seems only experts know the detours to make it all the way to the original pump house which today is a national historic site; the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology.

There is no doubt that the lovely Pipeline Trail provides easy access to all families in Crown Point.

To continue the open communication with neighbours and the public, Elizabeth Seidl is looking for a volunteer to manage the Pipeline Trail Facebook and Twitter accounts. Anyone who is interested can contact her at pipelinetrail.hamilton@gmail.com.

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