Pipeline Trail

Our Vision: Hamilton’s Pipeline Trail will be a leader in environmental stewardship. The Pipeline Trail will encourage various recreational activities, like walking and cycling and offer safe, visible connections to other urban trails, parks and commercial corridors. The trail should run the length of the pipeline, from Main St E to Woodward Ave, with marked connections to parks and urban trails at the escarpment and waterfront.

Pipeline Parade 2016 PipelineParade2016 poster

It’s coming– the third annual Pipeline Parade! On Saturday September 24 from 10 am to noon, join your Crown Point and Homeside neighbours for a fun, family-friendly walk along the Pipeline Trail. This year’s parade theme is “Flying Free”. Decorate your bike, your wagon, or your costume– let your imagination soar! Or feel free to come and watch the parade take flight.

Starting at 10 a.m. at the A.M. Cunningham Parkette (between Wexford & Huxley) the parade follows the trail east to the Barons Avenue entrance to Andrew Warburton Park. There paraders will enjoy a free pizza party, kite making, paper crafts, and the float/costume contest awards.

Win a prize for the most creative float or costume in four categories: adult, youth age 13 to 17, child age 7 to 12 and child under 7 years. Please note: with the exception of mobility scooters, the parade is completely human-powered. No motorized vehicles or motorized toys are allowed.

Enjoy your trail, have fun and celebrate the community asset that links several neighbourhoods, commercial corridors, and park spaces. The trail is both a reminder of our city’s ambitious past and potential as a place where active transportation, neighbourhoods and biodiversity can thrive.

Will you be flying free on September 24 at the Pipeline Parade? We’d love to hear from you. Please confirm with Elizabeth Seidl at pipelinetrail.hamilton@gmail.com or call/text 905-599-6830.

Master Plan & Pipeline Parade Celebration

Pipeline Trail Master Plan Flyer_Revised

After several months of public consultation, the Pipeline Trail Master Plan will soon be revealed. Please join us on September 19th from 2:00 – 4:30 pm for the unveiling of the plan at the Museum of Steam & Technology, 900 Woodward Ave. In addition to the presentation, this family-friendly event features supervised children’s programming and guided tours of the Museum.

Please RSVP by September 14th to:
Rikki Frith
Neighbourhood & Community Initiatives Division
905-546-2424 x 7604

Poster2015aCelebrate the Pipeline Trail’s past, present and future at the second annual Pipeline Parade! Join the parade and see what has changed in the past year: new gardens, benches and artwork. Decorate your person-powered float, stroller, wagon, bicycle or mobility scooter for your chance to take home a prize. Meet at 140 Kenilworth Ave N (parking lot north of Tim Hortons) on Saturday, September 26th at 10 am – 12 noon to join the fun! This year, the parade changes direction, starting on Kenilworth and ending at Ottawa Street. Don’t forget to check out the Ottawa Street Sidewalk Sale, happening the same day.

Master Plan Update

Our second community consultation for the Pipeline Trail Master Plan was held last week, and for those who couldn’t attend, we would like your comments on the preliminary design. Leila Todd is accepting comments until May 29th, so please check out the display panels and presentation and give your feedback, positive or negative, to Leila.todd@hamilton.ca.

The display panels, presentation and comment form is available on the project page.

We had the opportunity to mark up the display panels with comments at the meeting, to access them, click here.

Our next Master Plan community consultation is Thursday, June 25th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Perkins Centre. The scope of this project is large and several neighbourhoods will be affected by any proposed changes in terms of pedestrian safety, traffic patterns, parking, and land use. While it is great that we have access to the preliminary design in digital form, seeing the display panels in their true size (36” x 48”) gives a much better sense of the scale of this project and the amount of work that has already gone into the design. We encourage Crown Point residents and trail users to attend this next consultation as it will be the last one until September, when the final proposal will be unveiled.

Planting day for the Pollinator Paradise garden project is also coming up on Saturday, June 6th from 9 am to 12 noon, meet at the planting site between Edgemont N and Park Row N. Planting-Day-Poster

To get an idea of how many people will be coming to plant, please confirm your attendance on the facebook event page. See you on the trail!

Crown Point Garden Club

When they aren’t gardening along the trail, the newly minted garden club in Crown Point can be found at https://crownpointgardens.wordpress.com/ and if you’re on Facebook, please join the group: “Crown Point Garden Club“.

Pipeline Trail Master Plan

The first community consultation for the Pipeline Trail Master Plan was held on February 21st, 2015. This well-attended public meeting with residents, neighbours, stakeholders, city staff and the consulting landscape architect, Marianne Mokrycke, took the form of a bus tour that started from Main and Ottawa, made stops at six key locations along the trail and ended at the Museum of Steam and Technology on Woodward Ave. For more details, please check out the recent post about the tour on the Pollinators Paradise Project blog.

Creating Pollinator Paradise in our City

by Beatrice Ekoko

It’s a frisky winter morning outdoors in Bev Wagar’s east Hamilton garden.

Wagley, the mutt is tearing around the modest-sized yard but this Master Gardener’s not worried. “I don’t clean up my gardens in the fall,” Wagar says, “because spent leaves provide protection from the temperatures. And you have to clean up in the spring, besides.”

I’m here for a first hand demonstration on how to winter sow native plants so that I can blog about it for the Pollinator Paradise Project (Hamilton Naturalist Club and Environment Hamilton). This is a project that aims to feed pollinators such as bees and butterflies by creating habitat, and winter sowing—growing seeds in clear, mini greenhouses outdoors—is part of the process.

It might seem ironic that an urban centre like Hamilton, maligned and polluted as it is, can actually be a haven for pollinators; but with neonicotinoids in the fields, loss of habitat and fragmentation of rural lands, cities could be our best bet for opportunities to feed these helpful critters (and our local food security too).

Wagar points out the baby shoots that are growing in the makeshift greenhouses she’s made out of recycled plastic containers. The idea is to duplicate in a controlled way, what nature does when plants drop their seeds in the fall; known as “cold-moist stratification,” freezing temperatures and fluctuating night time temperatures break the seed’s dormancy.

The eventual plants will likely be donated to the Pollinator Paradise Project’s east Hamilton Crownpoint partners with the Pipeline Trail—a swath of green space along a former watermain.

As we walk around, Wagar reams of exotic sounding names of plants, and I try to keep up, jotting down how I think they might be spelled. Her obvious delight in a garden she is able to visualize months ahead, at spring’s warm embrace is contagious. I’m catching the buzz.

Wagar, a resident of Crownpoint neighbourhood and a newcomer to Hamilton of three years, has a garden that when in bloom, is an oasis for pollinators in a sea of otherwise dead-boring lawn.

Here’s a woman who does not take kindly to monoculture. In London, Ontario where she had an acre of property that was the befuddlement of the locals (farmers), Wagar was behind the ‘Guerilla Garden Posse’—instigator of all things wild and beautiful. She describes their activities as a “Friday night drinking party with friends.”

But first, the evenings would begin with a mission to complete. The friends would meet at dusk with trowels in hand to garden public property. “Commander Orchid” (Wagar) tells me it sometimes got them into trouble—like the time they redid the gardens at the local library. Their nighttime shenanigans included putting little gardens the railway areas.  Sometimes, the Posse would string potted plants up on hydro poles with a sign saying, “Please water me,” and “Bring me home and plant me.” And people did. With her partner Sean, they began an annual ‘boulevard garden contest.’ Living in Old East, an industrial neighborhood, Wagar says they viewed themselves as being “community boosters.”

“It wasn’t just about the gardening, it was about raising the profile and pride of our neighbourhood.”  By the time the couple moved away, Old East had developed a reputation for being quirky gardens, and bus tours still go through and point out the “eccentric gardens” of this neighbourhood.

It’s no surprise then, that the first thing Wagar does when she gets to Hamilton is to remove all the grass on her property.

“My dream is to see more people tear out the grass and put in pollinator flower gardens,” Wagar tells me.

As is the project’s. As is mine.

I think of my measly piece of front lawn and how my neighbours angst about the goldenrod (convinced that it causes their allergies) and my kids complain about the messy milkweed.

Wagar informs me that there is an art to it: Taller plants at the back, borders should be 4 ft wide, tall medium short, something blooming all the time, “and then you get creative with your colours.” Know what their habits are—sink it in a pot or plant it where it has room to grow if you have a spreader. It sounds basic, but…

More about the person than the plant

On further probing, Wagar admits that it is not a low maintenance sort of garden, especially not at first. In her view, “It is more about the person’s available time, less about the plants.”  Left to its own devices, the garden is at risk of being taken over by aggressive plants, loosing all the good ones.

Her advice for those short on time, is to focus on shrubs and woodies (small trees) such as ‘Native nine bark’ –a shrub that bees and butterflies love, or ‘Eupatorium rugosum’ (Chocolate) that is a late bloomer for the bees to enjoy and is ‘garden worthy.’

Yes, we can. 

Wagar posits that the movement to grow native species gardens for pollinators is not homegrown. It’s imported with progressives that are coming from outside the city: “The folks on my street, they don’t care,” she claims. Sounds like a challenge to me. Are we going to prove her wrong?


The Pollinator Paradise Project will be planting pollinator patches to create a pollinator paradise along the Pipeline Trail, working with the newly formed Crown Point Garden Club that Bev is leading.

Building Momentum for the Pipeline Trail

by Susan Noakes

Last September, Crown Point, Sherman, and McQuesten Neighbourhoods joined a class of McMaster students who usually study in various faculties, from nursing to business.  They were challenged to apply their “book smarts” to an issue important to each neighbourhood. Crown Point’s Community Consultants, Marcée Groen and I presented a case for investigating the socio-economic impact of developing the Pipeline Trail. At the second class, four students chose the Crown Point team: Krista Kruja (studying global health), Emily Fuller (nursing), Samuel Kim (child health) and Madeline McDonald (kinesiology).

Led by Health in the Hubs instructor Sandy Isaacs, the classes included speakers with expertise in community development as well as team activities to introduce the visiting students to the neighbourhood. Besides discussing our research question together, the Community Consultants contributed “street smarts” by leading the students on a bike tour of the Pipeline Trail itself, followed by a ride on Ottawa and Kenilworth Streets to compare their local character. The students also attended our monthly neighbourhood meetings.

On November 18th, the students hosted a Community Conversation where residents could learn about their research findings in four areas of interest. Samuel spoke about the economic changes associated with similar urban trails. Emily summarized the health benefits of increasing physical activity and noted that promotion seemed a key factor to attract residents to a trail for recreation and transport. Madeline discovered that safety on and near a trail varied as each resident’s perception of safety determined their opinion about safety.  The actual facts of local crime rates did not change this perception. Krista revealed that trail use will increase if activities are diversified and if the residents are involved with planning the trail’s development.  Big events and connecting trail users to local business are helpful in this regard. The conversation ended by asking the participants how we might achieve the potential benefits of a developed trail; we filled many sheets of flip chart paper with drawings and descriptions of these ideas. A week later, the students presented their findings to their professors in academic style with power point presentations for their final assessment.

Reflecting on her experience during the class, Marcée Groen noted that “Spending time each week with this group of students was a worthy exercise for me. I was curious about the class and its objectives. I wondered how non-residents who were just passing through could contribute to the already existing and established neighbourhood teams. I was pleased with the work of Sam, Krista, Maddy, and Emily. They were solid students who provided helpful information and presented their findings in a likeable, relevant way.”

Coincidentally, the City of Hamilton recently announced that a consultant would be hired to work with the community to develop a Master Plan for the trail.  The students’ research and observations found in this Community Dissemination Report can help Crown Point residents to be prepared to participate in the creation of a development plan for the Pipeline Trail that contains our vision for a trail that improves our neighbourhood’s health and resiliency in the future.

An exciting step towards this vision is through a Neighbourhood Action project with the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club: Butterflies and Benches on the Pipeline Trail – A Pollinator Paradise Project Initiative in the Crown Point Neighbourhood. The Pipeline Trail action team is delighted to announce that this project has received funding from the Hamilton Community Foundation. The grant will be used to establish flower gardens and benches in sections of the Pipeline Trail in Crown Point starting in the spring of 2015. To participate or stay informed in the master plan process and/or in the design and planting of the gardens, please email pipelinetrail.hamilton@gmail.com or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pipelinetrail for project updates and information.