Learn more about the 25km trail the city wants to build along the Mountain brow

The trail will need politicians to approve it year after year for the next 20 years. But Tom Jackson is hopeful. "This is taxpayer money well spent."

Future councils will have to spend money on it every year for the next 20 years

The city hopes to have a Mountain brow trail that spreads from 25 kilometres from the west Mountain to Devil's Punchbowl. (City of Hamilton)

It will be 25 kilometres stretching from the west Mountain to upper Stoney Creek. People will be able to walk, bike or run it, and it will have some of the most scenic vistas in the city.

I'm confident we'll be able to implement this trail as we're showing.- Cynthia Graham, manager of landscape architecture service

That's what the city is hoping with a new Mountain brow trail it will build slowly, piece by piece, over the next 20 years.

The trail will stretch from Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area near Ancaster to Devil's Punch Bowl. In some places, it may just be sidewalks and on-street bike lanes, said Cynthia Graham, the city's manager of landscape architecture services. But in most cases, it will be a dedicated paved path.

The trail is just a plan right now, and each year, councillors will have to vote in favour of spending money on it. It'll cost about $9 million over 20 years, Graham said, although $3.4 million of that work is already in progress.

Tom Jackson, Ward 6 councillor, said every year, there will be "competing interests" for that money too. But he's hopeful.

"This is taxpayer money well spent."

City staff say the trail will cost $9 million over the next 20 years. (City of Hamilton)

Graham presented an IBI Group feasibility study to city council's public works committee Thursday. The plan doesn't require buying any land, she said.

Instead, the city hopes to sign land use agreements with Hamilton Health Sciences, Mohawk College and other major landowners along the route. So far, she said, the agencies seem supportive.

Trails seem like easy projects, she said. But from land use agreements to conservation authority permits, "they're some of the most complicated projects we have."

Having said that, "I'm confident we'll be able to implement this trail as we're showing."

Here's some other info about the trail:

The city has held several meetings to get public input. A 25-member citizen committee also tackled it, says Jackson.

  • The trail would have 87 vistas. Of those, 41 are existing views, and 29 are existing views that would need some "remedial improvements." Seventeen would be new spots.
  • The biggest challenges will be safety concerns near the escarpment edge, handling high traffic areas (Garth Street, Centennial Parkway, the Kenilworth traffic circle) and trying not to lose street trees.
  • The most immediate work happening is along Scenic Drive and Sanatorium Road.
  • The trail spans through four Mountain wards (6, 7, 8, 9).

About the Author

Samantha Craggs

Reporter

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca