Archives: the bay

tall ships

This weekend the tall ships are coming!

In part for the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812, six tall ships will enter into the Hamilton harbour tomorrow afternoon (between 2-4pm) and dock for a weekend of nautical entertainment. The weekend-long event is jam packed with three nights of really fabulous live music from the likes of Hamilton locals such as: Young Rival, The Dinner Belles, Harrison Kennedy and the Soul Motivators (hailing form Toronto). There’ll also be a craft fair, an art battle, snow cones (plus other food vendors), dancing, busking and tours of these historic tall ships. For more information you can visit the Tourism Hamilton website here or take the free shuttle bus down to Pier 8 to see for yourself.

Well Hamilton you never cease to surprise me! The other evening I discovered this little piece of the city that I didn’t even know existed. The Royal Hamilton Yacht Club sits at the bottom of James St. North. If you are a member you can gain access to lakeside views like this one. Well, as a non-member, I won’t be sitting at this exclusive private patio watching the tall ships sail in. But alas that’s won’t stop me from finding a little perch of my own to watch these tall sailing beauties.

cap’n cootes

On the occasions when I decide to take Plains Road into Hamilton from Burlington, I love taking that quick glance over across the bay towards Dundas. It’s a pretty picturesque view, all things considered, if you were to look to the opposite side of the T.B. McQuesten High Level Bridge the view would be of smoke stacks and steel mills. Truly I think the view of Cootes Paradise towards Dundas from the bridge is one of the more breathtaking views of Southern Ontario. You can see the curve of the escarpment, the marshy bay and what seems to be virtually untouched nature for miles and miles.

The Thomas B. McQuesten High Level Bridge was built during the 1930's. It was originally called Hamilton High Level Bridge before being renamed after Thomas McQuesten, who was an upstanding Hamilton citizen that resided in the historic Whitehern house.

view of Cootes Paradise from T.B. McQuesten Bridge

view of Princess Point from T.B. McQueston Bridge

Over the weekend we decided to get out an embrace the winter weather and take a walk through Cootes Paradise.

Mainly, I really wanted to get an up-close and personal look of the bay in its frozen solid form. I always notice the little silhouettes of people skating and playing hockey out on the bay in winter from the highway and I have these wistfull dreams that one day I might be that person down there skating away. Well, I currently don’t own skates and Omi being so little, I think we’re still a ways off from passing a puck around or doing double axels on that natural winter-made Ontario-bay ice.

So a winter walk it was… right through some of my favourite Hamilton landscapes.

Our walk began from the RBG Arboretum entrance. I duly noted that in the spring we would have to make a return visit to see the massive lilac garden (apparently the largest in North America). After a bit of meandering we finally found the Captain Cootes Trail that hugged the bay and away we went!

We tried to venture out on the bay for a little while. There was a couple with their dogs walking out on the ice so it was a sign that the ice was strong enough to hold. But when I ventured out and heard the ice crack under my feet I decided to play it safe. I’ve been told that the water on the bay is really shallow so it doesn’t take much of a cold snap to freeze it solid. I wasn’t taking my chances that day.

A bit ambitious to be out walking in the cold minus 10 degree whether. So when Omi’s little chubby baby cheeks were feeling cold and getting all rosied up, we called it a day and headed back.

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