If you’ve noticed construction fencing at Hamilton Mountain Drive Park, it’s part of a plan to redevelop the popular and historic park.
Reconstruction work is expected to wrap up by October 2023, weather permitting. The old pavilion has already been torn down and will be replaced by a field house by this fall.
At the same time there is significant work underway on Mountain Park Drive Between Wentworth and Poplar Avenue
Scope of work includes:
• Active transportation improvements, including the widening of the pedestrian pathway and additional bike lane features
• Tree planting
• Road resurfacing with minor watermain works
• Reconfiguration of parking lots to accommodate additional parking space
• Installation of black ornamental fencing (east of Poplar Avenue) and street furniture which includes bike racks, benches, waste receptacles and more.
Mountain Park Avenue between Poplar Avenue and Upper Wentworth Street, including the Upper Wentworth escarpment staircase will remain closed for the duration of the project. The Wentworth steps will remain open from Wentworth to the Sherman Access.
Mountain Drive Park is the oldest park on Hamilton Mountain, and one of the oldest in Hamilton—it is even older than Gage Park. Thomas Morris was a Hamilton Alderman at the beginning of the last century, and it was he more than anyone who advocated for the preservation of the escarpment lands and the mountain brow. He was also one of the first advocates for the then, relatively unknown practice of town planning. It was at his urging that Mountain Drive Park was established in 1905. Morris and Thomas Baker McQuesten were two Hamilton delegates to the inaugural meeting of the Institute of Town Planners of Canada in 1919. Dunnington-Grubb, one of Canada’s pre-eminent landscape architects received one of his earliest commissions to lay out Mountain Drive park. His success with that project would lead to his being commissioned to design Gage Park and later the McMaster Campus. McQuesten went on to a career in Provincial politics that allowed him to build the QEW and three international bridges, as well as the Niagara Parks, which were again partly designed by Dunnington-Grubb.
Robert Williamson has written a much more comprehensive history of Mountain Drive Park in the Mountain News.
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