Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Stroll Along Burlington Beach

Burlington Ontario sits on the western edge of Lake Ontario looking southwards to the Niagara area (both Canadian and American). The waters edge has in places sandy beaches and naturally the city had in times past promoted this area for visitors and locals. Burlington Beach is only about a seven minute drive from my home and for the past year or so I have been taking walks with a friend along the path or on the sandy beach itself. However, until recently the beach was not enjoyed as fully as it could have been due to the pollution in the lake.

Part of the pollution in our area comes from the steel mills that were the backbone of industry for the city of Hamilton.Constant infilling and channel dredging damaged fresh water streams and hurt the wildlife they supported, disrupting the ecological land balance. Chemical, industrial and thermal pollution continued to damage the environment particularly after 1890. Asian carp were also a concern.
Government has been working at cleaning up the lake for many years now and is succeeding.

The parking lot views. I don't know why I am showing you this but I guess it gives a sense of the place.
Ever since I have lived here you would hear at some point in late spring or early summer that the beach  is closed due to pollution levels and no swimming was permitted. This year was the first year I am aware of that this did not happen. And you could certainly see it with your own eyes as the beach was crowded all summer long with swimmers, picnickers, walkers, and sun worshipers.

At this time of year it is the devoted walker that is seen at the beach, sometimes in pairs or groups or on their own.

There are many openings from the paved path to the beach.

I don't know why the city, or whoever, decided to place the hydro towers along the beach. What made them think that this was a good idea? Obviously they were not thinking about beach attraction.

Looking at Burlington

Viburnum trilobum or Cranberry bush growing wild

 The is the Burlington Canal lift bridge (in orange with green towers) and the Skyway Bridge. While the Skyway is a nice bridge, and most people use it to cross the canal, the lift bridge is much more interesting. It takes cars and pedestrians and emits a fog horn sound when the bridge is going to rise up to accommodate any large boat, ship or tanker. If you like bridges, here is a link to the government site which has a nice article on the history of the Burlington Lift Bridge.

That is it for a cool day in December by the beach. You might want to sit here awhile and enjoy the view.