Monthly Archives: August 2017

Lakeside Park

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lakeside Park in Mississauga isn’t the one made famous by the Rush song of the same name, but it does have its own claim to fame.  Lakeside Park has a unique red shingle beach.  The area was originally known as Marigold’s Point and was settled beginning in 1808 by United Empire Loyalists, many of whom came from New Brunswick. The properties slowly switched from agricultural uses to industrial as Toronto Township was developed.  Early industry in the area included an oil refinery, cement company and a sewer pipe company.

IMG_0833

The Hamilton and Toronto Sewer Pipe Company built a factory in Clarkson in 1955 with the idea of operating a state of the art facility.  The press release claimed that the new building would accommodate every new advance in pipe technology, manufacturing and installation.  For the next 25 years, the facility would produce various sizes of baked clay pipes.  As with any manufacturing, there were often pieces that didn’t meet the company’s quality standards.  These pipes were piled up at the edge of the property along the shore of Lake Ontario.

IMG_0850

The pipes were buried and forgotten.  Slowly, the embankment has been eroding and the pipes are being exposed to the weather and water.  As they break up and fall into the lake they get tumbled by the waves until they become small rounded shingles.  They mix with shale from the lake bottom to form a shingle beach.  The tiles on the east end of the site are the least broken up and as you walk west along the shore they become smaller and more rounded.  This is due to the natural counter clockwise east to west rotation of the lake.  Water that flows over Niagara Falls supplies most of the water to Lake Ontario and it causes the currents in the lake.  The pipes that have been in the lake the longest end up slowly being pushed west along the beach and tumbled into smaller, more rounded pieces.  The former industrial uses for the land have manifested themselves as a unique beach with some unusual opportunities for wildlife habitat.  The pipe section shown below was likely made in 1979 and is slowly making its way toward to crashing of the waves.

IMG_0841

The shores of Lake Ontario are lined with shingle beaches that are formed when the lake throws broken shale onto the shoreline during times of heavy waves.  Just east of Lakeside Park is Rattray Marsh. This marsh only exists because a shingle beach keeps the land behind from draining completely.  Between Lakeside Park and Rattray Marsh is Bradley House Museum which makes an interesting place to visit because it showcases four historic buildings, three of which are designated as Heritage Houses.  One of these is a regency style cottage called The Anchorage, which is pictured below.  It stood near Lakeside Park from the 1830’s where it was home to a Commander John Skynner who had retired from the Royal Navy. It is said that when John retired to the home he wrote in his journal that he was now retired and the home would become his anchorage.  The Anchorage was moved to Bradley Museum in 1978.

IMG_0182

Lakeside Park boasts one of the most unique beaches in the GTA and is an interesting example of nature making something beautiful out of an industrial garbage dump.

Google Maps Link: Lakeside Park

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/hikingthegta

Follow us at http://www.hikingthegta.com

Tiffany Falls

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tiffany Falls is named after Doctor Oliver Tiffany who was the first medical doctor in an area that included Hamilton, Burlington, Ancaster, Guelph, and Galt.  Oliver was born in Massachusettes in 1763 and graduated from Philadelphia Medical College.  He came to Upper Canada in the 1790’s and settled in Ancaster in 1796.  There is a small paid parking lot on Wilson Street East where you can access both Tiffany Falls Trail and the Bruce Trail.  The main trail leads to the falls while a second one will take you to the remains of an old kiln.

IMG_0478

Doctor Tiffany was known to keep horses stabled around the countryside so that he could always have a fresh mount wherever he was in the case of an emergency.  For forty years he looked after the needs of the people in his vast community.  He kept a medical ledger where he recorded the services that he performed at each household. The doctor prescribed quinine for malaria and kept laudanum for pain.  The rest of his treatment tended to be naturopathic and compounded from things he grew in his herb garden.  His ledger records payment in the form of pumpkins or the mending of a pitchfork.  Four days worth of ploughing was given in exchange for the doctor’s services as well as whiskey, hay and oats.  Oliver Tiffany was so well loved that when he died on May 7th, 1835, the buggies of 600 people who attended the funeral made a historic traffic jam.  Tiffany Falls, as seen in the cover photo, is a ribbon falls 21 metres tall and 6 metres wide.  The various layers of the escarpment can be seen beside Tiffany Falls in the picture below.

IMG_0495

Across Wilson Street, The Bruce Trail continues to make its way toward Sherman Falls. The parking situation is poor at this second attraction and will possibly leave you with a ticket. Therefore, we suggest parking at Tiffany Falls and hiking to Sherman Falls.  The area around Ancaster was one of the earliest settled in Upper Canada and the land shows signs of many different uses over the years.  A set of old stairs leads up the side of the escarpment.

IMG_0501

Along the Bruce Trail between Tiffany Falls and Sherman Falls, there has been an extensive retaining wall installed.  The wall is made from local limestone blocks like many of the older buildings in Ancaster.

IMG_0509

Sherman Falls is 17 metres high and is classified as a terraced ribbon waterfall.  A ribbon waterfall is much taller than it is wide, in this case, only 8 metres.  Sherman Falls was featured as one of seven falls we visited on the coldest day in February 2016 in a post called Frozen Waterfalls of Ancaster.  This tributary of Ancaster Creek is spring fed and so the falls have a much more consistent flow of water than some of the other local ones. Sometimes known as Angel Falls or Fairy Falls it takes its name from Clifton Sherman who once owned the property and was the founder of Dominion Foundry and Steel Company (Dofasco).

IMG_0515

Google Maps Link:  Tiffany Falls

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/hikingthegta

Follow us at http://www.hikingthegta.com