Beach Boulevard (Hamilton, Ontario)

Beach Boulevard (Hamilton, Ontario)

Beach Boulevard is a Lower city street in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, north of the Hamilton Harbour on a thin piece of land that crosses over Lake Ontario and stretches from "Confederation Park" in the east to the Lift Bridge in the west at Eastport Drive. It runs parallel with the QEW and the Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway Bridge.

Note: At Confederation Park area the road changes its name to "Van Wagners Beach Road".


The first aboriginals to settle in the Hamilton area called the bay "Macassa", meaning "beautiful waters".cite book|title=Footsteps In Time: Exploring Hamilton's heritage neighbourhoods|first=Bill |last=Manson |publisher=North Shore Publishing Inc|year=2003|isbn=1-896899-22-6] It was not until bridges were built, the marshes drained and a canal cut through the bar that Hamilton started to expand. Before that its chief importance was as a military station, guarding Burlington Heights and the head of the lake.cite book|title=The HAMILTON CENTENNIAL 1846-1946: One Hundred Years of Progress|first=Alexander H. |last=Wingfield |publisher=Hamilton Centennial Committee|year=1946]

The shores of Lake Ontario are right at the doorstep of residents for sailing, swimming, jogging or cycling. Many Hamilton citizens had their summer cottages there. The spot is about eight miles from the city and was reached by Steam or electric street cars or by boat. On May 24, 1877, the first "Beach Train" rolled along the strip, the "Hamilton and North-Western Railway". Electrical Radial service began in 1905. After that, the Hamilton & North-Western Railway stopped carrying passengers along the beach strip. But it carried freight until the line was abandoned in 1982.cite book|title=Saga of a City|first=Milton |last=Watson|publisher=The Hamilton Spectator|year=1938]

In 1903 a Mr.Knapman formed the "Canadian Amusement Company" and opened up an Amusement park, (1903-1978), on Burlington Beach, which today is known as Hamilton Beach. It featured boats, boathouses, swings & slides, snack bars and a fun house named the "Crazy House". Shortly thereafter carrousels and a ferris wheel were added and by the 1950s a small roller coaster and pony rides were included in the parks' inventory.cite web| last = Forjanfor| first = Janet| title = Closed Canadian Parks: Burlington Beach (1903-1978)| url=| accessdate = 2008-09-13] Roller skaters and dancers whirled across open-air, wooden dance floor. The dance floor became the foundation for the "Pier Ballroom". Sunday-evening talent contests were popular and famous artists - Ozzie Nelson, the Clooney Sisters and Duke Ellington played there. In 1978 the City of Hamilton did not renew the Canal Amusement Park lease. One by one, the rides and attractions were sold.

Just north of Beach Boulevard on "Lakeshore Road" can be found the historic lighthouse and the "Joseph Brant Museum", a replica of the home of Joseph Brant (the Great Aboriginal War Chief of the Mohawk Nation and the first citizen of Burlington).cite book|title=Dictionary of Hamilton Biography (Vol I, 1791-1875)|first=Thomas Melville |last=Bailey|publisher=W.L. Griffin Ltd|pg=143|year=1981]

The Beach Strip is a 4-mile, (quarter mile wide), strip that stretches from "Spencer Smith Park" in Burlington to "Confederation Park" in Hamilton. This strip of land was known to the aboriginal people in the area as "Daonasedao", which translates to "where the sand forms a bar".cite web| last = Bryden| first = Rebecca| title = A History of Hamilton Beach| url=| accessdate = 2008-09-13] Thousands of years ago, the beach was formed as a baymouth barrier bar from sand deposited by waves breaking in deep water offshore. As the process continued, a dune gradually developed and eventually a continuous strip of sand was formed, creating an embayment separated from Lake Ontario. Since then, the area has been altered considerably by fill used for construction of the Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway, the Queen Elizabeth Way and the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. Hamilton's deep sea port is accessed by ship canal through the beach strip into the harbour and is traversed by two bridges, the QEW's Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway and the lower Canal Lift Bridge.cite web| title = Burlington Bay/ Beach strip, Hamilton harbour, Skyway Bridge| url=| accessdate = 2008-09-17 (Requires navigation to relevant articles.)]

While the township of Saltfleet and the City of Hamilton helped develop the Beach Strip in the 1800s, the community retained a certain practical independence from both. In 1907, the provincial government recognized its distinctive character by creating a special form of government to address local concerns. For the next 50 years, an appointed Beach Commission established and enforced local by-laws, collected taxes, and supervised the community's own police force. In 1957 the City of Hamilton succcessfully annexed the Beach Strip, south of the canal, arguing that the City could more efficiently look after the area. In 1964, the City of Burlington took over the administration of the section north of the canal. Beach residents nevertheless retained their strong sense of independence. During the late 1960s and 1970s they organized various groups, such as the "Hamilton Beach Preservation Committee", to protect the distinctive interests of their community.cite web| title = City of Hamilton: Hamilton Beach Preservation Committee (| url=| accessdate = 2008-09-17]

Following a disastrous flooding in 1973, the City of Hamilton proposed to assist residents by buying their homes, as part of a long-term plan to tear the houses down and transform the residential area into a lakeside park. While some residents sold their homes, many others refused. They forced Hamilton politicians to revise their long term plans for the area.cite web| title = City of Hamilton: Hamilton Beach Preservation Committee (| url=| accessdate = 2008-09-17]

Waterfront trail

The Trail in Hamilton splits into two sections: "The Hamilton Waterfront Trail" (west) and "the Hamilton Recreation Beach Trail" (east). Both Trails are largely off-road, 6 metres wide, paved asphalt. Both trails provide a smooth, wide surface for all users, especially bladers.cite web| title = Waterfront Trail: Profiles (|url=| accessdate = 2008-09-17]

The Hamilton Beach Recreation Trail follows the Lake Ontario shoreline for about 8 kilometres taking people from Burlington under the Lift Bridge to the thriving Hamilton Beach community and Confederation Park and into Stoney Creek. There is a new way to cross the very busy Eastport Drive/Beach Blvd.-take the path that goes under the bridge rather than crossing the road.

Dieppe Veterans' Memorial Park

The Dieppe Veterans' Memorial Park is dedicated by the City of Hamilton to the young men of Hamilton and surrounding communities who died on the stormy beaches of the Port Dieppe, France, on 19 August, 1942. A total of 913 Canadian sailors, soldiers and airmen were killed during this raid. The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment) lost 197 soldiers durring this battle. Their names appear here along with other Hamiltonians who died while serving with other Canadian units in Dieppe.cite web| title = Dieppe Veterans' Memorial Park (|url=| accessdate = 2008-09-17]

Skyway Bridge

The Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway, originally called the "Burlington Bay Skyway", is a pair of high-level freeway bridges located in Hamilton and Burlington, Ontario, Canada. The Skyway, as it locally known, is part of the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway linking Fort Erie with Toronto. The first bridge was completed in 1958 and officially opened 30 October, 1958cite web| title=Fast Facts from Hamilton's Past| url=| accessdate=2008-09-17] , crossing the narrow bar separating Burlington Bay from Lake Ontario. This allows for Great Lakes ship traffic to flow underneath while four lanes of Golden Horseshoe road traffic may flow on top of it, neither disturbing the other. The bridge was designed by John Turner Bell. The bridge had tolls when constructed, but these were removed 28 December, 1973 after they were found to heavily impede traffic flow. Truck drivers in particular had refused to take the tolled bridge since they were not only charged the full toll, but it also took them extra fuel to ascend the Skyway. With the lifting of tolls on the bridge, trucks were then banned from using Beach Boulevard.


"Note: Listing of Landmarks from West to East."
* Canada Centre for Inland Waters
* Waterfront Trail (runs parallel with Beach Road, north side)
* Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway Bridge
* Burlington Bay Canal (completed in 1832)
* Burlington Canal Lift Bridge (Eastport Drive)
* Lighthouse
** Original site of the Canal Amusement Park
* Sunrise Art Gallery
* Dieppe Veteran's Memorial Park
* Burlington Beach
* Beach Boulevard Park 1
* Ontario Correctional Services College (Bell Cairn Campus)
* Bell Cairn (school bell), original site of the Beach Bangalow & Bell Cairn Schools
* Kinsman Playground (park)
* Beach Motor Inn (motel)
* Branthaven Homes, lakefront townhomes (Old site of "Dynes Tavern")
* Skyway Park
* Van Wagner's Beach beside Lakeland Community Centre
* Pebbles on the Beach (statue)
* Lakeland Bistro
** Lakeland Go-Karts
** Lakeland Pool
* Beach's Grill & Patio (summertime)
* Hutch's Restaurant
* Baranga's on the Beach (Beach Bar Restaurant)
* Adventure Village
* Confederation Park
** Wild Waterworks (largest outdoor wave pool in world)
** Confederation Park campground (seasonal)


"Note: Only one neighbourhood on this thin stretch of land that crosses over Lake Ontario." cite web| title = Hamilton Neighbourhood Boundaries, (| url=| accessdate = 2008-09-13]
*Hamilton Beach

Major roads that cross Beach Boulevard

* Eastport Drive, runs parallel with Beach Boulevard most of the way, then crosses over at the northern end.
* Most other roads that cross over the Boulevard are side streets.
* Nash Road North
* Centennial Parkway, at this point Beach Boulevard changes name to "Van Wagners Beach Road."

Roads that are parallel with Beach Boulevard

"Note: Listing of streets from North to South."
* Waterfront Trail
* Beach Boulevard
* QEW Expressway/ Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway Bridge
* Eastport Drive
* Eastport Boulevard



*MapArt Golden Horseshoe Atlas - Page 637, 638 - Grids A16, A17, B17, B18, C18, C19, D19, D20

External links

* [ Bay Area Restoration Council (]
* [ Beach Canal Lighthouse Group]
* [ Closed Canadian Parks: Burlington Beach]
* [ Confederation Park/ Wild Waterworks (]
* [,+hamilton&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=24.641847,78.75&ie=UTF8&ll=43.287203,-79.784431&spn=0.054231,0.153809&z=13&iwloc=addr Google Maps: Beach Boulevard (Hybrid)]
* [ Hamilton Beach Community Forum]
* [ Hamilton Conservation Authority]
* [ Hamilton Port Days Festival(]
* [ Hamilton Waterfront Trust (]
* [ Sunrise Gallary (]
* [ Tourism Hamilton (]
* [ Vintage Post Cards of Hamilton, Ontario (Hamilton Beach)]

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