sTREEts

Getting Street Trees where they are needed the most.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

First Impression of the Gibson Area

This year OPIRG McMaster will be targeting the Gibson area for the Street Tree Project! Heading out to the neighbourhood for the first time with the now experienced Street Tree Project Leader Randy Kay, we were able to assess the area more comprehensively than with Google maps.

Starting from Barton St. East, we made our way Northwards up Gibson Avenue. Our first reaction of the neighbourhood was how much potential it had to become greener. Plot sizes were generally decent, with a few that might be too small to have a tree planted there,but it was clear that the street could be made much more beautiful with an overhanging tree canopy. After talking to one of the neighbours, it seemed that because of the small plot sizes, most people would be more receptive towards smaller trees. Considering that the most popular requested tree has been the Amur Maple (growing up to 5-8 meters in height), this was not very surprising. 

Additionally, there were other neighbours who seemed to be interested in the idea of a free tree, but were unsure if their plot was large enough to host one. Other neighbours were interested in the idea of a free tree, but only if it was in their backyard, which is unfortunately not city property or part of the road allowance. Maybe the City would be able to partly compensate a property owner for trees on their private property… who knows, though this would be very complicated to into make a reality!

One of the things that caught my attention as we walked down Gibson Avenue was the not-so-distant sign of industrial manufacturing plants:


As we later walked down Sherman Avenue North towards the harbour, the thundering sound of what I presumed was steel clashing against something else in a rusting warehouse made it clear to us that we were no longer in a neighbourhood-friendly zone. 


Heading farther towards the harbour, we started to notice a metallic taste in our mouth, presumably due to U. S. Steel Canada and/or Dafasco. Hopefully if enough street trees are planted, this will change in the future!

Heading back, we stopped at 270 Sherman Avenue North to see what the hullabaloo was about regarding the arts facility. Stepping inside on the first floor, it did not seem like anything special. However, as we made our way up the stairs into the studio hallways, it was clear why people flocked to this arts centre when they host events. There were several photos of Hamilton’s industrial past and how it influenced the community that Hamilton is today. I would never have thought that such an old building could host such a vibrant Creative Arts Centre! 

270 Sherman Avenue - Hamilton Creative Arts Centre

Can’t wait to head back to the area after gathering up some volunteers and putting some trees on those streets! 

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