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Old July 16th, 2019, 07:27 PM   #1541
Why-Why
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Thanks, Silvia, George, and Roman for your kind comments.

Thanks for visiting my Norway album, Roman. I've been tempted to add new threads to Urban Showcase, but in the end I find it sufficiently demanding to keep my Dundas thread on track and have decided that I don't need to overcomplicate things at my advanced stage of life.

To continue where we left off ...

King Street East and West, Dundas 1: Olympic Drive to East Street (continued)

KSE039 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Here’s a reverse angle shot from the west (Dundas) end of the Desjardins Canal looking east.
King Street East runs parallel to the bank on the left.


KSE040 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Here at the west end of the Canal, there’s a butterfly garden.


KSD081 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The terrain here is a jungle of plants and weeds favoured by butterflies.


KSD080 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Stick around long enough here, and you can be almost sure that a monarch will alight photogenically on a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).


KSD086 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Occasionally you’ll meet a fellow stroller on one of the overgrown gravel paths.


KSE023 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

We’re now back on King East, which still lacks a sidewalk until you get beyond that puddle.
The wiggly lines on the yellow sign indicates that the Canal often overspills the road after heavy rain.


KSD116 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

On the north side of King Street are some important, if unromantic, Dundas institutions.
There’s the waste water treatment plant (i.e., sewage works), a Little League baseball complex ...
... and one of the town’s main school bus depots.
It may seem incredible that a town as small as Dundas needs so many school buses.
But thanks to Canadians’ dependence on the car, our smaller settlements are typically sprawling and have poor or no public transit.
As we have seen, their outlying areas often have no sidewalks, making the streets dangerous for pedestrians.
So all those school buses reduce the number of car journeys and make life a bit safer for kids.


KSE044 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Before King East turns suburban, there’s another, unexpected Dundas institution.
It’s the clubhouse of the Hamilton Air Force Association, at this location since 1959.
(Dundas doesn’t even have an airport ... there’s no room for one in the Valley.)


KSD090 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

On permanent display outside is a Canadair CT-133 Silver Star, the Canadian version of the Lockheed T-33 jet trainer.
It seems to yearn to join the swallows swooping over the Canal.

(To be continued)

Please check out my new Flickr albums, Norway: From Oslo to Lofoten Islands, and Sweden 2019 covering Malmö and Uppsala.
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Old July 16th, 2019, 09:28 PM   #1542
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Great, very nice updates once again
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Old July 16th, 2019, 11:22 PM   #1543
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Yellow school buses; such an American icon.

Fabulous butterfly photo.
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Old July 17th, 2019, 08:36 AM   #1544
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Again enjoyed your update very much, Nick!

Phantastic butterfly shot - the pattern of his wings reminds me of stained glass...

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KSD080 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr
Lovely shot, made me smile...
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KSD086 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr
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Old July 17th, 2019, 08:55 AM   #1545
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At first glance, you think: "oh, such a nice nature photo", but then you notice the signs of civilization in the background... Great set, as always!

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Old July 18th, 2019, 06:55 PM   #1546
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Two really fantastic updates, Nick!
That closeness of nature with urban life seems fascinating to me.
Your Norwegian album on Flickr is wonderful. I loved the sculptures, sunsets, mountains and waterfalls. in short, everything.
Thank you very much also for your explanations; Always very interesting.
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Old July 22nd, 2019, 10:55 PM   #1547
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Thanks for your kind comments, christos, Jane, Silvia, George, and Roberto!

Yes, Jane, yellow school buses are iconic, and here we tend to forget how eloquently they speak of the New World to the Old.

You're right, George: "civilization" (e.g., transmission towers, McMansions) is never far from intruding on nature in Dundas.

Thanks for looking at my Norway album, Roberto. It's such a photogenic country that even I couldn't go too far wrong.

And now we visit a not-very-photogenic section of King Street, but one close to my heart ...


King Street East and West, Dundas 2: East Street to York Road


KSD095 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The next section of King Street East that we’ll be visiting is only 500 metres long.
It starts at East Street, once the eastern boundary of Dundas, which crosses King at these stop signs.
And it finishes at York Road, a remnant of an old road to Toronto. (York was Toronto’s former name.)
Now King becomes suburban, with mainly businesses on its south side and mainly dwellings on its north.
There’s nothing very remarkable about this block, though as I’ll explain, it has a special meaning for me.
I suppose the brick building on the far left could be considered interesting ...


KSE048 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

... as it’s the back of one of the few stores in the Hamilton area specializing in newly legalized cannabis products.
It used to be an LCBO, i.e., a government-run liquor store ...
... but now Dundas has to go almost to Hamilton to buy wine, whisky, and most craft beers.


KSD103 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A King East business at the junction with Thorpe Street specializes in death.
It’s a funeral parlour with a cool local reputation.
You can order an ecologically-sound metal- and formaldehyde-free poplar casket for a very reasonable price.
They’ll even arrange a suitable funeral for your beloved pet.
That chimney to the right recalls the time when Dundas was an industrial powerhouse.
This area is very close to the former turning basin of the Desjardins Canal, where small factories first congregated.


KSE047 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

On the north side of the street, a lovely catalpa tree marks the start of residential King East.


KSE053 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

I think we can assume that serious reconstruction is about to happen on this King East lot.
These days, post-industrial Dundas is a very desirable place to live, and infill is the name of the game.
That’s because the scope for further urban sprawl is limited by the shape of the Dundas Valley.


KSE201 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Once upon a time, in the middle of this section of King Street East, stood the building above.
It was deeply set back from the street and on a slight rise as if on a pedestal.
Built in the 1860s, it was made of brick that had later been painted white, and it resembled a Tuscan villa.
The blossom at right was that of a mature cherry tree, which gave yellow fruit.
The villa had a wide lawn at front and a U-shaped driveway that led dramatically up to it.
If this driveway had the lightest dusting of snow, the mailman refused to deliver.
I know all this because more than forty years ago my wife and I rented the upper floor.
There was another couple downstairs, and I seem to remember that a single person lived in the basement,.
My wife and I were married in this villa, and we might even have had our first child there ...
... except the owner was a property developer who planned to tear it and the stone cottage next door down ...
... and build a high-rise apartment block on the site.


KSE059 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The stone cottage (at right above) dated from the 1840s and was also rented out.
According to Raise the Hammer, the front of the stone cottage was “built largely of blocks of Kingston limestone, presumably brought in through the [Desjardins] canal as ship ballast.”
(Kingston limestone “is a fine-grained, hard, pure white limestone, of Ordovician age.“)
In spite of posters, protests, and petitions, tenants of the two old houses were handed eviction notices.
Advanced pregnancy made my wife and I unwilling to defy the bulldozers.
So we moved out just before the villa was torn down.
However, the developer had neglected to apply for a demolition permit ...
... so for many years the villa plot lay empty and forlorn.


KSE054 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Praise be, the old stone cottage was saved!
This was thanks to a citizen activist who, calling the developer’s bluff, put her money where her mouth was.
“Desjardins Cottage” still stands, now shyly veiled by masses of vegetation.
Its survival meant there was no room for a high-rise on the available space.
Eventually some inoffensive low-rise condos were built on the site of the villa.
Back in the day, Dundas’s future development was determined at our historic Town Hall.
These days the town’s fate resides in the distant hands of Hamilton City Hall.
Can Dundas now protect its remarkable heritage better than it used to?
I’d like to think so ....


KSD114 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Where King Street East meets Cootes Drive stands this undistinguished strip mall.
What is apparently a stone wall in the foreground is more interesting than the stores occupying the strip ...


KSD115 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

... as it is actually one bank of a deep channel for a tributary of Dundas’s main waterway, Spencer Creek.
Dundas is riddled with small creeks, most of which begin on top of the towering Escarpment that enfolds the town.
After heavy rainfall, this channel, holding Sydenham Creek, turns into a raging torrent.
The steel grid at the far end marks where the Creek’s culvert under Cootes Drive begins.
But as the climate gets more extreme, such a drainage arrangement becomes increasingly unsatisfactory.
During unprecedented precipitation in April 2017, the grid became blocked by debris swept downhill by the Creek.
The Creek then overflowed the channel, and basements in the area filled with water two metres deep.


KSD111 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Now, beyond York Road, King Street East starts to look like a proper urban main street.
We’ll head into downtown Dundas in the next installment.

Please check out my new Flickr album, Sweden 2019, covering Malmö, rural Skåne, and Uppsala.

Last edited by Why-Why; July 23rd, 2019 at 05:27 PM.
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Old July 23rd, 2019, 10:07 AM   #1548
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Very interesting story about the villa on the King Street East.
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Old July 23rd, 2019, 01:22 PM   #1549
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Yeah, interesting background info. Nice post Why-Why.
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Old July 24th, 2019, 03:59 AM   #1550
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Very interesting as usual!
Thank you for sharing those moments with us, Nick!
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Old July 29th, 2019, 10:07 PM   #1551
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Thanks for your responses, George, skymantle, and Roberto.

I'm afraid that urban Dundas isn't as photogenic as rural Dundas ...
... but this series counts as a belated homage to my adopted home town (warts and all).

King Street East and West, Dundas 3: York Road to Main Street


KSE080 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The next section of King Street we’ll visit is only 350 m long.
It stretches from Cootes Drive, the divided highway that connects Dundas to west Hamilton ...
... to Main Street, where King East becomes King West.
This is the view looking west, with the thickly wooded Niagara Escarpment closing off the horizon.


KSE079 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A zoom-in suggests just how choked with traffic downtown King Street is.


KSE060 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

On the corner of King East and York Street (the southern end of York Road) is a physical therapy clinic.
It occupies the oldest documented building in Dundas, a stone house built in 1833.
(Dundas boasts several older buildings, but none whose date can be precisely verified.)


KSE074 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

This single block is Dundas’s equivalent of an inner city, in ways both good and bad.
There’s an interesting array of stores of the kind often found in lower-rent areas ...
... a charity shop, a used clothing consignment store, a computer repair outfit, a tattoo parlour, a used bookstore ...


KSE066 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

... and an old-fashioned music store specializing in vinyl albums: Van Morrison, Jethro Tull, David Bowie ...
... now that’s what I call music!


KSE065 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Businesses round here appear and disappear like spring snow.
A pity these folks couldn’t get their burrito act together for more than a few months.
They’re gone already!


KSE067 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

No idea why this mounted cop was sashaying down the south sidewalk, but he and his steed certainly attracted attention.


KSE070 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

There are also some off-beat establishments, religious or New Agey ...


KSE073 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

At the corner of Cross Street, a former shoe store is undergoing an elaborate makeover ...
... to turn it into a wheelchair-accessible beauty parlour ... sorry, aesthetician.


IMG_1627 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

There’s almost continuous construction going on in this area to try to make the various junctions safer.
Dundas has a high proportion of elderly residents who cross King Street slowly.
Traffic is continuous and drivers are distracted, as they hunt for a parking meter while texting their friends.
Incredibly, even the largest trucks are allowed through the centre of town.
The result can sometimes be fatal for pedestrians.
Really, the only way to solve the traffic problem on King Street would be to pedestrianize it.
It could be done, and it is done during festivals, but the automobile still rules here in small-town North America.

[To be continued]
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Old July 30th, 2019, 12:23 AM   #1552
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Some classic album covers in that store....I've been in a Van Morrison phase, myself, the last few days......I love to listen to music in my car.
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Old July 30th, 2019, 12:47 PM   #1553
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Cool commentary Why-Why...made me laugh. Like your shots too, 'very real'.
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Old July 31st, 2019, 02:55 AM   #1554
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A very lively city full of activity. Too bad the "burritos" don't exist anymore. Maybe they weren't very good.
Thanks for the always enjoyable and interesting explanations, Nick!
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Old August 6th, 2019, 09:22 AM   #1555
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Fascinating updates, Nick!
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Old August 7th, 2019, 05:55 PM   #1556
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Thanks for the feedback, Jane, skymantle, Roberto, and Silvia.

Early Van was great, Jane. "Madame George" was my favourite.
I suspect that you're right about the burritos, Roberto. The decor could have used a touch-up too.

And now we continue along King into downtown. As I've covered this area before, I'll try to find some new details ...

King Street East and West, Dundas 4: Main Street to Market Street

It’s 750 m, a ten-minute stroll, up King from Main to Market.

KSW163 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

On the corner of King and Main is one of Dundas’s popular watering holes.
Here we see Main heading southeast towards the old Town Hall.
King East becomes King West at Main, and downtown goes upmarket.


KSW103 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The upper floors of the Laing Apartments (1882).


KSW018 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothier.


KSW160 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

This fine foodery has occupied the same location since 1915.


KSW116 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A tiny electric car dreams of being plugged into a European vacation just for two.


KSW151 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A mural hidden in a downtown alley waxes nostalgic about Dundas’s railway past.


KSW017 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The heart of downtown.


KSW134 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The old post office shows off its rustication.


KSW142 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Looking eastward: thanks to the zoom lens, downtown Hamilton seems far closer than it is.
The zoom also emphasizes King’s continuous downward slope away from the Escarpment.


KSW161 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Another hidden mural celebrates a century of life on King Street ...


KSW157 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

.... to find it, look for the alley with a roof and a wavy path bordered by astroturf.


KSW150 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Our local, offering bangers and mash, a side of mushy peas, and sixteen kinds of draught beer.


KSW003 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

We’re now on the edge of downtown looking west toward the Market Street traffic lights.
Thereafter a much quieter King curves further to the right as it heads for the hills.

[To be concluded]

Last edited by Why-Why; August 7th, 2019 at 08:11 PM.
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Old August 7th, 2019, 07:23 PM   #1557
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Some very good street shots with information.
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Old August 7th, 2019, 07:35 PM   #1558
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Dundas is gorgeous!
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Old August 8th, 2019, 03:33 AM   #1559
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Great update, Nick!
The street looks pretty good with many trees and flowers.
Clothing and food stores are very charming.
I really liked the murals.
Thank you!
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Old August 9th, 2019, 07:49 PM   #1560
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Superb street shots, Nick, and cute electric car.
Very good murals - I particularly love the locomotive.
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