St. Thomas Elevated Park opens August 2017
This is the single most ambitious undertaking of On Track St. Thomas, the community development organization that assured the preservation of the CASO station and brought the rail-themed murals to downtown.
WHAT IS AN ELEVATED PARK?
Simply put, it’s a park in the sky, some 95 feet over the Kettle Creek valley.
Now that the double tracks are gone, the massive MCR bridge structure offers a massive space, 30 feet wide and 850 feet long, that is being redeveloped as a park with flower beds, trees, benches, public art and a trail for walking, running and biking. A great place to wander, sit, walk the dog, take photos, host art shows or busker festivals.
The logic of this vision is obvious. Along with the Elgin County Railway Museum and the restored CASO station, the MCR Kettle Creek Bridge is a prominent reminder of the city’s status as the Railway Capital of Canada. It is a signature attraction for rail aficionados nationally and internationally. As a public place it will be a high profile addition to local and regional trail systems and offer stunning views of the Kettle Creek valley in all directions.
The On Track vision for the MCR bridge goes much farther however. Through an international design competition, it is being developed into Canada’s first elevated park, joining similar structures such as the High Line in Manhattan and the Boulevard Plantée in Paris.
In short, it will be a major tourist attraction in its own right and a significant boost to the economic revival of St. Thomas as The Railway City.