AN AMBITIOUS VISION to PUT ST. THOMAS ON THE MAP
The St. Thomas Elevated Park Project 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.
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 will be 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.
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 can be 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. How about wedding photos and grad photos? A unique venue for art shows or busker festivals.
Many decommissioned rail bridges have been put to use as walking and biking paths. This vision is bigger, and over the next several months we will be seeking your support to make this project truly unique and exciting.
A LEGACY FOR ST. THOMAS, ELGIN COUNTY & SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO
- Preserves an important part of our rail heritage and supports our role as The Railway City.
- A new and unique park for St. Thomas, providing leisure and recreation opportunities.
- A dramatic gateway entrance to the western approach to the city.
- Joins a small handful of elevated parks around the world; a first for Canada.
- A signature tourist attraction for the city and the entire region.
- A potent symbol of the transformation of the city’s economy.