For half a century, the Red Hill Valley Parkway in Hamilton, Ontario, has had its share of controversy. In 1956, infrastructure managers conceived the expressway project, and the transportation corridor became part of the city's official plan.

However, over the course of the next few decades, the project was snarled by funding gaps, environmental activists looking to protect natural habitats, and Native Americans concerned about the effect construction would have on tribal lands.

In 2004, the city signed a comprehensive agreement that brought together and addressed all of these concerns, including joint stewardship of the Red Hill Valley ecology, cultural preservation, and creating economic opportunities in the region. The project was completed this year. Elements of the project include:

  • Parkway: design of the 26-mile, four-lane was modified to save asphalt and reduce impact to a nearby nature preserve
  • Creek realignment: At 23 miles, this is the longest channel relocation/restoration in an urban setting in the continent
  • Stormwater management: This component includes 23 stormwater management facilities, 100-year flood protection, and zero net impact on receiving waters
  • Combined sewer overflow pipe: This reduces the number of discharges from as many as 27 per year to as few as one
  • Landscape management: The plan will plant up to 1 million trees to replace the 15,000 lost in construction
  • Trails and parks
  • Queen Elizabeth Way pedestrian crossing

In total, the parkway project cost $439 million dollars.

For more information on the city and the project, visit


Session: The Red Hill Valley Project: More Than a Road

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2:30 to 3:30 PM
Gerry Davis, CMA,
Senior director of capital planning and implementation,
Public Works Department, Hamilton, Ontario