Open Dawn to Dusk
The Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge has stood at the western edge of the city since 1929, a recognized engineering marvel of its day which at its peak carried over 40 trains each day. Today, it remains one of the most recognizable and iconic structures in Southwestern Ontario and On Track St. Thomas wants your help in saving it for future generations by converting it into Canada’s first elevated park.
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 the Trans Canada Trail and offer stunning views of the Kettle Creek valley in all directions.
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.