Federal government changes mind about Burlington Canal pier access

The federal government has backed off from installing metal gates to the Burlington Canal piers, at least for now.

An announcement was made at the end of 2020 that fencing would be installed close to the piers in order to restrict public access. 

And this announcement was met with a flurry of negative responses on social media from Hamilton and Burlington residents who enjoy adventuring down the piers during a walk in the area.

There were so many outraged pedestrians that the group Save Our Piers was created as well as a house of commons petition that now has almost 2,000 signatures. 

The gates were supposed to start being installed before the end of March. 

Hamilton MP Bob Bratina said at a virtual public meeting on Thursday that Transport Canada has agreed to pause the planned installation that would have blocked pedestrian access to 321 metres of concrete walkways around Lake Ontario. 

The federal government has promised not to build any obstructive structures until negotiations over how to safely manage the popular piers are resolved.

Originally, Transport Canada wanted to restrict access to the area where people enjoy watching boats enter the canal in Hamilton Harbour because of safety concerns spurred by a fall injury lawsuit from 2017. 

Lead image courtesy of Google Maps

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