Notes from a Byzantine-Rite Calvinist

11 May 2003

Our own Berlin Wall in Hamilton?

On friday I wrote:

It's difficult to imagine what it might be like to have one's own city bisected in such a way. I live in Hamilton, Ontario. Imagine a wall topped with barbed wire extending down the middle of, say, James Street, with the city's population forced to remain within their respective zones.

When I first moved to Hamilton in 1987 from exceedingly flat South Bend, Indiana, I tried to acclimate myself to my new surroundings by familiarizing myself with a map of the city. But something was puzzling me. All of the north-south streets seemed to come to an end at a meandering line running in a generally east-west direction. Why, I asked myself, did they not simply put these streets through so people could more easily travel from one part of the city to the next? Was there something like a Berlin Wall in Hamilton?

It didn't take me that long to figure out that this "meandering line" on the map was the Niagara Escarpment, a lengthy cliff-like geological phenemenon that runs from Niagara Falls all the way to the Bruce Peninsula on Lake Huron. It makes for an almost spectacular visual beauty in this part of the province--at least as compared to South Bend, Indiana.

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