Following are my formal comments to the Public Information Centre #1 February-27-18 i.e. the current Environmental Assessment and Design of the City of North Bay's West link Pathway being done by D.M. Wills.
I prefer to present this way because the the links become my bibliography that people can check on reading.
I have been and still am totally against using this Open Space/Park zoned area for the WEST LINK PATHWAY - I say this because I noticed that the "pedestrian walkway" area was the "do nothing" option at that Public Information Centre which could lead to that trail being used being used mainly for bicyclists as is.
Click for a pdf
This trail and area are very unique in many respects I hope the following will explain that:
this grass only grows on the foreshores of the Great Lakes and the North American Atlantic
and this clipping of a mat from the Ontario Crown Land Atlas.
If one side is Great Lakes Heritage Coast Signature Site then I believe that the other side is too especially if there area within site of each other.
here this grass is also found to the north of this pedestrian walkway all the way up to the crest of that steep face. That is very unusual because it normally is only found on foreshores and is propagted by the seed falling staight down with very little blown up. ( I witnessed this last fall by spreading some plastic.)
All of the drainage from the Upper Great Lake basin drained out over North Bay from 10,000 to 4,700 years ago -- at which point the rebounding land brought up a height of Land between lakes Trout and Nipissing redirecting this outflow to the Illinois and then the Niagara Rivers as shown in the following
There is only one way that this Marram grass could be up at the crest of these North Bay dune scarps because this plant stays on the foreshore but isostatic rebound would have consistently raised the land providing yet another new ground for yet another layer of this grass to colonize the newly exposed foreshore. The result was that the developing dune consistently grew out to a lower location armouring the scarp against the waves that hit that face with it's massive root system (often metres deep) rejecting erosion!
4,700 years ago was at this start point of the North Bay dune build up because of that blockage of that new watershed! From that point of time on longshore transport of (the blue colour) transformed drift material (the blue colour) from the extensive Sturgeon Delta (locally named "FLATS") to the shores of North Bay.
There simply isn't any other explanation for these dunes and beaches because that map shows that there are no deposits of anything like this on the hills north of North Bay.
this progressed as time went on until eventually (circa 2,500 years ago) it filled in the rest of the North Bay shoreline because now the rebound blocked those large waves by changing the outlet bay to what is now Lake Nipissing and left this historical Nipissing Great Lakes coast much the same now as it was then - i.e. the waves died down and much reduced longshore drift went down to maintaining the shores and beaches!
This is what it looks like now:
click for pdf
Here then is an unusual chance to study this phenomenon - it was missed in erudit's "Coastal Dunes of Ontario : distribution and geomorphology - Paul Martini! and every other report that I could find in 5 months of searching.
but over 100 kilometres from the current coast of Lake Huron
The biggest difference with the dunes in that report occurred when the southern shorelines of Lake Nipissing did appear and the North Bay dunes and beaches became frozen in time as the isostatic rebound no longer had any effect on Lake Nipissing because this area it was raised in total.
Since then a much reduced longshore transport from the same source did maintain the shoreline and beaches until 1984!
Following is a picture of steep (1:1 - 3:1) slopes) 4,000 to 2,500 year old Nipissing Great Lakes dune faces that being covered with Marram grass resisted being wiped out by the waves of the Nipissing Great Lakes waves!
Remanents of ancient Marram Grass still grow here but now in patches that are very threatened.
It is a crying shame to ruin this Area of Natural Science Interest simply to pave it and satisfy some bicyclists at the expense of many thousands of pedestrians that use this walkway every summer and hundreds that walk it in the winter too. By the way, I have proof of this statement stored on my hard drives.
I prepared this part about the Area of Natural Scientific Intersest because I will be sending this along with a bigger web page to " Ontario's Great Lakes Strategy " as well as sending it to you as a comment on this EA.
There is a way way to link up the Trans Canada Trail to the Gormanville Road Pathway using the south parking lane of Main Street
(There is a major problem with the mess that the 5 way intersection of Main, Murray, Oak and Memorial streets presents. And also a problem with commercial and institutional properties that exacerbates an already big problem)
this could be overcome using Railway Street to 10th Street (if the City left enough of the ROW when this gave property to the Apollo Club) and then connecting to the south parking lane of Main Street. From there to the Beer Store virtually all of the properties have to Jet Avenue and and most have parking facilities there too.
This is best looked at by zooming in on the pdf
this also allows for a direct connection to the downtown something which is amost impossible.
The best alternative is use the south portion of the OVR/CPR row from Memorial Drive to Nipissing St up it for 30m to Harriet St.(all of this would require very little grading a culvert and a connection to newly replaced storm sewer system (if isn't already connected - which I believe is the case) This would be very inexpensive (but I have no idea what the railway requires for this)
click for pdf
I know this area well having lived near here for 80 years and having a home at
121 Timmins Street since 1963. I wish to share some of that knowledge with you.
click for pdf
What I wanted to point out here is the dune's scarp and the slips on it but
mainly I want to show the 2 buildings here Mine on Timmins Street was a coal fired water pumping station and the other on Nipissing street was a coal fuelled Electricity generating plant. You will note that there are two railway lines one main and southern spurs put in to bring coal to the above plants - these still exist but the rails and ties are gone. I have pictures but know time to add them here. They are overgrown but not badly it expect the root roots can be extracted with light equipment.
Next is a copy of a 1958 MNR (1:1320) air photo
click for pdf
I kbelieve these annoted images are self explanatory but you don't have to take my word for it. I have images of the the stereo pair that are yours for the asking.
I am enclosing a copy OBM 1:20k -- these are from air photos from 1982
I believe they were given to participating municipalities so the City should have them. If not Wills headquarters close to MNR headquarters.
This area from Timmins Street is High Potential Cultural Heritage area already designated for stage 2 Archaeology Assessment if any cutting, or paving is to be undertaken because this is an area where the Village of the Nipissing existed in Champlain's visit. It also hosts the end of the portage between Trout Lake and Lake Nipissing that goes back to 4,700 years ago when a height of land came up between these lakes and the drainage of the upper Great Lakes switched to southern outlets. Between 11,000 and 4,700 years ago a major source of glacio-fluvial material accumulated in the Sturgeon Flats and the post glacial drainage of the time formed a natural conveyor belt bringing material from there to where North Bay is now a Nipissing Great Lakes dune complex.
A natural trail with stone dust covering some of it already has a designated "pedestrian walkway" running through it (in the mid 1980s and confirmed in 2016
This path runs along the toe of a 5m bluff that is the last remnant of of the 4,700 to 2,500 year old Nipissing Great Lakes wave cut dune - the reason that this srructure of glacio-fluvial material withstood the waves generated by this ancient large waterbody is because of Marram Grass growing on it.
click for pdf
Thanks for your attention
121 Timmins Street
North Bay, ON, P1B 4K2