City doubles down on fencing at Albion Falls

News Jul 11, 2017 by Gord Bowes Hamilton Mountain News

New fencing to nearly seal off access to Albion Falls is expected to be completed this week.

The city is spending about $50,000 for new chain-link fencing at street level around the popular east Mountain natural site to keep people out of the gorge, the site of two deaths and numerous rescue calls over the past year.

The fence will be six feet high, said Kara Bunn, the city’s manager of parks and cemeteries, except where there is existing guardrail. In those sections it will be eight feet.

Once it is up, brush will also be used to bolster the fencing in sections where the city finds breaches — either by people climbing over or by cutting through the fence.

“We’ll see what happens and we’ll respond to it,” said Bunn. “It’s a work in progress right now.”

A permanent fence was erected last week on the north side of the gorge from Mountain Brow Boulevard to the upper parking lot.

The waterway on the south side from the bridge to the top of the falls is being fenced off this week along with the bridge to the decommissioned staircase. The fence will continue from the staircase south to a point along the Bruce Trail where the embankment is too steep for an easy trip into the gorge.

The city is trying to keep people from venturing close to the falls and steering them to lookout platforms located on the north side.

Two people have died — one last month and one last summer — and numerous rescues have been performed over the last year at Albion Falls as more and more tourists flock to the area.

On Sunday, a woman had to be carried out of the gorge after suffering a leg injury.

Last Friday afternoon, firefighters were called to the gorge after a report of someone calling for help from a trail. The person walked out under their own power once they arrived.

In a report to city council’s emergency services committee in January, Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe said the majority of rescues are of Hamilton residents.

Further fencing may be added before the end of summer along the Bruce Trail, which runs parallel to Mud Street, at a point where people have been entering to reach the east side of the gorge. That side is higher than the falls and many people stand next to the edge, or sit on small outcrops, despite the sheer rock face.

The parks department is awaiting approval and funding for the fence, said Bunn.

Signs warning hikers there is no access and no exit will be put up at the bottom of the gorge for anyone who comes up the Red Hill Valley to reach Albion Falls. Signs will also be erected at the start of paths leading up toward the falls.

“That way nobody comes in there and tries to make their way up and finds they are trapped,” said Bunn.

The gorge will not be fenced off at the bottom, she said.

“We’re going to have to rely on signage down there, unfortunately,” she said. “We can’t put a lot of fencing down there because of potential flooding problems.”

No trespassing signs may be going up — and possibly bylaw enforcement — but that will depend on a decision from council.

Coun. Tom Jackson said he will be bringing up the matter at this week’s public works committee meeting.

Last weekend, bylaw officers issued 163 parking tickets around Hamilton’s various waterfalls, said a city spokeswoman.

City doubles down on fencing at Albion Falls

Access to gorge will be nearly cut off out of safety fears

News Jul 11, 2017 by Gord Bowes Hamilton Mountain News

New fencing to nearly seal off access to Albion Falls is expected to be completed this week.

The city is spending about $50,000 for new chain-link fencing at street level around the popular east Mountain natural site to keep people out of the gorge, the site of two deaths and numerous rescue calls over the past year.

The fence will be six feet high, said Kara Bunn, the city’s manager of parks and cemeteries, except where there is existing guardrail. In those sections it will be eight feet.

Once it is up, brush will also be used to bolster the fencing in sections where the city finds breaches — either by people climbing over or by cutting through the fence.

Related Content

“We’ll see what happens and we’ll respond to it,” said Bunn. “It’s a work in progress right now.”

A permanent fence was erected last week on the north side of the gorge from Mountain Brow Boulevard to the upper parking lot.

The waterway on the south side from the bridge to the top of the falls is being fenced off this week along with the bridge to the decommissioned staircase. The fence will continue from the staircase south to a point along the Bruce Trail where the embankment is too steep for an easy trip into the gorge.

The city is trying to keep people from venturing close to the falls and steering them to lookout platforms located on the north side.

Two people have died — one last month and one last summer — and numerous rescues have been performed over the last year at Albion Falls as more and more tourists flock to the area.

On Sunday, a woman had to be carried out of the gorge after suffering a leg injury.

Last Friday afternoon, firefighters were called to the gorge after a report of someone calling for help from a trail. The person walked out under their own power once they arrived.

In a report to city council’s emergency services committee in January, Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe said the majority of rescues are of Hamilton residents.

Further fencing may be added before the end of summer along the Bruce Trail, which runs parallel to Mud Street, at a point where people have been entering to reach the east side of the gorge. That side is higher than the falls and many people stand next to the edge, or sit on small outcrops, despite the sheer rock face.

The parks department is awaiting approval and funding for the fence, said Bunn.

Signs warning hikers there is no access and no exit will be put up at the bottom of the gorge for anyone who comes up the Red Hill Valley to reach Albion Falls. Signs will also be erected at the start of paths leading up toward the falls.

“That way nobody comes in there and tries to make their way up and finds they are trapped,” said Bunn.

The gorge will not be fenced off at the bottom, she said.

“We’re going to have to rely on signage down there, unfortunately,” she said. “We can’t put a lot of fencing down there because of potential flooding problems.”

No trespassing signs may be going up — and possibly bylaw enforcement — but that will depend on a decision from council.

Coun. Tom Jackson said he will be bringing up the matter at this week’s public works committee meeting.

Last weekend, bylaw officers issued 163 parking tickets around Hamilton’s various waterfalls, said a city spokeswoman.

City doubles down on fencing at Albion Falls

Access to gorge will be nearly cut off out of safety fears

News Jul 11, 2017 by Gord Bowes Hamilton Mountain News

New fencing to nearly seal off access to Albion Falls is expected to be completed this week.

The city is spending about $50,000 for new chain-link fencing at street level around the popular east Mountain natural site to keep people out of the gorge, the site of two deaths and numerous rescue calls over the past year.

The fence will be six feet high, said Kara Bunn, the city’s manager of parks and cemeteries, except where there is existing guardrail. In those sections it will be eight feet.

Once it is up, brush will also be used to bolster the fencing in sections where the city finds breaches — either by people climbing over or by cutting through the fence.

Related Content

“We’ll see what happens and we’ll respond to it,” said Bunn. “It’s a work in progress right now.”

A permanent fence was erected last week on the north side of the gorge from Mountain Brow Boulevard to the upper parking lot.

The waterway on the south side from the bridge to the top of the falls is being fenced off this week along with the bridge to the decommissioned staircase. The fence will continue from the staircase south to a point along the Bruce Trail where the embankment is too steep for an easy trip into the gorge.

The city is trying to keep people from venturing close to the falls and steering them to lookout platforms located on the north side.

Two people have died — one last month and one last summer — and numerous rescues have been performed over the last year at Albion Falls as more and more tourists flock to the area.

On Sunday, a woman had to be carried out of the gorge after suffering a leg injury.

Last Friday afternoon, firefighters were called to the gorge after a report of someone calling for help from a trail. The person walked out under their own power once they arrived.

In a report to city council’s emergency services committee in January, Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe said the majority of rescues are of Hamilton residents.

Further fencing may be added before the end of summer along the Bruce Trail, which runs parallel to Mud Street, at a point where people have been entering to reach the east side of the gorge. That side is higher than the falls and many people stand next to the edge, or sit on small outcrops, despite the sheer rock face.

The parks department is awaiting approval and funding for the fence, said Bunn.

Signs warning hikers there is no access and no exit will be put up at the bottom of the gorge for anyone who comes up the Red Hill Valley to reach Albion Falls. Signs will also be erected at the start of paths leading up toward the falls.

“That way nobody comes in there and tries to make their way up and finds they are trapped,” said Bunn.

The gorge will not be fenced off at the bottom, she said.

“We’re going to have to rely on signage down there, unfortunately,” she said. “We can’t put a lot of fencing down there because of potential flooding problems.”

No trespassing signs may be going up — and possibly bylaw enforcement — but that will depend on a decision from council.

Coun. Tom Jackson said he will be bringing up the matter at this week’s public works committee meeting.

Last weekend, bylaw officers issued 163 parking tickets around Hamilton’s various waterfalls, said a city spokeswoman.