Hamilton Gardens Allée – Grey St Trees

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The definition of an allée in the Collins English dictionary is: ‘a path in landscaped area that is bordered by trees’. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an allée as ‘a walkway lined with trees or tall shrubs’. In French an Allée was a ‘formal garden that was both a promenade and an extension of the view. It either ended in a terminal feature, such as a garden temple, or extended into apparent infinity at the horizon’.

Over a decade ago I met with the late Lois Livingston on Grey St to discuss the pedestrian/biking link from Grey St to Hamilton Gardens. The conversion quickly moved to the attractive berms and the lack of vision about the selection of trees that lined this over-width road. In 2015 this was flagged in the Hamilton East Neighbourhood Plan (p19) under Projects: “Grey Street Avenue of Trees • This project is about enhancing the connection between the Hamilton East Village and the Hamilton Gardens along Grey Street with a tree-lined corridor. Rows of flowering cherry trees will begin where the oak trees end, creating a visual and spatial gateway to the Hamilton Gardens.”

In 2015 this was a shovel-ready project. The above image tells us ‘The Council has a supply of relatively mature trees available’ and on page 30 the ‘Grey Street Avenue of trees’ is ‘funded’.
I am suggesting the trees should have already been planted. I am not proposing a name change for Grey St, but I do encourage people to imagine something more than an avenue of trees. Can this road become more of a promenade, with an extension of the view, ending at the gardens, and “extending into apparent infinity at the horizon”?

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