What is an elevated park? Simply put, it’s a park in the sky, some 95 feet over the Kettle Creek valley. The St. Thomas, Elevated is now Canada’s first and only, built by community solely through the efforts of volunteer efforts and community donations.
The Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge has stood at the western edge of the city since 1929, a recognized engineering phenomenon of its day which at its peak carried over 40 trains daily. It remains even today one of the most recognizable and archetypal structures in Southwestern Ontario.
It is common for many decommissioned rail bridges to be put to use as walking and biking paths. Thanks to a generous donation of $100,000 from the estate of the late Donna Evans Bushell the St. Thomas Elevated Park has received many finishing touches such as; electricity having been implemented, which allows for pathway lighting and a security system.
Also, a donation of $100,000 has gone towards a theme which the board of On Track St. Thomas calls ‘bigger, brighter and greener.’ Grass has also been added to the bridge, and lines the trails west of the park with trees and more.
The Park, features public art by many local artists and as well as 300 meters of gardens at the entrance, designed by the members of the St. Thomas Horticultural Society. It is fully accessible to those with mobility issues and always free to the public.