Strange pipe elbows in the Vault, probably connections from the adjacent industrial building at 606 Aberdeen.

The Vault

Chedoke-Westinghouse Culvert

Chedoke Creek watershed

Construction Details:
Early twentieth century concrete duct, with strange "hollow" slide structure.

Further Reading:
8 Southern Ontario creeks we could start daylighting tomorrow

Something of a relic, the creek drain we call The Vault was built early in the last century to facilitate residential development and the construction of the old ELCO/Hamilton Metals building on Aberdeen. At the time, the drain would have enclosed a Chedoke Creek tributary at the eastern edge of Chedoke Golf Course. Later, Public Works engineers must have found it necessary to provide more capacity for this creek (perhaps because enclosure and development on the Mountain had unleashed larger storm flows down the ravine upstream of here). As a result, a new drain was built to the west (the fantastic Stairway to Paradise), burying the creek from the southern edge of the golf course all the way to the canalized main stream of Chedoke Creek.

As a result, most of the waters that had once flowed through The Vault were now diverted into that new drain, and the watercourse at either end was reduced to a marginal stream. However, The Vault remains, and continues to carry spring melt and the flashes of summer storms beneath the golf course and factories, depositing these flows into an winding, overgrown floodplain across the highway from the current course of Chedoke Creek.

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Michael Cook is available to speak to your organization about infrastructure history, lost creeks, current conditions, and opportunities for change in our management of and communication about urban watersheds, and to work with teams proposing or implementing such change. Get in touch.