St. Thomas Elevated Park

Driving home from the beach on the final day of summer in Canada is always bittersweet. On one hand, summer is coming to an end and the grey days and snow are just around the corner! But on the other hand, fall is always filled with new adventures and new opportunities to explore amongst beautiful, colorful foliage, golden lighting, and crisp fall air. We always try to make the best of the changing seasons.

On this particular last day of summer, we noticed something new (to us) on our drive home from Port Stanley, through the small town of St. Thomas, Ontario. On the cusp of the city, there is an elevated bridge that once held train tracks, used for trains to cross the river below. Not thinking that there would be anything else but rust on top of these elevated tracks, we were puzzled to see a handful of silhouettes walking about in the rays of the late afternoon sunlight. Obviously intrigued, we needed to know how those people got up there, and what kind of views these out-of-commission railways held! After conducting a Google search, we learned that the town of St. Thomas had recently spent a good chunk of change on repurposing this space above into what is now known as the St. Thomas Elevated Park. Having had yet to experience this place, we knew we needed to make a slight detour on our way home!

The official address of St Thomas Elevates Park is: 1 Centre St. Once you get to the front “gate”, there isn’t exactly designated parking so we just parked at the side of the road like peasants (lol). Although closed off to motored vehicles, the trail leading to the park is fairly accessible – only a slight incline, yet gravel-based, a wheechair/stroller would be fine. However, rollerblades would not fair too well.

Along the path that leads to the park, you will find gorgeous wildflowers lining a fairly dense forest space.

I would guess this path at the most is roughly 350-400 metres in length, but there are a few places that you can stop to rest, including an adorable “Knitter’s Bench” next to a Little Free Library (!!!!)

At the end of the gravel path you will reach an informative sign explaining the history of this location, and how ths Elevated Park is the first EVER on all of Canada!!! How cool is that?

Ok, so, you made it this far – I know you’re really just here for photos of the views. So here you go:

While obviously these views are quite lovely, there are also a few cool art installmments on the park bridge itself!

And probably the best part about this place, other than the views and cool art installations, is that it is all free!

We thought this place was quite unique and worth taking a detour for. Because it is fairly new, the city is still working on some parts of it (boardwalk area, garden spaces, etc.) But it is totally worth the trek if you’re in the area! Are you interested in visiting? Here’s what you need to know:

Location: 1 Centre Street, St Thomas (ON)

Hours of Operation: Monday through to Sunday, 7am – 8pm.

Cost: Free! (There is a donation box at the gate if you are able and interested in contributing, but no pressure!)

What to bring: Dress for the weather – unbrellas for rain, sunglasses/sun protection for sunny days. There is zero protection from the elements, so act accordingly

Happy traveling!

–The Calkins’

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