Welcome to Red Hill Stories of Struggle!

This is a project devoted to remembering and learning from the important activism and organizing that happened in Hamilton, Ontario, to defend the Red Hill Valley. Learn more about the project and the people behind it, or dive right into exploring via the timeline tool below.

Select a Decade

1954

Hamilton first voted to put a highway through the valley in 1954. Read more

1956

A consultancy hired by the City of Hamilton produced a plan to build an expressway within the valley. Read more

1963

Hamilton City Council approved the ‘Hamilton Area Transportation Study’ including the Red Hill Expressway as 1of 5 proposed expressways. The RHVP added to city plan. Read more

1963-1969

Sections of Highway 403 through Hamilton opened between December 1963 and September 1969. Read more

1974

Hamilton City Council unanimously resolved to permanently protect the Red Hill Valley. The expressway was removed from the official plan. Read more

1977

Majority of council supported valley route. The provincial government refused to pay subsidy for east-west expressway in lower Hamilton without city proposing to build Red Hill. Read more

1979

A plan for the expressway was approved by regional council. Read more

1984

The provincial government decided to submit approval for the project to one, larger hearing process (first time in Ontario), called the 'Consolidated Joint Board' which had two OMB officials and one OEAB official. 99 days of hearing were held in 1984. Read more

October 1985

Decision in favour of valley route. The OEAB, NEC and HRCA all opposed the project. Against the wishes of those agencies, and a group called "Save the Valley", the board approved the project 2-1, with the OEAB representative dissenting. Read more

1987

The Save the Valley organization and the HRCA appealed to the provincial government, but the appeal was rejected in 1987. Read more

1990

Construction began. Construction on both the King Street East and Queenston Road replacement bridges... Read more

September 6, 1990

Bob Rae NDP government elected. Read more

December 1990

Cancelling of provincial funding for Red Hill Creek expressway. Read more

1991

Friends of Red Hill Valley established Read more

1994

Report of David Crombie - he produced a plan without an expressway, instead proposing the construction and expansion of arterial roads on either side of the valley. The compromise was rejected by regional council in 1994 Read more

June 8, 1995

Mike Harris PC government electedent Read more

1995

Hamilton Region Conservation Authority begins work on the Red Hill Valley Rehabilitation project. The $21m-plan was approved by the former NDP provincial government but funding is cut by newly-elected Conservatives. Read more

December 1995

The Mike Harris government will commit to paying $100 million toward the Red Hill Expressway project. Read more

October 1997

The Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway officially opens. The east-west leg of The Red Hill Expressway cost $160 million. The regional and provincial governments roughly split the cost. Read more

April 1998

David Anderson, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, turns down a request by Friends of Red Hill Valley and the Canadian Environmental Law Association asking for a federal environment assessment because of the threat to fish habitat. Read more

June 1998

Ottawa announces a plan to conduct an environmental assessment of the $186-million highway. The region's assessment says the expressway will have major environmental impacts. The region will spend millions to minimize those impacts. Read more

2001

The EA began in 1998, but the City of Hamilton challenged and successfully halted this assessment process in 2001, arguing that the project was exempt from federal guidelines because preliminary construction had commenced before the date specified in the federal EA legislation. Read more

October 11 – 14, 2002

First camp-out in the valley (Thanksgiving weekend). Read more

2003

David Christopherson declares his candidacy for mayor. Read more

June 30, 2003

City signed facilitation agreement with band council. Read more

July 4-6, 2003

“Camp the Ramp” weekend Read more

July 21, 2003

The City sent out an intimidating letter to several individuals they knew to be part of the Showstoppers. Read more

August 1, 2003

Norm Jacobs issued an Haudenosaunee camping permit. Read more

August 4, 2003

Rally for the Valley Read more

August 5, 2003

Picketing began Read more

August 15, 2003

Court order, temporary injunction, stopping both protest and construction. Read more

January 3, 2004

Discovery of burial mounds. Read more

January 10, 2004

Confederacy met, ratified agreement (from 9 to 11 Chiefs). Read more

2003

David Christopherson declares his candidacy for mayor. Read more

July 4-6, 2003

“Camp the Ramp” weekend Read more

July 21, 2003

The City sent out an intimidating letter to several individuals they knew to be part of the Showstop Read more

August 1, 2003

Norm Jacobs issued an Haudenosaunee camping permit. Read more

August 4, 2003

Rally for the Valley Read more

August 5, 2003

Picketing began Read more

1979

A plan for the expressway was approved by regional council. Read more