limehouse conservation area stone arch

Limehouse: Poster Child For Southern Ontario’s ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ Policy

limehouse conservation area stone archYours To Discover. That’s what’s been printed on our license plates in Ontario for a long, long time. I recall, it formerly was ‘Keep It Beautiful’ but that may have been before I even had a driver’s license. I believe it’s time that changed, at least for the southern part of the province and especially in the area anywhere near Toronto. I’m thinking possibly ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ or ‘Private Property. No Trespassing.’ This isn’t a rant against Limehouse in particular but the state of restriction our world is increasingly under.

Limehouse Conservation Area is beautiful and is a place to be discovered. Part of it is even pretty ‘hands on’ and barrier free. However, around mill ruins that include the stone arch over Black Creek, the visual distractions and limiting factors are plenty. The carpentry is actually quite nice but the wooden and metal fences completely surrounding this spot really take away from the beauty. Not to mention, it really makes photography a task.

However, sadly, I do see the reasoning behind it. The arch most likely became more of a piece of equipment in a jungle gym and a conquest for tons of irresponsible ‘selfie-seekers’ from the nearby GTA. I do also understand that this park is free to visit and no fees are collected when you enter. With most allotted money going to preserving the nearby lime kilns, not much can be put toward preserving the arch and surrounding ruins.


Limehouse Stone Arch Long Exposure Image Gallery

For full-size, high resolution versions of any of the photos in the image gallery, simply click on the individual pictures.

Ontario: Yours To Discover?

So, who exactly is my rant directed toward? Is it a rant, or just an observation of our present state? I’d say, it’s simply a statement of frustration with our heritage sites and natural lands becoming more and more limited as population and development continue to boom, not only in Southern Ontario but in most of the eastern portion of North America. What there is to discover is becoming more like a roped off museum exhibit each day.

Just in this area, say between the 401 and highway 89, there are so many areas that are more and more limited to visitors with some even being closed off. Cheltenham Badlands is a spot that has been completely closed off to the public, if only temporarily (while proper limiting barriers are installed). The mill ruins and main waterfall at Forks of the Credit Conservation Area has been ‘temporarily’ closed off to the public (for the past 2-3 years). Other natural settings have so many barriers and a collage of warning signs that the place no longer resembles a natural setting.

Will it change? Yes, but not the way I’d like it. More and more, these places will be closed off or safeguarded to the point that you might as well just look at a picture of it. There’s more and more people everyday. There’s more and more people everyday that feel the need to ignore the value of these precious locations, and their own lives, to take a picture of themselves at the sites. The pictures mostly make you look like an ass while there is more and more damage to these sites. Of course, the other factor is that more and more of these people are dying or getting severely injured while killing or severely injuring the natural environment.

I’m torn when I feature on this site lesser known locations north of, say, Parry Sound. Am I promoting these locations for the right reasons or am I going to open them up to waves of destructive tourists that have no respect for the land, prancing around in improper footwear with their eyes on their cell phone more than on the nature surrounding them? There are places to the north that are completely barrier free, whereas, if they were in the Toronto Area, they would be completely fenced off. I visit waterfalls where I can put my fingers into the flow midway down the cascade, knowing full well that others have died at the very spot. Hell, right on the property of the Walmart in Sudbury, there is a decent sized, rock cliff with no barriers or warning signs. In the GTA and surrounding area, we fence off simple drainage ponds!

Anyway, there was a saying when I worked in the corporate world that management used and I loathed. However, it applies here. It is what it is. The population is not going to shrink and travel is not going to go out of style. I guess, we just have to look harder and go further to discover those places that we can still enjoy will our senses.


Limehouse Conservation Area

Limehouse, Ontario is a small town that is part of the greater town of Halton Hills. Georgetown is just eight kilometres to the east and Limehouse is 64 KM from downtown Toronto. Parking is free at either the entrance to the kilns or at the parking lot further down the road. This site is known as Limehouse Conservation Area and is maintained by Credit Valley Conservation.

The Bruce Trail runs through the park as the hiking trail makes its way from Niagara-on-the-Lake in the south to Tobermory in the north. The park is known for its 19th century lime kiln ruins, along with its Niagara Escarpment landscape that includes deep crevices and caves. The water passing though the arch in the images above is the Black Creek, part of the Credit River watershed.



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