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American-Canadian Wilderness: Hamilton’s Introduction 2

by Afonso
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Just think, the amount of money this university receives from international students is more than one and a half thousand crores! Most universities in Canada have similar rates of foreign students. It is called, education industry or education business.
Many people from Dhaka or Calcutta can remember that the president or vice president of various universities in Canada sometimes hold press conferences in Dhaka or Delhi-Amritsar or Chandigarh and sell the progress of education and the reputation of their institutions. This income is a part of a country’s foreign exchange earnings.

McMaster University is six or seven kilometers from my house. There is also a local campus of Brock University in Niagara Falls. On the south-western edge of the city is a philosophy university called ‘Redeemer’s University’ in the mountain area. There are a sufficient number of schools, some of which have been named up to the national level in Canada. There is a very popular community college, ‘Mohawk College’, named after the local Mohawk tribal group. Many of the college’s departments are affiliated with McMaster University. For example, many college labs or workshops offer a hands-on component as a McMaster lab or workshop. This college is just one kilometer away from my house.

Hamilton is surrounded by countless parks and conservations (protected forest areas), just to name a few! Almost every block of the city has some kind of park, big or small. Even in the very heart of the city (think Dhaka’s Gulistan!) there are beautiful parks, where you can spend time walking, resting, or relaxing! No nose-burning burnt oil-gas fumes, no excess of dust-dirt, no noise! So, instead of listing the names, I will talk about the name of the park when it comes up.

To name a few, there is the ‘Dundas Valley Conservation Area’ which covers a large area of ​​1200 hectares and includes other trails including the waterfront trail along the lake and the famous rail trail through the mountain area! As I wrote before, trail is a path for walking, cycling or riding a horse. Here such trails around forest-mountain-railline-lake shore are made and kept usable. Apart from this, there are launch (boat) cruises for tourists on Lake Ontario along Hamilton’s shores with food and music.

The Dundas Valley Conservation Area is a forested area on the ridge to the south-west of the city, with spectacular landforms, cool mountain springs, streams running through narrow gorges, grassy valleys in summer, extensive grasslands, broad-leaved deciduous trees and The collection of various rare species of trees in North America, the mind-blowing colors of the foliage, the collection of numerous animals including deer-wild boar-rabbits is wonderful in one word! This protected forest area has forty kilometers of trails or paths for walking, cycling or horseback riding. Ontario Provincial Highway 403 runs along the western side of this reserve. It is one of the most important and busiest highways in the East-West communication of the province. Along the Dundas Valley it rises from the plains of Lake Ontario to the top of the Niagara Ridge. To the west of the point where the highway rises, the green forests and houses lying far below are very attractive! And on the opposite east are the high forested hills of the ridge. However, when driving on the highway that goes up the high mountains, there is never any kind of insecurity that the car will roll down!

Farmland and park-and-spring-preserved forests cover the southern part of the city. If you leave the city limits and go south along Upper James Street or Highway Six (Highway Six), you will see ‘John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport’. There are regular cheap flights to various destinations in the North or East of Canada and America. A little further south, along the banks of the Grand River, the Haldimon and Caledonia regions are tree-lined indigenous reserves, where outside Canadians cannot buy land or do business. There are wonderful parks and forests to explore on both banks of the Grand River. There are boat trips.

Further south in this direction is Lake Erie or Lake Erie, which also has lakeside recreation facilities. Boating, swimming in the lake, camping and overnight stays in the park, all in the popular ‘Cottage County’ with affordable rental housing. If you want, you can take any house for a night or two and have a vacation. A ‘cottage’ in North America refers to a small or large home outside the city on a remote hill or lake, mostly suitable for summer use only due to communications and weather conditions. These houses can be either very luxurious or ordinary. Generally, citizens rent ‘cottages’ for two or four nights in summer as a few families to refresh themselves by spending time in the proximity of nature. However, I was not lucky enough to spend the night in such a cottage.

There are several famous hotels and motels for tourists in the city center, in the vicinity and in the area adjacent to the airport. High and mid-range hotels include Hotel by Carmen, Mohawk Residence and Conference Center, Sheraton Hamilton and Sheraton Four Points by Sheraton Ramada, Courtyard by Marriott, Admiral Inn, etc. There are also some mid-range and low-cost motels such as Comfort Inn, Visitors Inn, Motel Six, etc.

Not only art, but many other notable features associated with the region include the Niagara Peninsula’s sweeping views of Lake Ontario (Lake Ontario) on one side, numerous waterfalls and verdant forests and farmland surrounding the ridge and its foothills on the other. Due to its characteristic location between the lake and the mountains, the city is characterized by its low northern side and high southern side. This high area is called ‘Mountain’ by local residents very attractively! I think, once the shore of the lake is called ‘Mountain’ (Mountain) it is a defamation of the word Mountain! In fact, this hill or steep slope is the shore or edge of Lake Ontario. The ecology and biodiversity along this edge have been officially accepted as a green zone or green area under the Niagara Escarpment or Niagara Ridge environmental conservation program. These Niagara Falls are also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a large number of small and medium-sized mountain springs at different places in this ridge. For example, there are as many as five/six such fountains within a distance of five kilometers from my house. There are more than fifty such fountains within the city limits of Hamilton. And that’s why Hamilton is called ‘The Capital of Falls’ on Canada’s tourism map! Many of those springs again flow through narrow gorges in the ridge creating a spectacular setting! Another member of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie, begins about 50 km due south from where Lake Ontario begins.

According to geologists, the Great Lakes of North America were formed thirteen to twenty thousand years ago when the ice began to melt at the end of the last Ice Age. That massive runoff erodes the region’s relatively soft limestone, dolomite, or similar rock formations, determining the current size, location, and water elevation of Lake Ontario and other lakes. Lake Ontario is the southernmost of the Great Lakes system and the eighth largest freshwater body in North America. The lake has an east-west length of three hundred and eleven kilometers and a north-south width of eighty five kilometers. Its area is eighteen thousand nine hundred and sixty square kilometers. Among the cities we know, the area of ​​Dhaka is three hundred and six square kilometers, the area of ​​Delhi is one thousand four hundred and eighty three square kilometers and Kolkata is two hundred and six square kilometers! And Toronto, the big city on the shore of this lake, has an area of ​​six hundred and thirty square kilometers, and my city Hamilton has an area of ​​one thousand one hundred and eighteen square kilometers!

I wonder how many cities are in the place of this lake! The average depth of the lake is eighty six meters and the minimum depth is two hundred and forty four meters. The lake is elliptical and extends in the north-west direction. The bedrock stratification of the lake bed is complex and the effects of glacial ice and water action on the surface are evident. The shores of these lakes are mainly glacial ridges (bluffs) such as the Scarborough bluffs in Scarborough, east of Toronto, or narrow sandbars formed by sediments or sediments carried by glacial currents, such as the Hamilton shoreline. The lake receives runoff from other lakes in the Great Lakes system via Niagara Falls and other rivers in the region such as the Genesee River in New York, the Osage River, the Black River, and the Trent River in Ontario, and is one of Canada’s largest St. The Lawrence River flows three thousand and fifty-eight kilometers through the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and empties into the Gulf of Lawrence in the Atlantic Ocean. This river is very important for trade and communication in North America. This waterway is called the ‘St. Lawrence Seaway’, which connects the entire Great Lakes system to the ocean.

Due to this feature of the city’s natural location, I think you can meet the literal meaning of the word ‘down town’ in this city! Because the downtown area along the lake shore is an average of three hundred feet or more lower than the area known as the ‘Mountain’ on top of the ridge. Downtown and ‘Mountain’ low-to-high communication roads lead directly from the Mountain to ‘Down Town’ through individual access points. There are five such entrances to connect the upper and lower parts of the city. These roads connect urban centers with rural or agricultural areas. Another significant characteristic prehistoric land formation can be found in this city known for its natural beauty. In English, this natural formation is called ‘Karst’. Now the question is what is ‘karst’?

To be continued…



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