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Valley Inn – A popular spot for nature lovers once had its own popular hotel

March 2020

Known to the locals as Valley Inn, this picturesque cove on the western edge of Burlington Bay/Hamilton Harbour at the end of Burlington Heights, was once along the main land route between Hamilton and the East Flamborough Township village of Aldershot, now a part of the City of Burlington, in southern Ontario.

This little cove that straddles the border between Hamilton and Burlington, a marshy area where the Grindestone Creek empties into Burlington Bay, was once home to a hotel named the Valley Inn Hotel.

Opened in the 1820s, the Valley Inn Hotel was a two-storey wood-frame hotel with verandah across the front. Two gables were added in 1894 and an addition at the rear of the building, together with stables and a barn.

A bridge was built across the mouth of the Grindestone Creek, allowing travellers to cross from the Hamilton side to the East Flamborough Township side (now part of Burlington).

Until it closed in 1928, the hotel was a popular rest stop for travellers; for a drink or an overnight stay. The re-routing of traffic around the Valley Inn cove, over a high-level bridge on what is now York Boulevard/Plains Road West, resulted in a drastic drop in travellers and spelled the end of the hotel.

In November 1928, most of the abandoned hotel was destroyed by a fire ignited by sparks from a passing train. What was left finally burned in 1959.

The current bridge crossing the mouth of the creek is a single lane former army “Bailey” bridge, originally meant to be temporary replacement for the previous bridge that collapsed in 1964 under the weight of a transport truck. This bridge would go on to become quite iconic in the area for its clickety-clack sound as cars travelled across it.

In the years after the Valley Inn Hotel was demolished, the cove was transformed into a wildlife and nature sanctuary, complete with boardwalks through the marsh.

The old Valley Inn Road bridge closed to vehicle traffic in 2008 as a part of plan . The abandoned road is maintained as a pedestrian walkway for hikers, runners and cyclists, just as Snake Road on the Burlington side was done decades ago.

Read more about the Valley Inn Hotel in an article from the The Waterdown – East Flamborough Heritage Society, “Vanished Flamborough: The Valley Inn” Part 1 and Part 2.

Sources: https://www.flamboroughreview.com/news-story/5396307-from-the-vault-tales-of-the-valley-inn, https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/5298187-paul-wilson-mel-gets-the-message-time-to-move-on, https://www.rbg.ca/files/pdf/gardenareas/trails/RBGHendrieTG16.pdf, http://hamilton-halton.blogspot.com/2009/03/valley-inn-road-bridge-last-days-to.html, http://www2.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/7EF6DABA-6EB5-49D6-9949-35EF28DDDBC3/0/Sept8PW08098.pdf, https://www.flamboroughreview.com/news-story/5396307-from-the-vault-tales-of-the-valley-inn/

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/valley-inn-a-popular-spot-for-nature-lovers-once-had-its-own-popular-hotel/

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