NOTE: This web page is related to the Spur Line Ironhorse Trail Loop hike web page as well as the Strange Street Aboriginal Settlement, near Berlin, Ontario web page.
Multi-purpose trails have been the trend in the past few years in Waterloo Region. The Region and the various cities and townships are to be commended for the development of these urban, multi-purpose trails. Obviously they are quite different from the footpath trails like the Bruce Trail, the Grand Valley Trail, the Avon Trail, the Walter Bean Grand River Trail, the River Trail at rare Charitable Research Reserve and the Health Valley Trail to name a few. The urban trails compliment my interest in exercise, wildlife and history. I have been following news coverage of the possible routes for the "side trail" or "link" that will connect the Iron Horse Trail (at Gage Street) to the future Waterloo Region Transit Hub near the intersection of King and Victoria Streets. As of 2020 (the Covid-19 year) I see that some of this "side trail" has been completed (Gage Street to Park Street). Apparently the overall design is referred to as Hybrid 2-3. It would appear that the other unfinished component of this Hybrid 2-3 (Park Street to King Street on the south side of the train tracks) will not be built too soon. The completion of this link to the Transit Hub should provide a quick access to the Spur Line Trail.
Gage Ave to Park Street - Description of Transit Hub Link
The asphalt-paved side trail (link) begins at approximately 43.447755, -80.513067 on the south side of Gage Ave on the Iron Horse Trail. Instead of proceeding along the Iron Horse Trail you pass over Schneider Creek (recently renamed Westmount Creek by the Region) to the north side of the creek and through Raddatz Park. You arrive at Waverley Road and proceed north east (sidewalk or future bike lane?), past St. John's Roman Catholic Church and across Strange Street using a newly constructed crossing. Being located at the Strange Street entrance to Cherry Park, you will notice a small parkette and shelter (flowers in season) as depicted in the image to the right. The trail passes through Cherry Park arriving at and crossing Park Street at another crosswalk that has flashing lights. You would be at about 43.450720, -80.505810 on the sidewalk near Swanson's Home Hardware Building Centre. Refer to the red line on the Google Map below.
Park Street to King Street - Partial Description of Transit Hub Link
Here is what I believe will be the approximate route based on various on-line publications. The trail would proceed about 200 m southward from 43.450720, -80.505810 along the sidewalk, past Swanson's Home Hardware Building Centre and under the railroad overpass to about 43.449441, -80.504165. Then it would veer northeast on the south side and near the CN freight spur for about 550 m to King Street and, eventually, across King Street to the Transit Hub. At this time (2021) there is no safe way to pass straight and over King Street to the future Transit Hub area (nor a need to do so). At about 43.453270, -80.500050 one has to descend (along a pipe railing) to the sidewalk on the south side of King Street (the U. of W. Pharmacy building side of King Street) and cross King Street at the Victoria Street traffic light (see blue track on Google Map below). One would assume that once they complete this portion of the link there would be a safe way to pass over King Strreet to the Hub, albeit a potentially expensive one? Refer to the blue line on the Google Map below.
As of 2021 November some work has started on some of this section. A portion from Joseph Street to King Street (more or less parallel to the railway tracks) has been excavated and a foundation of gravel has been prepared for paving (asphalt). This segment is behind the pharmacy school.
Crossing King Street Safely
Please read the information immediately above. Below are pictures taken of the King Street railroad overpass. THE PATHWAY SHOWN IS CLOSED (BLOCKED OFF) AND MUST NOT BE USED. At about 43.453270, -80.500050 one used to descend a grassy slope, past the group of spruce trees and veer right along a pipe railing to the sidewalk on the south side of King Street (the U. of W. Pharmacy building side of King Street) and cross King Street at the Victoria Street traffic light (see blue track on Google Map below). NOTE: As of 2021 NOVEMBER this part is under construction and should be avoided especially when reconstruction is being performed (some details below).
Pictures of King Street Crossing Area
November 2021 Construction
These four pictures show some of the trail preparation from Joseph Street to King Street.
The picture below shows the roughed-in trail sloping down, behind the School of Pharmacy, toward the intersection of King and Victoria Streets.
The picture below also shows the roughed-in trail sloping down, behind the School of Pharmacy, toward the intersection of King and Victoria Streets. For a better perspective, refer to the uppermost (first) picture that shows the railroad bridge over King Street. It is CLOSED for all pedestrian / bicycle traffic. Once down on to King Street one has access to two LRT stations.
GPS Tracks for Download
HELP: If clicking on the links does not provide a download option, try RIGHT clicking the link (especially the .gpx file) and then choose "Save Links As" (or equivalent) from the drop-down menu. Pick a download location (e.g. desktop) for the file.