Hamilton area there is a multitude of small waterways that are smaller
than rivers but just as appealing.
creeks are important habitats for fish, aquatic insects, birds and
mammals. These habitats are also among the most threatened by human
activities, because they criss-cross the areas that we live in and
travel through. Many small waterways have been altered to allow
roads to go over them, to allow urban and industrial development
and to create more uniform sections of land for agriculture. Often
they are funneled through pipes or culverts or their paths are altered
to go in a different direction or in a straighter path. Sometimes
they are filled in completely.
is the case all along the south shore of Hamilton Harbour. Only
one creek still flows naturally there, the Red Hill Creek, and this
creek is threatened by the proposed development of a new expressway
through its valley. The many other creeks that used to flow into
the Harbour in this area have all been buried.
Hill Creek is the last remaining free flowing creek in the
old City of Hamilton (out of an original fourteen). Original
source of map is Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan.
are also where surface water flows to from everywhere within its
'drainage basin' is an area defined at its margins
by a topographic high, so that all of the water that falls
within it remains in it until it reaches the outlet, generally
where a major creek reaches a lake
means that any pollutant washed off the surrounding land, by rain
or irrigation, go into the creek. In urban areas this might include
pesticides, fertilizers, road salt, oils from road surfaces and
other substances that are frequently used by people living nearby.
The largest waterways are generally called 'rivers',
while the terms 'stream', 'creek' and 'brook'
can be used interchangeably for waterways that are smaller
than rivers. In the Hamilton area, the term 'creek' is in
use, while in other areas of Ontario, and Canada, you might
find that people use 'stream', 'brook' or other terms. In
the United Kingdom you might hear the terms 'race', 'brook',
'rindle, 'burn' and 'runnel' used in the same way. Similarly,
you might hear the term 'watershed' used in one place, while
'drainage basin' or 'catchment' are used elsewhere.