The Escarpment Project

The Escarpment Project and the Toronto Section – Some History

In 2011 a group of volunteers in Hamilton, Ontario, came together with the goal of cleaning up garbage in various locations along the Niagara Escarpment, a short distance south of Toronto and on the southwestern end of Lake Ontario. It began at a place the locals named the “Devil’s Punchbowl” and today has expanded to include eight more locations, covering a wide stretch of the local hiking and walking paths. This event is now known as The Escarpment Project.

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So much garbage, so much work – Photo by Rob Le Blanc


The cleanup quickly became an annual event, got some serious traction, and today is the largest environmental cleanup in the Hamilton area and one of the largest in Canada.

The Toronto Section of the ACC has become an integral part of this cleanup as the many rock climbers in the section have a unique skill set when it comes to getting garbage out of high-angle terrain.

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The pile has started – Photo by Rob Le Blanc

Escarpment Project 2016

The 2016 edition of the Escarpment Project cleanup went ahead on April 24 and saw over 800 volunteers come out and collect 800+ bags of trash from the natural areas, including furniture, car parts, bikes, shopping carts and a long list of other items that don’t belong in nature.

The Toronto Section was on hand lending their time and expertise. The ACC members built anchors, hung fixed ropes and rappelled into the falls area before hauling out a bunch of junk while jumaring back up.

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Setting up the ropes and safety – Photo by Rob Le Blanc


Rob LeBlanc organizes the ACC crew, who, to keep things safe and limit the danger of falling debris, got to work before the main cleanup started. A crew of six ACC’ers, all smiles, worked through the morning to make the Devils Punchbowl clean as a whistle. The volunteers provide their high-angle expertise to the cleanup effort annually because they believe in the project and take responsibility for keeping the natural area clean. Without the Toronto Section’s help, the high-angle Devil’s Punchbowl, with its intimidating loose steep-to-vertical terrain would remain full of garbage.

The 2016 event was a great success, with 800+ volunteers collecting 800+ bags of garbage from the natural areas on the Escarpment around Hamilton.

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A proud group and a tired group. All in a days work – Photo by Rob Le Blanc

2017 Cleanup

The 2017 event is scheduled for April 30th, at 11 am. As a registered charity, the Escarpment Project has grown and now brings in large supporters and partners that make this event very successful. Everyone is welcome to join in, even welcoming kids young and old. To learn more, check out the link below the press release video.

Check out the video below that covers the whole of the event, but we’re featured in the first 45 seconds! Way to go Toronto and keep up the good work!


Checkout here for more information

CEC-ACC-logoIf you would like to know more about the ACC Toronto Section and the Escarpment Project, check out the links below.

ACC Toronto Section
The Escarpment Project

The Alpine Club of Canada has a lot of different opportunities throughout Canada. Join the ACC today and check out opportunities at our local sections to have some fun and make a difference.

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