Greenhouses were built on the north shore of the Desjardins Canal in 1951 by Ben Veldhuis. The greenhouses very successfully grew cacti and succulents, producing more cacti than any place in North America. The famous Veldhuis greenhouses on King St. East, once the largest exporter of prickly plants in Canada, are now in ruins.
Wander south towards to the banks of the Desjardins Canal, one notices the muddy and eroding banks of the Canal. The Hamilton Conservation Authority is overseeing a $3-million rehabilitation of this polluted brownfield into public green space known as the Dundas Eco-Gateway. The planned eco-park between the escarpment and Cootes Paradise represents the largest effort to preserve city natural lands since the Dundas Valley was protected in the 1970s.