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Mel Swart - Lake Gibson Conservation Park 2

Top: A view of Lake Gibson during a sun set. Bottom left: A sign at the entrance of the park. Bottom middle: A place to sit and relax. Bottom right: Explore the many paths in the park.Photos: [Umar Syed].



The Mel-Swart Lake Gibson Conservation Park is a conservation area that contains many different species of plants to see. The large expanse of green space allows for families to sit down and enjoy a meal outdoors. Park benches and flat rocks are available to sit and enjoy the surrounding nature. There are many gravel paths that can be explored. At the far end of the park lies a boardwalk to a view of the water. This is the operating resevoir for the Decew Generating Station. The view from the boardwalk during a sunset is something to behold.


The park was named after the late Melvin Leroy Swart, a local advocate of environmental conservation. Swart served on municipal and regional councils for over three decades. He was a member of several environmental organizations that included the Niagara Escarpment Commission. He was also a founding member of Brock University.


Photo Gallery


TripClip Audio File

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Click to play or download the [Mel-Swart Lake Gibson Conservation Park 2 ] TripClip (mp3 format).

This destination is also part of the TripClip tour entitled

Survey Tour of Natural Picnic Areas.


Hours of Operation




From Toronto:
Take the Gardiner Expressway W ramp

Merge onto the Gardiner Expressway and continue travelling until it connects to the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) in 14.8 km

Merge onto QEW/ON-403 W, keep left and travel for 72.3 km       

Take the exit onto ON-406 S toward Thorold/Welland/Port Colborne and travel for 11.3 km

Take the Regional Road 71/Saint David's Road W exit and travel 450 m

Merge onto St David's Rd and travel 750 m

Turn left onto Merrittville Hwy and travel1.1 km

Turn right onto Decew Rd

The destination is on the left

From Niagara:


Take  ON-420 W and drive 1.4 km
Take the Regional Road 20 exit      and travel for  1.5 km
Continue toward Montrose Rd/Regional Rd 98 for 270 m
Turn right onto Montrose Rd/Regional Rd 98 (signs for Montrose Road N) and travel 2.0 km
Turn left onto Thorold Stone Rd and travel 5.0 km
Continue onto ON-58 N (signs for Thorold/Ontario 406) for 1.2 km
Take the Pine Street exit and travel 240 m
Turn left onto Pine St S/Regional Rd 67 and travel 350 m
Turn right onto Beaverdams Rd/Regional Rd 67 and travel    1.7 km
Turn right onto Decew Rd    
The destination is on your left



The park was under the direction of City Council during 1991-1994. The then Mayor Bill Longo purchased the 11 hectares of park for the city of Thorold. There were three goals for the creation of this conservation area:


1. "To provide a continuing oasis of green beside the park."


2. "To establish a environmentally sensitive park where native wild life and vegetation will be portected and for an interpretative area constructed."


3. "To be open for all to enjoy amd have aan opportunity to become more knowledgable and concerned about conservation needs."


At the far end of the park lies a boardwalk with a view of Lake Gibson. It is an artificial lake that was created in 1904 to store water to generate hydro electric power at the Decew Falls Power Station a short distance to the northwest. The lake covers what were once meadowlands on the top of the Niagara Escarpment.




The park is a conservation area that houses many different types of trees and plants. Most notable is the swamp rose-mallow that is mostly found in Carolinian or deciduous forest regions. It is a flower that grows near marshes.It is a flower with pink lobes and can grow to a height of up to two metres. It can be found blooming near cattails around Lake Gibson. You will see them bloom during the summer months.The swamp rose-mallow has been labelled as a special concern under the Ontario Endangered Species Act.


Also, many different species of birds, can be seen flying or perched on a branch. They include: red tail hawks, geese, and ducks. If you are fortunate, you might see bald eagles, ospreys, and even tundra swans, which have been known to walk on the frozen Lake Gibson in the wintertime.



Further Information








Ownership & Management

City of Thorold


Waste facilities and parking are available




Decew Road
Thorold, Ontario
L0S 1E6



GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.10767481330
Longitude -79.22561452110
UTM easting 644376
UTM northing 4774300


Parks and Recreation Department
3540 Schmon Parkway
L2V 4A7
Tel 9052271148
Fax 9052271149

Walking time 

30-40 minutes

Jogging time 

10-15 minutes

Cycling time 

5-10 minutes

Surface features 

grass, gravel, wood

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