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For Immediate Release: Monday April 14, 2014

Giant’s Rib Discovery Centre acquires rare fossil for display.

The Giant’s Rib Discovery Centre (GRDC) has acquired a new fossil for display at our Centre in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. The specimen consists of the fossilized remains of a 417 million year-old Giant Sea Scorpion (Eurypterus remipes) originating from a section of the Bertie lime formation in New York State.

“As I understand it, the rarity of this specimen comes from the fact that these creatures are found in only two regions on the planet: Eastern Europe and in North America in the area of the Niagara Escarpment,” says GRDC President Chris Hamilton. “The fossil itself does not come from the Niagara Escarpment, but from an adjacent formation formed about 3 million years later. What it represents, however, is a form of life which lived in the ancient seas while the Escarpment was forming. These creatures are thought to be one of the first to leave the oceans and move onto land and were a major predator of the time. While our specimen fits nicely in a display case, some species could grow to be two metres in length!”

“This acquisition is part of our efforts to upgrade our displays and enhance the learning experience for our visitors. You can’t see one of these just anywhere,” Hamilton says. “When I first started volunteering at the Centre and learned all about these creatures, I knew that if we ever had the chance, we had to try to acquire one. Thanks to a recent grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, we were able to make it possible.”

The specimen is now on permanent display at the Discovery Centre, located in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area’s Trail Centre. The GRDC is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., offers information on the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve, a number of public education programs and free guided interpretive hikes from June through Thanksgiving.

Want to help protect our Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve?

Volunteer Positions Available

Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering for the Giant's Rib!

 Every Saturday at 11 am!

June through Thanksgiving


Interpretive Hike Program

Click to enlarge
Interpretive Information Booklet

            The Annual Summer Solstice Celebration and Fundraiser
supports public education programs on the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve delivered by the 
Giant's Rib Discovery Centre. Funds support volunteer operation of the Centre in the Dundas Valley, hiking,lecture and arts programs and public outreach. Ticket price includes dinner, live music, silent auction, draw prizes and presentations. Cash bar. This year's theme, Under the Ancient Seas, recognizes the Escarpments origins and features the Centre's new Giant Sea Scorpion Fossil.

Memorial Lecture Series
All lectures will be
now held at the former
Parks Canada Discovery Centre
now administered by the
Hamilton Waterfront Trust

The 10th Series
2013- 2014

Memorial Lecture Series Schedule
57Discovery Drive Hamilton, ON

The Giant's Rib Discovery Centre is a not-for-profit organization created to tell the story of the Niagara Escarpment; to promote uses that will ensure retention of its natural state for future generations. We offer public educational lectures and tours to interpret the Niagara Escarpment through geographical, geological, historical, agricultural, and cultural experiences.

Looking for Information about the
Niagara Escarpment ?
Reference Library
Environmental Protection

ClickHere for our list
Research Bibliographies

 The Bruce Duncan Memorial Lecture Series

The next lecture will be Sunday May 4, 2014

Lynda Lukasic - The Toxic Challenges in Hamilton – What You Need to Know

Lynda Lukasik, co-founder and current Executive Director of Environment Hamilton will be speaking about toxics in water, on-going challenging air emissions, as well as toxics that we all may, inadvertently be bringing into our own, personal environments, including the pesticide that is impacting on our bee populations. 

Artist of the Month - May 2014

Works from Mark Williams (The Greenbelt Guy!) will be on display during the month of April. was initiated after Mark spent several years shooting digital photographs up and down the Greenbelt region of Ontario and amazed at the diversity of wildlife and beautiful scenery right here in our own backyard.


If you would like to support the Giant's Rib Discovery Centre and its programs, you can now donate through 

Hello everyone!
Welcome to your latest Giant's Rib Newsletter! To view it click here.
Hello everyone! 
Our lecture series has begun for the season, there's some great news inside and some great Escarpment stories!

Details on these events - as well our regular features - are available in the attached latest edition of your Giant's Rib Newsletter!

Happy reading!

Stan Nowak
Newsletter Editor
Giant's Rib Discovery Centre

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The Giant's Rib Discovery Centre is a proud member of

The Giant Rib Discovery Centre is presently located in The Dundas Valley Trail Centre, a replica of a Victorian train station, and the hub of the valley's trail network.
The Giant Rib Discovery Centre is staffed only on weekends .. the Trail Centre hours are below:

Off-season Hours:
Weekends: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Summer Hours:
Weekends: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fee per vehicle: $9.00
This fee includes access to all trails for the day purchased.

Beginning in 2012, the walk-in and bicycle entry fee has been removed in the Dundas Valley. All visitors to the Dundas Valley are encouraged to purchase a HCA Annual Membership Pass to help support the maintenance and operational costs of the area. The HCA does not receive funding from the province of Ontario or the City of Hamilton for the operation of its conservation areas.

All admission rates and fees are subject to change. Prices include HST unless shown.

Have you ever wondered how the
Niagara Escarpment a.k.a
"The Giant's Rib" came to be ?

Waterfall of the Month for April 2014 Princess


Princess Falls has been known by other names such as Lang's Falls, Upper Princess Falls and Westerly Falls on Chedoke Radial Trail.

Princess Falls is located on Lang's Creek and is the uppermost waterfall of three falls situated on Lang's Creek in west Hamilton. It is considered a ribbon falls which includes an upper cascade portion and a lower plunge section. Its height is 7m and has a width of approximately 2m. when flowing full, which however can be reduced to zero flow during dry periods.

Its Latitude and Longitude Coordinates are 43° 14' 45" N,  79° 55' 48" W.  

To reach Princess Falls from Hwy 403, take the Linclon Alexander Parkway exit and then the first exit to Mohawk Rd. Turn left onto Mohawk Rd. and proceed to Scenic Dr. where you turn left. In about 1.5 km, Scenic Dr. makes a 90 degree turn to the right and immediately after this turn there is a small parking lot on the left side. Beside this parking lot look for the entrance to the Bruce Trail / Chedoke Radial Trail combination and follow it eastward for about five minutes to Princess Falls. You will notice that the water from Princess Falls flows under the Chedoke Radial Trail via culverts to the other side where it becomes Lower Princess Falls which is visible from Hwy 403.


By Joseph Hollick

The Directors of the Giant's Rib Discovery Centre form a Committee of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. Their basic responsibilities are directed to helping  ensure that the Niagara Escarpment continues to meet the three basic criteria of a biosphere reserve:

Contribute to conservation of  landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation;
Foster economic and human development which is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable;
Provide support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to local national and global issues of conservation and development.
Richard Murzin, President of the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association, announced on Thursday, June 21, 2007 that the Giant's Rib Discovery Centre (GRDC) has been recognized as a local biosphere committee for the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve.

The Association considers that the Giant's Rib is already fulfilling many activities for the Niagara Escarpment, which reflect the Escarpment's designation as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. They are pleased to acknowledge this and to thank the GRDC for their support for research, education, training and encouragement for sustainable development related to the Niagara Escarpment.

A biosphere reserve draws its strength from active involvement and cooperation within a community of interest. The GRDC is exemplary in this regard and the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve is honoured to recognize the Giant's Rib Discovery Centre as a biosphere committee.
The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Designation
The biosphere is all of the land, water and atmosphere that support life.
A biosphere reserve is an international designation of recognition from UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization)  for an area in the world which is deemed to demonstrate a balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere. By this is meant that collaborative efforts among people in the designated area serve to promote the sustainability of local economies and communities, as well as the conservation of the terrestrial/or coastal ecosystems they are in.

A biosphere reserve designation gives an area international recognition for the important ecological and cultural values in an area. It also provides a mechanism, based on local commitment and local ability, to apply sound stewardship (and protection, where necessary) to use of resources in an area to support present and future generations.

UNESCO named Ontario's Niagara Escarpment a world biosphere reserve in February 1990. Ontario's Niagara Escarpment is one of 16 reserves in Canada and is part of a network of 580 reserves in 114 countries.

The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve conserves the Province of Ontario's natural and social capital by protecting prime agricultural lands, forests, wetlands, heritage properties and recreational spaces.

Biosphere Reserves strive to conserve the diversity of plants, animals and micro- organisms which make up our living biosphere and maintain healthy natural systems while, at the same time meeting the material needs and aspirations of an increasing number of people. Before UNESCO designates a biosphere reserve, local people and organizations must have demonstrated their commitment to these principles.
The sixteen biosphere reserves in Canada are located in eight provinces, from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts. They include a variety of ecosystems. In each one, activities are coordinated by a community- based organization or committee. Beginning with its first reserve in the 1970s, Canada's biosphere reserves were established as follows:
  • Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec (1978)
  • Waterton, Alberta (1979)
  • Long Point, Ontario(1986)
  • Riding Mountain, Manitoba (1986)
  • Charlevoix, Quebec (1988)
  • The Niagara Escarpment, Ontario (1990)
  • Clayoqot Sound, British Columbia (2000)
  • Lac Saint-Pierre, Quebec (2000)
  • Mount Arrowsmith, British Columbia (2000)
  • Redberry Lake, Saskatchewan (2000)
  • Southwest Nova, Nova Scotia (2001)
  • Frontenac Arch, Ontario (2002)
  • Georgian Bay Littoral, Ontario (2004)
  • Fundy, New Brunswick (2007)
  • Manicouagan-Uapishka, Quebec (2007)
  • Bras d,Or Lake, Nova Scotia (2011)

If you would like to support
the Giant's Rib Discovery Centre,
You can now donate through

Click here for more information
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  TheGiant's RibDiscoveryCentre Box 1469, Waterdown, ON, L0R 2H0
Visit the Centre's displays and presentations at theTrail Centre,
Dundas Conservation 650 Governors Road Dundas Ontario
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