The Medway Valley Heritage Forest provides a scenic landscape in all seasons, as the stream winds between steep banks up to 25 metres in height. Near University Hospital, the Medway River flows into the north branch of the Thames River. The course of the Medway at the east end of Gainsborough Road and the west end of Windermere Road has been known historically as “Dead Horse Canyon.”
The valley has a diversity of ecosystems and many Carolinian species of plants which normally would be found in more southern regions. Over 500 years ago, there was a Neutral (Attawandaron) village at the site of the London Museum of Archaeology. Untouched during European settlement, much of the valley was logged and farmed during the last century. Farming continued as recently as 1945. The remains of a mill dam can be seen about half a kilometre west of Western Road.
Forest cover increased after residential development began in 1960. The Elsie Perrin Williams Estate is a manicured park setting that once included a golf course, became the property of the City of London in 1979. A Master Plan for the Medway Valley Heritage Forest was completed in 1989.
Information provided by the Thames River website.
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