Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ontario Trail News - our condolences to all.

Find your favorite recreational trail

Death of Uxbridge boy sparks push for new ATV laws

Tyler Massey Law would set minimum age limit for riders


• There were 187 ATV-related deaths in 2007, up from 142 in 2000. Of those 18 were children between the ages of one and 14.
• Between 2001 and 2011 33 per cent of ATV-related emergency room visits involved children under 16.
Source: Statistics Canada
Uxbridge Times Journal
UXBRIDGE -- An online petition is calling for new legislation that would set minimum age limits for ATV riders following the death of Uxbridge’s Tyler Massey last month.
Tyler, 9, was killed in an ATV accident on June 14. A website written in his voice urges people to sign a petition calling for new legislation called the Tyler Massey Law, which would bar children under 14 from riding full-size ATVs.    
“I was born on May 9, 2006, I am forever nine years old,” reads the introduction on the website, which goes on to say that organizers hope the new law could save the lives of other children like Tyler.   

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ontario Trails News - use our map for your favorite Ontario trails!

Find your favorite trail - use our map

Take a tour of the best bike paths in Toronto

Eight of the most popular cycling routes in the city, according to a local expert.

A cyclist on the Martin Goodman Trail at Cherry Street, one of a number of great bike routes in the city.
A cyclist on the Martin Goodman Trail at Cherry Street, one of a number of great bike routes in the city.
Summer is officially here and there’s no better time to escape the city in favour of a scenic bike trail.
The Star asked Jared Kolb,executive director at Cycle Toronto (formerly the Toronto Cyclist Union), to tell us where is best across the GTA to kick-start a wheel-y good adventure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ontario Trails News - Brantford Skills Park supports safer off road riding!

Find your favorite today!

Cycling club onside with bike skills park

Brant News
The Brant Cycling Club has a lot of wheels in motion.
In a little over one year since it was formed last April, the non-profit club has grown to about 50 members, expanded its weekly road and trail rides, started a kids mountain bike camp, got involved in holding a major fundraiser for mental health and taken on advocacy for the development of a skills bike park in Brantford.
City councillor Rick Weaver, the newly minted vice president of the Brant Cycling Club (BCC), is chairing the task force looking into building a skills bike park in one of three city parks: Earl Haig, Waterworks and Rivergreen.
“Other cities that have done these have found they’ve become a family attraction,” he said in a weekend interview.
Toronto’s bike skills park, visible from the Gardiner Expressway near Sunnyside Avenue, cost $500,000 to build.
“That’s kind of the Cadillac of bike parks,” Weaver said.
“A scaled-down version is what we want,” he added.
The specially designed park would help develop cycling skills in kids.
Weaver said features he would like to see included would be “jump lines” (a series of jumps and a “pump track” (a hilly, banked track that allows riders to maintain momentum without pedalling).
The park would also be suitable for skateboards and scooters.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ontario Trail News - Ontario Trail Counts and Hamilton Trail Survey

Learn more about your trails - Trail Counts

Trail Counts
Ever wondered who is using your trail and when? Looking for more than just a static count of trail activity? Tell others about what type of person is using your trail, what makes your trail a popular destination...and more!

We have your answer.

Utilizing smartphone technology trail users can now complete a short survey that:
Logs in the trip
Single counts individual users
Consolidates results for centralized reporting
Consultation on survey content.
We ask your questions - the facility manager asks what they want to know!
Allows for separate trail counting
Multi-season operation
Identifies quality of trail experiences
Provides you feedback loop

Year-long trail survey tracks walks in the park

Hamilton Spectator
Joggers, bikers and even parents pushing baby strollers shouldn't be surprised if someone with a clipboard asks them why they're using Hamilton nature trails.
Throughout the next year, impromptu questionnaires are one of the ways the Hamilton Burlington Trails Council (HBTC) and McMaster University are completing one of the most extensive trail surveys ever conducted in Ontario.
The joint initiative launched on Thursday will use online surveys and up to 36 volunteers to survey trail users on the flyto find out who's walking the trails, how they get around and where and why they're choosing the paths they are on.
The goal is to find out if certain paths could be linked, what trails are most popular and which need attention. In Hamilton, there are more than 130 kilometres of nature trails.
"The City of Hamilton has a lot of trail head counts, but we don't know who they are. Are they on bikes? Are they walking with dogs? Do they live nearby? Do they come here often?" said Wayne Terryberry, HBTC chair and McMaster University Outdoor Recreation co-ordinator.
"What can we use to make the trail experience better? We want to get definite data in different seasons — an annual time table."
The data along with information from community partners like Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Royal Botanical Gardens will go toward building a comprehensive trail map.
"We have 13 survey locations through Hamilton and Burlington and they are going to be surveyed by volunteers, and at each survey there will be a manual head count of people passing by," survey co-ordinator Alex Farquharson said.
Matthew Brodka of McMaster University Outdoor Recreation said one of the challenges facing the study is weather.
"Especially if it's a year-long thing, but we have a passionate group of volunteers who are passionate about the trail system."
Ward 1 Coun. Aidan Johnson said the survey data can have a broader impact on people.
"The more people who use and see nature, the more people who'll want more effective environmental policies and more biodiversity protection," he said.
People interested in helping as volunteers for the project throughout the year are encouraged to visit the Hamilton Burlington Trail website,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ontario Trails News - NTC, snowmobile and other funds make Discovery Routes better!

Aspin hands out funding to boost area cycling and snowmobiling trails

Friday, July 10, 2015   by: Chris Dawson
Discovery Routes Chair Mark King addressed the crowd during today's funding announcement at the North Bay Waterfront. 

MP Jay Aspin dished out $122,630 in federal funding to enhance regional cycling and snowmobile trails in the area. 

The announcement was made at the bandshell located next to the government dock on the north shore of Lake Nipissing in North Bay this morning. 
“Our beautiful region is a magnate for tourism dollars employing a significant number of people in our regional tourism sector. Recreation has become a rapidly growing tourism activity,” said MP Jay Aspin in a release.  

A FedNor investment of $24,615 will allow the Discovery Routes Trails Organization to develop a feasibility study and an implementation plan for the Voyageur Cycling Route, a 400-kilometre trail network that would connect Sudbury to the Ottawa Valley.

The hope is that the study will allow the group to potentially position the region as a premier cycling destination. 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Government of Canada through FedNor to advance this important initiative,” said Mark King, Chair of the Discovery Routes Trails Organization.

“This will help us boost tourism throughout the area by expanding Northeastern Ontario’s cycling network.”

King believes connecting to those other markets is key but he believes Northeastern Ontario has the potential to become a world class cycling destination just like places in Europe. 

"There’s no reason in the world why we can’t take the opportunity to make something like that happen so there is no doubt in my mind that cycling is a growth industry and it will probably get bigger and bigger as we start to see more increases in fuel costs and vehicle costs and just the way we change our transportation system," added King.  

In addition, a $98,015 Infrastructure investment will enable the North Bay Snowmobilers Club and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs to establish a new bridge on North River, further enhancing the local trail network.

The funds were provided to the National Trails Coalition (NTC) through the $10 million National Recreational Trails (NTC) program.

The NTC works with local organizations to fund projects.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ontario Trails News - a plea to cycling advocates to change course and get off the roads.

Link to Ontario Cycling Trails

Students of Ontario cyclist killed during hit-and-run offer support through GoFundMe campaign

After yet another cyclist was killed in Southern Ontario on July 3, following a fatal hit-and-run in Milton, an online campaign has been spearheaded to help the fallen rider’s family.
As the CBC reported, Chris Harper, a 50-year-old father of five from Oakville, Ont., was killed that night after being struck by a car. He was a victim, authorities say, of impaired driving — and after the collision, the 33-year-old driver who hit him fled the scene.
The woman responsible was charged with dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing death, and failure to remain.
In the GoFundMe campaign to ease the burden on his surviving family, Harper’s students — he was a teacher at Meadowvale Secondary School in Mississauga, Ont. — appear to be significant contributors. It’s not just a matter of relieving a burden, though. To hear the accounts of those close to the tragedy, it’s the alleviating of a nightmare, a word that has been used literally and explicitly to describe the situation.
“Its a nightmare,” said Heidi Cyfko, a friend of Harper’s family, in conversation with the CBC. “The family is coping as best they can and preparing for the funeral of this tragedy caused by drinking and driving.” As such, it’s a situation that his family doesn’t deserve, students say, and they want to do something about it. “[Harper was] taken from the thousands of past, current and future Meadowvale SS students whom he taught and would have taught,” wrote former pupil Mike Fugler, who initiated the fundraiser, “and positively impacted through his dedication and passion to the classroom.”
“Most importantly, he was taken from his wife Melissa and their five children, Luke, Nicole, Leah, Alison and Joseph. It is for them we give to this fund. They have lost the most important teacher in their lives, so lets help them out with their future education.”
As of this morning — only two days since the GoFundMe campaign was initiated — the fundraising drive had already exceeded its $25,000 target.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ontario Trails News - our condolences to all those involved.

Parents - stop these tragedies.

Only you can supervise your kids.

Only you can train or buy the right equipment.

Get training in riding, follow safe riding rules.

If you can't do these things don't let your children near these machines.

Boy on life support after ATV driven by six-year-old crashes

It was a recipe for disaster: Five children under the age of 10, without helmets or safety gear, riding on an adult-sized all-terrain vehicle driven by a six-year-old girl.
A nine-year-old boy was clinging to life Tuesday after he was thrown from the 500cc machine during a family gathering at a rural home in Elgin County the night before, police said.
Police are investigating how the children — the youngest was two — came to be aboard the vehicle Monday night at about 8:30 p.m. while adults were on the other side of a home in Malahide Township.
“We’ve got five children — a six-year-old operating a very large ATV, with a two-year-old, a four-year-old and two nine-year-olds,” Elgin OPP Const. Troy Carlson said Tuesday. “Were they being supervised? How did they come about operating the ATV?”
Investigators are trying to determine if adults knew the children were on the ATV and who owns the vehicle, he said.
“You’ve got a six-year-old girl, that obviously had no intention of doing this. We are talking about a 500cc machine, and that would be a handful for a lot of adults,” he said. “Having a two-year-old on there?”
The little girl was trying to turn a corner when she accidentally pressed the throttle, “lost control and collided with two pine trees,” police said.
The nine-year-old struck a tree and became trapped between the ATV and one of the trees. He was freed by adults who heard the collision.
The boy was flown by air ambulance to hospital, where he was on life support and listed in critical condition Tuesday.
The crash came less than a week after Ontario changed the rules to allow more off-roading vehicles and all-terrain vehicles to use the shoulder of public roads while mandating all riders wear a helmet and use a seat-belt or foot rests.
Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act doesn’t apply because the crash happened on private property, police said.
In a news release, OPP Insp. Brad Fishleigh said the case was a “great cause for concern” for investigators.
“This is a very tragic example of the dangers of ATVs. ATVs are powerful vehicles, not toys for children. ATVs must be operated by trained and skilled operators,” he said. “The lack of safety gear (helmets) and the fact that there were five children on board ranging from ages two to nine is a great cause for concern.”
As of the middle of June, the OPP had investigated nine off-road vehicle deaths in Ontario.
But though the head of the Canada Safety Council called the circumstances shocking, he pointed out it is all too common for kids to be driving ATVs.
“That’s a sad story and it’s shocking that this goes on,” Raynald Marchand said. “Five on an ATV is definitely unusual, but it’s not unusual to find children using adult ATVs and hurting themselves.”
Under the Highway Traffic Act, ATV drivers in Ontario must be at least 12 years old to drive without adult supervision. But Marchand pointed out manufacturers of 500cc vehicles recommend no one under 16 years of age operate the machines.
“It’s a bad idea. Kids shouldn’t be allowed to ride any ATV unsupervised. Things happen very quickly with youngsters when they’re not being supervised. Definitely they should not be allowed to ride it period,” Marchand said. “This could’ve have been a story about a backyard pool drowning. There is a lack of supervision.”
 - - -
  • The driver must be at least 12 years of age unless they are under the direct supervision of an adult.
  • The driver must carry the ATV/ORV’s registration permit or a true copy.
  • The driver and all passengers must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that is securely fastened under the chin with a chin strap.
  • The driver can directly cross a highway where permitted, if they are at least 16 years old and hold a valid driver’s licence.
*2012 - 19
2011 - 18
2010 - 19
2009 - 24
2008 - 20
(* latest year available)
2012 - 410
2011 - 409
2010 - 416
2009 - 452
2008 - 398
Source: Ontario Road Safety Annual Report

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ontario Trails News - from Trailwise - join today and support Ontario's trails!

Ontario Trail Running Group

Toronto Cycling Plan - Comment Today

Toronto Paddling Destination!

Ride for a Reason

Goderich to Guelph RT MPP Announcement

Iron Horse Trail News

Rainbow Routes - New Trail Map

Canoe Canada!

Northern Ontario Photography

Noxious Leaf Guide from

Support the Kinghorn Trail Development

Last fall we started an audit of the rail corridor. This audit captures the good, the bad and the ugly. Using the latest trail auditing software, we are able to capture all the issues that need to be fixed prior to opening the trail. We will finish the audit in the spring for the full length of the line.

Please support us in building this legacy trail along Lake Superior. Even a small donation adds up and supports the capital required to upgrade the corridor for Northwestern Ontario's only rail trail!

We have plans to upgrade the railbed surface to accommodate trail users like cyclists, hikers, summer motorized use and snowmobiles in the winter months. As a full multi-use trail, we will be able to keep the trail in the public domain for future generations to enjoy.

The rail line doesn't stop at Nipigon but then turns north towards Greenstone. There has been some interest in discussing this as an option but conversations need to occur.  Please support this legacy project as we create an amazing trail alongside Lake Superior - the great inland sea.

Ontario Trails Education

Healthy Hikes Program!

40+ Ontario Trail Builds Underway!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ontario Trails News - Trailwise - with over 1000 subscribers, join today and support our work!

Ontario Re-instates the Ontario Trails Coordinating Committee

UofT Outdoors Committee on MEC instagram

Cootes to Escarpment Photo Contest

Camp Ontario Group News

Cyclists Memorial in Windsor

Halton Parks - Hilton Falls