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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ontario Trails News - Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

From the Ontario Newsroom
Ontario will introduce new legislation today to protect and improve thousands of kilometres of the province's urban, suburban, rural and remote land and water trails network while encouraging its expansion.  
If passed, the Supporting Ontario's Trails Act would:
  • Provide the trails community with enhanced tools to effectively develop, operate and promote trails
  • Remove barriers to help connect and expand trails across the province
  • Increase trail awareness and promote local tourism by enabling the recognition of trails of distinction, supporting communities and jobs across Ontario
  • Enable the development of a classification system to help users find trails that match their interest and ability
The proposed act would also improve, sustain and encourage the expansion of trails by addressing liability, trespassing and crown land issues.
Expanding and improving Ontario trails is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • The proposed legislation is based on feedback received from an environmental registry posting, engagement with Aboriginal groups and five regional sessions across the province.
  • Since 2009, Ontario has invested more than $80 million in trails.
  • The province has approximately 2,500 trails and more than 80,000 kilometres of trail; the second-largest network in Canada.
  • Almost 20,000 kilometres of trails are located within municipalities.
  • Thousands of kilometres of trails and roads are on provincial Crown land that are open for the public to use free of charge.
  • Ontario Parks protects and manages approximately 2,200 kilometres of trails and boardwalks.
  • As a key legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, Ontario will complete 250 kilometres of gaps in Ontario's Trans Canada Trail and connect communities from Ottawa to Windsor and Fort Erie to Huntsville.

Background Information

Additional Resources


Michael Coteau
“Each year, millions of Ontarians and visitors from outside the province experience the province’s world class trail system. Our trails encourage explorers of all ages and abilities to visit our unique communities and support local economies and jobs. To ensure this continues and our trails remain vital for future generations, Ontario will introduce new legislation today that would, if passed, contribute to an improved, safer and more sustainable trails network.”

From our Ministry Partners

On May 12th, 2015 the Ontario Government introduced  Bill 100 – the Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act, 2015 in the Legislature.  The consultations held across the province and the comments received through the Environmental Registry in fall 2013 provided valuable feedback that was used during the development of this proposed legislation.
The proposed legislation has been posted on the Environmental Registry (search # 012-4102) for public comment for 45 days.  This posting and a copy of the proposed legislation can be accessed by the following links:
Thank you for your continued support as we all work together to improve trails in Ontario.

Anna Ilnyckyj Director, Policy Branch Sport, Recreation and Community Programs Division Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport 777 Bay Street, 23rd Floor Toronto, ON M7A 1S5
N.B. - Ministry staff will be present to answer questions on the Act and its development at Trailhead Ontario - June 8th and 9th 2015
A Special Note of Thanks 

The OTC President Jack De Wit, the Board and Staff of OTC wish to acknowledge all the trails, trail groups, members, board members, trail developers and community members who have assisted or waited a long time for the implementation of an Ontario Trails Act.

Too numerous to mention here, we want the trail community to know that we could not have achieved the development of an Ontario Trails Act without over the years.

Many of us are carrying your torch or your trail legacy.

The work of the trails community has produced this impact and for this we extend our gratitude to all of you.

Le Président OTC Jack De Wit, le conseil et le personnel de l'OTC tiennent à remercier tous les sentiers, les groupes de sentiers, les membres, les membres du conseil d'administration, les développeurs de sentiers et membres de la communauté qui ont aidé ou attendu longtemps pour la mise en œuvre d'un Ontario Loi Trails.

Trop nombreux pour être cités ici, nous voulons que la communauté des sentiers de savoir que nous ne pouvions pas atteint l'élaboration d'une loi de l'Ontario Trails sans fil des ans.

Beaucoup d'entre nous sont porteurs votre torche ou votre legs de piste.

Le travail de la communauté des sentiers a produit cet impact et pour cela nous exprimer notre gratitude à vous tous.


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.
Healthy Hikes Program Begins May 1, 2015