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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ontario Trails News - Ministry Grants (OSRCF), Snowmobile warnings, CycleON Consultations, Trails Tourism Consultations and more about Ontario's trails!

Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport announces Community Recreation Funding
Ontario is now accepting applications for the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund (OSRCF) 2017–18. OSRCF is a grant program that supports the government’s vision to enable people in communities across Ontario to lead healthy, active lives. The fund increases opportunities for participation in sport and recreation, supports implementation of physical literacy as a foundation for lifelong physical activity and strengthens the community sport and recreation sector.

The deadline to apply for the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund 2017–18 is February 1, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Full details, including who’s eligible and how to apply, are available through Grants Ontario, the government’s one-window access to information about grants. To contact the ministry, please email

Please feel free to share this notice with your members or other sport and recreation partners and providers in your area.
L’Ontario accepte maintenant les demandes au Fonds ontarien d’action communautaire pour les sports et les loisirs (FOACSL) pour 2017-18.

Le FOACSL est un programme de subventions qui appuie la vision du gouvernement permettant aux gens dans des communautés partout en Ontario de mener une vie saine et active. Le Fonds augmente les possibilités de participation à des sports et des loisirs, soutient la mise en œuvre du savoir-faire physique comme fondement de l’activité physique et renforce le secteur du sport et des loisirs communautaires.

La date limite pour présenter une demande au Fonds ontarien d’action communautaire pour les sports et les loisirs pour 2017-18 est le 1er février 2017 à 17 h HNE.

Des informations complètes, y compris sur l’admissibilité et comment présenter une demande, sont disponibles à Subventions Ontario, un guichet unique d’accès à l’information gouvernementale sur les subventions.

Pour contacter le ministère, veuillez envoyer un courriel à l’adresse

N’hésitez pas à partager cet annonce avec vos membres ou autres partenaires et prestataires en sport et loisirs de votre région.


ontario federation of snowmobile clubs(Barrie, ON – December 14, 2016) - With early snow on the ground and more forecast this week in some parts of Ontario, winter’s on the way and so is the 2017 snowmobiling season. But it’s not time to start sledding yet, so for safety’s sake and to avoid trespass on private property, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) cautions snowmobilers to keep their sleds parked and stay off OFSC trails because they are not open yet.

Even going for a short snowmobile ride can be very dangerous at this time of year with the existing poor conditions. The ground, waterways and swamps are not frozen yet, nor is there enough snow base to protect yourself or your sled from terrain irregularities or other obstacles.

Grooming operations have not started yet, so no OFSC trails are available to ride and all access to trails on private property remain closed. Snowmobilers are also reminded to stay off public roads and avoid trespassing on farmers’ fields.
For updates on trail status across Ontario, the OFSC recommends that prior to accessing a trail that snowmobilers visit the Interactive Trail Guide at to confirm trail availability.

244 People want the Prescott-Russell Rail Trail saved!
prescott-russell trails petition

OTC visited Prescott Russell and met with Council and the Economic Development Committee. There may be operating budget cuts in the near future but there is a desire to save the trail, although it may not be 72 continuous kilometers. Road links are being studied between nodes. 

We encourage the people signing the petition to work with UCPR and OTC to find ways to re-negotiate the lease with Via so we can make the corridor multi-use, which would enable cost recovery, new funding for capital projects and engage more members of the community to utilize the trail in the future.

If you want to help please contact Louise Bissonette with Sentiers Prescott Russell! Merci.

Cycling Consultations Completedontario trails ontario cycling consultations
Thank you very much again for your interest and participation in the study to help identify Ontario’s Province-wide Cycling Network. We hope that the regional workshop session you attended was informative; providing you with:
  • Background information on the study;
  • Context on the intended outcomes;
  • An overview of the process being used to identify the network; and
  • An opportunity to be engaged in the study process.
As noted at the regional workshops, we would encourage those of you who were able to attend to continue to review and provide comments on the materials presented. We would also encourage you to reach out to any of your partners that did not have a chance to attend the session to share the information provided and provide questions / comments to the study team.

The study team has consolidated the materials presented at the workshop sessions and uploaded them to DropBox. They can be accessed using the following link: MTO Cycling Network Study Dropbox
*Please click on the proceed without signing up option at the bottom of the page if you do not already have an account

We have uploaded network concept mapping (route options and alternatives that could form part of the province-wide cycling network (priority routes) or link up to the province-wide cycling network (secondary routes)) for each of the MTO Regions. We are in the process of uploading maps illustrating the network concept in zoom in areas of the Upper Tier Municipalities. The zoom in maps will be uploaded to the site by first thing tomorrow morning. Please select the mapping that is most appropriate for your jurisdiction. We would also encourage you to review the workshop presentation. The presentation will give you the necessary context to better understand the information that we are asking you to review and comment on.

#CycleON - MTO Province-wide Cycling Network Identification Study
On behalf of the Study Team
T: 905-882-7306

Trails Tourism Integration Strategy Meetings Underway

Over the fall we have been meeting with a variety of Regional Tourism Organizations and their supporting Destination Marketing Organizations or Destination Marketing Partners as the case may be.

We have been creating connectivity to these important regional product marketers in order to reinforce the importance of trails and the outdoors as tourism product, and to seek new ways to improve our connectivity to them, as we represent their efforts and your trails via the Ontario Trails Council website.
During each session we discussed:
  • Current RTO+DMO Tourism Strategies
  • Current Outdoor Activity Marketing
  • Existing Trail Inventory
  • Identify Gaps
  • Consolidate Events
  • Review Trails Marketing
  • New Content Initiatives
  • Share Data and Data Gathering Processes
  • Review TTIP Action Plan Outlines
  • Define Next Steps
Areas for improvement or site additions include such things as:
  • having an event map
  • self directed traill or event edits
  • mapping and maps
  • guided services listings
  • improved weather reporting
  • improved trip planning with printout
  • adding trails for folks with pets to cater to the traveller with pets
  • add trekking and other unique experiences
  • re-brand off-road cycling as mountain biking, add fat-biking as a speciality
  • space for local content
  • improved site search functionality
  • more links across RTO's
  • improved forms with additional categories
  • more support route content like Wine or Arts Routes
  • event to trail linkages on trail content pages
  • cms capability to red flag broken links
  • more! trails!
We appreciate the feedback from all the marketing and branding staffs we have worked with and all the suggestions for improvement.

Thank- you
Membership Renewal Time

ontario trails join
In 2016 the Ontario Trails Council membership got: a re-charged Ontario Trails Strategy, the first ever Provincial Trails Act - a commitment to better working by government with the Ontario Trails Council, acceptance of our 9 point program by the Premier reflected in the Minister's Cabinet Letter, new Regional Trail Committees (Guelph Trail Council), $3.3 Million in federal funding for communities (NOT OTC!), trail projects in Ontario equaling $21M, and $3.5 million to complete the Trans Canada Trail Ontario.
"New trails are still to be developed in Ontario. Existing trails need to be maintained and expanded. Trail organizations in Ontario need one common voice to advocate for them. We need a central source to promote funding opportunities and act as a communications link between trail groups. More than ever, trail groups need to stick together and speak as one mind. OTC is the organization that can assist us all in those regards. A significant benefit of being an OTC member is the website itself -- a great resource for information and access to like-minded organizations. The research we require is most often sourced directly through the OTC office or by expansion through OTC member organizations. It's where we go for answers and direction."
 - Ray Gilbert, Executive Director, Bruce Grey Trail Network
"The OTC provides us with the ability to communicate and collaborate with industry stakeholders, professionals and advocates. It also provides us with the tools to develop our own capacities, skills and networks. As well, it is important to back to the OTC and trail communities in our province. Being an OTC member allows us to benefit from the knowledge of other members through education and professional development opportunities such as the Trailhead Ontario conference, and through professional networking. The OTC is the influential body that will help guide and shape the political, professional and physical landscape of trails in Ontario. Joining the OTC provides an opportunity to be part of this process: to both contribute and gain knowledge in a community of passionate, like-minded individuals and organizations."
 - Damian Bradley, Cycling advocate and Developer Guelph Regional Trails Council
"Trails and trail development is a significant topic within North Grenville because of the positive impact trails have on a community - quality of life, tourism, broad spectrum of users etc. As a member of the OTC, we have the opportunity to learn how to promote and manage our trails program in a more professional manner. The OTC was the obvious choice. To date, we have benefitted from our membership in these ways:
  • making personal contacts with provincial, national and international leaders in the trails movement
  • access to the Trailhead Ontario conference, which was a watershed event for the three North Grenville staff who attended
  • being able to promote the trails movement in Eastern Ontario, it has provided a more credible position from which to advocate trails
 Once we have our trails master plan in place we will take full advantage of posting and promoting our trails on the OTC website. Trails are the future - if you really want to be part of the trails movement in Ontario, you need to be a member of the OTC."
 Forbes Symon, Director of Planning and Development, County of North Grenville
Membership Benefits
  • OTC Trails and Event page representation
  • Representation on OTC trails maps
  • Social Media represents you to 60,000+ people
  • Fund Development through grant writing, grant support,
  • Fund seeking AND donation managEment
  • OTC Policy Statements guide decision makers
  • Strategic Planning for Members
  • Survey's and Data Exchange, Trail Counts
  • Education Posters and Program
  • Connectivity to the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport
  • Leadership at the Ontario Trails Coordinating Committee
  • Office services and networking support
  • Advocacy benefits - provincially and nationally
  • Infrastructure funds flow to members first
  • Directorships, Awards and Business Impactors
  • Partnership Support and Knowledge exchange
  • Access to Professional Development sessions
  • Tourism Practices, Trails Tort Reform, Trail Workshops
  • Regional Trail Management Committee Development
  • Discounts on Trailhead Events
  • Access to Trail Insurance Broker
  • Option on registration in Trillium Trail Network
  • Local, regional or provincial User conflict resolution
  • Trail Auditing, assessment, signage and inclusion
  • Trail Training, College Level Education Certificates

Become a "Friend of Trails"
  • Savings on conference/seminar registration
  • Monthly e-bulletins
  • Access to OTC trails database
  • Great gift price!
  • Savings on trail literature/maps
$26.52 + $3.45 = $29.97 (includes 13% HST)
Benefits to Student
  • Editions of the OTC newsletter Trailwise
  • Access to OTC trails information
  • Conference and selected literature savings
  • * must provide student verification
$21.21 + $2.75 = $23.96 (includes 13% HST)

Our members include municipalities, conservation authorities, parks,
trail management groups, trail clubs, trail user groups, health units
and other trail-related supporting organizations.
Small Non-profit,
Small Organizations
Conservation Authorities,
Medium Municipalities,
Counties, Regional
Tourism Organizations
Provincial Level
>5000 users

Add/Edit Trails

An important part of the Refreshed OTC Web site will be a dynamic page dedicated to each trail. It is important that you give us as much information as possible - this will be the only source for creating your dedicated page on the OTC Website. If we don't get the information from you, it won't make it onto the site. If you have any questions about the form, please contact Patrick at 613-484-1140. Thank you for taking the time to add or edit your trail on the Ontario Trails Council Web site.


Be a Friend of Trails

We invite all trail users to support the work of the Ontario Trails Council. As a registered charity we do our community work based on the support of member organizations, individuals and some government grants. We do the work, in the end for the individual families and folks that use the trails every day. Please consider supporting us as your thanks for your trails. Thank you.

donate to ontario trails