Do you know about trail etiquette?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ontario Trails News - Trailhead Toronto, support our work, CycleON consultations completed, and more from Ontario Trails!

227 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. While this is not preferred, we are pleased that the Prescott-Russell Economic Development Committee spoke with OTC and that we are working with the County to:
  • diversify the role of the Prescott Russell Trails Committee,
  • seeking funds,
  • engaging inter-provincial partners,
  • that the Trail is highlighted as part of the CycleON list of trails through consultation
  • had more counters to install
  • is implementing the OTC Trail Counts Program
  • OTC has found the trails committee, through partnership, free fundraising training in Ottawa
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.

Trails Tourism Integration Strategy Meetings Planned

Let’s Talk Trails – December 8, Glen House Resort

Niagara Region RTO2December 14th
Gananoque RTO9December 8th
Collingwood RTO7TBA

 During each session we will discuss:
  • 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
For more information contact Patrick Connor at 613-484-1140
Locations to be announced.
Cycling Consultations Completed

ontario trails ontario cycling consultations
Dear Stakeholders,

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.

We will be accepting comments / questions / submissions to the regional workshop materials up until December 8th, 2016. More specifically, we are looking for the following comments to these maps:
  1. Route Alignment: focusing on the priority and secondary routes, provide comments on the location of the potential routes, whether what is being identified makes sense or if there are other alternatives that should be considered.
  2. Potential Level of Separation for Facility types: identification of a potential level of separation for a cycling facility type based on the hierarchy of options identified in Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18:
    1. Shared Facilities: On roads with low operating speed and low traffic volumes where the cyclists and motorist share the same space e.g. signed bicycle routes
    2. Designated Facilities: on roads with sufficient space and a higher operating speed and traffic volume where cyclists require a specific space to ride e.g. bike lanes
    3. Separated Facilities: on roads with a high operating speed and traffic volume where a physical separation is needed between the cyclists and motorist e.g. off-road trail or buffered bicycle lane or paved shoulder
  3. Destinations: cycling destination such as bicycle friendly businesses or tourism attractors
  4. Barriers: physical barriers which prevent or deter implementation of cycling facilities or the activity of cycling
If you have any questions about the information that we are seeking or the study to inform your commentary please do not hesitate to contact

We look forward to receiving your input and continuing the discussion and identification of the province-wide cycling network for Ontario.

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

Membership Renewal Time

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

PRICING - Buy fax, credit card or mail (all include 13% HST)
CALL 613-396-3226


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

The next meeting of the NIagara Trails Committee is December 14, 2016
6:30pm to 8:30pm
Welland Community Wellness Complex
145 Lincoln Street
Please contact Tracey-Lynn Bell, Chair for details
Welland, ON L3B 6E1
Phone: (905) 735-1700
FAX: (905) 732-6187

Central Counties TTIP Meeting a big Success!

We wish to thank all those organizations who participated in the November 29th session of the Trails Tourism Action Planning process through Central Counties. 

Many thanks to Chuck Thibault and his team for organizing and hosting the event. Much was learned, shared and actioned for the future.

Ontario Trails Council website shows trail to event integration - A TTIP Update

As we continue to gather feedback in order to improve our ability to showcase Ontario's trails we are pleased to note that the trail/event linkages have been made.

If you complete an event listing form, and you identify the trail where the event is taking plave the event will now be listed on the trail page on the OTC website.

So be sure to add your events, and specify your trail. The site will tell the public!

From the community - thank for the mention CC!

Please consider supporting our work
We wish to thank all those organizations who have renewed their membership. Please renew today, our work is more important than ever! Help us help groups keep their trails open. Please consider making a donation or taking out a membership today! We rely on the generous support of the Canadian trail community to allow us to do our work.

Our Mission - to promote the preservation, management, use and development of trails.
Everyday, somewhere in Ontario we educate, support a group, lead or assist a community improving its quality of life through trails.

Ask us how we make a difference! Thanks