Ontario boasts over 80,000 km in trails. Whether you're in downtown Toronto or North of Superior, we have a trail for you.
The Ontario Trails Council is a registered charity, led by volunteers who promote the development, management, use and conservation of Ontario's trails.
You'll find everything from gentle walking trails to rock faces for climbing and water routes to canoe and kayak.
Our membership drive is all year long. We want to thank the groups that have indicated they will be renewing because they believe in the work we are doing at OTC! In the last couple of weeks and going forward we have:
McMaster University Outdoor Recreation East Gwillimbury Trails Committee Town of Collingwood Menesetung Bridge Association Ontario Federation of Trail Riders
Over the years we have worked on all trails behalf in Ontario. Everyday we make a difference for trails somewhere in Ontario. Please review our recent note to the membership at the 2017 AGM
An Ontario Trails Council Update
Incorporated in 1991, the OTC is a registered charity promoting the management, use, preservation and development of recreational trails in Ontario. The OTC offers a variety of trail related services that it has developed over the years to meet the needs of its members:
Awards and Recognitions
Trail Representations – on website and Social media
Trail Website – 1.2 million unique visitors per year, 5 million trail trips planned, in top 3% of websites worldwide.
Ontario Trails Social Network – over 80,000 followers.
Trailwise Newsletter – weekly distribution, 1100 municipal and organization subscribers.
Trail Programs and Services – education certification program Algonquin College and trail auditing, Georgian Bay Coast and G2G
Trailhead Trail Conferences and Learning Symposiums – since 2002 OTC has run 12 provincial level conferences, and over 200 community symposiums on trails.
Trail Management and Master Plans – Ottawa Valley, Kinghorn, GBCT
Regional Trail Council Management Model and Development – in 52 Ontario Counties and Cities, including North Hastings and Prince Edward Counties
Government Relations and Regulations – OTC is lead in creating an environment with the Province that saw the Province take our concerns seriously enough to implement or adjust:
Ontario Trails Strategy 2005
Active 2010 – we endorsed and facilitated grants thorough this process
Ontario Trails Strategy Implementation Plan 2014
Ontario Trails Coordinating Committee 2006-17
Community in Action Fund Grant Stream 2011
Ontario Government Recognizes OTC as OTCC Co-Chair 2008-17
Ontario Trails Act - 2016
Ontario Woodlot Act preservation 2007
Line Fences Act modification 2004
Trillium Trail Network 2011
Conservation Act Recommendations 2015
National Trails Coalition 2008-2017
Premier Wynne 9-point Commitment to Trails 2014
Ontario Government declares OTC as Lead Partner 2011
Ontario Realty Corp Rail Trail Inventory and Policy 2007, 2011
The Ontario Trails Council has grown in scope and function since 2002. At that time, the OTC received an 18-month Ontario Trillium (OTF) grant to support its growth in governance, branding and membership.
In 2002 the OTC had 32 members, not all were paying.
The OTC accomplished its growth and development goals such that it was a key lead organization in persistent recommending to the Province of Ontario that there was a need for an Ontario Trails Strategy, supporting legislation and trail friendly regulation. Members of OTC had requested this since 1976.
In 2005 the OTC secured another 4-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
In 2010 the OTC secured another OTF Grant to develop its professional trails certificate program. This 14- module program was developed by trail professionals from the OTC and fully vetted and certified by Algonquin College. Ontario Trails Council trains people in the community and on-line through Algonquin College and Ontario Parks Association.
Over the years the OTC has written or supported community leaders seeking grant support or grant funds:
The Wounded Warrior supported Horses Heal Canada Program in Campbellcroft
Kinghorn Rail Trail Project
Georgian Bay Coast Trail
Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail
Hamilton Burlington Trails Committee
Prescott-Russell Rail Trail
Frontenac Biosphere Reserve
Renfrew County Rail Trail
We have written grants for members or supported member requests for well over $2.5 million in grants from a variety of granting organizations. These grants are for others – not the OTC.
Additionally, since 2005 the OTC has been a member of the Canadian Trails Federation. In 2007, our Executive Director worked through the CTF as its VP to partner with the COHV and CCSO to create the National Trails Coalition. This OTC work led to the NTC trail funding program in 2009-11, and 2014-16.
Through this grant program we supported more than $83 million invested in 734 trail projects. Our Executive Director was seconded (2014-2016) as National Project Administrator for 120 of these projects, and in 2008-12 was an NTC Director to their Board, offering top level national leadership to the organization.
OTC, therefore, had a lead position on the 474 projects of all types, snowmobile, ORV and NM in 2009.
The OTC CEO is currently President of the Canadian Trails Federation and Chair of the National Trails Coalition, so OTC continues to influence national directions and we are hopeful of renewed funding for trails at the National level.Many grants were approved through this partner process, with OTC involvement in 2009-11 and 2014- 16 for grants more than @3,000,000 for Ontario’s trails. We commend OTC Recipients for their work and finding the matching funds.
In closing, the OTC is an organization that has grown in influence in the sector, both in Ontario and across Canada. Many provinces emulate our work, and appreciate our leadership. We now have over 200 - member organizations, and we appreciate the support of big cities, community trail organizations, other provincial federations and associations, and local clubs. to name a few. Government at all levels respects our input. We have made 100’s of communities better through our efforts. As we head into another year we are working on:
A New Strategic Business Plan
Trails Tourism Reports – RTO6 and Province Wide
Trail Classification with Cowan Insurance and the MTCS
September 21, 2017 By Sarah Sobanski
Soon people will be able to saunter on non-motorized trails in Bancroft and surrounding area thanks to the North Hastings Economic Development Committee.
An Ontario Trillium grant of nearly $43,000 will help the committee launch the North Hastings Non-Motorized Trail Master Plan Project earlier this month.
“This is the launch of the planning process,” said chair of the committee Cathy Trimble noting it will be looking to co-ordinate with volunteers, experts, those passionate about the sporting activities the trails could see, stewardship groups, municipalities and the county. The project’s partners include Hastings County, Algonquin nations, Bancroft Trails Group, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and Ontario Trails Council while the committee itself hosts members from seven North Hastings municipalities, Bancroft and Maynooth’s business associations, the Bancroft Community Airport and the Bancroft and Area Stewardship Council.
“At this point we don’t need people who want to build… but we certainly want to keep a roster of their names because we’ll definitely need them later on,” she added.
The committee applied for funding in February and learned of its success in June. The entire sum will go into planning while the committee suspects it will apply for further funding and grow funding in years to come.
“We have to get the input from everybody. The biggest concern is the risk management to make sure that people understand what is in that plan that mitigates the risk,” said Trimble, noting municipal, Crown and private land loopholes. “We’re better together and we’ve got everybody at the table so that’s almost a first so that’s really exciting.”
The plan will be developed over the next 10 months. It will look at redeveloping existing trails such as the Heritage Trails and help set a framework for new trails for cycling, walking, hiking, snowshoeing, equestrian, canoe, kayak, in-line skating, mining and other activities.
“We’ve been going around to different campgrounds… looking at the different trails that they’ve built. It’s fascinating the different types and styles they’ve built,” said Trimble. “You can have ones where you can push the baby carriage and you can do the bike riding or have a nice leisurely stroll with signs set up. Or there’s ones where you’re just going through and there will be a sign that tells you what you’re going to see: there might be a beaver dam but it’s a track and you have to be very careful how you follow it because you don’t want to get lost.”
Trimble said there is a large gap for Ontario Trails in North Hastings and surrounding area. Ontario Parks has identified many health benefits to getting outside including improving memory, getting a better night’s rest and lowering the risk of heart attack, she said. For more information or to get involved visit northhastings.com.
Ontario Trails simplifies your Membership Connection! Over the years the Ontario Trails Council has worked to provide services that give you value and results for your membership support. We are constantly working to improve services and your ability to easily provide feedback on our efforts.
In March the OTC Board endorsed moving to a more automated system of membership management, deciding to use the platform Memberplanet. More information on this can be found at Memberplanet.
The OTC is working to implement this system. The ways to Memberplanet should make membership management easier include:
1) Account information accuracy 2) On-line membership renewal 3) Contact status updates 4) Group news
The membership planet platform provides all of these, including invoicing and receipt generation functions. So if you have an A/P department to report too, this should make your paper trail readily available to you!
When you start the process you'll be directed to this window. We are working on updating existing members to the database. So if you are an existing member, just bookmark this information for reference. We'll send you reminders about renewing at renewal time, in late November each year.
You'll be asked to complete profile questions and you'll end up with a distinct member profile, like the one below.
You'll be asked to complete the purchase by selecting your membership level.
You'll be asked to provide any additional information -
At this point checkout by Paypal.
If you prefer the old way, the forms and the sending of information is still available at any of the following pages:
The Planning Committee is pleased to announce a growing and stronger program for trails through Trailhead Canada! we wish to thank the Canadian Trails Federation for their financial support of the event.
OTHER TRAILHEAD CANADA NEWS
1) In advance of Trailhead Canada on 22, 23 of November we now have A Meet and Greet with over 60 already confirmed MP's and their staff in Ottawa on November 21, 2017. More confirmations are coming in.
2) And that the COHV and the CCSO have committed $4000.00 each towards this event portion of Trailhead Canada!
3. Post your personalized decal on your Trail - we have one for every group on our list. (see #5 below)
4. Add your trail user survey to any of your trail pages - we've made one for our members and regions. Get your decal here -
We've checked the links, if something isn't working simply give us a call - 613-484-1140. We'll be adding these links to the various relevant trail pages in your regions and RTO's/DMO's over the upcoming year!
Missing? You may want to talk to us about OTC Membership. 613-484-1140 We'd be happy to connect with you.
News And Events Trailhead North 2018 - Sault Ste. Marie
In Spring of 2018 trail enthusiasts and supporters are headed to Sault Ste Marie for two days of meetings and lively discussion about all types of trails.
Our hosts invite you to join us to hear stories from wood and river, hill and valley. We will be talking about the great adventures we share and how to get more folks to love the outdoors the way we do.
April 26, 27th (at least) 2018
REGISTRATION COMING SOON
We need your input!
In 2015 we secured 101 respondents to our "The Value of Trails - Measuring the Economic Impact of Trails Survey." We've added 18 more to the 2017 updates. We have a ways to go. Click through the screen capture below to access the survey.
There are many metrics to measure in determining the economic impact of trails, and tourism in just one factor. In order to accurately represent a closer economic impact of trails we are requesting your speedy response to our Call to Action for Your Input to our Value of Trails 2017 survey.
With your help we will make an even stronger case for trails and the supports you require to provide a top notch experience at each of your trail destinations. We are also accepting new responses! Many Thanks!