Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ontario Trails News - An Update from Ontario Trails

Ontario Trails supports London Trail Development.
This past Monday night Ontario trails VP Wayne Terryberry traveled to London to comment on the expansion of the Medway Valley Recreational Trail.

The London Free Press reported on the issue here:

The issue received over 40 delegations tothe council, at the 11th hour, as this was one of the best attended meetings during the entire 5 years of planing for the expansion, one that is based upon the approved municipal trail, and esa management plans.

The OTC prepared a briefing note on the situation and on AODA ramifications, because the trail expansion is also professionally minded by the staffs and they are aware of AODA requirements in these situations. Patrick Connor wrote:

A Response to the Committees of London Regarding the Proposed Medway Valley Heritage Forest Trail Expansion

My name is Wayne Terryberry and I am Vice-President of the Ontario Trails Council, a 220-member charitable organization whose purpose is best practice in recreational trails ensuring professional management, use, conservation and development of trails and trail-based activity.

The Ontario Trails Council’s Board is made up of experts in conservation and trail use, past Professors Emeritus Dr. Bob Payne, Past CEO Ontario Parks, Brad Fauteux, and Terri LeRoux and Dan Andrews, respectively Land Management staffs of Credit Valley and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation, Shane Taylor, OALA, Planner for the City of Cambridge and Wayne Terryberry MA, Director, Outdoor recreation McMaster University.

The Ontario Trails Council regularly reviews reports of planners, park managers and land conservation organizations to establish “a reasonableness” in balancing access and use. We have done so in the case of London.

The Ontario Trails Council is a no-trespass organization, and as such we promote a variety of user trainings, professional education certificates through Algonquin College to ensure professional support to parks, planners and use groups so that each understand and respond respectfully with one another.

The Ontario Trails Council is the leading advocate for public use on public lands by ALL Ontarians. We see this as a balanced approach, and properly managed the human right to access to the environment can be managed, encouraged, developed and promoted.

We have reviewed all three aspects to this issue, a desire of parks and planning to expand trails through the Conservation Masterplan Phase II - Medway Valley Heritage Forest South ESA, The Corporation of the City of London Guidelines for Management Zones and Trails in Environmentally Sensitive Areas 2016, the Accessibility for Ontarians with a Disability Act, and the Medway Conservation Area plan.

When the Ontario Trails Council finds itself in conflicted situations it works to establish a balance.

We advise the Committee that the Ontario Trails Council views the work of the City of London as a leading example of best practice in planning for what the sector calls green trails. In our view the trails and parks master plan, rightfully awarded distinctions by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, is one of the best, if not the best example of planning for trails within environmentally sensitive contexts.

When we made the request to depose to Committee it was with great irony that the province’s award-winning eco-trail jurisdiction was in conflict over trail development.

We have been asked to comment on accessorily as an issue for trail development. As such, according to the AODA; By law, you must make beach access routes and recreational trails accessible if you are:
  • a private or non-profit organization with 1+ employee(s) or a public-sector organization; and
  • building new public recreational trails or beach access routes and planning to maintain them or making major changes to existing ones and planning to maintain them
There are allowed exemptions: these are:
  • wilderness trails, backcountry trails and portage routes
Comment - These do not apply in this case as the area is in an urban environment
  • trails only meant for cross-country skiing, mountain biking or the use of motorized recreational vehicles, such as snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles
Comment - These are not stated uses of the trail in this area or according to 
Approved City of London plans
  • areas of trails where modifications for accessibility would negatively impact the ecology or heritage
Comment - A review of the plans provided by the City declare significant cases where environmental integrity has been maintained or improved outside of the AODA
  • cases where making the trail or beach access route accessible would be impossible or inappropriate – for example, where rocks bordering the route make it impossible to meet minimum width requirements
Comment - A review of the plans provided by the City declare significant cases where environmental integrity has been maintained or improved outside of the AODA
  • cases where making the trail or beach access route accessible would have a negative effect on properties protected under:
    • the Ontario Heritage Act
    • Canada National Parks Act
    • the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (Canada)
    • the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) World Heritage List
Comment - this is not a beach access route
  • cases where making the trail or beach access route accessible would have a negative effect on water, fish, wildlife, plants, invertebrates, species at risk, ecological integrity or natural heritage values
Comment - The City Planning Department, has in the past upheld the highest standard of balance in accommodating use while preserving the integrity of the environment, and the OTC does not see this expansion deviating from the guidelines established in the Conservation Masterplan Phase II - Medway Valley Heritage Forest South ESA, The Corporation of the City of London Guidelines for Management Zones and Trails in Environmentally Sensitive Areas 2016

We will state emphatically that these trails, if they provide greater access through refurbishment or initiation of trail(s) as required under the Act, AODA 2011; they should go ahead.

There are impacts, that can be managed.

At Ontario Trails Council we have found the planning for parks and outdoor recreation through trails in the City of London to be of provincial leadership. We have every reason to believe, therefore that the City has done its diligence in planning for trails in the Medway Valley Area, and that any delay in approval is one of cultural impasse, not environmental threat.

We would say, that if the Environmental Committee sought dollars with Parks and Planning to educate London trail users on safe operation and use of trails in sensitive areas, that would be a committee motion the Ontario Trails Council would applaud.

Ontario Trails at the Bike Summit where they talk alot about trails.

Ontario Ministry of Transportation releases statement about cycling lanes (and trails)
News Release

Ontario Improving Cycling Across the Province

New Action Plan, Network and Skills Guide Promote Safe and Convenient Cycling

April 18, 2018 10:00 A.M.
Ministry of Transportation
Ontario is improving cycling across the province by launching a number of new initiatives to encourage people to get around by bike, improve safety and provide more travel options.
Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation and Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, were at the Ontario Bike Summit to announce #CycleON Action Plan 2.0, the new provincewide cycling network and the Cycling Skills Guide.
Action Plan 2.0 outlines the next steps in achieving the goals of #CycleON: Ontario's Cycling Strategy. This includes actions that help design healthy, active, and prosperous communities, improve cycling infrastructure, make highways and streets safer, promote cycling awareness and behavioural shifts, and increase cycling tourism opportunities. The plan also includes developing a comprehensive cycling education framework that provides standards for curriculum, supports the development and certification of instructors, and delivers cycling education courses across the province.
The cycling network, identified for long-term development, includes over 9,800 km of cycling routes that connect the regions of the province, providing access to major communities and destinations. About half of these network routes already exist, incorporating large segments of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the Great Trail, the Greenbelt Cycling Route and other cycling routes.
Action Plan 2.0 and the new cycling network build on the substantial investments that Ontario has already made in new bike lanes, bicycle parking, and other cycling infrastructure across the province.
Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy was first announced in 2013 as a blue print to promote safe cycling and encourage more people to ride their bikes to work, school and for recreation.
  • The Climate Change Action Plan and carbon market form the backbone of Ontario's strategy to cut greenhouse gas pollution to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. The government will report on the plan's implementation annually and review the plan at least every five years.
  • The Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling (OMCC) program is providing $94 million in direct funding to 118 municipalities in 2017-18 to support the development of commuter cycling infrastructure.
  • The Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program is helping 37 municipalities across the province build or improve cycling infrastructure.
  • Through the Bike Parking Capital Funding Program, the government invested $1 million to support the construction of 1,600 bike parking spaces at 11 provincial tourism and cultural attractions across the province, including rings, racks, indoor lockers and storage rooms.
  • About 1.5 million people in Ontario hop on their bikes at least once a week during the spring, summer and fall, and many cycle year-round.

Ontario Trails Council Strategic Business Plan Survey

Your Feedback is Important to Us

178 responses and counting!

The Board reviewed your feedback to date and preliminary analysis of your comments is underway. As we provide content and summaries these will be shared back to the trails community. Thanks for taking the time to make us better!

As you are aware the Ontario Trails Council is developing a new strategic plan and as part of this process, we are seeking feedback from key stakeholders involved in trails across Ontario.  Your feedback will help the Ontario Trails Council identify the critical issues and opportunities for trails in the next few years.

There are 6 questions in this short survey, and it should take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

Your feedback is very important to us and essential in helping us determine the highest priorities for trails and the best role for the Ontario Trails Council in its capacity as the not-for-profit provincial association representing all Ontario member trails associations and stakeholders.

Thank you for participating in this survey.

Thinking Maps - Think Advermap Maps

OTC is pleased to acknowledge its working relationship with Advermap.
Thanks to Gordon Harris and Bill Syrett at Advermap!

Advermap has a Kickstarter Campaign. OTC is providing this link for information purposes only. It is not an OTC campaign.

Enjoy spring through your favourite on-trail activity!Be sure to check out all our great outdoor activities here.


As we say - every day, somewhere in Ontario, Ontario Trails makes a difference in trails. Membership renewals were e-mailed at the end of November - we wrote - 
Your support enables Ontario Trails to make a difference by maintaining an office and helping the 200+ communities that turn to us for help, in your area and everywhere in Ontario. Memberships run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 each calendar year. This is why you are being invoiced now. The Ontario Trails Council hosts an award-winning website promoting all of Ontario's trails, including trails in your area!

Or via more traditional means:
Print the attached invoice and send a cheque to:
OTC 500 Main St. Deseronto, ON. K0K 1X0
Download the Membership Form, complete and send back with an invoice to the address above. The OTC is more though -
Please continue to support our work. Renew today!

Ontario Trails All Year Long! 
Add an Ontario Trail Logo to your website! 
Ontario Trails WeekOntario Trail DayOntario Trail Count
Watch for it on our social media, our facebook page and on our twitter feed.

Tell us all about your trail event and join us as we celebrate Ontario's Trails!
1. Log in Your Event  - Event spreadsheet.
2. Add your event to our event calendar -  add it here.
3. Post your personalized decal on your Trail - we have one for every group on our list. (see #5 below)
elliot lake trails survey
4. Add your trail user survey to any of your trail pages - we've made one of 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!

5. Send us your Trails video - we'll be posting content online at and we'd be happy to add to our trails tube -
Missing? You may want to talk to us about OTC Membership. 613-484-1140 We'd be happy to connect with you.

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