Trailwise – Ontario Trail Newsletter June 22, 2017

photo from Ontario parks blog
• Trailhead Events • Books, Maps, Mugs and Tees
  • Donate to Trails Today! • Member News • Activity Updates

Ontario Place Trail Opening – 
Ontario Trails Council received an invite from the Office of the Premier to attend the opening of the William Davis Trail at Ontario Place June 19, 2017.

Jack de Wit, President, Dan Andrews Secretary Treasurer, Joey Schwartz of the Toronto Bicycling Network and a proponent of the Toronto Trails Committee development and Patrick Connor attended on behalf of the Ontario Trails Council.

It’s important to attend these developments as it represents a local chance for many of the public to learn about trails. ALready signed as part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, OTC Member GLWT Marlaine Keohelr and David Crombie also attended. The Premier and the Minister spoke from the podium. As did Mississauga’s of the Credit.

One of the most important interactions for the OTC took place on the way out where we had a chance to talk with Chief Reg Niganobe and with Elise King who is working with Terri Hamilton at Credit Valley Conservation on the Credit Valley Heritage Water Trail. Our discussion centred around funding and mutual support.

Ontario Trails Council looks forward to assisting this first nation on any way we can.

OTC reinforced to the Minister, the value it places on the expert staff of MTCS and the processes we have put into place. OTC also reinforced with Minister’s office staff our desire to meet with the Minister and as an organization working throughout Ontario – the OTC will go to any announcement or any trail opening in support of the OTS, Bill 100 and the Trails Action Plan.

A Quick Guide to Trail Risk Management from Cowan Insurance

On June 19th representatives from OTC met with Cowan Insurance, one of Canada’s largest municipal underwriters and insurance brokers to discuss ties to the education and risk management programs OTC provides. OTC programs and recommendations mirror or duplicate the very recommendations tha Cowan makes to it’s policy holders.

So we discussed partnership and synergies. The content is correct, we are both educating and we want more principle in practice. We reached an agreement in principle to work together better for trail safety, and an understanding of why trail safety and product integrity is so important – especially when encouraging use.

OTC staff will be meeting with Cowan trail auditors, and with the OGRA and roads product assessors to determine next steps to enact an Ontario Good Trails Program. We look forward to this industry and trail sector collaboration. It should also be noted that there will be parallel supportive practices arising from the ongoing Ontario Trail Strategy – Ontario Trail Action Plan trails classification program currently in development with the classification expert panel.

For more information on trails standards and practices see:

Support Trails – Order your ball caps, mugs or OTC Shirt now! Quantities are limited.

otc books, maps, hats and tees

City of Toronto Public Meeting

nature in the cityPlease share this notice through your networks to people who may be interested in this project.

The City of Toronto and Councillor Neethan Shan, Ward 42, will host a meeting to discuss the progress of the Beare Hill Park Detailed Design Project. Please join us:

Date:                        Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Time:                        6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location:                 Malvern Community Recreation Centre, Community Room, 30 Sewells Road

Where is the Beare Hill Park site?
The Beare Hill Park site is located in Scarborough (see map attached), south of Beare Road.  This site is bounded by Finch Avenue East to the north, the Toronto/Pickering town line to the east, a CN Rail corridor to the west and a hydro corridor to the south. The proposed Beare Hill Park site is adjacent to the Rouge National Urban Park and the Toronto Zoo.

What’s this meeting about?
You are invited to attend the meeting to:

  • Review the changes proposed,
  • Provide comments and input, and
  • Discuss next steps.

The community was previously engaged to participate in three public meetings that led to the development of the Beare Road (now Hill) Park Master Plan in 2013.  This detailed design project involves the preparation of detailed studies and designs that will be used to tender the construction of the park.  The park design reflects the Master Plan, however, there have been some minor changes that the City is looking for input on.

For more information about Beare Hill Park please visit:

Karen Sun
Natural Environment Specialist (Acting)

Parks, Forestry & Recreation
Natural Environment & Community Programs
City of Toronto
550 Bayview Ave. Bldg 12, Suite 406, Toronto, ON M4W3X8
416.392.1033 | F 416.338.1069 |

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 in 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 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!

5. Send us your Trails video – we’ll be posting content on-line at and we’d be happy to add to our trails tube – 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


Protect the Grand Trunk Trail – please sign the petitionprotect the st mary's trail

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.

value of trail survey 2017

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!

Trailhead Canada – Date Change and Program Outlinetrailhead canada program outline

Membership Renewals – Thank-you for your Support!We wish to thank the organizations that have already renewed for 2017. We couldn’t do our work without your support. Many thanks!



Guelph discusses trails

Ward 2 Coun. Andy Van Hellemond’s motion reopens the possibility of having a trail underpass installed under the new Speedvale Avenue bridge and to add sections of trail around Hanlon Creek to align with trails being developed by the Grand River Conservation Authority. Yvette Tendick, president of the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation, said a trail underpass would connect Riverside Park to the north with an existing trail south of Speedvale and would allow cyclists and walkers a safe route along the river all way to downtown.

“We appreciate Coun. Van Hellemond bringing this forward,” she said.

Wettstein said there was an active group in south Guelph who opposed the trail in that area because widening Niska Road and the Niska bridge are still controversial issues that haven’t been resolved.

Van Hellemond’s motion was separated out. Downer, Gordon, Hofland, Mark MacKinnon, Leanne Piper and Wettstein voted against the section dealing with trails around the Hanlon Creek; Allt and Hofland voted against the underpass trail at Speedvale, but the motion passed anyway. It will go to the public services committee for more discussion.

From -

Ontario Trails News – find your favorite mountain bike trail, and Greenbelt Tour in Niagara

Find your favorite Fatbike Trail

The wheels continue to turn

Grimsby Lincoln News

More than 100 cycling enthusiasts came together at the Holiday InnHotel and Conference Centre inSt. Catharines on Jan. 22, to hear details about Venture Niagara’s recently completed Niagara Cycling Tourism project.
Niagara’s Olympic medallist Steve Bauer welcomed everyone by relating his personal cycling experiences to the evolution of cycling in Niagara. Bauer put some perspective on the many years of ongoing work by volunteers, local municipalities and regional staff that has brought the cycling infrastructure to where it is today.
Susan Morin, community economic development manager for Venture Niagara, was the presenter for the information session following Bauer’s greetings. She notes, “Venture Niagara received funding from the Ministry of Training, College and Universities to help hire a cycling tourism coordinator and provide resources for the project.” Key activities of the project included a cycling related environmental scan of the 12 Niagara municipalities, a survey of visiting cyclists, research on cycling friendly destinations through out the world, and attendance at several cycling related events. These events included participation in a Greenbelt workshop, the Ontario Bike Summit and staffing an information centre at this past summer’s Vélo Québectour through Niagara.
The highlight of the morning meeting was the public launch of, a bilingual, cycling focused website with a video showcasing Niagara as a premier cycling tourism destination. To see the website information and video, visit Businesses and organizations interested in benefitting from the growing popularity of cycling are invited to advertise on the site as it is relatively inexpensive to do so. In fact, several business owners in attendance at the information session took the opportunity to become among the first to purchase advertising on the site.
Numerous individuals, groups, organizations and municipalities across the region have worked towards establishing Niagara as a popular cycling destination for tourists, recreationists and locals. A variety of programs have been implemented in recent years to cater to this market. Two examples of such programs including Cycle and Stay Niagara and Share the Road- Bicycle Friendly Communities.  Cycle and Stay Niagara is a network of bicycle friendly B&Bs along major cycling routes that are willing to transfer cyclists’ luggage and purchases between accommodations while they are in Niagara. The Share the Road Bicycle Friendly Communities program is a cycling friendly designation program for municipalities. Out of 444 municipalities in Ontario, 26 are designated bicycle friendly. The Niagara region has five municipalities holding this designation. The Town of Pelham has a Silver designation and Grimsby, Thorold, Welland and St. Catharines have Bronze designations.
Much has been accomplished to develop Niagara into a popular cycling destination in recent years. However, there is still much more to be done by cycling supporters, municipalities and others to make this area the premier destination for cyclists from across the province and around the world. One of the most important partners in the future growth of this emerging market is small business in urban and rural Niagara. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to get on board by building cycling friendly and cycling related businesses. It’s a community project that embraces the whole Niagara Peninsula. For more information contact: Susan Morin, community economic development manager at Venture Niagara 905-680-8085 or visit the Niagara Cycling Tourism website,

Ontario Trails News – where Torontonians Bike and Run, find your favorite Toronto Trail!

Find your favorite Toronto Trail!


Where Torontonians Bike and Run

Developers map out the world’s most popular spots for walking, jogging, and cycling—and reveal where in this city Torontonians like, and don’t like, to get outside and get active.,zoompan,zoomwheel,geocoder.html?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoiaGV5aXRzZ2FycmV0dCIsImEiOiIwdWt5ZlpjIn0.73b7Y47rgFnSD7QCNeS-zA#13/43.6543/-79.3874
Explore where people walk and run in Toronto with the pink routes, and where they cycle with the orange routes. Data is from RunKeeper. Map by Mapbox’s Garrett Miller and Eric Fischer.
If you made a New Year’s resolution to get outside and be active, you might wonder which are the most popular spots in Toronto for running or biking.
Mapbox’s Garrett Miller and Eric Fischer have your answer. The developers collaborated on a snazzy-looking map that shows where the world’s cyclists and runners—including those in Toronto—like to go.
Using data from RunKeeper, an app that allows runners and cyclists to track their trips and upload results, Miller and Fischer mapped more than 1.5 million trips from around the world. They cut off the first and last 200 metres of each one to anonymize individual routes, and the result is a resource featuring trails marked by various intensities of pink and orange. The pink routes are more likely to be walks or runs, while the orange routes are longer trips, more likely to have been taken by cyclists.
As CityLab points out, the maps highlight commonalities among cities. For instance, people love to run by water—whether along Lake Shore and Queen’s Quay in Toronto, or along the borders of Manhattan.
Toronto’s map reveals that, in addition to being drawn to water, people—no surprise here—love to be active in green spaces. The data shows that the city’s extensive ravine system and its trails are very popular: Don Valley and Humber routes are coloured brightly on the map, showing they’re well travelled. Large downtown parks such as High Park, Queen’s Park, and Trinity-Bellwoods are also well used.
The map also shows a correlation between an area’s built form and the likelihood that people will walk, run, or cycle. East York, North York east of the Allen, and the old city of Toronto are fairly well represented—the walkable downtown core is coloured bright pink. But Scarborough, York, and, to a lesser extent, Etobicoke show a relative lack of use. This could be because of RunKeeper’s data set, which might be produced largely by self-selected users from a younger demographic—but these areas of the city are certainly also more car-dependent and have lower Walk Scores.
These kinds of data don’t just make for shiny maps—they can also support very real policy discussions about how to plan for and encourage more active transportation.
A growing body of research suggests a link between walkability and positive health outcomes. City staff discussed how to build a healthier city by promoting walking and biking [PDF] in a series of 2012 reports [PDF].
In fact, areas highlighted on Miller and Fischer’s walking, running, and cycling map of Toronto appear to be inversely correlated with those known to feature higher rates of diabetes.

Taken from the 2012 City report Towards Healthier Neighbourhoods, this map shows the prevalence of diabetes across the city, with higher-intensity areas highlighted in red

The data are also suggestive in light of the conclusions of a 2012 University of Toronto study, which found that some neighbourhoods—including south and central Scarborough, North York west of Allen Road, north Etobicoke, and York—had up to five times more cardiac arrests than others. In a 2012 interview with the Globe and Mail, the lead author of the study noted that the rate of cardiac arrests increases as soon as you go east of Victoria Park Avenue: on Miller and Fischer’s map, we see a big drop-off in walking, running, and cycling east of Victoria Park.

Map of cardiac arrest incidents across the city from a 2012 study by the University of Toronto's Katherine Allan

Of course, there are many factors—income levels and the availability of transit, for example—that influence an area’s walkability and the health of its residents. Studies such as the 2011 Vertical Poverty Report by the United Way [PDF] and David Hulchanski’s famous Three Cities [PDF] examine data to produce a more nuanced look at the complex underlying issues.
Miller and Fischer’s maps show pieces of a larger story. The most popular trails might seem simply like fun places for a run or merely the result of individual choices, but they’re part of a larger context that governs how the city works—how the built and natural environment, a community’s land-use mix, housing affordability, community health options, and other factors affect the way we relate to and use different parts of the city.