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!



7 places to enjoy cross-country skiing in Toronto

7 places to enjoy cross-country skiing in Toronto

Beach Mirror

If downhill skiing isn’t your thing, stay in the city and check out the following Toronto parks for a great afternoon of cross-country skiing.
1. HIGH PARK, 1873 Bloor St. W., just west of Parkside Drive
This 399-acre park, which in 1873 was gifted to the City of Toronto by John and Jemima Howard with the understanding it would be maintained as public parkland, is an ideal location for cross-country skiing as it’s home to several open green spaces and hiking trails. High Park also has ample parking available and is easily accessible by public transit. Don’t forget to stop by the Grenadier Café after your skiing fun for a hot chocolate.
2. EARL BALES PARK, 4169 Bathurst St., south of Sheppard Avenue West
Names after Robert Earl Bales, a former Reeve (Mayor) of the Township of North York, Earl Bales Park is located on land once owned and farmed by his great-grandfather John Bales. Prior to becoming a 27.5-acre park, the property was home to the York Downs Golf and Country Club. Earl Bales Park is also home to one of Toronto’s two Ski and Snowboard Centres. The park’s ski chalet has recently been upgraded and a new quad chairlift has been installed.
3. CENTENNIAL PARK, 256 Centennial Park Rd., near Eglinton Avenue West and Renforth Drive
Once part of Hirons family dairy farm, Centennial Park opened in 1967 for Canada’s 100th birthday. Toronto’s second largest park at 525 acres, Centennial Park is also one of the city’s busiest parks and a great space for cross-country skiing. Centennial Park is home to the other Ski and Snowboard centres. The ski hill now sits atop what was once a municipal dump. It was closed and covered over to provide users with an intermediate ski slope, a beginner slope and a snowboard slope.
4. COLONEL SAMUEL SMITH PARK, 3145 Lake Shore Blvd. W. at Kipling Avenue
Measuring 194.6 acres, Colonel Samuel Smith Park is a great location for winter fun. Named in honour of Lt. Colonel Samuel Smith, the park – which opened in 1996 – was once part of his property in the 1800s. Aside from being a large space for cross-country skiing, the park also offers stunning panoramic view of the city as well as a skating trail.
5. MORNINGSIDE PARK, 390 Morningside Ave., south of Ellesmere Road
Occupying the majority of the deep valley of Highland Creek and bordering the neighbourhoods of West Hill and Highland Creek, Morningside Park is a well-used 416.7-acre green space that is great for cross-country skiing.
6. ROUGE PARK, located along Meadowvale Avenue, south of Steeles Avenue
Set to become Canada’s first national urban park, Rouge Park is a massive, diverse green space located in the Rouge River watershed along the Toronto-Pickering border. Rouge Park, known as Canada’s premier urban wilderness park, is more than 10,000 acres in size and an ideal location of winter sports of all kinds including cross-country skiing.
7. EGLINTON FLATS, 3601 Eglinton Ave W. at Jane Street
Built on the Humber River Floodplain, the land that is now home to Eglinton Flats was owned and farmed by the Scarlett family in the mid 1800’s. It later became a market garden but was flooded out by Hurricane Hazel in 1954. The land then became part of a new floodplain plan and became a park. Home to several sports fields, Eglinton Flats – Mount Dennis’s biggest park at 129 acres – has many wide open spaces perfect for cross-country skiing.

Speed limits, cars and bikes

Torstar News Service fileToronto has made a lot of effort to keep cyclists safe, including cordoning off cycling lanes from traffic. Reducing speed limits may be one of the biggest jumps the city could make.
It’s time we stopped treating our neighbourhoods like speed bumps.
We’ve heard a lot of bunk about the “war on cars.” People are frustrated by congestion and long commute times. Motorists recoil at any suggestion that they should slow down, share the road or be impeded in any way.
As a result, we tend to value traffic flow over anything that might stand in its way — things like people.
Now, the provincial government is considering reducing the standard 50 km/h speed limit to 40 km/h by amending the Highway Traffic Act.
Coun. Jaye Robinson, chair of public works, told me her committee is already slated to reconsider speed limits in the first quarter of this year. She wants a case-by-case look at the issue, balancing safety with the need for traffic flow.
But any reduction in the speed limit is bound to be met with wailing and blaring of horns from motorists.
In 2012, Toronto’s chief medical officer Dr. David McKeown presented a report to the health board recommending that residential speed limits be reduced.
The report showed the health benefits of a walkable, cycling-friendly city. It showed the cost savings associated with reduced collisions (measured in millions), and it provided evidence that reducing speed limits from 50 km/h to 30 km/h meant a 40 per cent decrease in the probability of a fatal pedestrian collision.
Talk-radio personality Rob Ford called the idea “nuts.” Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, then chair of public works, accused McKeown of wasting taxpayers’ money on the report. The following year was one of the worst for traffic fatalities ever recorded.
During the last election, Robinson found many residents concerned about pedestrian safety. Last summer saw the death of seven-year-old Georgia Walsh, hit by a van in a 40 km/h zone.
Robinson said parents are driving their kids to school, just blocks away, because they are too afraid to let them walk. Let’s consider that: more car trips are being made because people are afraid of cars. If more people are driving because they are afraid to walk or cycle, this car-first mentality is actually contributing to congestion. Drivers are their own worst enemies, it seems.
The best way to solve congestion is to take cars off the road. That means enticing those who can to walk, bike or take transit. People are often happy to make the switch, if they feel safe enough. More importantly, the health benefits associated with cities that encourage walking and cycling that McKeown reported are real and measurable. Let’s measure a lifetime of good health against making good time en route to the office. A 10 km/h decrease in speed is a small sacrifice.

Glyn Bowerman is a Toronto-based journalist and theatre artist. He is also a regular contributor to Spacing Magazine. Follow him on twitter @Banquos_Banquet

Ontario Trails News – of course they are – 2015 PanAM ParaPan Cycling to take place on Lake Ontario Waterfront – includes trails!

Find PanAm ParaPan Trails on the Ontario Trails Council website

Toronto 2015 road events to be held on Lake Ontario waterfront

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

By Nick Butler

Road races at the Pan American Games will take place on the Lake Ontario waterfront in Toronto ©Getty ImagesCycling and road running events at the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Toronto next year will take place along the waterfront of Lake Ontario, it has been confirmed. 

This will maximise views showcasing the Toronto’s beauty, it is hoped, with finish lines set to particularly include “incredible views of the cities skyline”.

All road races, including race-walking and marathon events as well as cycling road races at both versions of the Games, will start and finish on Lake Shore Boulevard, with each sport consisting of laps of different length and levels of difficulty.

This will include a blend of the “challenging” hills in High Park or the long, straightaways such as Lake Shore Boulevard, favoured by race walkers.

All the race routes were designed under the direction of international experts to meet the critical technical requirements that govern Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship courses, it was claimed, with temporary road closes expected to ensure a “world-class” field of play.

More information on this is, as well as the exact routes to be used, is available via the Toronto 2015 website, here, with further details to be provided in the New Year.

Ontario Trails News – June 30, 2013


Trail Heroes

Know somebody that works hard on trails? If so nominate them to be an Ontario Trails “Trail Hero!” We’d be happy to review your recommendations and acknowledge in a small way their contribution to trails in your community.

trail heroes

Trail Blog

Every day trails are news! Every day we blog about trails. In communities all over Ontario trails are big news, for cyclists, runners, canoe or horses, every day we capture in one spot all the trail news – local, provincial or national! Join today!

ontario trails blog

Trail Leaders!

Become a trail development leader. Join Ontario’s first ever series of 14 trail education courses in the development and management of trails. Designed for both volunteers and professionals.  Register today – registration is open 24/7 until the morning of each training event. 

ontario trails courses

Join OTC

The Ontario Trails Council is a non-profit charitable organization, established in 1988, that promotes the development, preservation, management and use of recreational trails. With over 130 organizational members and 15 individual supporters the OTC has influence! Support trails in Ontario – Join the OTC

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Learn an Activity

Our website contains information on over 2,600 trails, and a description for nearly 2,000. Learn about the places where you can bike, cross country ski, climb or any of another 15 activities. We are linked to over 130 organizations and a variety of provincial groups that can help you learn an activity or become better at one you already love!

ontario water trails

Add Your Event

We post trail or outdoor events on trail specific facebook pages, the main OTC facebook page, and the event section of the OTC website. You can send us your event and we’ll post it to these extensive networks. Each week we reach over 20,000 people, so if you want your event known, a bit better, send us the information.

add your event

Member Requests

1) Capital Budgets – link togoogle doc shared – please share your trail budget we’d like to know who is getting what around the province. Thanks!

2) OTC met Mayor Rob Ford Chief of Staff and discussed his support for the Toronto Trails Committee. Please like us on facebook.

3) OTC/Cycle Toronto pursue Ignite endorsement! Secured!

4) OTC going back to Norfolk County in May on horse trails!

5) Met with core leaders Niagara Trails Committee. Thanks to Niagara Circle Trek Trail for your support!

6) OTC welcomes new members! Thanks South Western Tourism Corporation!

7) OTC declared “partner” of Cycle Toronto – thanks

cycle toronto

8) Algonquin College program on-line

algonquin college

9) Do you have a winter trail maintenance policy? Please forward to Ontario Trails

10) Thanks to Caledon for extending use of trails to horses!

11) Please renew your OTC Membership – TODAY “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.” Ray Gilbert Bruce Trails Network

12) Next OTC Board Meeting May 27th, 2013. Using JoinMe internet meeting service.

13) Liability Survey Arising from our meeting with the ADM and staffs October 1, 2012
Short Form
Long Form
Please complete ASAP

14) Hamilton Conservationdiscount passes – Additional rewards 🙂

15) Anybody aware of any sanctioned “free run” dog trails? Came up at Toronto Beltline Trail Meeting. Please call OTC Office with information

16) Credit Valley Conservation looking for support from Shell Fuelling Change Project

17) OTC Mobile App – for iProducts and Windows

otc mobile app

18) peace garden trails
Check out the latest trail opening here.

19) Thanks to The Great Waterway for their support. Contact Graham Burke if your RTO wants to do the same!

20) Millennium Trail PEC Blog – often looking for volunteers

21) Each week 100 folks talk about us and we reach over 12,000 on facebook alone.Check us out

22) Membership section of OTC website updated – get your login and password today!

23) Director section of the OTC website updated – get your login and password today! New content added – Guideline for Interpreting Financial statements and Past Meeting Minutes.

24) CPRA Looking for Infrastructure and Parks Volunteer e-mail John Lohuis at Niagara Parks

 niagara parks

25) Add your trail

26) Add your event

27) Prescott-Russell look for links on website forMasterplan

28) The Toronto Bruce Trailpublic bus hikes

29) Follow the Education Program on Facebook

facebook ontario trails education

30) Follow the Education Program Updates on Twitter

twitter ontario trails education

31) Post Photos to Pinterest

ontario trails on pinterest

32) OTC on Foursquare

ontario trails on foursquare

33) Safe Trails Manual

34) Winter Hikes with Rainbow Routes
rainbow routes hike club

35) OTC Education Partner

Ontario Parks Association

36) Snowshoe program at Wye Marsh

wye marsh

37) Park and Recreation Ontario.
park and recreation ontario

38) OTC Youtube Channel
ontario trails youtube channel

39) Trail Priorities Survey

40)Trail Reform Now Survey

41) Trail Projects 2012

42) Ontario Trails Maps

ontario trails maps

43) Enabling Change Program

44) Canadian Canoe Museum
Canadian canoe museum

Canadian canoe museum

45) Sustainable Trails Program

sustainable trails program

46) FinnFun

Welcome Greeting in Finnish with flags of Finland

The 74th annual Finnish Canadian Grand Festival is returning to the City of Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada where the Grand Festival originated on the Dominion Day Weekend in 1940. We are calling this year’s festival: FINNFUN2013. FINNFUN2013 will take place from Thursday June 27th to Canada Day on Monday July 1st, 2013. We encourage families to bring their children to participate and to learn about their Finnish culture and heritage.

47) OTC Board 2012-13

Ontario Equestrian Federation

Bonnie Simpson V.P.
Ontario Trail Riders Association

Dan Andrews – Secretary/Treasurer
TrailADE Consulting

Paul Ronan
Ontario Parks Association

Frieda Baldwin
Huronia Trails and Greenways

Wayne Daub
Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicle Clubs

Igor Hoogendoorn
International Mountain Biking Association
855-255-4094 ext.108

Tim West
Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs

Kirsten Spence
Northern Ontario Representative

Jeff Muzzi
Manager, Forestry Services, Renfrew County

Patrick Connor
Ex-officio – Executive Director

We currently have a vacancy on the OTC Board. If you are interested please e-mail Jack De Wit to discuss.

ontario trillium foundation
Ontario Trails Council appreciates Ontario Trillium Foundation Financial Support

The ideas, opinions, re-posting of news, editorials and content contained in this newsletter are not necessarily the ideas or opinions of the OTC Board or staff. This news is intended for informational purposes only.

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OTC Event Planning Guide
Call 877-668-7245


OTC Trail Committee Manual
Call 877-668-7245

ontario regional trail committee planner

Ontario Trails Membership

On behalf of OTC we thank you for your support. If there is a group you know that is not a member contact us and we’ll send them a note on membership benefits. This past week we received a renewal from Nipigon andSEOPRA! Thank you very much for your support!

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