The Waterfront Trail nears 15 years of commitment and regeneration
As part of the tour, the Trust and trail managers will review the tremendous progress to date on the Durham stretch of Trail, examine the remaining gaps in the alignment and learn about future plans for Durham’s waterfront. One of the key objectives will be to ensure that the Trail is ready for people next year when the Trust and its partners will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the newly expanded and enhanced Trail in 2007.
By the spring of 2007, the municipalities and the conservation authorities will have completed 8 projects on the Trail totaling $2.5 million. The projects are:
These projects are part of the Trust’s Lake Ontario Waterfront Investment Program with Canada-Ontario Infrastructure Program. The Investment program involves 27 partners and 52 trail projects representing $30 million of public/private investment on the waterfront.
“In addition to the Lake Ontario Waterfront Investment Program, each community along the Trail has made other substantial improvements to their section of the waterfront”, said Vicki Barron, “local leadership and vision is making regeneration of Lake Ontario’s waterfront a reality.”
When the Waterfront Trail and Greenway opened in 1995, it stretched from Hamilton to Trenton. Today it is twice as long encompassing the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario and the Ontario shores of the St. Lawrence River – 650 kilometres from Niagara to the Quebec border. What has been accomplished in just 15 years is impressive. It would have been impossible without a committed partnership involving all levels of government, businesses and community groups united in a common goal to regenerate the waterfront.
“Tastes of the Trail” Starter Kits launched in response to desire for shorter trips.
The Waterfront Trail is an incredible provincial fitness and recreation amenity that promotes one of the Province’s finest natural assets—Lake Ontario. “Trails have an important role to play in promoting healthy active lifestyles”, said Barron. “The top two reasons cited by people for using the trail are exercise and enjoying the waterfront. Another positive trend indicated by our research is increase in commuter use of the Trail from 14% in 1996 to 24% in 2002.”
During the past few years, energies have been concentrated on trail building and signing the Trail. However, with the completion of 50 projects along the Trail expected this year, it is time to get people out on to the Trail to experience regeneration first-hand.
In order to encourage families to explore more of the 650 km Trail, the Trust (along with waterfront communities, the Ministry of Health Promotion and CIBC, founding corporate partner) has created a Starter Kit which features complete itineraries for 5 easy outings. “Although many people using the Trail love the idea of riding or hiking the entire route with the 650 km End-to-End Challenge”, Vicki said, “others have said they’d like shorter trips to take with their kids on an afternoon, or a weekend.”
The Starter Kit is a great summer project for people and especially for families that want to introduce their children to the natural and cultural riches of Lake Ontario.
The Starter Kit is just the latest of many Trail projects to have enjoyed
the support of CIBC. Since CIBC became a founding partner in 1996, it
has contributed $1.25 million. “Our partnership with CIBC is very
important to us, and CIBC’s ongoing commitment has helped the Trail
fulfill its purpose of bringing the people of Ontario to their lake”,
said Vicki Barron.