More than 125,000 Canadians have helped to build the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) through their donations to its development and promotion, along with contributions from major corporations, foundations and all levels of government. While 72 per cent of the Trail is already connected, a number of projects vital to the TCT’s completion are now underway as a result of this generous support.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to all of our donors who have invested in our dream of connection by 2017,” says Deborah Apps, TCT president & CEO. Here are a few highlights of their investments at work:
Junction Creek Waterway Park
In 1991, Sudbury City Council approved an ambitious 20-year plan to build an 18-kilometre trail along Junction Creek, a waterway that crosses the city from east to west. Five kilometres of the resulting Junction Creek Waterway Park have been designated Trans Canada Trail.
Through the support of the Rainbow Routes Association, a local non-profit group who received a generous donation from Sudbury mining giant Xstrata Nickel, the final 1.55-kilometre section of this route is now underway, linking the Kelly Lake Trail with downtown Sudbury.
“The Trail is a social asset that promotes healthy lifestyles and enables the people of Sudbury to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate Canada’s history and natural heritage,” says Marc Boissonneault, vice president of Xstrata Nickel’s Sudbury Operations. “The Trans Canada Trail is so many things to so many people, and our contribution means that our Sudbury employees can take pride in participating in its creation, as well as enjoying the Trail itself. We are delighted to play a part in bringing the Trail to life for all Sudburians and those that visit here.”
West Bragg Creek
In the foothills of the spectacular Rocky Mountains, the West Bragg Creek section of the Trans Canada Trail will connect the hamlet of Bragg Creek with Kananaskis. The cost of the seven-kilometre natural-surface trail is estimated to be $900,000.
Through generous donor contributions, TCT recently approved a $125,000 investment in a 2.7-kilometre section of the Trail, in addition to $14,221 in funding for an engineering feasibility study that commenced in 2012.
These contributions will build on the efforts of many regional groups. In 2006, The Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association raised $15,000 for design of the Trail route and has also since supported the County of Rocky View in the completion of its Parks and Open Space Master Plan. In addition, Alberta Transportation installed sidewalks on two bridges along the route, and the County of Rocky View has provided a grant of $60,000 for the project.
Town of Hampton
New Brunswick has an extensive trail network, reaching each corner of the province and offering every kind of adventure imaginable to outdoor enthusiasts. But a few significant TCT gaps still exist, and Trans Canada Trail donors are key to bridging them by 2017.
In Hampton, for example, located 40 kilometres northwest of Saint John and nestled in the Kennebecasis River Valley, between the Pickwauket Hills and Passekeag Ridge, the TCT has financed part of a route designed to showcase the community and its amenities. The Trail will serve as part of the town’s active transportation system, connecting schools, the community centre, stores, rest stops, restaurants and much more.
In May, TCT approved funding of $171,091 for a 6.85-kilometre section of the Trail, in addition to providing $4,146 for an engineering feasibility study. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $477,806.
A Prince Edward Island project funded by TCT will close a gap between PEI and Nova Scotia. The new section will complete the Trail from New Brunswick, via the Confederation Bridge, through the southeast of the province to the Wood Islands Ferry, on to Caribou, Nova Scotia.
The project will become part of the world-famous Confederation Trail, which travels across PEI. It will also link Charlottetown and Stratford, as part of a three-community trail designed to encourage bicycle commuting.
Part of the project was completed in 2004; the TCT is providing $215, 871 in funding towards this year’s Trail construction.
Mrs. Laureen Harper and country music artist Paul Brandt shooting a TCT PSA with Shaw Media at
Trans Canada Trail media sponsor helps increase public awareness
The epic task of building the Trans Canada Trail demands more than putting shovels to the ground. It’s also an exercise in raising awareness on a national scale.
It’s a good thing the Trail has a good friend in television and mass communications.
Last year, Shaw Media produced and aired two 30-second public service announcements on its many media channels, ensuring that the TCT story reached hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the country.
The most recent PSA, which aired from February to April, features passionate Trail supporter and patron His Excellency David Johnston, Governor General of Canada; Mrs. Laureen Harper, TCT Honorary chair of the Chapter 150 campaign; and country music artist Paul Brandt.
“We are pleased to commit resources and time to support the Trans Canada Trail, including more than $3.4 million of in-kind services and the production of public service announcements by Global Calgary,” says Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications Inc., which owns Shaw Media. “Trans Canada Trail has embarked on a bold undertaking, and we applaud them for bringing together volunteers working across the country in order to bring all Canadians closer.”
Gay Decker, director of communications for the Trans Canada Trail, says having a partner like Shaw Communications is critical to the Trail’s success in connecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
“We’ve been building Trail since 1992 and we’ve accomplished a great deal. But we’re not done yet. We need to continue to raise awareness about this grand, national project and our goal of full connection by 2017,” she says. “We’re so grateful that Shaw Communications is helping us spread the word.”