Last year was one of our busiest in terms of Trail development in British Columbia, as we helped to fund much-needed accessibility upgrades, new greenway additions and the installation of updated signage throughout the province.
In the City of Abbotsford, we helped to fund the construction of a short trail linking The Great Trail with the south end of Willband Creek Park. This new path gives pedestrians the chance to explore the park’s extensive trail network, surrounded by beautiful ponds and wetland areas, before rejoining the existing section of The Great Trail at Bateman Road. In Maple Ridge, we also provided funds towards the development of an accessible multi-use pathway along the Ridge Meadows Trail, between Lougheed Highway and Thomas Haney Secondary School.
On Vancouver Island, we supported the development of a new greenway between Saltair and Ladysmith along the Cowichan Valley Trail. This new rail with trail completes the continuous non-motorized route between the village core of Chemainus and historic downtown Ladysmith, ensuring higher levels of safety, accessibility and enjoyment. In Victoria, we helped in the construction of a dedicated two-way separated bicycle lane between Pandora Avenue and Government Street, significantly increasing the safety of cyclists, skaters and rollerbladers.
Upgrades along Trail sections were also an area of focus for funding. We supported surface improvements along the Elk Valley Community Trail at Elkford, as well as the development of a parking lot to create greater access to the Trail.
In addition, new wayfinding signage with The Great Trail branding was installed on the Trail between Castlegar and Nelson as well as in Cranbrook, Victoria and the City of North Vancouver. Other sections of the Trail that were re-signed include the Slocan Valley Rail Trail, part of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, NorthStar Rails to Trails and the Ridge Meadows Pedestrian Trail. In Victoria, we were also thrilled to install a new Point Zero Marker at Clover Point.
We also helped Trail groups in B.C. complete studies to determine the best paths forward for their trails. Last year, we supported the provincial government on a study and First Nations consultation on the condition of part of the Chilliwack River Valley Trail, in order to ensure its sustainable management. We also supported a study to investigate upgrading parts of the Castlegar to Nelson section of the Trail to make it accessible for cyclists.
We were pleased to partner with the ?aq’am community to conduct a feasibility study on developing a non-motorized Trail between ?aq’am and Cranbrook. We also supported archeological impact assessments of two potential locations that could be added to the Salish Sea Marine Trail.
From the bustling streets of Calgary to the serenity of the prairies and majesty of the Rockies, our work in Alberta has supported essential projects in a wide range of communities.
Much of the construction we funded focused on creating safer and more enjoyable experiences for non-motorized users across the province, including the installation of a bridge and culverts between Irricana and Beiseker. The installations are essential for the future construction of a 10-kilometre greenway between the two communities, which will be built on a former railbed.
In addition, we helped to fund the construction of a two-kilometre greenway to bridge the gap between two sections of The Great Trail – one within the city of Calgary and another in the northern city limits. Meanwhile, we helped the Town of Banff as they extended the Legacy Trail farther into the town. It’s hoped that this new greenway will encourage visitors and locals to embrace active transportation.
TCT also funded work along the Kananaskis Country Trail in order to fix issues associated with trail use and natural wear and tear. This involved repairing areas with loose rock, protruding roots or drainage issues, as well as widening the junction between the Iron Creek and Boundary Ridge sections to improve safety.
We also supported much-needed upgrades along the Moose Loop section of the Kananaskis Country Trail. The upgrades included adjusting the cross-country ski alignment for improved snow capture and retention, better drainage and tread levelling. This project also involved the re-routing of 1.5 kilometres of the Trail that had passed through wetlands.
New wayfinding signage was also installed along the West Bragg Creek Trail, as well as along Trail sections in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, Calgary and Banff.
Trail and signage work was completed in the Blackfalds-Lacombe-Ponoka region, with new signage installed between Blackfalds and Lacombe as well as a study on Ponoka’s Diamond Willow Trail to determine the best way to prevent continued erosion of the riverbank. We’re excited to apply the findings of this study in the near future!