We were delighted to celebrate the opening of the St. Thomas Elevated Park, an innovative new trail built along an abandoned railway bridge. We were also pleased to support the addition of more than 10 kilometres of greenway to a section of The Great Trail in North Bay. Wayfinding signage was installed along both these sections.
Upgrades were of particular importance in Ontario last year. Along the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail, we supported essential upgrades to a historic trestle bridge. We also helped to fund resurfacing work along the Trail in Sables-Spanish Rivers and in Dryden, providing a smoother and more consistent experience for wheeled users.
We supported tread improvements and re-routing along three kilometres of the Voyageur Trail in Nipigon, after drainage issues affected its accessibility. We also provided funding for upgrades and the re-routing of the K&P Trail between Sharbot Lake and Tichborne, creating a more enjoyable off-road experience for users.
To help increase capacity on the Iron Horse Trail in Kitchener-Waterloo, we supported trail-widening work and the replacement of an aging bridge. On the Trail in Uxbridge, upgrades to an existing steel bridge were completed, along with improvements to the trail bed.
Culvert installations were supported along the Caledon Trailway and along Severn’s section of the Trail. In Severn, we also provided funding for the construction of a new bridge to increase user safety.
In Garden River First Nation, we helped to build a new boardwalk on the Huron Shores Trail after lake levels increased. We also assisted with the clearing of seven kilometres of the Beaten Path Nordic Trails system in Atikokan.
New amenities also made using the Trail easier for outdoor enthusiasts. We were proud to support the installation of four lockers in Sault Ste. Marie, allowing people to safely store their belongings before enjoying the Lake Superior Water Trail. We also helped to fund the installation of four rest stops along the Elgin Trail in Aylmer.
In New Tecumseth, we supported the construction of two new parking lots to provide greater access to the town’s section of the Trail.
Trail fans might have noticed new wayfinding signage along the Trail in a number of communities, including Chatham-Kent, Uxbridge, Kitchener-Waterloo, St. Thomas, Brantford, Mississauga, Caledon, Woolwich, Innisfil, Sault Ste. Marie and Elgin.
A number of Trail sections were also re-signed with new wayfinders, including the Laura Secord Legacy Trail, Penetanguishene Trail, the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail, the S.C. Johnson Trail and the Norfolk County Rail Trails, as well as at access points to the Path of the Paddle and the Lake Superior Water Trail.
We started laying foundations for future projects with six studies across the province. On the Jackson Creek Kiwanis Trail, we supported a new study to assess five bridges and to recommend repairs to make them safer. We also worked with the City of Kitchener to determine the feasibility of building four new refuge islands, which would create a safer crossing through the major streets the Trail section intersects with.
In Penetanguishene, we also supported a study to confirm the design of a new parking lot, which will improve access to the Trail in the area.
We are thrilled to welcome two trails to our network in Quebec! In Sherbrooke, an existing 13-kilometre trail between Rock Forest and the Saint-François River (l’axe de la Magog) was added, extending Les Grandes-Fourches trail in the city. In Mirabel, a 25-kilometre rural trail for horseback riding joined our network.
We were also pleased to support the construction of a new greenway in Terrebonne. The Sentier Les Moulins is a much-anticipated development, and caters to horseback riding and walking. There was more good news for horseback riders when we helped to fund the extension of the Sentier du Grand-Portneuf, creating an equestrian trail from Pont-Rouge to Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne. In Baie-Saint-Paul, we supported the construction of a new Trail section between Chemin de la Martine and Chemin de la Pointe, which caters mainly to hikers.
TCT also stepped in to support essential upgrades across the province. When the Sentier des Pointes in the Charlevoix region was forced to close after extreme wind storms, we assisted local volunteers as they cleared the Trail section of debris and created a safe route for users. We also supported the construction of a new footbridge on the Traversée de Charlevoix to enhance user safety, after the previous bridge had been washed away.
In Wakefield, we funded the removal of diseased trees along the Trail after severe winds. Improvements we supported included the paving of part of the Véloroute de Lotbinière in Saint-Agapit and surface repairs along the Véloroute des Draveurs between the communities of Low and Messines. We also helped to fund upgrades along the Sentier Mestachibo, which will facilitate the repair of an aging staircase at the Jean-Larose Falls, which links to Mont-Sainte-Anne, in 2020. In addition, we supported surface repairs along the southern section of Le Petit Témis, at Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac and the border with New Brunswick.
Other work included surface upgrades along the Parc linéaire des Bois-Francs, including paving a section near Warwick to prevent erosion.
We also helped to fund studies to determine the direction of future projects in Quebec. In Rivière-du-Loup, we supported a study on future mitigation work needed for a pedestrian bridge that was built for bikes and snowmobiles. Two more studies along the P’tit Train du Nord were also supported: one to determine the repairs needed to reopen a historic trestle bridge in Mont-Laurier, and the other to determine the best locations for new maze gates to control access.
Other studies included determining the work needed to add a paved trail to the Véloroute de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau between Low and La Pêche, and choosing the best routes for two new greenways on the North Shore of the Lanaudière region.
New wayfinding signage was installed, notably along La Montérégiade, Sentiers Wakefield and on the Trail operated by the Commission de la Capitale Nationale in Gatineau.