Translating collective passion for the Trail into further success and achievement

A message from Neil Yeates, Chair, Trans Canada Trail

 Future efforts will focus on creating more greenway sections, encouraging use and developing further partnerships with tourism organizations nationally and internationally, says Trans Canada chair Neil Yeates. SUPPLIED

Future efforts will focus on creating more greenway sections, encouraging use and developing further partnerships with tourism organizations nationally and internationally, says Trans Canada chair Neil Yeates. SUPPLIED

This year, Trans Canada Trail realized an audacious dream that was 25 years in the making: connection of The Great Trail from coast to coast to coast – a distance of over 24,000 kilometres. The celebratory mood across Canada is still evident after announcing the nationwide connection of The Great Trail in Ottawa on August 26.

Our recently connected Trail is a wonderful gift from Canadians to Canadians – a Trail that profiles our magnificent landscapes and cultural history. Today, 80 per cent of Canadians live within 30 minutes of The Great Trail, and easy access to outdoor activities, exercise and adventures.

I am especially grateful for this when I hike on the beautiful Trail sections in the Rockies – it truly is a Trail for all seasons. I’m also excited about the new possibilities that connection offers. The Trail is a gateway to Canada, encouraging Canadians and visitors to explore nature both locally and in other provinces and territories.

With all this in mind, I couldn’t be prouder or more excited to begin my tenure as Chair of the Trans Canada Trail Board.

Since joining the TCT Board in 2013, I have had the privilege of working alongside a group of dedicated and focused individuals. My fellow board members have been inspirational in their efforts to deliver a connected cross-Canada network of trails.

In particular, I would like to give a special mention to my predecessor,  Paul LaBarge. Paul’s leadership and passion for the Trail over many years helped ensure our success towards connection.

I would also like to thank our other retiring board members – Cameron Clark (Thunder Bay), Mylène Forget (Montreal), Eric Gionet (Fredericton), Kenneth Killin (Toronto), Alan MacDonald (Ottawa) and Ruth Marr (Winnipeg) – as well as former board members who, over the past 25 years, have generously given their time and expertise in support of this great national project.

We will miss all of our retiring board members as we go forward. However, the current board and I look forward to continuing to promote and improve The Great Trail. Our collective passion for the Trail will spur us on toward further success and achievement.

We would not be where we are today without the incredible work of the TCT Foundation, led by the always passionate Valerie Pringle and Hartley Richardson. Thanks to their steadfast efforts, as well as the support of generous donors from across Canada, we have been able to achieve a dream of connection and set a path forward for support in the future.

After such a successful year, my fellow board members and I know that our work is far from done. Moving forward, we will continue to nurture TCT’s relationships with outdoor enthusiasts across Canada and garner support for The Great Trail. We will work to create more greenway sections, encourage use and develop further partnerships with tourism organizations nationally and internationally.

Join us as we begin this new chapter on The Great Trail!


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