Remarks from Trans Canada Trail president & CEO Deborah Apps
As I travel this great country, from the Avalon Peninsula to Nootka Sound, I meet Canadians who are committed to connecting the Trans Canada Trail by 2017. Every day, I am reminded of what that means.
The Trail signifies so much about Canadians – our optimism, our tenacity, our commitment to the land, our sense of community, our cultural identities, how much we care about our children and the legacy we leave to generations to come.
I am so proud to be playing a small part in the completion of this grand project, over 21 years in the making. Working for the TCT has reminded me what it is I love about Canada and inspires me to help build an even stronger and even more caring country.
When it is time for me to hand over the walking stick to future generations, I want to know that they have a Trail on the ground, one that is sacred and that will be protected. I hope that you will join me in connecting Canadians ‘at human speed’ by 2017.
On that note, I am so proud to welcome the Honourable Robert Ghiz, Premier of the province of Prince Edward Island, as the TCT’s first Champion Premier.
PEI has always been a strong supporter of the TCT. Its Confederation Trail, an important link in the Trans Canada Trail, is currently 93 per cent complete and is well on its way to full connection this summer, making it the second province to complete the Trail, after Newfoundland and Labrador.
Just as PEI was the birthplace of Confederation almost 150 years ago, the province is now helping to rekindle passion for our country’s sesquicentennial birthday present, the Trans Canada Trail.
When I asked Premier Ghiz how important it is to have a Trail linking Canada and Canadians, he said, “Canada is a country to be proud of. I encourage all Canadians to get behind the Trans Canada Trail, which was originally launched here on PEI. Future generations will benefit from the exposure to nature, and the active lifestyles the Trans Canada Trail can help inspire. It helps expose Canadians to their country’s rich history and its diverse landscape.”
I couldn’t agree more. The Trans Canada Trail will ensure Canadians are connected to our shared history, our magnificent and varied landscape and our rich multicultural mosaic. It will also motivate people to be active, and help to improve the health and well-being of Canadians right across Canada.
That’s why Premier Ghiz wants all people of PEI to enjoy the Trail. “The Confederation Trail is Prince Edward Island’s premier outdoor venue for walking, running, hiking and cycling,” he said. “It showcases the Island’s natural beauty and gives residents and visitors a great reason to enjoy the outdoors. So not only does the Trail inspire people to become more physically active, but it also provides an excellent venue to enjoy the Island’s natural beauty and our clean, fresh air. The benefits derived from those features are immeasurable.”
Premier Ghiz said he chose to champion the Trail because it is important to build healthy links among PEI’s communities. “The Confederation Trail gives Islanders and visitors a safe and healthy option for travel between communities,” he said, “and also provides residents with a safe, traffic and noise-free environment for travel.”
Ever since the launch of the TCT, Canadians have rallied together in support of this grand, national project. Our provincial and territorial partners and Trail groups work tirelessly to build and manage Trails across the country, while our volunteer board members and devoted staff never take their eyes off the goal. We are grateful for the support we receive from all levels of government, as well as from Canadians from every corner of the country, who make personal donations to ensure the Trans Canada Trail will connect us all. The Trans Canada Trail will play a critical role in ensuring our country celebrates 150 years of Confederation as a strong, unified nation. Please join me, Premier Ghiz and the hundreds of thousands of Canadians working hard from coast to coast to coast to make sure we get the job done.
Because connected, we are stronger.
TCT expands for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Ontario
On October 3, 2013, the Government of Ontario announced a $3.5-million trail-building initiative that will connect southern Ontario in time for Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. A portion of this funding will be dedicated to bridging 250 kilometres of existing gaps in the TCT network, creating a continuous, 2,000-kilometre Trail system connecting four major Games venues.
“Expanding trails in more communities is a great way to promote healthy and active living throughout the province. I look forward to running on these new paths with running groups well beyond the Games in 2015,” says Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Thanks to this funding, several TCT projects are moving forward this trail-building season with many more in the works before the Games begin.
For example, TCT’s New Tecumseth project will see six kilometres of new greenway between Caledon and Innisfil; the TCT Frontenac K&P Trail will gain its first 12 kilometres; and the TCT County of Essex Trail will expand by more than 40 kilometres, bridging two important gaps in its Toronto-Windsor connection.
“The Trans Canada Trail is absolutely thrilled to receive this support,” said Deborah Apps, TCT’s president & CEO, “which will bring us a great deal closer to realizing our goal of developing a national recreational Trail.”