For media inquiries please contact the Executive Director Marlaine Koehler at mk@wrtrust.com or 416-520-4205.


Media Releases and Coverage

Great Lakes Tourism Experience the Focus of New Binational Partnership

Ontario’s Waterfront Regeneration Trust Corporation, the Community Foundation for
Southeast Michigan and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources join with
Trans Canada Trail in signing a Memorandum of Understanding in Windsor, ON, September 9

Event livestream available at www.facebook.com/CityofWindsor at 10 am ET

Montreal, September 9, 2022Trans Canada Trail, steward of the longest recreational trail network in the world and largest investor in trail infrastructure projects in Canada, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT) in Ontario, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are pleased to announce today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a binational Great Lakes tourism destination opportunity by 2024.

Coinciding with the opening of the Gordie Howe International Bridge, this destination opportunity will pave the way for cross-border trail tourism experiences promoting the use and enjoyment of the greenways, waterways and communities of Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, the border cities on the Detroit River considered the heart of the Great Lakes, and a gateway to each country.

Eleanor McMahon, President & CEO, Trans Canada Trail will sign the MOU at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts in Windsor this morning along with the Honourable David Crombie, Founder and Board Member of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT), Richard DeVore, President of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Dan Eichinger, Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The event can be streamed at www.facebook.com/CityofWindsor beginning at 10 am ET.

The binational partnership builds on greenway systems started first in Windsor in the 1960s and ‘70s, and in southeast Michigan in the ‘90s, in response to increasing public demand for access to the waterfront and active modes of transportation.

From the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail (3,600 km/2,200+miles), a part of the Trans Canada Trail (+5,200 km/3,200+ miles in Ontario) to the Iron Belle Trail in Michigan (+3,200 km/2,000+ miles) and The Great Lakes Way (+500 km/300+ miles), the MOU partners will amplify these existing trail networks and assets and leverage the non-motorized transportation (cycling and walking) infrastructure features of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge, for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

Together, the partner organizations will develop a trail destination experience, collaborate on marketing strategies, and explore opportunities for using technology to enhance the trail-user experience via a digital trail mirroring the physical trail. In turn, the partnership will support economic development through exceptional eco-tourism, promote conservation, encourage healthy living and enhance quality of life.

The vision behind the Great Lakes destination experience:

  • Link the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, part of the Trans Canada Trail network, to Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail and The Great Lakes Way via the new Gordie Howe International Bridge. An important tourism attraction, active transportation route and conservation opportunity, the bridge will convey residents and guests to the new Ojibway National Urban Park in Windsor and beyond.
  • Connect visitors to the natural heritage assets on both sides of the border, such as the forthcoming Ojibway National Urban Park, which includes the Ojibway Shores and Nature Centre, encompassing land adjacent to the Detroit River shoreline.
  • Connect cycling tourists from the United States to Ontario’s wine country in Essex County, Pelee Island, Lake Erie communities and the Niagara Region via the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s Lake Erie cycling route, an easy day trip that would attract many.

Click on the image to explore an interactive map of the trails:

Recognizing the potential of trails as a significant tourism asset – particularly as visitors seek outdoor, recreation, staycations and cultural experiences – Trans Canada Trail initiated Canada’s first National Trail Tourism Strategy in 2020.

As part of this trail tourism strategy, Trans Canada Trail has developed the Exceptional Trail Experience program, to work with the travel and tourism sector and to support the capacity of the trail sector in Canada in developing export-ready, premier destination trails. The binational Great Lakes tourism experience will serve as a model for the Exceptional Trail Experience program, which Trans Canada Trail anticipates launching in 2023.

Quotes:

“We’re incredibly proud to join in this MOU with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and our trail partners in the United States. Thirty years ago, the Trans Canada Trail began as a dream of a small group of Canadians who envisioned a national trail that would connect Canadians to nature and to one another. In this anniversary year, we are elated to expand on this foundational theme by taking it cross-border, opening doors to enhanced tourism and recreation opportunities, to active transportation corridors, and to activating Canada’s trail-based tourism economy. We know from our national polling research how vital trails have become for the health and well-being of Canadians. Not only is trail use growing in Canada, but we have seen the growing global demand for trail tourism. We are confident that this partnership will contribute to local economies on both sides of the border, and that this announcement will catalyze other opportunities for cross-border collaborations and further destination development initiatives, between Canada and the U.S.

Eleanor McMahon, President & CEO, Trans Canada Trail

The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is thrilled to join Trans Canada Trail, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to launch this exciting new collaboration. The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail was inspired by thousands of people who demanded more for their Great Lakes and understood the Trail was the first step in creating a new relationship to it. Today it is an award-winning, beloved amenity and tourism attraction. With the completion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge, we have the tremendous opportunity to connect our legacy work to amazing initiatives underway in the US. This partnership will realize the vision for binational trail tourism experiences that protect, connect and celebrate the Great Lakes, the world’s largest source of fresh water and treasured resource shared by the citizens of our two countries.
Hon. David Crombie, P.C. O.C. OOnt., Founder and Board Member, Waterfront Regeneration Trust

“We are so pleased that Trans Canada Trail and the Waterfront Regeneration Trust are joining forces with the Michigan Department of Natural Resource and the Community Foundation to collaborate on a binational trail experience,” says Ric DeVore, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “The Great Lakes Way initiative is about providing access to our amazing greenways and blueways and to connect communities. We are excited about the possibilities of this collaboration.”
Richard DeVore, President of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

“There are many ways Michigan continues to earn its reputation as our nation’s Trails State, and this partnership shines an international spotlight on enviable trail resources and outdoor adventure on both sides of the bridge. We’re excited about welcoming more people to Detroit, where much time, energy and investment have created an inviting bit of ‘up north’ downtown, and then encouraging them to take in the rest of our beautiful state. We’re especially proud of the Iron Belle Trail, stretching along two hiking and bicycling routes from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula. Recently, people have turned to state trails, parks and waterways like never before, seeking space, comfort and connection. The opportunities afforded by this partnership surely will provide even greater reward for getting outdoors.”
Dan Eichinger, Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources

About the trails:

  • Championed by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, The Great Lakes Way is an interconnected set of 160 miles of greenways and 156 miles of water trails stretching from southern Lake Huron through western Lake Erie along southeast Michigan’s coastline. It connects people with outdoor recreational, historic and cultural activities. Watch a video about The Great Lakes Way.
  • The Michigan Department of Natural Resources stewards the Iron Belle Trail that stretches more than 2,000 miles from Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula to Belle Isle State Park in Detroit.
  • The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is the steward of the 3,600-km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail that hugs the shoreline of lakes Huron, Erie and Ontario, as well as Georgian Bay, and stretches from the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Work is underway in partnership with the Trans Canada Trail to finalize a trail on the north shore of Lake Superior.
  • At 28,000 km long on land and water, the iconic Trans Canada Trail is the world’s longest recreational network of multi-use trails and connects over 15,000 communities coast to coast to coast, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Arctic oceans.

About the Gordie Howe International Bridge:

  • Providing connections to local road networks in both Canada and the US, the 2.5 km/1.5 mile-long, 3.6 m/11.8 feet-wide Gordie Howe International Bridge will include a toll-free multi-use, two-way path for pedestrians and cyclists to walk or bike across the Windsor-Detroit border and connect onto adjacent road and trail networks. Concrete barriers will separate vehicular traffic from pedestrians and cyclists to ensure the safety and security of the travelling public. (Info courtesy of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.)

Resources:

About Trans Canada Trail

The Trans Canada Trail (the Trail) is the longest recreational trail in the world, spanning over 28,000 kilometres on land and water. Linking three oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic – the Trail connects 15,000 rural, urban and Indigenous communities across every province and territory. It is a ribbon that connects Canada’s diverse landscapes, seasons, people and experiences, and fosters unity, collaboration and connectedness. Trans Canada Trail is a registered charity and stewards this national trail in collaboration with local Trail partners. With funding from the Government of Canada through Parks Canada, and investments from all levels of government and generous donors, Trans Canada Trail is the largest investor in trail infrastructure projects in Canada, supporting improvements, growth and enhancements for generations to come. tctrail.ca

About the Waterfront Regeneration Trust

Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT) is a registered charity leading a partnership of over 155 communities, First Nations, public and private organizations, and all orders of government to implement, expand, and promote the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Recognized as the first step of a broader strategy to regenerate the waterfront, the Trail’s 3600 kilometres serve both as a testament of a new commitment to our waterfront and waterways. Rooted in the principles that have guided the development of the Trail from its beginnings, we envision a Great Lakes Waterfront Trail that is complete and connected, an integral part of each ecosystem it passes through, enhancing the environment, economy, society and history of every community that participates in the development and use of the Trail. Most important, the Trail connects people to their Great Lakes waterfront and in doing so, engages them in the work of making our Great Lakes a healthy and vibrant place to live, work and visit. Waterfronttrail.org

About the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. Learn more at Michigan.gov/DNR

About the The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs. Since its inception, the foundation has distributed more than $1.4 billion through more than 85,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. Visit www.cfsem.org to learn more.

Media Contacts:

Angela Garde
PR & Communications Manager | Trans Canada Trail
T: 1.800.465.3636 ext. 4358 | agarde@tctrail.ca

Marlaine Koehler
Executive Director | Waterfront Regeneration Trust
416-520-4205 | mk@wrtrust.com

Ron Olson
Chief | Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation
1.517.243.1477 | olsonr@michigan.gov

Sherrie Arb
Vice President, Marketing and Communications | Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
1.248.881.7285 | sarb@cfsem.org

Farm Fresh Tours 2022 Banner

Sip, Savour and Cycle Through Ontario This Fall

Farm Fresh Cycling Tour returns to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Route

TORONTO, August 22, 2022:  Whether you’re new to cycling or have been putting the pedal to the metal for many years, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail’s Farm Fresh Cycling Tour allows cyclists to enjoy a taste of Ontario this Fall.  On September 17th and 18th, cyclists will wind their way through the Highland Hustle – a popular signed cycling loop throughout Durham and Northumberland counties – as they savour the flavours of local artisans along the way.

During the two-day event, cyclists will enjoy breathtaking views of the Fall colours along the Oak Ridges Moraine while enjoying specially curated experiences at local merchants and family-run businesses.  After delicious stops that include apple cider and wood-fired pizza tasting at one of the area’s oldest operating gist mill or a sampling of goat milk ice cream, the tour concludes each day with a complimentary lunch at a craft brewery.

Developed through the efforts of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and Greenbelt Foundation, the Farm Fresh Cycling Tour was created as a way to introduce cyclists to the 1,200 km Great Lakes to Greenbelt signed cycling network.  The Highland Hustle is part of a series of 10 signed loops that extend from Niagara to Northumberland and from the Greenbelt to Lake Ontario.

Riders can choose to either complete the 60km Highland Hustle Heart route on Day 1, or the 75km Highland Hustle East loop on Day 2.  For the full experience, riders can also opt to complete both routes over the course of the two days.

“We designed the Farm Fresh Cycling Tour as a way for people to enjoy the rugged beauty of the region, while supporting local businesses along the way,’ says Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust.  “Cycling tourism has really grown in popularity over the past few years and this is another way the Waterfront Regeneration Trust with support from the Greenbelt Foundation and CAA is helping to connect cyclists to the community in which they ride,” she says.

Space is limited. For more information and to register, visit https://waterfronttrail.org/trip-ideas/farm-fresh-tours/.

-30-

About Waterfront Regeneration Trust

Waterfront Regeneration Trust is a small, registered charity leading a partnership of over 155 communities, First Nations, public and private organizations, and all orders of government to implement, expand, and promote the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Since 1995, the Trail has been recognized as the first step of a broader strategy to regenerate the waterfront as part of the Lake Ontario Greenway Strategy developed by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and its partners.

Stretching over 3600 km, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail connects 155 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes region. The 475 km Greenbelt Route spans seven regions, nearly two million acres of protected Greenbelt lands, from Northumberland to Niagara.

About the Greenbelt Foundation

Greenbelt Foundation is a charitable organization, solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous. We make the right investments in its interconnected natural, agricultural, and economic systems, to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all. Ontario’s Greenbelt is the world’s largest, with over two million acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and rivers working together to provide clean air, fresh water, and a reliable local food source.

Media Contact:

Melanie Greco

Public Relations

647-456-2653

melanie@getinkpr.ca

THE 2022 GREAT WATERFRONT TRAIL ADVENTURE CELEBRATES THE ADDITION OF SIMCOE COUNTY, HUGGING THE SHORES OF GEORGIAN BAY AND LAKE SIMCOE.

For the first time, the Adventure will incorporate the Simcoe County Loop Trail to create a fabulous Ontario cycling staycation.

August 4, 2022 — Toronto.  On August 7, 150 cyclists from 5 provinces and 5 states will take off on this year’s Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA), which will include the County of Simcoe for the first time. “With its awesome landscape, historic towns and proximity to sparkling waters, the County is an exciting addition to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail”, says Marlaine Koehler, executive director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

The GWTA is the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s annual, fully supported, multi-day bicycling tour which showcases the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the communities that support it, and the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s mission – the regeneration of our Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The event also traditionally celebrates and inaugurates trail milestones and expansions.

“This year’s ride sold out in just 2 weeks demonstrating the growing popularity of cycling, the allure of Ontario’s Great Lakes waterfront and the growing reputation of the County of Simcoe as a premier cycling destination. Cyclists just can’t get enough”, said Koehler.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail was one of 83 ground-breaking recommendations made by the Royal Commission on the Future of the Toronto Waterfront headed by the Honourable David Crombie. After 30 years that recommendation has been a catalyst for the establishment of over 3,600 km of trail and a partnership of 155 communities.

The County of Simcoe is the latest addition to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. This expansion adds 255 kms and connects the Trail to 1023 kms of additional road cycling in Simcoe County. It connects a number of local waterfront trails, including Tay Shore Trail, Tiny Trail, Penetanguishene’s Rotary Trail, Uhtoff Trail, Barrie’s Waterfront Heritage Trail, the Oro-Mendonte Rail Trail and the Greg Stobart Trail—all examples of how communities celebrate their waterfronts and heritage.

“County of Simcoe Council is committed to supporting the development of trails and programs that promote active transportation among our residents while supporting our growing cycling tourism sector. Through Cycle Simcoe, we’re proud to help fund and now connect our Simcoe County Loop Trail to our neighbouring communities through the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail”, said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell.

The cyclists on the 2022 GWTA, who range in age from 31 to 83, will ride over six days starting at Blue Mountain and stopping in Midland, Orillia, and Wasaga Beach, travelling between 30 to 90 km daily at their own pace.

The 2022 GWTA route features long sections of off-road paved or limestone trail, and quiet rural roads. Riders will bike by 25 beaches, 4 provincial parks, 1 national park, 10 heritage sites, a provincial wetland, 18 lakes, 1 heritage river, 25 parks, and numerous local businesses in communities along the shores of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. It also incorporates two additional cycling loops—Thunder Beach and Big Chute.

In addition to a scenic ride, participants will have great off-bike and social opportunities as well. The GWTA showcases local tour operators including Free Spirit Tours, the Big Canoe Adventure, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, the Martyr’s Shrine, and Landmark Cruises of Penetanguishene to offer on-water tours, heritage walking tours, and culinary experiences.

“The GWTA is an exciting event on the summer calendar. The multi-day cycling adventure is an excellent way to explore the beauty of the trails at your own pace while taking in the local landscapes and food. The Greenbelt Foundation works to increase tourism and recreation opportunities in natural settings along the Greenbelt, and we are proud to support the Trust’s adventure on the trails,” said Edward McDonnell, Greenbelt Foundation CEO.

CAA South Central Ontario is a long-time supporter of the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. For the 500 kms ride, CAA provides participants with CAA Bike Assist, roadside assistance for bicycles. CAA Bike Assist is a CAA Member benefit included in the annual cost of membership.

“We are committed to keeping our Members safe whether they are travelling on four wheels or two,” said Michael Stewart, community relations consultant, CAA South Central Ontario. “The growth of cycling over the past few years has introduced many to the joys of travelling by bike, and events like the GWTA encourage the local exploration of Ontario’s Great Lakes communities in an enjoyable and safe way.”

Participation in the 2022 GWTA has been filled for some time, but cyclists can plan their own adventure on the Waterfront Regeneration Trust website. (https://waterfronttrail.org/).

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail offers incredible cycling experiences for people of all ages and skill levels. Visit www.waterfronttrail.org to plan your experience, or register for the Great Lakes to Greenbelt Farm Fresh Tours on September 17 and 18, 2022.

Link to the Route and Itineary

–30—

For media inquiries contact
Marlaine Koehler, Waterfront Regeneration Trust
C: 416-520-4205 | mk@wrtrrust.com

From our Partners

“We are excited to see Grey County participate in the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. This initiative combines so many values that are important to us in Grey. These include active outdoor recreation, trail building, healthy waterways, exploration of our cultural assets, and of course, support for the small businesses that continue to adapt to meet the needs of the public throughout the pandemic.” Selwyn Hicks, Warden of Grey County.

“RTO 7 is very pleased to have supported the expansion of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail into Bruce Grey Simcoe. Leveraging the Trail’s popularity and growing international reputation further enhances the region’s excellent cycle tourism network and products. The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure cycle tour is a fun way to launch the expansion with cyclists from Canada and the US.” Bill Sullivan, CEO, Regional Tourism Organization 7

“We are excited for participants in the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure to experience all that the Tay Shore Trail has to offer! Participants will enjoy the nature setting of the trail which is enhanced by informative plaques outlining the natural and historical aspects of Tay Township. The trail passes through wetland, field and wooded areas, over the Wye, Hogg and Sturgeon Rivers and into our quaint community villages where participants can enjoy a stroll throughout our various downtowns and stop for lunch.” Mayor Ted Walker, Tay Township

“The Town of Collingwood is proud to welcome trail users from far and wide. To think that people can now cycle on trails from Toronto to Collingwood is pretty spectacular and is a scenic route worth exploring. We invite participants of the 2022 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure to make use of the many trailside parks, recreational offerings, and amenities in Collingwood.” Mayor Keith Hall, Town of Collingwood

“Midland’s waterfront is one of our most precious assets and it gives us great pride to share it with visiting cyclists on the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. We are thrilled to join 155 other communities who have connected their waterfronts to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.” Mayor Stewart Strathearn, Town of Midland

“We are thrilled that the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail has been expanded to include the beautiful trails in Simcoe Country, including our Rotary Trail. The Town of Penetanguishene is proud to support our ongoing initiative regarding active transportation, and welcomes the GWTA cyclists to our community.” Mayor Doug Leroux, Town of Penetanguishene

“Severn is known as an all-season destination enjoyed by many for its network of trails, pristine lakes and rivers, and charming communities. The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA) is an ideal opportunity to celebrate Severn’s natural assets and admire the beauty of our local environment. This event highlights our waterfront connection and recognizes the significant tourism, health, and economic benefits provided by the trail system, and we are pleased to support the 2022 GWTA and welcome all cyclists and riders to our community now and on your next visit.” Mayor Mike Burkett, Severn Township

“We are excited to welcome the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure to Barrie’s waterfront and our beautiful city for the first time,” commented Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Barrie is committed to supporting active transportation initiatives and is undergoing a cycling network expansion which will improve connectivity throughout Barrie. Welcoming events like this and the influx of visitors they bring to our area allows us to showcase our bike-friendly city and the positive impact this has on our environment.” Mayor Jeff Lehman, City of Barrie

“On behalf of council, town staff, and residents of Wasaga Beach, I welcome participants to our community. Our town is a strong supporter of active transportation. We have a beautiful trail network that residents and visitors enjoy throughout the year. We are very happy to be a part of the 2022 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure”. Mayor Nina Bifolchi, Town of Wasaga Beach.

“The City of Orillia is thrilled to welcome the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Adventure (GLWTA) to the Sunshine City and look forward to offering participants an exceptional experience while they stay in Orillia. With its vast array of cycling infrastructure, including approximately 30 kilometres of trails throughout the City and connecting our two beautiful waterfronts and heritage downtown, Orillia continues to be a premier destination for cycle enthusiasts from all over the province. As our City progresses through its Climate Change Action Plan, cycling will continue to play a critical role to help become more sustainable while providing immediate economic benefits to the community.”  Mayor Steve Clarke, City of Orillia

“Springwater’s North Simcoe Rail Trail runs through the heart of Springwater from the edge of the Minesing Wetlands to Tiny Township and includes the beautiful Heritage Park in Elmvale. It is an all-season trail that serves residents and visitors, hikers and cyclists. We are proud be part of the Simcoe County Loop Trail and Trans Canada Trail. The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure cycle tour is a welcome opportunity to showcase our investment in trails, our beautiful parks and the warm hospitality of our residents and businesses”. Mayor Don Allen, Township of Springwater

2022 Media Coverage

November 8, 2021 -- Northern Expansion of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Wins Two TIAO Awards



MEDIA RELEASE
November 8, 2021

WATERFRONT REGENERATION TRUST AND DESTINATION NORTHERN ONTARIO PARTNERSHIP WIN TWO TIAO AWARDS AT 2021 TOURISM  SUMMIT IN OTTAWA

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) held their 2021 Tourism Summit in Ottawa last week hosting in-person and virtual attendees. In recognition of the tourism industry’s work to adapt and find new ways to keep projects, initiatives and programs ongoing, this year’s prestigious TIAO awards recognized the industry’s resilience.

The Northern Ontario Cycling Expansion Initiative, led by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and Destination Northern Ontario in collaboration with communities and tourism leaders was provincially recognized at the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) Summit with two 2021 Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards: Collaboration in the Cycling category and Collaboration in the Transportation category.

“Cycling is one of the fastest growing tourism and recreation activities.  The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is the provincially recognized organization that works with partners in developing, promoting and connecting official cycling routes in Ontario.  We have a great partnership with them as we enhance and develop a fully integrated cycling network in Northern Ontario as part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Trans Canada Trail,” says David MacLachlan, Executive Director, Destination Northern Ontario.

“It is now possible to ride a bike from Toronto or Quebec for that matter, to Sault Ste. Marie on a continuous route. And, we are not stopping there. Work continues to expand the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail as part of the Trans Canada Trail to Thunder Bay and Neebing at the Canada/US border in partnership with communities and tourism leaders such as Destination Northern Ontario.  This is a highly-anticipated connection for cycle tourists and the many people who have rediscovered cycling during the pandemic. It is a fabulous way to experience the North’s stunning landscape and warm hospitality,” states Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

“I warmly congratulate the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and Destination Northern Ontario on this important recognition,” says Eleanor McMahon, President & CEO, Trans Canada Trail. “Trails have become a lifeline for Canadians since the onset of the pandemic, and the Trans Canada Trail has a profound place in the lives of Canadians as a tool for wellbeing, and connector of people to nature and to communities. As an organization national in scope but local in execution, we are pleased to work in strong collaboration with provincial leaders in trail and and tourism development like the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and Destination Northern Ontario to expand the Trail, and connect active citizens to nature and to one another from Toronto’s waterfront to the North – and beyond.”

Destination Northern Ontario,  Trans Canada Trail, Superior Country and Algoma Country have been leading partners in helping the Waterfront Regeneration Trust realize the exciting milestone of expanding the Trail into Northern Ontario.

“We are so grateful to all our partners for seeing the potential, investing in the work and supporting the development to make the Northern expansion of the Trail one of Ontario’s finest tourism experiences”, says Marlaine Koehler.

-30-

For More information contact:

Marlaine Koehler                                                                          Michael Wozny

mk@wrtrust.com                                                                         m.wozny@destinationnorthernontario.ca

About the Partners

Destination Northern Ontario is Ontario’s largest regional tourism marketing and development organization. It is an innovation leader building a strong tourism industry in the north by working together with stakeholders businesses, professionals and destinations at a local, regional and  international level.

The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is the charity working with 155 community partners to regenerate the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River waterfront by completing, enhancing and promoting the 3600 km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

Trans Canada Trail

The Trans Canada Trail is the world’s longest network of multi-use recreational trails at 28,000 km and continues to grow across every province and territory. It is a showcase of Canada’s diverse landscapes and cultures, and a sustainable national asset that fosters unity, collaboration and connectedness. Our national trail is managed by local Trail groups and partners who work in conjunction with Trans Canada Trail, a registered charity. tctrail.ca

About TIAO

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) represents 200,000 businesses and 400,000 employees, to take on pressing policy issues that impact the Ontario tourism industry. TIAO leads the way in government relations on behalf of the Ontario tourism industry, including tourism businesses and operators, destination marketing organizations, regional tourism organizations, and educators.

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) Annual Awards

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) Annual Awards

November 1, 2022 -- Waterfront Regeneration Trust fellowship provides students with hands-on learning in the Rouge National Urban Park

For Immediate Release
November 1, 2021
Toronto, Ontario

Building the next generation of conservation leaders through mentoring opportunities

 Waterfront Regeneration Trust fellowship provides students with hands-on learning in the Rouge National Urban Park

The next generation of conservation leaders in Canada are being fostered in Rouge National Urban Park for the third year in a row, in honour of the legacy of Pauline Browes, a community leader who helped to save and protect the Rouge Valley in the Greater Toronto Area.

This year’s recipient of the fellowship is Mel Martins of Mississauga, who worked for Parks Canada as a Resource Conservation student during the 2021 summer season. Martins holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Guelph and is currently working towards a Masters of Science in Ecology at York University.

Established in 2019, the Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship develops our country’s emerging environmental leaders who will build on her conservation legacy. The Fellowship is awarded to the candidate that demonstrates a strong commitment to the environment and a passion for making a difference in their community.

Read the Full Press Release

Watch Mel Martin’s  video submission

For more information, please contact: Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust, 416-520-4205; mk@wrtrust.com

2021 Pauline Browes and Mel Martins

Pauline Browes and Mel Martins

Mariah Ramlogan (2019), Mel Martins (2021), Samantha Clapperton (2020)–Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship recipients.


-30-

September 23, 2021 Great Lakes to Greenbelt Farm Fresh Rides launches the Highland Hustle

 

Great Lakes to Greenbelt Farm Fresh Rides launches the Highland Hustle

Promotes local businesses in the Greenbelt and on Lake Ontario to cycle tourists

September 23, 2021—Toronto. The Waterfront Regeneration Trust and Greenbelt Foundation will launch the Highland Hustle, a new rural cycling loop, on September 25 and 26 with a new Farm Fresh Cycling Tour.

The tour is designed to introduce cyclists to the network with a supported day trip. Over the weekend, cyclists will be treated to sample stops at businesses along the Highland Hustle East and West Loops including Tyrone Mills, Linton’s Farm Market, Chronicle Brewery and Haute Goat —many of these are long-standing family businesses or farms.

The two organizations have been working with communities and cycling leaders since 2012 to link the 475 km Greenbelt Route to the 3,600 km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail with a cycling network. The Highland Hustle is one of 10 signed connector routes between the two signature cycling routes.

The Great Lakes to Greenbelt Network is a 1,200 km signed cycling network that can be experienced through 10 signed loops that extend from Niagara to Northumberland and from the Greenbelt to Lake Ontario. The loops range in distance from 30 to 200 kilometres – and for the very ambitious there is a 1000 kilometre, 10-day loop that takes in all of the Greenbelt Route and sections of the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Waterfront Trails.

“Both the Greenbelt Route and Great Lakes Waterfront Trail are known for their beautiful scenery, but businesses along the route also contribute significantly to the quality of experience for cyclists”, says Marlaine Koehler, executive director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. “These new connections between the Greenbelt Route and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail make it easier to enjoy the best of both routes”.

In 2018, cycling contributed $893M to local economies according to research conducted by the Ministry of Heritage, Tourism, Culture, and Sport Industries. With proper investment and stewardship, recreational tourism can be a valuable part of Ontario’s economic and social recovery.

Safe bike parking is identified by cyclists as an important way to encourage them to visit businesses while cycling. In partnership with businesses and communities, the program is working to install bike racks along the loops.

“Cycling contributes to the quality of life for residents while at the same time cycle tourism supports our rural economies,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO, Greenbelt Foundation. “We want to make it easier for all Ontarians to experience the natural beauty of Ontario’s Greenbelt by bike and help rural businesses attract the benefits of cycle tourism.”

“Central Counties applauds the efforts of The Waterfront Regeneration Trust and Greenbelt Foundation as they develop compelling new ways for visitors to responsibly and sustainably experience the region,” says Chuck Thibeault, Executive Director of Central Counties Tourism.  “The Farm Fresh Cycling Tour supports the local economy and connects riders to the foods they eat.  It is a win-win and we are proud to be supporting it.”

The Farm Fresh Tour connects participants from across Ontario to rural and local businesses while supporting communities interested in attracting cyclists of all ages.

People interested in learning more about cycling opportunities it the Greenbelt and on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail can visit: www.waterfronttrail.org

Media Contact:

Marlaine Koehler

Executive Director

Waterfront Regeneration Trust

mk@wrtrust.com

Cell: 416-520-4205

Petronilla Ndebele

Director, Strategic Communications

Greenbelt Foundation

pndebele@greenbelt.ca

Telephone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306

Participating Organizations and Businesses:

August 5, 2021 -- Honourable Lisa McLeod, Minister for Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries joins cyclists on inaugural ride.

ONTARIO’S CYCLISTS WELCOME BACK THE GREAT WATERFRONT TRAIL ADVENTURE IN THE BRUCE, GREY AND SIMCOE COUNTIES

Honourable Lisa McLeod, Minister for Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries joins cyclists on inaugural ride.

August 5, 2021—Toronto.  On August 6, participating cyclists will kick off the 2021 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA). “This year’s Adventure not only celebrates the Trail’s extension into the counties of Grey, Bruce and Simcoe, it’s also a clear and exciting sign that cycle tourists are eager to get out to explore Ontario and support communities and businesses this summer,” says Marlaine Koehler, executive director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

The GWTA is the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s annual, multi-day bicycling tour, designed to showcase the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the communities that support it. It also promotes the mission behind the initiative—the regeneration of our Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

“The 2021 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure is a perfect way to experience the spectacular scenery and communities of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron while raising awareness of the importance of protecting our Great Lakes – arguably our province’s most important natural resource and the centre of our tourism industry,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “As we safely re-open the province, our government is committed to building on the enthusiasm of Ontarians to get back to nature, explore, and rediscover and re-engage with local businesses and attractions.”

Cyclists on the GWTA ride at their own pace over six days, travelling over 500 km with overnight stops in Blue Mountain, Owen Sound, Lions Head, Southampton and finishing at Point Clark in Huron Kinloss.

“We are excited to see Grey County participate in the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. This initiative combines so many values that are important to us in Grey,” says Selwyn Hicks, Warden of Grey County. These include active outdoor recreation, trail building, healthy waterways, exploration of our cultural assets, and of course, support for the small businesses that continue to adapt to meet the needs of the public throughout the pandemic.

The tour route follows the latest addition to the 3600 km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, a legacy initiative led by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust charity. With ongoing support since 2012 from the Greenbelt Foundation, this expansion adds 600 kms of Trail in Grey, Bruce and Simcoe County, with much of the new trail in Ontario’s Greenbelt. The Greenbelt Foundation actively seeks to invest in initiatives that increase accessibility to the Greenbelt and connect Ontarians with its Tourism and Recreation opportunities.

This addition was achieved over two years working with communities, conservation authorities, Regional Tourism Organizations and the Government of Ontario. It primarily utilizes quiet roads with some trails, and connects 35 beaches, seven provincial parks, two national parks, six lighthouses, 18 conservation areas, and numerous local businesses in 26 communities along the shores of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

“The pandemic emphasized the value of our green spaces, as well as the need to continue increasing accessibility to them,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “Trails are essential recreational infrastructure that contribute to the quality-of-life for residents, support local businesses, and encourage safe, active lifestyles. The Greenbelt Foundation is proud to support the Trust’s work to expand the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and establish new connections between it and the Greenbelt Route”.

CAA South Central Ontario, is a long-time supporter of the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. For the 500-km ride, CAA provides participants with CAA Bike Assist, roadside assistance for bicycles. CAA Bike Assist is a CAA Member benefit included in the annual cost of membership.

“We are committed to keeping our Members safe whether they are travelling on four wheels or two,” said Michael Stewart, community relations specialist, CAA South Central Ontario. “The growth of cycling over the past year and a half means that we will continue to see more cyclists on the roads, and events like the GWTA encourage the local exploration of Ontario’s Great Lakes communities in an enjoyable and safe way.”

Save

Bicycling boomed during the pandemic, as people realized it was both a safe form of outdoor exercise and a great way to explore their neighbourhood close to home.

The Waterfront Regeneration Trust redesigned the annual event to comply with Step 2 of the Province’s Roadmap to Reopen, and local public health unit restrictions. As an outdoor activity that can be pursued in a socially distanced way, touring signed routes such as the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Route is a rewarding holiday option this summer.

Participation in the 2021 GWTA has been filled for some time, but cyclists can plan their own adventure on the Waterfront Regeneration Trust website. (https://waterfronttrail.org/).

Join us in the Fall for our Farm Fresh Tours, also supported by Greenbelt Foundation. Click to learn more!

–30—

For media inquiries contact
Marlaine Koehler, Waterfront Regeneration Trust
C: 416-520-4205 | mk@wrtrrust.com

Quotes

“Surrounded by Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Bruce County is home to some of the most beautiful waterfront views. It’s a cyclist’s dream to have long stretches of trails covered with trees overhanging the paved road. We are proud to be part of the newly expanded Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Cyclists will enjoy exploring our restaurants that offer farm-to-table experiences and downtown shops where you can get made-in-Bruce souvenirs. We hope our visitors will journey safely while discovering all Bruce County has to offer on their adventure.”Janice Jackson, Warden Bruce County 

“As one of Ontario’s top cycling and tourist destinations, one of the best ways to experience Simcoe County is by bicycle. The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a wonderful way for our communities to tell their stories, while supporting local tourism and our economy.  Through Tourism Simcoe County and Cycle Simcoe, we’re thrilled to be part of the inaugural Grey Bruce Simcoe expansion of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail event in 2021, and further support the growth of biking tourism as cyclists return safely to experience Simcoe in the years to come.” George Cornell, Warden Simcoe County

“The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure provides welcome support to the reopening businesses and communities along its route.” Bill Sullivan, CEO, Regional Tourism Organization 7.

“Our family is very involved in our community. With the support of my wife, Sue, I have been able to combine a commitment to community with a passion for cycling. Promoting cycling brings health, ecological and economic benefits to our communities. I’m thrilled to have played a role in bringing the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to Bruce, Grey, and Simcoe and look forward to sharing the route with cycle tourists on the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. Working with Waterfront Regeneration Trust on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail initiative has become an important way for me to contribute to a legacy of bike-friendly Ontario.” Bill Abbotts, Honorary Tour Director, Great Waterfront Trail Adventure 

“Involved with trail development and healthy active living in southwestern Ontario for more than 25 years, I have been looking forward to cycling this leg of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail through Simcoe, Grey and Bruce Counties since 2016 when I was Warden of Lambton County. Cycling the exquisite beauty and contrast of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron coastlines ‘up and then down the Bruce Peninsula’ will be an experience like no other.  Our incredible Great Lakes System and regeneration of its shorelines with multi-use trails – connecting uniquely local communities across our province is an Ontario legacy to be guarded and protected for future generations – not to mention a North American tourism asset, to be shared with the world when cycling has never been more popular.”  Bev MacDougall, Honorary Tour Director, Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, Sarnia-Lambton

“Our city is already a great trails community.  Connecting to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail made it even better. The Trail connects us to shoreline communities all along multiple Great Lakes throughout Ontario. We’re proud to be a part of it, to be connected to a bigger system, and to connect more Ontarians with Owen Sound.” Ian Boddy, Mayor of Owen Sound

Event partners: CAA South Central Ontario, the Greenbelt Foundation, Grey County, Bruce County, Simcoe County, Visit Grey Bruce Simcoe-RTO 7, Creemore Springs Brewery, Town of Clearview, Town of Blue Mountains, Meaford, Tom Thomson Trail Association, Owen Sound, Georgian Bluffs, South Bruce Peninsula, Northern Bruce Peninsula, Saugeen Shores, Kincardine, Kincardine Trails Association, Huron-Kinloss, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, and Ontario Parks.

The expansion of the Trail into the counties of Bruce, Grey and Simcoe was supported by 26 waterfront communities, the Ontario Government through the Ministry of Heritage Sport Tourism Culture Industries, the Greenbelt Foundation, and Visit Grey Bruce Simcoe-RTO 7.

June 8, 2021 -- DK Publishing UK releases Ride Cycle the World, a listing of the top 100 cycling experiences worldwide, featuring the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

June 8, 2021 — DK Publishing UK releases Ride Cycle the World, a listing of the top 100 cycling experiences worldwide, featuring the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Due to be released Ride: Cycle the World, is a bucket-list bible for cycling fans, it features 100 of the world’s most awe-inspiring bike rides. We have been working with the publishers to develop the entry and supporting mapping materials. We always knew that the Trail was world-class–great to see it included in such a prestigious international publication.

Book cover for Ride Cycle the World