Find the latest news and updates on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

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

2024 Media Releases | Coverage

Gordie Howe International Bridge Becomes the First International Bridge to Join the Trans Canada Trail

Feb 09, 2024

First-of-its-kind partnership will connect Windsor’s Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to the Iron Belle Trail and Great Lakes Way in Detroit, Michigan

Windsor, February 9, 2024 – Today, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Trans Canada Trail proudly announced that the Gordie Howe International Bridge will join the Trans Canada Trail and become the first international bridge border crossing within the 28,000 km trail network. The official announcement took place this morning at Windsor City Hall.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge will link trail networks on both sides of the Canada-United States border, connecting the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail (part of the Trans Canada Trail) in Windsor, Ontario to the Iron Belle Trail and the Great Lakes Way in Detroit, Michigan. Trail users will be able to cross the bridge – and make the official border crossing – via a multi-use path.

“This partnership is a significant milestone for the Trans Canada Trail. We’re thrilled to collaborate with Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority to provide Canadians and visitors with an interconnected and accessible international trail system,” says Eleanor McMahon, President & CEO of Trans Canada Trail. “As part of the Trans Canada Trail network, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will be a catalyst for recreation, active transportation opportunities, tourism and economic development in both border communities – and beyond.”

The Gordie Howe International Bridge is poised to play an important role in regenerative, cross-border tourism experiences. The active transportation infrastructure on the Gordie Howe International Bridge will act as a gateway to Ontario’s wine regions in Essex County and the Niagara Region, and will also connect tourists and locals to the new Ojibway National Urban Park.

“The Gordie Howe International Bridge is more than a physical connection; it symbolizes a shared commitment for sustainable infrastructure to promote economic development, active transportation, tourism and cultural exchange,” says Charl van Niekerk, CEO of Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. “We are excited about the positive impact this collaboration will have on both sides of the border.”

To support this key community feature, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority is undertaking public consultation through April 2024 to help inform future operational plans for the multi-use path.

This collaboration between Trans Canada Trail and Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority sets the stage for a trail system that transcends borders and promotes unity, tourism and economic prosperity. Today’s announcement builds on the binational trails tourism partnership, announced in 2022, to promote trails as connectors to nature, tourism and cultural attractions.

“We hope that this announcement will inspire other border communities to explore facilitating this kind of active transportation opportunity. Trail-based border crossing is possible and it presents a tremendous opportunity to enhance economic development through trails tourism for communities that embrace it,” says McMahon.

Quotes

“The inclusion of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge into the Trans Canada trail is an essential step in expanding connections to nature and communities on both sides of the border. It highlights the toll-free access of pedestrians and cyclists using the bridge to flow onto the trails and into the soon-to-open Ojibway National Urban Park in Windsor.”

  • Brian Masse, Member of Parliament for Windsor West

“Building stronger, healthier communities takes vision, hard work and partnership. Today, thanks to the leadership of the Trans Canada Trail and the WDBA, Windsor-Essex is taking another giant step forward in expanding access to trails that connect people and boost quality of life. As the home of Canada’s first electric vehicle battery factory, Canada’s next National Urban Park, and the new Gordie Howe International Bridge, our community has truly discovered a new path – building our prosperity by taking care of the economy and the environment together.”

  • Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor – Tecumseh

“The Trans Canada Trail and Gordie Howe International Bridge partnership is one truly worth celebrating. In building up our binational active transportation capacity, even more visitors will experience the cultural, social and economic assets that make Windsor-Essex a standout region in which to live and to invest.”

  • Andrew Dowie, Member of Provincial Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh

“Today marks a big win for tourism and active transportation on both sides of the international border between Canada and the Unites States. While this trail will certainly be an incredible, scenic route, offering unparalleled views of our two-nation destination, it will also be an economic bridge that will bring our communities closer together. This will invite visitors to explore the vibrant Windsor-Detroit corridor like never before. Our city already boasts more than 174 km of multi-use trails, including 6 km on the waterfront, the 42.5 km Windsor Loop, and 15 km of woodland and prairie hiking trails at Ojibway. We are thrilled that Windsor will now be the connecting point of a trail system that spans over 28,000 km and connects two nations.”

  • Drew Dilkens, Mayor of Windsor

“This designation of a new trail connection between our two nations is yet another great chapter in our binational story. This link brings new opportunity to deepen the social, cultural and economic ties across our shared border, and is a symbol of the ability of Canadians and Americans to work together in pursuit of a positive vision for the future.”

  • Colin Bird, Consul General of Canada in Detroit

“The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is thrilled to be part of this historic partnership. With its breathtaking views, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will become a must-do experience on the beloved Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. It will connect people to exciting initiatives on both sides of the border that are transforming waterfronts and protecting, connecting and celebrating the Great Lakes, their ecology, culture and history. Congratulations to the community advocates and visionaries who called for a bridge design to create these exciting opportunities.”

  • Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust

“We are honoured to be part of this cross-border trail partnership. It will be so exciting to have the Gordie Howe International Bridge trail become an extension of the Joe Louis Greenway, Downriver Linked Greenways, the Detroit RiverWalk, The Great Lakes Way, the Iron Belle Trail – all linking us to Windsor’s greenways, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, and the Trans Canada Trail.”

  • Richard DeVore, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

“This first-of-its-kind link between American and Canadian trail networks speaks to the power of collaboration. The Iron Belle Trail and Great Lakes Way are a unique way for visitors to experience international travel throughout the Detroit and Windsor regions and beyond.”

  • Timothy Novak, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

“Enhancing community connectivity and mobility opportunities for all users are among our highest priorities at MDOT. This connection between trails across Canada and Michigan is another way the Gordie Howe International Bridge will provide economic and quality of life benefits for generations to come.”

  • Bradley C. Wieferich, Director, Michigan Department of Transportation

Resources

Media contact

Justin Fauteux, Manager, Media and Public Relations
Trans Canada Trail
jfauteux@tctrail.ca

Media Relations Team
Gordie Howe International Bridge
226-757-1716

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 Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) is a not-for-profit Canadian Crown corporation created to deliver the Gordie Howe International Bridge project between Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI through a public-private partnership (P3). WDBA is responsible for overseeing and managing the construction and operation of the new crossing. Visit GordieHoweInternationalBridge.com for more information on WDBA and follow the project on Facebook.

2023 Media Releases | Coverage

Henri Lavallee named the 2023 Recipient of the Pauline Browes Conservation Leaders Fellowship

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2023
Toronto, Ontario

Nurturing the next wave of conservation superstars at Rouge National Urban Park

Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s Pauline Browes fellowship provides meaningful field work for emerging leaders in conservation

Pauline Browes is a renowned environmental leader whose unwavering dedication helped save and protect the treasured Rouge Valley. Now in its fifth year, the Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship honours Browes’ legacy by providing talented youth an opportunity to demonstrate their passion for conservation through exciting field work in Rouge National Urban Park.

This year’s fellowship recipient Henri Lavallée spent the summer engaged in monitoring species-at-risk bats, snakes and wetland birds. A highlight for Lavallée was catching a glimpse of a rare least bittern on a wetland survey, whose status as a species is federally threatened. He also supported the park’s Wildlife Emergency Response Team in attending to injured wildlife, stating: Getting hands on experience working to help animals in need was very interesting and gave me a better understanding of wildlife rehabilitation.”

Lavallée completed a Bachelor of Science from Laurentian University in 2021, specializing in Ecology. He later pursued graduate studies at Niagara College, earning certificates in Environmental Management and Assessment and Ecosystem Restoration. Having recently joined Rouge National Urban Park’s Resource Conservation team on a full-time basis, Lavallée will now focus on implementing the tree seed collection program in Rouge National Urban Park.

In his fellowship submission, Lavallée describes what’s possible to achieve in Rouge National Urban Park through connecting Canadians to the natural, cultural and agricultural heritage of this treasured place. He notes the importance of federal protection legislation, Indigenous leadership and building a healthy park community that promotes sustainable farming and land use while protecting critical habitats, adding that: “If our society is to adapt to this changing world, people must understand what it takes to produce their food, why we need a healthy environment, and who lived here before us.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Henri into our growing fellowship of conservation leaders whose commitment to protecting the Rouge Valley deepens with each assignment they undertake under Parks Canada’s leadership”, says Pauline Browes. “We were impressed with his passion and understanding of the Park’s unique mandate that embraces ecology, culture and agriculture”.

The Fellowship was established by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s Board of Directors to recognize the nearly four decades of tremendous contributions that Browes made to protect the Rouge Valley and ultimately see it designated as Canada’s first national urban park.

Discover more about the fellowship and view Henri Lavallée’s video submission by visiting Pauline Browes Fellowship | Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

For more information, contact:

Marlaine Koehler
Executive Director
Waterfront Regeneration Trust

mk@wrtrust.com / Tel.: 416-520-4205

Pauline Browes presents a certificate to Henri Lavallee, 2023 Recipient of the Pauline Browes Fellowship

September 14, 2023-The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Route enhance support of businesses and communities

HAMILTON, September 14, 2023

THE GREAT LAKES WATERFRONT TRAIL AND GREENBELT ROUTE  ENHANCE THEIR SUPPORT OF BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES

The Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT) and Greenbelt Foundation are demonstrating their ongoing support of businesses and communities along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Route while increasing bicyclists’ enjoyment of Ontario as an incredible cycling tourism destination.

Its iconic landscapes, natural spaces, and heritage communities make the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Route a ‘triple threat’ in Ontario’s cycling tourism industry.

Stretching over 3600km, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail connects over 155 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes region.

The 475km Greenbelt Route spans seven regions – nearly two million acres of protected Greenbelt lands – from Northumberland to Niagara. The two routes are now linked through 13 cycling loops that showcase some of Ontario’s best bicycling trails and celebrate the Lake Ontario watershed. The loops range in distance from 30 km to 195km, satisfying a visitor’s desire for everything from an afternoon outing to a multi-day adventure.

“The Greenbelt to Great Lakes” loops are a fantastic way to enjoy Ontario’s beautiful Fall season,” stated Marlaine Koehler executive director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT). “Despite the trail’s growing international recognition, many Ontarians are unaware of these two cycling treasures and the wonderful places they connect.  Working with the Greenbelt Foundation, communities, tourism leaders, and businesses, we are making it easier to get out on your bike and explore the Greenbelt and waterfront.”

The latest enhancement to the Greenbelt to Great Lakes Cycling loops is the installation of bike racks at 15 local businesses that serve cyclists.

“When cyclists see an attractive bicycle rack outside a business, it is a clear sign of welcome.” said Jo Sharland, tour director for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s popular annual bike tour, the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. “Discovering local businesses, quaint family-run wineries, new award-winning cider houses, and delicious home-baked goods, is a big part of a bicycling adventure. You can find all of these and many more on the 13 cycling loops.”

In 2023, the program provided bike racks to Ridge Road Estate Winery, West Avenue Cider, Carluke Orchards, Dyment’s Glen Drummond Farm in the Hamilton/Burlington region, and Peterborough’s Silver Bean Café.

In 2022, the program provided bike racks to businesses in Durham and Northumberland, including Tyrone Mills, Haute Goat, Slabtown Cidery, Town of Ajax, Darlington Provincial Park, Second Wedge Brewery, Ganaraska Brewing, Sargents Family Dairy, and Chronicle Brewery.

“The Greenbelt Route and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail are just two of many wonderful trail and cycling assets in the Heart of Ontario. Creating a network that uses both trail systems makes sense and complements our work to create a number of signature cycling experiences such as the HamBur Loop. We appreciate our partnership with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the Greenbelt Foundation, and our great local businesses to promote the Heart of Ontario to cyclists”, said Maria Fortunato, executive director, The Heart of Ontario-RTO 3.

“Being part of this Greenbelt initiative will mean increased exposure for our small business and we look forward to welcoming tourists and cyclists to experience what our incredible part of the Greenbelt has to offer,” stated Amy Robson co-founder of West Avenue Cider and Somerset Orchards.

The addition of bicycle racks builds on a multi-year initiative that began with work to establish the Greenbelt Route in 2012. With generous support from the Greenbelt Foundation, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust has led work to develop a Lake Ontario Watershed network of signed routes that link the two extraordinary trails to protect, connect, and celebrate Lake Ontario’s watershed. Today there are over 1200 km of signed connections, creating a green net throughout the Greater Toronto bioregion.

“The partnership between Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the Greenbelt Route continues to strengthen Ontario’s rural economy by developing the Route and Trail as a premier cycle tourism experience, allowing the public to cycle the Greenbelt Route and experience the diverse businesses and local flavour along the way,” said Ed McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “We are pleased to continue to support Increased opportunities for cyclists to connect with the Greenbelt while experiencing its natural and agricultural systems firsthand.”

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

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 Project Partners 2022 and 2023

Central Counties, Hamilton Halton Brant: Heart of Ontario, City of Hamilton, Municipality of Port Hope, Darlington Provincial Park, Town of Peterborough, Town of Ajax.

Quotes

“We are so fortunate that the Burlington community and visitors can enjoy the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. It provides a fun and environmentally friendly way to get around the city and spend time along the beautiful waterfront. By offering more opportunities to cycle for leisure or a commute, we support the City of Burlington’s 2020 Climate Action Plan and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City of Burlington

“Tourism Hamilton is proud to support this strategic investment in bike infrastructure, enhancing the agritourism experience in Hamilton. This collaboration with the Heart of Ontario – RTO 3 signifies our shared commitment to elevating Hamilton’s position as a premier agritourism destination. Cyclists and enthusiasts can look forward to an even more enriching journey through our region’s picturesque landscapes, connecting with the heart and soul of Hamilton’s agricultural heritage.” Ryan McHugh, Manager of Tourism and Events, Tourism Hamilton

About the Great Lakes to Greenbelt Cycling Loops:

Showcasing Ontario’s best trails and two signature cycling routes–the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and The Greenbelt Route and connecting you to many local businesses and attractions.

Celebrate the Lake Ontario Watershed, from the headwaters in Ontario’s Greenbelt, down river valleys, and along our Great Lakes. Support communities and local businesses, especially Ontario By Bike-Friendly certified businesses. All you need to get started: download easy-print maps and Ride with GPS mapping.

2023 Bike Rack Locations

Hamilton Halton Brant: Heart of Ontario

Ridge Road Estate Winery is a quaint and relaxing winery that has been family-run since 1875. Situated on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment along the Greenbelt Route, overlooking Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline, it is the most westerly winery in the Niagara Region.

West Avenue Cider House is a small-batch producer of hard cider located on a picturesque 75- acre farm that offers shady spots, cold cider, and stone-baked pizzas. It’s located on the Burl-Oak Backroad Blast and features 113km along the Burlington and Oakville waterfronts and open-road rural riding.

Carluke Orchards is a family-run organization that originated as a “pick your own” orchard and now includes a Bakery and Gourmet Food Market. It is found on the fully-signed, 65km Escarpment Country Cruise, which consists of mostly quiet country roads, screened limestone rail trails, and scenic waterfront paths.

Dyment’s Glen Drummond Farm is a century-old farmhouse located on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, overlooking the Dundas Valley. It is part of the 56km Dundas Valley Loop, a fully-signed loop around through the beautiful Dundas Valley, following the Greenbelt Route, Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, and their signed connector routes. This country tour includes several scenic conservation areas and two country markets.

Peterborough

The Silver Bean Café is located in Peterborough’s idyllic Millennium Park, a cool and leafy location for that town’s popular summer festivals and events. It is located on the 53km Peterborough to Port Hope connector, which connects the Kawartha region to both the Greenbelt and Lake Ontario, and features some of the beautiful riding available in the eastern section of Northumberland County. The connector is just one of the connections to nearby communities that will be integrated into future loops and cycling experiences.

August 8, 2023 -- The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure celebrates 15 years of WOW-Wonderful Ontario Waterfront


For Immediate Release
August 8, 2023
Quinte West, Ontario

The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure celebrates 15 years of WOW-Wonderful Ontario Waterfront
Waterfront Regeneration Trust and community partners welcome cyclists to experience Quinte West to Quebec on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

August 8, 2023 — The numbers are exciting. It’s been 31 years of trail development, 15 annual events, 102 days of discovery and camaraderie, 8,500 kilometers, and approximately 2,500 happy bicyclists since the first Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA) in 2008. Today, the GWTA has become one of Ontario’s most anticipated bicycling traditions, a celebration of our partnerships, progress on our waterfront vision, and the exceptional cycling tourism attraction that is the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

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 charity’s work—the regeneration of our Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

“The success of the GWTA is, a testament to the outstanding cycling experience the Trail provides”, says Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. “It’s just as much due to the hospitality, hard work, and support of participating communities and other partners, who welcome cyclists, and invest in the Trail.”

“Congratulations to the team at Waterfront Regeneration Trust on 15 years of success as the GWTA celebrates its anniversary,” said Ed McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “This event allows cyclists to experience the Greenbelt and larger Great Lakes Waterfront Trail each summer, getting a firsthand look at how WRT is working to protect and restore the natural heritage of the Great Lakes region and discovering the wonderful communities along the way.”

The 2023 Adventure includes overnights in the communities of Quinte West, Kingston, Brockville and Cornwall; as well as community-hosted welcome stops at Brighton, Bath, Syndenham, Gananoque, Town of Prescott, Edwardsburgh Cardinal, South Stormont, and South Glengarry to a name a few.

“The GWTA has become a way to introduce riders who come from all over Canada and the US to many wonderful cycling assets connected to the Trail”, says Jo Sharland, tour director for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail connects to many major hiking and cycling trails. There will be several opportunities for participants to cycle a number of featured regional trails that are connected to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, and experience different parts of the region. These include the Millennium Trail in Quinte West and in Prince Edward County, the K&P Trail in Kingston and Frontenac County, Cornwall’s Urban Loop, and the Cheese’n Crankers cycling loop in South Glengarry.

Cyclists can customize their rides as well. In Kingston, participants can choose between a fully-supported, exploration of the K&P Trail to Sydenham in Frontenac County, or a visit to the City’s historical and beach attractions (including a Penitentiary Tour, Fort Henry, Gord Downie Pier with Swim Drink Fish, Breakwater Park, and Richardson Beach).

In Cornwall, the choice is between a supported ride of the 52km Cheese’n Crankers cycling loop (a regional loop starting from Gray’s Creek Conservation Area, with a rest stop hosted at Cooper Marsh Conservation Area), or a ride directly along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to its eastern terminus at the Quebec border.

The GWTA was created in 2008 by Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT) and its community partners to invite the public to experience what was, at that time, the entire Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – from Niagara-on-the-Lake to South Glengarry (and the Quebec border) over 8 days. Riders began to ask the Trust when the GWTA would tour the other Great Lakes, which helped to set the stage for the expansion along Lake Erie.

Today the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail stretches for 3,600 km from Quebec to Sault Ste. Marie, connecting 155 communities and First Nations – a celebration of nature and culture. It represents over 30 years of public and private investment in our Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River waterfront in hundreds of projects from small to large. The GWTA has launched every new expansion.

Riders will see a number of improvements to the Trail and waterfront this year including Kingston’s refurbished Richardson Beach, new dedicated cycling infrastructure along HWY 33, Cornwall’s urban loop that connects many of the City’s major tourism assets, and Glen Walter waterfront park in South Glengarry.

This year, the CAA will once again be a valued partner, providing participants with CAA Bike Assist, roadside assistance for bicycles. CAA Bike Assist is a CAA Member benefit included in the annual cost of membership. Other valued partners include the Greenbelt Foundation, RTO 9, St. Lawrence Parks Commission, the City of Quinte West, Kingston, and Cornwall.

“Events like the GWTA encourage many to hop on their bikes to explore Ontario’s Great Lakes communities in an enjoyable and safe way,” said Michael Stewart, community relations consultant, CAA South Central Ontario. “Our Members continue to embrace cycling and our work with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust is one of the many ways CAA is supporting travelling by two wheels across the province.”

The GWTA sells out quickly when registration opens in January. Bicyclists from across Ontario, Canada, and even internationally make it an annual tradition. In the words of one participant, “I look forward to and love this adventure every year. I have chatted it up enthusiastically at home and elsewhere and am continually recommending it to others. It is truly an exceptional experience, and I cannot imagine a summer without the GWTA.”

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

About the Itinerary:
The 2023 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure itinerary can be found on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail website: https://waterfronttrail.org/great-waterfront-trail-adventure/route-itinerary/.

QUOTES FROM OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
“Quinte West welcomes all cyclists and is proud to be this year’s host community launching the annual Great Waterfront Trail Adventure.  Picturesque landscapes along the historic Millennium Trail through Quinte West will provide a memorable experience for all participants and future visitors to the city.” Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West.

“As a founding community member of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail we are proud and excited to welcome the Great Lakes Bike Ride cyclists on August 8th. The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure is an annual cycling tour and, as an initial supporting community, we look forward to welcoming these guests to Brighton.” Mayor Brian Ostrander, Municipality of Brighton

“Cycle tourism creates a substantial impact in Lennox & Addington. We’re very fortunate to have the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail travel through the southern portion of our County, and the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Tour in particular provides excellent exposure to our local businesses along the route. It also helps to generate awareness for our paved road cycling network, our backroad riding experiences and mountain bike trails that are found in communities throughout Lennox & Addington.” Warden Henry Hogg, Lennox & Addington

“Visiting a destination by bike provides guests with a dedicated route that leads to the hosts of a community, like cafe baristas, local chefs, winegrowers, and artists.  The vineyards, heritage architecture, and breezy shores of Lake Ontario are simply breathtaking in Prince Edward County, and the locals who treasure this home want you to slow down and stay awhile. We thank the Waterfront Regeneration Trust for their longstanding effort to grow cycle tourism in Ontario and look forward to welcoming new friends at the 2023 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure.” Eleanor Cook, Executive Director @visitthecounty

“Loyalist Township is proud to be partnering with Lennox and Addington County and the Bath Business group to be providing a rest stop for the Great Lakes Waterfront Adventure. Situated along Lake Ontario, the Loyalist Parkway provides a beautiful bicycle trail connecting Picton to Kingston while travelling along the shores of Loyalist Township. The return of this tour brings attention to our historic sites and supports our local businesses along the route while promoting a well-travelled cycling route.” Mayor Jim Hegadorn, Loyalist Township

“The Village of Bath Businesses are so excited to welcome Waterfront Riders on August 9th! We have been discussing your arrival for months and preparing to welcome you all to our beautiful village. We truly hope you can take some time to enjoy our community and all it has to offer. Please feel welcome to ask us any questions about the area or offerings, we’d love to have you back another day when you have more time to explore! Enjoy your ride and we look forward to hosting you soon!” Cassandra Rendell, Owner Lodge Coffee House

“Frontenac County is pleased to welcome the 2023 Great Waterfront Trail adventure on an excursion along our historic K&P rail trail as it travels through farmland, wetland, forest and our own little corner of the Canadian Shield.  With almost 200 kilometres of rail trails in Frontenac, we hope this tour will highlight the cycling opportunities available to a wide diversity of visitors in our region.”  Richard Allen, Manager of Economic Development – County of Frontenac

“The Town of Prescott is thrilled to welcome the return of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA) in 2023. We look forward to showcasing Prescott’s diverse mix of cycling experiences, amenities and award-winning bike friendly businesses along the St. Lawrence River, and invite participants back to explore all Prescott has to offer on your next visit.” Mayor Gauri Shankar, Town of Prescott

“Recent improvements to our waterfront area make Edwardsburgh Cardinal a great rest stop on any adventure. It’s an honour to welcome cyclists from the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure to TWPEC. Our Township is proud to work with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, their partners and our community neighbours to promote a connected waterfront through our active transportation network.” Mayor Tory Deschamps, Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal

“SDG Counties has some of the most beautiful vistas in our province – which are best enjoyed from the seat of your bicycle. Whether it’s biking along the beautiful waterfront or enjoying the rolling hills and lush forests of our rural community, cycling in SDG Counties is a must for visitors and residents Warden Tony Fraser, United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

“We are so excited to welcome cyclists to our vibrant Municipality during the 15th anniversary of the GWTA. Our well-maintained waterfront is one of our most popular attractions and we know that you will enjoy our picturesque, multi-purpose trails. South Dundas has so much to offer — we encourage newcomers to stay a while and explore our unique shopping, including vast agricultural-based businesses, and our immersive history.” Mayor Jason Broad, South Dundas

“This year, the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is thrilled to provide Great Waterfront Trail Adventure cyclists with a chance to rest and recharge in nature at both Gray’s Creek and Cooper Marsh Conservation Areas. With three publicly-accessible greenspaces located along the Great Waterfront Trail in Eastern Ontario, the RRCA is pleased to offer recreation opportunities to cyclists throughout the season. Richard Pilon, RRCA General Manager

“We are excited to welcome the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure’s multi-day bicycling tour and their cyclists again this year to the properties of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission including the Long Sault Parkway. It’s a great way to connect to the beautiful waterfront communities along our corridor.” Tim Robins, Acting Director, Parks and Recreation, St. Lawrence Parks Commission

“We are so pleased to have GWTA’s annual bike ride coming through South Eastern Ontario in August. Our region has a plethora of cycling trails for all ages and abilities and we are so excited to be included in this year’s tour.” Bonnie Ruddock, Executive Director, RTO 9

“Our government is working with partners like the Waterfront Regeneration Trust on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to improve active transportation, and is pleased to see an event like the GWTA that makes good use of cycling infrastructure throughout the province.”  Herb Villneff, East Regional Director of Operations, Ontario Ministry of Transportation

“We look forward to welcoming the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure to Cornwall, and showcasing our region and waterfront, including the recreational path,” said Mayor Justin Towndale, City of Cornwall. “We are truly fortunate to have these amenities in our community and I invite visitors and residents alike to explore them fully.”Mayor Justin Towndale, City of Cornwall

“The City of Cornwall is excited to be part of the 2023 Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. The Adventure celebrates our extensive cycling infrastructure and our well-earned Bike Friendly Community Silver status.” Kevin Lajoie, City of Cornwall Tourism Officer

“South Glengarry is glad to receive the participants of the GWTA.  At our Glen Walter Waterfront Park, we recently added a bike repair station which may be of benefit and are currently reviewing active infrastructure in our community.  We hope the cyclists have an opportunity to tour the Cheese ‘n Crankers loop (55.7 km) and enjoy our rural hospitality while in town.” Mayor Lachlan McDonald, Township of South Glengarry

“Participating in the GWTA each year has been both a privilege and a highlight for me. I have been able to experience firsthand the rich variety of Ontario waterfront communities. Truly there is something to appeal to every possible interest all wrapped up in the healthy activity of cycling that fosters both physical and mental fitness. I would highly recommend the GWTA to all.” Rod Forrester, GWTA Ambassador and Volunteer.

WRT and Trail Coverage

October 5, 2023Bike rack at West Avenue Cider House part of provincial network: 15 bike racks across Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, Greenbelt Route, Hamilton Spectator/Flamborough Review by Mac Christie

July 16 2023 –Bike repair station in Brighton offers cyclists a quick fix: Municipality promotes new Harbour Street station, highlights area’s best trails– https://www.northumberlandnews.com/news/bike-repair-station-in-brighton-offers-cyclists-a-quick-fix/article_7a997858-bd2d-5583-9638-194964f329f0.html

2022 Media Releases | Coverage

October 20, 2022 -- Fostering the next generation of leaders in conservation in Rouge National Urban Park

For Immediate Release
October 20, 2022
Toronto, Ontario

Fostering the next generation of leaders in conservation in Rouge National Urban Park
Waterfront Regeneration Trust fellowship empowering students through hands-on learning in Rouge National Urban Park

For four years and counting, emerging conservation leaders have been earning an opportunity to shine in Rouge National Urban Park, thanks to the legacy of a community leader who helped save and protect the Greater Toronto Area’s Rouge Valley.

Established in 2019, the Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship is awarded to environmental leaders who demonstrate a passion for conservation and strive to make their community a better place.

Meet Keira McManus, this year’s fellowship recipient. Keira describes the work environment as a highlight of her experience at the Rouge, stating: “Working with such a motivated and knowledgeable team of co-workers made every day exciting and educational.”

Starting some work days as early as 5 a.m., Keira enjoyed how still and beautiful the park was at that time: “Bird surveys took place at various restoration sites throughout the park, and I loved seeing the birds use the restored habitats. I learned so much so quickly about identifying bird species visually and from their calls.”

Conservation has always been one of McManus’ passions. An early employment opportunity and inspiring mentors at the Ojibway Nature Centre helped to solidify her goals and set her on her current educational path pursuing a joint honours degree in Environmental Studies and Biology at the University of Waterloo. Keira ultimately plans to obtain a Master’s Degree in Ecological Restoration.

In her fellowship submission, McManus comments on what it takes to be a responsible environmental steward, and, through her role organizing children’s nature events as a volunteer with Waterloo Region Nature demonstrates that:

“Environmental stewardship requires a foundation of community and the collaboration of diverse perspectives. Being an environmental steward means being an active member in the community that uplifts others and displays a positive example for future environmental stewards.”

“Each year we are struck by the quality of candidates that the Parks Canada team provides for the Fellowship. Keira’s passion to be, and her understanding of what it takes to be, an environmental leader are impressive. Her work with local naturalist groups, university organizations, and now with Parks Canada shows she is embracing the values and actions our environment needs”, said Pauline Browes Board Member of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

The Fellowship was established by the Board of Directors for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust to build the next generation of stewards for the Rouge. It was named after Pauline Browes in recognition of the nearly four decades of tremendous contributions that she made to conserve the Rouge Valley and ultimately see it designated as Canada’s first national urban park.

Discover Keira’s vlog post and find out more about the Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship work as part of the Rouge National Urban Park Resource Conservation team.

For more information, contact:
Marlaine Koehler
Executive Director
Waterfront Regeneration Trust

mk@wrtrust.com / Tel.: 416-520-4205

Waterfront Regeneration Trust Board members with Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship Recipients

Left to Right: Mariah Ramlogan, Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP) and 2019 Fellow, Melissa Martins (RNUP) and 2021 Fellow, Hon. Pauline Browes, Board Member of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT), Keira McManus, 2022 Fellowship Recipient, Keith Laushway, Chair of the WRT, Ann Mulvale, Board Member WRT, Omar McDadi, Park Superintendent RNUP.

Group photo of Fellowship recipients and Board members

September 9, 2022 -- Great Lakes Tourism Experience the Focus of New Binational Partnership

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

August 22, 2022 -- Great Lakes to Greenbelt Farm Fresh Rides -- Sip, Savour and Cycle through Ontario this Fall

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/.

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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

Media Contact:

Participating Organizations and Businesses:

August 4, 2022 -- Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Celebrates the Addition of Simcoe County

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 Itinerary

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For media inquiries contactSave
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

Map showing the 2022 GWTA Route

WRT and Trail Coverage

2021 Media Releases | 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.

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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, 2021 -- 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.


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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!

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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

2020 Media Releases | Coverage

September 11, 2020 -- New Recipient for Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship

September 11, 2020–Toronto–New recipient of student award supporting Canada’s emerging conservation leaders announced: Waterfront Regeneration Trust fellowship provides students with hands-on learning opportunities in Rouge National Urban Park

June 12, 2020 -- 865 Cyclists surveyed eager to hit the Trail and boost Ontario tourism recovery

June 12, 2020 — Toronto —Survey shows Ontario Cyclists eager to hit the Trail and boost Ontario tourism recovery.

Three of Ontario’s leading cycling organizations release the findings of its survey of 865 cyclists showing that Ontario cyclists will cycle the same or more than last year and are planning to stay close to home, keeping their touring dollars in the province. See full survey.

Coverage Highlights

Aug 26, 2020 — Durham Region News — Clarington — Clarington Completed Waterfront Trail Upgrades

April 21, 2020 — Barrie Today — Tiny Township Looks to Connect to Great Lakes Waterfront Trail System

2019 and earlier Media Releases | Coverage

2019 Media Releases and Coverage

July 23, 2019— Media Advisory — Great Day for Cycle Tourism in Ontario–official launch celebration for the Lake Huron North Channel Expansion in Sudbury

July 23, 2019Media Advisory–Great Day for Cycle Tourism in Ontario–official launch celebration for the Lake Huron North Channel Expansion of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail in Sault Ste Marie.

July 2, 2019— Great Lakes to Greenbelt to Great North: Great Waterfront Trail Adventure launches the Northern expansion of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail along the Lake Huron North Channel. 


September 10, 2019 — Muskoka Radio.com — Bracebridge Considering Joining Great Lakes Trail System 

September 3, 2019 — New student award cultivates Canada’s next generation of conservation leaders: Pauline Browes Future Leaders fellowship provides students with hands-on learning opportunities in Rouge National Urban Park in the Greater Toronto Area

Aug 7, 2019 — North Shore Sentinel – Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Cyclists Hosted in Bruce Mines Overnight

Aug 2, 2019 — Soo Star — Inaugural Ride on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Takes Riders from Sault Ste. Marie all the Way to Science North. Also covered in Elliot Lake Today.

Aug 1, 2019 — CBC Radio Up North — What’s the Idea Behind the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure?

August 1, 2019 — Sudbury Star — Riders Make their Way from Sault to Sudbury on ‘Fantastic’ Trail Route

August 1, 2019 — Sudbury.com — Waterfront Adventure: Sudbury Marks End of 450km Journey for 145 Cyclists

August 1, 2019 — MyEspanolaNow — Cyclists Take Over Espanola Regional Recreation Complex

August 1, 2019  — CTV News — Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Makes its Northern Ontario Debut

July 31, 2019 — Sudbury.com — Huge Group of Cyclists — 145 to be Exact — Rolling into Nickel City Tomorrow

July 31, 2019 – MyEspanolaNow — Cyclists Coming Through on Highway 17

2017 Media Releases and Coverage

August 1, 2017   Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Named Ontario Trail of Distinction. 2100km Trail and catalyst for regeneration recognized in Ontario 150 legacy initiative.

Waterfront Regeneration Trust is honoured to announce that the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail has been recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) as offering the very best that Ontario trails have to offer.  Designated one of the five ‘Trails of Distinction” in the inaugural program, the Trail protects, connects, and celebrates the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes, serves as a catalyst for the regeneration of Lake Ontario, and is a much-loved and well-used fitness, recreation and tourism attraction.  Other trails to receive this honour include the Greenbelt Route, the Trans Canada Trail Ontario, the Bruce Trail and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs Trans Ontario Provincial Trails.

“As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, Ontario is proud to recognize the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail as a Trail of Distinction,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “The Ontario Trails of Distinction program showcases and celebrates our province’s most distinct trails. With its unique wetlands, forests and beaches that connect to vibrant communities across Ontario, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is an incredible route of discovery through Ontario’s rich natural heritage‎.”

April 12, 2017  The Waterfront Regeneration Trust and partners start the party with Ontario 150–Celebrate by Bike, a program that inspires love of the province and love of cycling.


September 12, 2017 – WRT Trekker Spot on Breakfast Television: Google Comes out with a new Gadget, the Trekker

September 23, 2017 — Hundreds of Cyclists in Lennox and Addington Join Ontario 150 Celebrate by Bike with Discover Ride.

August 31, 2017 – Google Trekker putting Durham Waterfront Trail on the Map: Volunteers carry heavy backpack to capture 360-degree images of off-road treasures

August 31, 2017  CYCLISTS IN BROCKVILLE JOIN ONTARIO 150 CELEBRATE BY BIKE WITH RED HOT AND BLUE ROCKABILLY WEEKEND: Red Hot and Blue Rockabilly Weekend in Brockville one of 15 events along Ontario’s iconic cycling routes for Ontario 150 celebration

June 17, 2017  Cyclists in Georgetown Join Ontario 150 Celebrate By Bike with Bike it to Market Event. Bike it to Market in Georgetown one of 15 events along Ontario’s iconic Greenbelt Route for Ontario 150 celebration. Read More.

June 9, 2017  Cyclists and Paddlers Celebrate Launch of Lake Superior Water Trail and Expansion of Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Sault Ste. Marie Marie Mayor Provenzano and Garden River Chief Paul Syrette lead Community Bike Parade as part of Ontario 150 celebration. Read More

June 3rd, 2017  Cyclists Kick-off Ontario 150 Celebrate by Bike with Signature Manitoulin Island Passage Ride. Hundreds of cyclists ride in Manitoulin for first of 15 events along Ontario’s iconic cycling routes as part of Ontario 150 celebration. Read More

2016 Media Releases and Coverage

Simcoe to Sudbury Expansion: Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Expanding through Seguin, Muskoka

Simcoe to Sudbury Expansion: Seguin Township Endorses Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Through Township

GWTA 2016: Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Brings 150 Cyclists to Community, My Informs.com, August 9, 2016

GWTA 2016: Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Comes Through Amherstburg, Amherstburg River Town Times, August 10, 2016

Lake Huron North Channel Expansion: Cycle Trail from Soo to Sudbury Open Next Summer, Matt Durnan, Sudbury Today, June 14, 2016

Lake Huron North Channel Expansion: Northern Ontario on the Map, Jordan Allard, CTV North, June 12, 2016

Lake Huron North Channel Expansion: Cyclists Test Waterfront Trail, Cheryl MacKay, North Channel Current, June 8, 2016

Lake Huron North Channel Expansion: Cycling Trail will link Sault to Sudbury and beyond, Mike Verdone, Sault Star, June 7, 2016

Lake Huron North Channel Expansion: Cycle of Life Leaves Sudbury Today, Sudbury Star, Postmedia Network, May 30, 2016

Great Waterfront Trail shows that world class cycling getaways are in Ontario’s backyard, Northumberland News, August 11, 2014

Waterfront Trail ride ends in Cornwall, Standard Freeholder, August 6, 2014

Brighton Launching Point for Holiday Ride , Inside Belleville, July 17, 2014 by John Campbell

Steve Paikin of the Agenda ran an excellent series of episodes examining the challenges facing the Great Lakes in October 2016 as part of Great Lakes Week. Watch the episodes.