Marlaine Koehler enjoys knowing the beaches of Lake Ontario near Burlington are a gateway to Canada.
“You have remarkable sand dune beaches and you have a fantastic swimming beach,” she said.
And just up from the sand dunes, she explained, she can connect with the Waterfront Trail, a portion of which runs through the Greater Toronto Area from the waterfront at Burlington, Ont., eastward alongside Lake Ontario to Ajax, Ont. Koehler is regeneration trust executive director of Waterfront Trail.
“Very few people know about it, but it is on the map.”
Since 1992, the federal government has worked on a project that will see the country connected by a series of trails known as the Trans-Canada Trail. It should be completed by 2017 when Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of confederation.
Julie Brouard is director of communications for Trans-Canada Trails; she says the trail is a gift from Canadians to Canadians. When completed, the trail will stretch from St. John’s to Victoria and include a small route that runs in Nunavut and a water route that begins in the Northwest Territories and ends in Athabasca, Alta.
“It’s the idea of connecting Canadians through one trail,” she said. “It’s inspiring people to go out and be active because it’s a non-motorized trail.”
Koehler said the Waterfront Trail also leads to Alex Robertson Park in Pickering.
“It’s a park that features sculptures that have been carved in old telephone polls and were carved with the help of Pickering artist Dorsey James,” Koehler said.
So far, the project has cost about $150 million and is expected to cost over $200,000 million when finished. When the Trans-Canada Trail is finished, at 22,500 kilometres in length it will be the world’s longest recreational trail.