TCT Government Champions

The Trans Canada Trail is proud to have strong governmental support at the municipal, provincial/territorial and federal levels. The following premiers, lieutenant governors, territorial commissioners, ministers, mayors and reeves have already signed on as TCT Champions; we invite all leaders along the route of the TCT to join us as we stride together towards the Trail’s connection in 2017.

 
British Columbia
 

British Columbia

  • Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon
  • Mayor Derek Corrigan, Burnaby 
  • Mayor Ross Forrest, Lake Cowichan 
  • Mayor Jack Froese, Langley Township 
  • Mayor Lisa Helps, Victoria 
  • Mayor Mike Martin, Trail 
  • Mayor Don McCormick, Kimberley 
  • Mayor Kathy Moore, Rossland 
  • Mayor Darrell Mussatto, North Vancouver 
  • Mayor Gregor Robertson, Vancouver 
  • Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Whistler 
  • Regional District of East Kootenay Board
Alberta
 

Alberta 

  • Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell
  • Mayor Don Iveson, Edmonton 
  • Mayor Gale Katchur, Fort Saskatchewan 
  • Mayor Greg Krischke, Leduc 
  • Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Calgary
Saskatchewan
 

Saskatchewan 

  • Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon
  • Schofield
  • Mayor Donald J. Atchison, Saskatoon 
  • Mayor Michael Fougere, Regina  
  • Mayor Deb Higgins, Moose Jaw 
  • Mayor Derek Mahon, Battleford 
  • Mayor Bryan Matheson, Lumsden 
  • Mayor Ron Osika, Fort Qu’Appelle
Manitoba
 

Manitoba

  • Lieutenant Governor Janice C. Filmon
  • Premier Greg Selinger 
  • Mayor Brian Bowman, Winnipeg 
  • Mayor Bev Dubé, Powerview-Pine Falls 
  • Mayor Shelley Hart, East St. Paul 
  • Mayor Ken Wiebe, Morden
Ontario
 

Ontario

  • Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell
  • Premier Kathleen Wynne
  • Mayor Allan Alls, Erin 
  • Mayor Daryl Bennett, Peterborough 
  • Mayor Brian Bigger, Sudbury 
  • Mayor Dennis Brown, Atikokan 
  • Mayor Rob Burton, Oakville 
  • Mayor Dave Canfield, Kenora 
  • Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Mississauga 
  • Lord Mayor Pat Darte, Niagara-on-the-Lake 
  • Mayor Tom Deline, Centre Hastings 
  • Mayor Jim Diodati, Niagara Falls 
  • Mayor Rick Dumas, Marathon 
  • Mayor Paul Ens, Bayham 
  • Mayor Chris Friel, Brantford 
  • Mayor Cam Guthrie, Guelph 
  • Mayor Keith Hobbs, Thunder Bay 
  • Mayor Dave Jaworsky, Waterloo 
  • Reeve Richard Kidd, Beckwith 
  • Mayor Gordon Krantz, Milton 
  • Mayor Andy Letham, Kawartha Lakes 
  • Mayor Terry Low, Asphodel-Norwood 
  • Mayor David Marr, Central Elgin 
  • Mayor Al McDonald, North Bay 
  • Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor, Uxbridge 
  • Mayor Steve Parish, Ajax 
  • Mayor John Paterson, Leamington 
  • Mayor Christian Provenzano, Sault Ste. Marie 
  • Mayor Wayne Redekop, Fort Erie 
  • Mayor Dave Ryan, Pickering 
  • Mayor John Tory, Toronto 
  • Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, Kitchener 
  • Mayor Jim Watson, Ottawa
Quebec
 

Quebec 

  • Mayor Hugh Scott, Lac-Tremblant-Nord
New Brunswick
 

New Brunswick 

  • Lieutenant Governor Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau
  • Premier Brian Gallant
  • Former Lieutenant Governor Graydon Nicholas
  • Mayor George LeBlanc, Moncton 
  • Mayor Brad Woodside, Fredericton
Nova Scotia
 

Nova Scotia 

  • Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant
  • Minister Zach Churchill 
  • Mayor Joe Hawes, Pictou 
  • Mayor W.R. (Bill) Mills, Truro 
  • Mayor Mike Savage, Halifax 
  • Mayor Trish Stewart, Oxford 
Prince Edward Island
 

Prince Edward Island 

  • Lieutenant Governor H. Frank Lewis
  • Premier H. Wade MacLauchlan
  • Mayor Rowan Caseley, Kensington 
  • Mayor Richard Collins, Montague 
  • Mayor David Dunphy, Stratford 
  • Mayor Clifford Lee, Charlottetown 
  • Mayor Bill Martin, Summerside 
  • Mayor Minerva McCourt, Cornwall 
  • Chair Terry McGrath, Hunter River 
Newfoundland and labrador

Newfoundland and labrador

 

Newfoundland and labrador 

  • Lieutenant Governor Frank F. Fagan
  • Mayor Dan Bobbett, Paradise
  • Mayor Al Hawkins, Grand Falls-Windsor
  • Mayor Ken McDonald, Conception Bay South
  • Mayor Lloyd Mushrow, Channel-Port aux Basques
  • Mayor Dennis O’Keefe, St. John’s
Yukon
 

Yukon 

  • Territorial Commissioner Doug Phillips
  • Mayor Dan Curtis, Whitehorse
  • Mayor Wayne Potoroka, Dawson City
Northwest Territories
 

Northwest Territories 

  • Territorial Commissioner George L. Tuccaro
  • Mayor Mark Heyck, Yellowknife
  • Mayor Gregor H. McGregor, Norman Wells
Nunavut
 

Nunavut 

  • Mayor Mary Wilman, Iqaluit
  • Mayor Maliktoo Lyta, Kimmirut
 

Nation builders

TCT welcomes six new members to the Chapter 150 Campaign

Canada’s history was forged by trailblazers: aboriginal peoples, pioneering settlers and modern-day nation builders; people of the same vision and character as the proud Canadians who support the Trans Canada Trail today. 

One of Canada’s most enduring and respected family businesses, James Richardson & Sons, Limited, made the inaugural $1-million gift to the TCT Chapter 150 Campaign in 2011. Since that time, influential leaders of Canadian business and philanthropy have taken up the challenge with their unique and generous contributions to the campaign.

This year, the TCT’s Chapter 150 Campaign welcomed six new members who have each committed a minimum of $500,000 to fund Trail projects in local communities. With their generous support, the Trail has now reached 80 per cent connection nationwide. 

Now, as we work towards achieving the Campaign’s goal by 2017, we invite all trailblazing Canadians to come together and help connect the Trail in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary. 

The time is now: Join the TCT Chapter 150 Campaign.

For more information on the Chapter 150 Campaign, please visit the TCT website, at: TCTrail.ca/Chapter150

David Bissett

I’ve always been a fan of the Trans Canada Trail and want to help get it connected. I try to fund projects that have a significant effect in a relatively short time. The most important thing to me today is giving back to the community and making a difference. 

My wife and I do a lot of cycling in Alberta, and we’ve been going on tours with a group of friends for years. Cycling allows you to see the landscape up close, in a way you can’t experience by car. I think more people would get out there and gain a greater appreciation of our natural areas if there were signposted routes.

I’m proud to be a Canadian, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 150th birthday than cycling the Trans Canada Trail – right here in southern Alberta, or on TCT routes right across the country. We have a beautiful countryside – one that should be appreciated. 


Inter Pipeline Ltd. 

Christian P. Bayle
President and CEO

Inter Pipeline is pleased to help bridge the final gap in Edmonton’s Strathcona County Trail, located in the Sherwood Park area. 

This section of the Trail will link Sherwood Park to the existing Trail network within the City of Edmonton. 

It is ideally located to serve as an active commuting route for local residents, including many of our own employees – Sherwood Park is the home of Inter Pipeline’s largest operational control centre, with more than 100 employees and their families living in the area. 

Community members of all ages will also be able to walk, cycle or cross-country ski on the Trail from Streambank Avenue to the Strathcona Science Provincial Park, a natural environment along the North Saskatchewan River.  

Inter Pipeline is proud to be a part of the Trail project, as it is a great example of how industry, government and community can work together to create a national legacy.


Ontario Trillium Foundation

Andrea Cohen Barrack, CEO

As an agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has offices all across the province. In between meetings, I’ve used the Trail on many occasions. It’s a great way to explore a community – the Trail takes you past the river where people fish, and to the sports field where kids play soccer – it gives you the inside view of the life of a community.

As a proud Canadian organization, we want to do something concrete to create a legacy around 2017. When we celebrate our 150th anniversary as a country, having a Trail that stretches to all three of our coasts will be a tangible way of honouring Canada as a united nation. 

This year, we partnered with the TD Bank Group to fund three Trail sections in northern Ontario. It’s a good combination. When private and public sectors collaborate, we can deepen the impact we have in Canadian communities


RBC

Dave McKay
President and Chief Executive Officer

As Canada’s largest bank, with offices and branches from coast to coast, we are proud to support the Trans Canada Trail and its efforts to connect all Canadians, providing us and our many visitors the opportunity to explore this vast country.

RBC has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability, and in 2007 we launched the RBC Blue Water Project – a 10-year investment of $50-million to protect global fresh water. With this in mind, we are particularly proud that TCT will be directing our support to fund water trails in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. 

All three waterways will provide paddlers access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and to many aboriginal communities, helping to deepen our awareness of Canada’s proud history, culture and heritage. We are proud to contribute to the TCT, and look forward to witnessing its full connection in 2017.


Scotiabank

Brian Porter
President and Chief Executive Officer

For much of my career, I have had the good fortune to travel around the world. Though many foreign destinations offer spectacular views and unique experiences, I can honestly say that there is no place on earth quite like Canada.

In addition to the diversity of our people and inclusiveness of our society, the first thing that comes to mind, when considering what makes Canada so unique, is the land itself. From the Coast Mountains in British Columbia to the salmon rivers in Labrador, our landscape is part of who we are as Canadians and is key to understanding what we are as a nation.

Canada’s history, from the voyageurs to the Canadian Pacific Railway, is marked by individuals dedicated to uniting us from coast to coast to coast. Scotiabank is proud to support the Trans Canada Trail, which will soon make history by connecting us once again.


TD Bank Group

Clint Davis
VP, Aboriginal Affairs

The TD Bank Group is a proud supporter of the Trans Canada Trail, an inspiring gift that allows us to connect with Canada’s natural beauty and with one another across the country.

TD is committed to making a positive difference in Canadian communities. Together with the TCT, one of the ways that we’re contributing to the Trail’s economic vitality and sustainable growth is through a new Grants for Aboriginal Trail Tourism program in northern Ontario. Our aim is to inspire creative and innovative thinking to develop the trail user experience and tourism initiatives benefiting aboriginal communities. 

On behalf of all of my colleagues at TD, thank you to the volunteers who have worked so hard to develop the Trail as a national legacy – and a sustainable gift – for future generations. I look forward to celebrating with the rest of the country, on a Trail that connects Canadians from coast to coast to coast in 2017.

 

FUNDRAISING

Chapter 150 Campaign Cabinet

The Chapter 150 Campaign Cabinet is a circle of devoted volunteers helping the TCT to garner support from all of Canada’s modern-day nation builders in order to achieve connection by 2017.
  • Laureen Harper (Honorary Campaign Chair)
  • Valerie Pringle, CM, LLD (Co-Chair)
  • Hartley T. Richardson, OC, OM, LLD (Co-Chair)
  • Wendy Adams, LLB, MBA
  • David Aisenstat, President & CEO, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar
  • Ross J. Beaty, Chairman, Pan American Silver Corp. and Alterra Power Corp.
  • Jack Cockwell, Group Chairman, Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
  • David Cottingham, Founder, Ventoux Investments
  • Russ Girling, President and CEO, TransCanada Corporation
  • Anthony R. Graham, LLD, Vice Chairman, Wittington Investments, Limited
  • David M. Hoffman, FCPA, FCA, Co-CEO, Bragg Group of Companies (Chair, Atlantic Region Committee)
  • Ken J. Killin, BBM, CPA, CA, Killin Instinct Advisors
  • Paul C. LaBarge, JD, LLM, Managing Partner, LaBarge Weinstein LLP
  • Pierre Lassonde, CM, OQ, Chairman, Franco-Nevada Corp.
  • Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck Resources Limited
  • Claude Mongeau, President and CEO, CN
  • Gordon M. Nixon, CM, O.Ont.
  • Gail O’Brien, Co-Chair, Council for Canadian American Relations
  • Ian Pearce, Partner, X2 Resources
  • Douglas B. Richardson, QC, McKercher LLP (Co-Chair, Saskatchewan Committee)
  • Sandy Riley, CM, OM, President and CEO, Richardson Financial Group Limited
  • John Risley, OC, President, Clearwater Fine Foods Incorporated
  • Michael Shaw, President, AMKCO
  • Bruce Simpson, Director, McKinsey & Company
  • Galen G. Weston, Executive Director, Loblaw Companies Ltd.
  • Vaughn Wyant, President and CEO, Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group (Co-Chair, Saskatchewan Committee)
Trail Supporters
The following current and former TCT Board members have each contributed more than $100,000 to the Trans Canada Trail.
  • David Aisenstat
  • Anthony and Helen Graham
  • Paul LaBarge
  • Pierre Lassonde
  • Ross Mitchell
  • Andrew and Valerie Pringle
  • Hartley T. Richardson/The Richardson Foundation
  • Bill Shurniak
  • Tracy and Bruce, Fraser, Elliott and Adair Simpson
  • Bill and Wendy Volk Family Foundation
  • David and Anne Ward

The Trans Canada Trail is grateful to the following Leadership Donors who have made gifts of $10,000 or more to the Trail since July 1, 2011.
  • Evelyn Anne and Bob Ballard
  • The Barrett Family Foundation
  • Bell Canada
  • Claudine and Stephen
  • Bronfman Family Foundation
  • Canadian Western Bank
  • G. Raymond Chang* and Family
  • Barron Cowan
  • Michael B. Cruickshank
  • The Dattels Family Foundation
  • Fondation Écho/Echo Foundation
  • The Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski Foundation
  • Grayross Foundation
  • Cecil and Susan Hawkins
  • Hudson’s Bay Company
  • IAMGOLD Corporation
  • Ivey Foundation
  • Richard and Donna Ivey
  • Richard M. Ivey
  • Jacma Foundation
  • KEEN Canada
  • Haig Kelly
  • Sonia and Arthur Labatt
  • Estate of Charlotte Lavigne
  • Estate of Pauline Hilda Longstaff
  • The McBurney Family Foundation
  • Margaret McCain
  • The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
  • Diane McCurdy
  • John and Nancy McFadyen
  • The McLean Foundation
  • Jim Meekison and Carolyn Keystone
  • The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation
  • Janet and Gordon Nixon
  • Gail and David O’Brien
  • P. & L. Odette Charitable Foundation
  • Brian and Megan Porter
  • Priority Printing Ltd.
  • Raleigh Canada
  • John Risley
  • Roots Canada Ltd.
  • Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority Inc.
  • Joan Snyder
  • Maureen and Wayne Squibb
  • Steve and Sally Stavro Family Foundation
  • Kurt and Marianne Strobele
  • Kate Subak
  • Estate of Alan Taylor
  • TransAlta (in-kind)
  • Jim and Sandi Treliving
  • The George and Helen Vari Foundation
  • The WB Family Foundation
  • R. Howard Webster Foundation
  • And all our generous donors who have chosen to remain anonymous
*In memory of G. Raymond Chang – on July 27, 2014, the Trans Canada Trail lost a valued leader and true friend. Ray is greatly missed."
The Trail is a national treasure for all Canadians. It provides an easy, healthy way to discover our
landscape and heritage. Trail-building also fosters important societal values like volunteerism,
collaboration and respect for our environment
— Laureen Harper, TCT Honorary Campaign Chair

Chapter 150

CHAPTER 150 MEMBERS 

The TCT recognizes the following 27 individuals and corporations as members of the Chapter 150 leadership circle, an ever-expanding group of benefactors determined to achieve the bold vision of fully connecting the Trans Canada Trail by 2017. By committing a minimum of $500,000 to fund Trail projects in local communities, these modern-day nation builders are helping to complete the TCT for all Canadians. 

  • David Aisenstat, President & CEO, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar
  • Nancy Baron, Trustee, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
  • The Ross Beaty Family
  • David Bissett
  • Brookfield Partners Foundation, Tim Price and Jack Cockwell
  • CIBC
  • CN 
  • Esri Canada Limited (in-kind)
  • The Globe and Mail (in-kind)
  • Government of Ontario
  • Inter Pipeline Ltd.
  • Pierre Lassonde
  • Loblaw Companies Limited
  • Jon and Nancy Love
  • Rob and Cheryl McEwen
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • PotashCorp
  • Power Corporation of Canada
  • Robert A. Quartermain, Chairman and CEO, Pretivm
  • RBC Foundation
  • The Richardson Foundation
  • Scotiabank
  • Shaw Media (in-kind)
  • Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, A Glencore Company
  • TD Bank Group
  • Teck Resources Limited
  • TransCanada Corporation

It’s our Trail!

A salute to those who love the TCT

The Trans Canada Trail belongs to us all. 

In each province and territory, we head outdoors with our friends and families to enjoy the Trail on foot, bike and horseback, in our canoes and kayaks, and on skis, dogsleds and snowmobiles. 

We volunteer our time to maintain, build and celebrate our local sections of the Trail. 

We retrace journeys that have been important to our communities throughout history, literally walking in the footsteps of our forebears. 

It truly is our Trail. 

The following people hail from far and wide – British Columbia, Yukon, Germany and points in between. They are Trail volunteers and Trail explorers, young and not-so-young; they are equestrians and snowmobilers, paddlers and hikers; they are long-distance trekkers and locally minded community organizers. 

What they all have in common is a strong and vibrant connection to the TCT that does us all proud.

Do you have a Trail story you would like to share with the world? Let us know! communications@tctrail.ca

Hockey has united this country from coast to coast. The Trans Canada Trail will do the same. It will be a lasting legacy for many generations of Canadians, and for those who visit this great country.
— Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Olympic Gold-Medallist and Hockey Broadcaster

Dana Meis at a Gatineau River portage, near the TCT in Quebec.

Dana Meis at a Gatineau River portage, near the TCT in Quebec.

Dana Meise 

COMMUNITY: Prince George, British Columbia

CONNECTION TO TCT: A Trans Canada Trail ambassador and long-distance hiker, Dana crossed the country from east to west – a six-year journey of 26 million steps through large and small communities across Canada – and is tackling the northern leg of the TCT this summer.

“Hiking across the country has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, by far. The TCT is designed to connect communities, history, beauty, geography – and I love that idea.”


Doug Murray being presented with a maple cutting board engraved with the words: “Thank you for your many dedicated years as a Confederation Trail/Trans Canada Trail builder,” during a celebration marking the full connection of P.E.I.’s portion of the Trans Canada Trail on September 12, 2014. Photo: Louise Vessey  

Doug Murray being presented with a maple cutting board engraved with the words: “Thank you for your many dedicated years as a Confederation Trail/Trans Canada Trail builder,” during a celebration marking the full connection of P.E.I.’s portion of the Trans Canada Trail on September 12, 2014. Photo: Louise Vessey

 

Doug Murray 

COMMUNITY: Stratford, Prince Edward Island

CONNECTION TO TCT:  Doug is a true Trail champion. As a director of Island Trails (TCT’s provincial partner) for the past 21 years, Doug helped to set the wheels in motion for the Confederation Trail, a project he saw through to 100 per cent connection last year. 

“One of the things I most value about the past 21 years has been working with local communities to develop sections of the Trail. Another is that I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about the history of my province. The Confederation Trail is primarily built on the former bed of the P.E.I. railway, which first connected the island in 1875. So when I ride my bicycle in the countryside today, I feel a real connection with our ancestors, who would have travelled the very same route.”


Rob Buren cycling the TCT in Hamilton, Ontario. Photo: Tom Omorean  

Rob Buren cycling the TCT in Hamilton, Ontario.
Photo: Tom Omorean

 

Robert Buren 

COMMUNITY: Oakville, Ontario 

CONNECTION TO TCT: After breaking his spine in a mountain-biking accident in 2008, Robert Buren went on to become the first Canadian paraplegic to complete a full Ironman Triathlon. He regularly uses the TCT for long-distance training, as part of a group that rides to Niagara Falls and back. Several times a month, he uses the TCT’s Waterfront Trail to zip in and out of Toronto to meet up with friends. Robert is also an avid mountain biker who is helping to redefine Trail accessibility and inclusion.  

“Trails were an important part of my life before my accident. I loved hiking and camping – and every Sunday, I’d go mountain biking. When I broke my back, I was suddenly cut off from all that. Then, I got an off-road handcycle. That piece of equipment allows me to go back into the forest – it gives me access to my happy place.”


Melba Seto, Adam Kochanek, Magee Walker and Cedric Schell at their training session with TCT’s National Director of Trail, Jane Murphy, at Ashbridges Bay on the Toronto Waterfront Trail, part of the TCT. Photo: Laura Bombier www.laurabombier.com 

Melba Seto, Adam Kochanek, Magee Walker and Cedric Schell at their training session with TCT’s National Director of Trail, Jane Murphy, at Ashbridges Bay on the Toronto Waterfront Trail, part of the TCT.
Photo: Laura Bombier www.laurabombier.com 

Melba Seto, Adam Kochanek, Magee Walker and Cedric Schell 

COMMUNITY: Cedric & Magee are from Whistler, British Columbia; Adam & Melba are from Calgary, Alberta

CONNECTION TO TCT: As Woods Canada’s Dream Job Explorers, these two couples are on a five-month, 14-stop journey across the Trans Canada Trail. With Team Calgary starting in British Columbia and Team Whistler in Prince Edward Island, they will meet in the middle (Ontario) in July. Along the way, the teams will be sharing updates, videos and pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (follow the hashtag: #WoodsExplorer).

“Our goal in doing this is not just to have the adventure of a lifetime, but to encourage other Canadians to get outside and to explore the Trans Canada Trail.” –Magee Walker


Marco Marder learns to canoe on the Bow River in Kananaskis, Alberta, before starting his journey. Photo: Darin Zandee

Marco Marder learns to canoe on the Bow River in Kananaskis, Alberta, before starting his journey. Photo: Darin Zandee

Marco Marder 

COMMUNITY: Munich, Germany

CONNECTION TO TCT: Marco is a 27-year-old German student who embarked on an epic solo journey along a northern stretch of the Trans Canada Trail in 2014. Over 54 days, he paddled 2,700 kilometres from Fort McMurray, Alberta, along the Athabasca River, Slave River, Great Slave Lake and the Mackenzie River trails, all the way to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. 

“I endured wind, rain, mosquitoes, deerflies and blackflies. I met bears, wolves, moose, caribou, beavers and eagles. I experienced the hospitality of northern people. I enjoyed the wilderness and the solitude, and feeling small and insignificant compared to these wide, beautiful and rough Canadian lands.”


Harris Cox working on the Whitehorse Copper Trail, part of the TCT. Photo: www.archbould.com  

Harris Cox working on the Whitehorse Copper Trail, part of the TCT. Photo: www.archbould.com

 

Harris Cox 

COMMUNITY: Whitehorse, Yukon (born in Halifax, Nova Scotia) 

CONNECTION TO TCT: As a volunteer with the Klondike Snowmobile Association, Harris tends roughly 200 kilometres of the TCT year-round, working six or seven hours a day, six days a week. In the winter, he packs the snow and grooms it for multiple uses, complete with a traditional cross-country ski track along the side. In the summer, he cuts fallen trees, repairs bridges and checks TCT’s signs. 

“I do what I do because I love the outdoors. I love the TCT and I love to work on the trails. It can get a little cold in winter, but I can’t complain. I will groom until hell freezes over, then I’ll groom there, too.”


There is an unwritten understanding shared by Canadians – our vast, rugged and beautiful country binds us together with a responsibility to nurture this land for generations to come. The Trans Canada Trail is the thread to pull our country’s hearts together from coast to coast to coast
— Bonnie Brooks, Vice Chair, Hudson’s Bay Company

Nicole Gagné with Northern, one of her horses, on the Cavalier Trail (Sentier du Cavalier), part of the TCT. Photo: Steeve Lemay

Nicole Gagné with Northern, one of her horses, on the Cavalier Trail (Sentier du Cavalier), part of the TCT. Photo: Steeve Lemay

Nicole Gagné 

COMMUNITY: St-Basile-de-Portneuf, Quebec

CONNECTION TO TCT: As volunteers with the Club des randonneurs équestre de Portneuf, Gagné and her husband, Pierre Fiset, help plan Trail development, clear paths and build new stretches of the Trail. 

“I volunteer because it benefits everyone who uses the Trail in my community, including myself! It’s really hard work, but it’s worth it. There’s nothing like being out on the Trail on your horse. I look forward to the day when we equestrians can go anywhere and everywhere – that’s what we’re all working for.”


Mayor Bryan Matheson on the Saw Whet Trail in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, part of the TCT. Photo: Claire Sanford

Mayor Bryan Matheson on the Saw Whet Trail in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, part of the TCT. Photo: Claire Sanford

Mayor Bryan Matheson 

COMMUNITY: Lumsden, Saskatchewan 

CONNECTION TO TCT: Mayor Matheson is a TCT Champion and volunteer who is putting the Trail on the map in his community. 

“I have a lot of pride in my community. The Trans Canada Trail connects us to our country and represents many recreational pursuits, including walking, hiking, biking and canoeing. Having the TCT running through our community makes it an even better place to live in and to visit.”


Lawrence Redfern on the Waldie Island Trail in Castlegar, British Columbia, part of the TCT. Photo: Claire Sanford

Lawrence Redfern on the Waldie Island Trail in Castlegar, British Columbia, part of the TCT. Photo: Claire Sanford

Lawrence Redfern 

COMMUNITY: Castlegar, British Columbia

CONNECTION TO TCT: Lawrence is a longtime director and past president of the Castlegar Friends of Parks and Trails Society. 

“We’ve been trying to connect the Trail through our region for years. Now I know it will be connected in the next year or two, thanks to the support of the TCT. I am very excited to have Canada’s national Trail running through our town. It will be the backbone of our regional trail system. Trails are part of the economic diversification all communities need, and they improve people’s health – I see people from age two to 92 out enjoying the Trail. It’s a win-win for all of us..”


Oskar Nowicki and Sarah McCauley on the TCT near the village of Inglewood, Ontario.

Oskar Nowicki and Sarah McCauley on the TCT near the village of Inglewood, Ontario.

Oskar Nowicki and Sarah McCauley 

COMMUNITY: Brampton, Ontario; Oskar immigrated to Canada from Lodz, Poland, ten years ago 

CONNECTION TO TCT: From May to September 2014, Oskar and Sarah left their life behind to hike from Inuvik, Northwest Territories, to Drumheller, Alberta, a distance of 3,650 kilometres – mostly along the Trans Canada Trail. 

“Sometimes we just need a wake-up call: we need to go out there and explore ourselves and nature.” –Oskar Nowicki


Jamie Warren on Neil’s Pond Walk, part of the TCT. Photo: Claire Sanford

Jamie Warren on Neil’s Pond Walk, part of the TCT. Photo: Claire Sanford

Jamie Warren 

COMMUNITY: Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador

CONNECTION TO TCT: President of the Newfoundland T’Railway Council. 

“I like to see trails being developed as assets within communities. I volunteer because I like to give back to the community and I enjoy being part of something bigger than myself. I also volunteer because it is fun – probably the most important reason. Right now, we are looking at how we can celebrate the connection of the TCT nationally in 2017, and how we can keep the Trail vibrant and evolving for future generations..”


Joanie and Gary McGuffin Joanie assuming the position of ‘Gouvernail’ in a Voyageur Canoe, paddling down the French River between Lake Nipissing and Georgian Bay, Ontario. Photo: ©Gary McGuffin / www.themcguffins.ca

Joanie and Gary McGuffin Joanie assuming the position of ‘Gouvernail’ in a Voyageur Canoe, paddling down the French River between Lake Nipissing and Georgian Bay, Ontario. Photo: ©Gary McGuffin / www.themcguffins.ca

Joanie and Gary McGuffin 

COMMUNITY: Goulais River, Ontario

CONNECTION TO TCT: Joanie and Gary McGuffin are conservation photographers and explorers who have spent years paddling across northern Ontario and photographing its wild landscapes, fodder for their captivating series of photography books. As founding members of the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy, they were instrumental in establishing the Lake Superior Water Trail section of the TCT.  

“When Gary and I canoe or kayak on Lake Superior, we always feel as though we are paddling into history. This part of the TCT follows an ancient route through one of Canada’s most scenic landscapes, with billion-year-old headlands, soaring cliffs, volcanic rock islands, red sandstone and sweeping sand beaches. It is the greatest expanse of fresh water on the planet, one of the great paddling places on earth – and it is part of the Trans Canada Trail.”


The O’Neill family out for a walk on the Founders Trail, in Trenton Steeltown Park, part of the TCT. Photo: Christine Whelan, Wonkyeye Photography

The O’Neill family out for a walk on the Founders Trail, in Trenton Steeltown Park, part of the TCT.
Photo: Christine Whelan, Wonkyeye Photography

The O’Neill family 

COMMUNITY: Pictou County, Nova Scotia 

CONNECTION TO TCT: Sally and Mick O’Neill, along with their kids Ben and Joe, volunteer with Active Pictou County in Nova Scotia. Working as that organization’s trail development co-ordinator, Sally is passionate about the benefits of the Trail for the community. Meanwhile, 13-year-old Ben is an energetic participant in Trail-building events, clearing brush, laying gravel and building benches. 

“Why would I bike on a sidewalk when I could be exploring in the woods? Plus, it makes me proud to show my friends what I built. Trenton Park is the best!” –Ben

“We have energetic young people doing good work and trying to build a strong future for Nova Scotia, including working on the TCT in our community. It’s amazing to be a part of such a grand thing.” –Sally


Why do our national champions support the TCT?

By Valerie Pringle, co-chair, Trans Canada Trail Foundation

By Valerie Pringle, co-chair, Trans Canada Trail Foundation

Veteran broadcaster Valerie Pringle interviews beloved Canadian icons – Sarah McLachlan, Martin Short, Rick Mercer and Tom Jackson – about why they support the Trans Canada Trail.

The Japanese have an expression, “forest bathing,” to describe the necessity of spending time in nature. There is also a great Latin phrase, solvitur ambulando, which means “it is solved by walking.” 

This country would be a better place if all Canadians spent half an hour every day on the Trans Canada Trail. It is good for our physical, mental and spiritual health. That love of the outdoors should be nurtured from childhood. 

We are famously blessed in Canada with magnificent geography and we are lucky that the TCT is within half an hour of 80 per cent of us. It is a phenomenal resource and treasure for Canadians.

The Trail is a magnificent project (the greatest ever!) that inspires the support of patriotic Canadians everywhere, as evidenced by the many faces in this edition of The Globe and Mail, including the growing roster of TCT National Champions on the back cover. 

We are so happy that a large number of celebrated and accomplished Canadians from many spheres have lent their voices to support the Trans Canada Trail as our National Champions. Four of them spoke to us about their love of the Canadian outdoors and their passion for the TCT.

The Trail is a national dream that, when connected, will be the longest and grandest recreational trail in the world, connecting Canadians in nearly 1,000 municipalities from coast to coast to coast.

Sarah McLachlan 

Singer, songwriter, outdoor enthusiast

HOMETOWN: Vancouver, British Columbia 

VP: What is your best childhood memory spent outdoors? 
SM: At my family’s cottage in Nova Scotia, I used to take our 18-foot aluminum canoe out to the middle of the lake, flip it over and spend hours underneath it singing. The rest of the time I spent climbing trees.

VP: Where is your favourite outdoor place? 
SM: The beaches of the Pacific Northwest – but really, anywhere in nature where you can turn 360 degrees and see no signs of humanity.

VP: How have hiking trails, canoe routes, urban bike paths or nature walks been a part of your life? 
SM:  I grew up right beside the ocean. I spent my summers free, running and climbing in the woods or swimming in the lake. Now, living in the city, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to escape into the woods and walk for hours, as we are blessed with many large green spaces in and around Vancouver. 

VP: What is your number one reason for supporting the Trans Canada Trail – what does the TCT mean to you? 
SM: It’s a wondrous thing to have a trail that unites us all from one end of our great country to the other – it’s a measure of how we, as Canadians, value our great outdoors!

Photo: Kharen Hill

Photo: Kharen Hill

I used to take our 18-foot aluminum canoe out to the middle of the lake, flip it over and spend hours underneath it singing.

Martin Short 

Actor, outdoor enthusiast, author of I Must Say (Harper 2014)

HOMETOWN: Hamilton, Ontario 

VP: What is your best childhood memory spent outdoors?
MS: Going up to Southampton, Ontario, as a kid, we would spend our days on the beaches of Lake Huron, just living outside in nature all day, for two months each summer. It was paradise.

VP: Where is your favourite outdoor place?
MS:  I’ve had a cottage in Muskoka since 1991, about three hours north of Toronto by car. It’s the most beautiful place in the world – spectacular vistas, pine woods, loons calling out each evening. I helped design a $3 coin by the Royal Canadian Mint – the image features the view onto the lake from my property. If heaven was in a loop, it would be that view, looking down from the house to the dock, at sunset. 

VP: How have hiking trails, canoe routes, urban bike paths or nature walks been a part of your life? 
MS: There was never a time when I didn’t love hiking, canoeing, kayaking – it’s always been a part of my life. It started early on – we used to go to Webster’s Falls in Dundas, Ontario, near Hamilton where I grew up. And behind my childhood home, there was a thickly wooded ravine that ran the length of our block and seemed to me to extend forever into the northern wilds.

VP: What is your number one reason for supporting the TCT?
MS: The more something has focus on it, the more it will be preserved. And the better it is preserved, the longer it will last. 

VP: What does the Trans Canada Trail mean to you? 
MS: It’s a wonderful idea – a brilliant idea, in that it unites Canada.

Photo: Sam Jones

Photo: Sam Jones

There was never a time when I didn’t love hiking, canoeing, kayaking – it’s always been a part of my life.

Rick Mercer

Star of CBC’s Rick Mercer Report, Trail Enthusiast

HOMETOWN: Toronto/ Middle Cove, Newfoundland

VP: What is your best childhood memory spent outdoors?
RM: Almost all of my childhood memories involve being outdoors. We lived in a pretty rural area, so as kids we were always exploring in the woods, riding bikes on trails in the woods and building forts in the woods. There were a lot of woods. At the risk of sounding ancient, there really was no such thing as going to a friend’s house to play inside. In hindsight, it was perfect.

VP: Where is your favourite outdoor place?
RM: The East Coast Trail in Newfoundland has so many great hikes. I grew up in Middle Cove, Newfoundland, and there are great walks minutes from my parents’ house that take you along terrific cliffs. The landscape there speaks to me like no other.

VP: How have hiking trails, canoe routes, urban bike paths or nature walks been a part of your life?
RM: Having immediate access to nature is what I miss the most about living in Newfoundland. But, even in Toronto, there are bike paths in the ravines and I will go there when I need to clear my head. It’s not a path next to the Atlantic Ocean where you can breathe salt air and watch whales, but it beats walking or biking on Bloor Street.

VP: What is your number one reason for supporting the TCT?
RM:
 It was the development of the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland that led me to support the TCT. The East Coast Trail was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. It took so much work on behalf of communities, groups and volunteers, but it is an incredible gift to residents and visitors. How can anyone not support the notion of a trail?

VP: What does the Trans Canada Trail mean to you?
RM:
The TCT is classic, old-fashioned nation-building, something that should never go out of style. Let’s finish the Trail so future generations can say, “Wow, how did they do that?”

Photo: Jon Sturge

Photo: Jon Sturge

The TCT is classic, old-fashioned nation-building, something that should never go out of style.
 

Tom Jackson 

Actor, singer, activist

HOMETOWN: One Arrow Reserve, Saskatchewan 

VP: What is your best childhood memory spent outdoors?
TJ: During the summer, as soon as the sun came up, my buddy and I would hike through the bush to a clearing and pretend we were Tarzan – we’d pick a tree, climb it, and try to work our way all around the clearing without touching the ground.

VP: Where is your favourite outdoor place?
TJ: Fifty kilometres northwest of Atlin, B.C., there is a seldom-used camp, established by the Tlingit clan hundreds of years ago, where you can sit and listen to the salmon speak.

VP: How have hiking trails, canoe routes, urban bike paths or nature walks been a part of your life? 
TJ: I like to go on a daily walk, and in the solitude, my head is cleared. It creates a great start to my day.

VP: What is your number one reason for supporting the TCT?
TJ: It allows me to be part of a community that is collectively doing something positive to promote wellness.

VP: What does the Trans Canada Trail mean to you? 
TJ: As this is our home and native land – yours and mine! – I feel privileged to be a part of the TCT. I represent nothing more than a small step in a long journey that leads to, and constitutes, being a proud Canadian.

Photo: Craig Koshyk

Photo: Craig Koshyk

During the summer, as soon as the sun came up, my buddy and I would hike through the bush to a clearing and pretend we were Tarzan...