Greenbelt Foundation Unveils New Signage to Improve Accessibility of Oak Ridges Moraine Trail
New Trailhead and Wayfinding Signs Installed with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
TORONTO, October 15, 2021 —The Greenbelt Foundation has unveiled 45 new trailhead and wayfinding signs on Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) land in the Oak Ridges Moraine—an important natural feature of Ontario’s Greenbelt. The signs will enhance navigation and accessibility and increase awareness of the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail and the Greenbelt, as a whole.
With one in four Canadian’s living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, the Greenbelt has continued to be an essential resource for outdoor recreation—especially during times of COVID-19 restrictions."
All 45 newly installed signs convey the specific TRCA property or location, illustrate the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail, and highlight the Trail’s location within the Greenbelt. TRCA is the largest public lands holder in the Greater Toronto Area, with much of its land falling within the Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt. Within this system of greenspace is approximately 60 kilometres of the Oak Ridges Moraine main and side trails.
“Ontario’s Greenbelt protects over 800,000 hectares of environmentally sensitive and agricultural land in south-central Ontario, while providing Ontarians with greenspace close to home to enjoy with their families. I am proud to be a part of a government that believes in investing and preserving in greenspaces like the Greenbelt” said Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “The installation of new signage will help visitors to the Oak Ridges Moraine navigate the Greenbelt’s beautiful trails and promote learning and appreciation for its importance to the province’s ecosystem.”
With one in four Canadian’s living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, the Greenbelt has continued to be an essential resource for outdoor recreation—especially during times of COVID-19 restrictions. Time spent in nature has proven positive impacts on physical and mental health, and Ontario’s Greenbelt provides accessible greenspace to explore nature with friends and loved ones.
“These new signs will educate visitors about the Oak Ridges Moraine and help them to understand the role it plays within the greater Greenbelt landscape,” explains Edward McDonnell, CEO, Greenbelt Foundation. “Signage is an important strategy to improving access to greenspace and can contribute to making experiences more meaningful by providing education and information about the area. We are thrilled that this new signage will make it easier for Ontarians to access the Oak Ridges Moraine trail and help visitors get more out of the experience while they’re there.”
“With over 50 kilometres of Oak Ridges Moraine Trail spanning TRCA’s properties, today’s wayfinding sign announcement is crucial to helping people navigate the Greenbelt in our jurisdiction. The Oak Ridges Moraine Trail is a vital part of the TRCA Trail Strategy that provides opportunities for recreation, active transportation and healthy living while also being essential land management tools in the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides,” says John MacKenzie, CEO, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
The installation of these new signs which has been led by TRCA staff are located primarily at vehicle and pedestrian access points that comprise the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail. The 45 signs are located across 11 properties under the jurisdiction of the TRCA.
“The installation of the trail kiosks will go a long way in directing the public to the trailheads where they can enjoy either personal or family hikes or to join one of our many guided hikes,” says Kevin Lowe, President, Oak Ridges Trail Association.
Beyond the additional signage, the TRCA also has a formal agreement in place with the Oak Ridges Trail Association (ORTA) for regular trail maintenance wherever it exists on TRCA property.
To read a Backgrounder with additional details on the grant program, please click HERE.
About 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. Since 2020, the Greenbelt Foundation and Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation have joined forces to preserve, protect, and restore the environmental and agricultural integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine.
“The unveiling of the signage at Secord Forest is an important strategy for improving access to green space for the local residents of Pickering-Uxbridge and for residents across the province. The signage will help access the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail, attract more visitors to the area and promote green space to explore nature with friends and loved ones.” – Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge.
“Helping to educate our trail users about the importance of the Oak Ridges Moraine and the importance of land conservation is important to build continued support for our green spaces. Thanks to the Greenbelt Foundation, these signs will help users explore the Greenbelt and appreciate its significance at the same time.” – Dave Barton, Mayor, Township of Uxbridge.
About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is the largest of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides. Well over ten percent of Canada’s population (five million residents) live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.
About Oak Ridges Trail Association
The Oak Ridges Trail Association is a 600-member volunteer not-for-profit organization whose mandate is to build and maintain a trail the length of the moraine. The trail spans from Caledon to Warkworth and is maintained in large part by ORTA volunteers. A second tenet of the mandate is to organize and lead guided hikes to educate people about the moraine. Prior to COVID-19 over 300 hikes per year were offered by trained volunteers.
Greenbelt Foundation Media Contact:
Petronilla Ndebele, Director, Strategic Communications
(416) 960-0001 Extension 306
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Media Contact:
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
Oak Ridges Trail Association Media Contact:
Carol Dowell, Publicity Director
Oak Ridges Trail Association
Greenbelt Foundation Social Media:
Facebook: Ontario Greenbelt