Welcome to the Toronto Bruce Trail Club

Close to nature.   Close to home.

Bruce Trail Conservancy

The Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) is a charitable organization committed to establishing a conservation corridor containing a public footpath along the Niagara Escarpment, in order to protect its natural ecosystems and to promote environmentally responsible public access to this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

The Toronto Bruce Trail Club is one of the nine regional Clubs which make up the Bruce Trail Conservancy. Each Club is volunteer-run and is responsible for maintaining, stewarding and promoting a section of the Bruce Trail. The Toronto Club looks after approximately 50 km of main trail and 65 km of side trails between Kelso Conservation area and Creditview Road.

The Bruce Trail provides safe access to the Niagara Escarpment. In 1990 the Escarpment was named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve – one of only 16 such reserves in Canada.

Membership-based and Volunteer-driven

A Board of Directors governs the BTC. The BTC Board consists of ten members at large plus one representative from each of the nine Clubs.

Currently, more than 1,250 volunteers donate their time and talents to the Bruce Trail Conservancy and its nine member Clubs.

The BTC is supported by over 8,500 members. Membership support ensures that the BTC can continue to provide safe, environmentally responsible, public access to the Niagara Escarpment for future generations.
The Bruce Trail Conservancy Map
[ Click to view a larger size ]
The BTC is one of Ontario's largest land trusts. Today over 9,700 acres of Escarpment land have been preserved by the BTC. More than 8,700 acres of this preserved land is cared for by volunteers of the BTC's Land Stewardship program with the support of two staff ecologists.

Many people don't realise that the Bruce Trail is not permanently secure, and that 50% of the Bruce Trail corridor is still vulnerable to development. The BTC is working to secure this corridor by receiving donations of land or by purchasing land. Each year the BTC spends from $1 to $2 million on land purchases, preserving hundreds of acres of Escarpment landscape and Bruce Trail corridor forever. These acquisitions protect a diverse array of landscape types - wetlands, karst topography, open meadows, caves, towering scarp edges and lush forests - all within the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Milestones:

  • In 1959 Ray Lowes described his vision of a public footpath along the Escarpment to his friend the artist Robert Bateman at a meeting of the Ontario Federation of Naturalists.
  • The first meeting of the Bruce Trail Committee was held in 1960.
  • In 1963 the Bruce Trail Association was incorporated under the laws of Ontario (renamed the Bruce Trail Conservancy in 2007).
  • Between 1962 and 1966 the regional clubs were established along the length of the Trail. The Toronto Club was founded in 1962.
  • The Trail was officially opened in June 1967 in Tobermory.

The mandate of the Clubs is to:

  • Develop and maintain their section of trail
  • Run local programs that promote the Bruce Trail
  • Recruit members and service local membership needs, and
  • Establish and maintain relations with local landowners and municipal governments.

The Clubs also share some responsibilities with the BTC, including:

  • Risk management
  • Land stewardship
  • The identification of properties for acquisition
  • Publicity and public education,
  • Public relations, and
  • Fundraising.