Welcome to the Toronto Bruce Trail Club

Close to nature.   Close to home.

Why Our Work Is Needed

If you didn't know it was there, would you miss it when it's gone?

Few hikers along the Bruce Trail can claim to have seen a Jefferson Salamander. Yet, what will it mean if species like the Jefferson salamanders are completely extinguished along the Escarpment?

Hiking along the Niagara Escarpment you can imagine you are in the midst of a vast, endless, robust forest. The pressures of urban sprawl and the intrusion of industrial development seem a world away. The Niagara Escarpment, however, is a delicate ribbon with extraordinarily unique habitats, some of which are found nowhere else in Ontario, and some, nowhere else in the world.

UNESCO has designated the Niagara Escarpment a World Biosphere Reserve. This puts the Escarpment in important company including, among others, the Galapagos Islands and Yosemite National Park.


Restoring What's Been Lost

Southern Ontario was once mostly a dense forest. Settlers scoured the land of everything that was not beneficial to raising crops or livestock. In doing so they destroyed habitat for hundreds of species

The Conservation Committee builds bird boxes and replants native vegetation in areas where they once flourished, enabling species to re-establish themselves.


Maintaining the Wildlife Corridor

Bird watchers "flock" to the Niagara Escarpment every spring to catch sight of migrating birds. Hundreds of thousands of birds rely on the Niagara Escarpment to raise their broods. Millions more depend on this natural corridor, feeding to build up fat reserves before continuing on the long annual journey north to the boreal forests or Arctic Tundra.

Man-made roads, structures and other threats now fragment the wild places animals rely on. As a result thousands of animals like the birds or the Jefferson salamander have died trying to reach food, water, shelter and breeding sites. Monitoring marshes and wetlands, holding nesting bird counts, reporting sightings of fauna like reptiles, amphibians, mammals and monarch butterflies provides the data that keep the importance of protecting the Niagara Escarpment in the consciousness of news media and the public.


Minimizing Trail Damage

Hiking along the Bruce Trail with a group is great exercise, good for the soul and a great way to spend a day with friends and maybe make new ones. The opportunities hikers have to see something intriguing along the way, like a panoramic view or interesting flora, helps to foster an appreciation and respect of nature. Yet our Trail itself has an impact on wetlands and other natural resources.

Soil is compacted by an increasing number of hikers. Soils are also eroded by those who wander from path. These activities lead to displacement of vegetation, and to sedimentation and degradation of nearby waterways. The Conservation Committee and volunteers work to minimize the impact of Bruce Trail users have on natural surroundings.