Toronto Bruce Trail Club Blog
Book Excerpt: Trail to the Bruce
Posted on: 2018/06/12
The following is an excerpt from Trail to the Bruce - The Story of the Building of the Bruce Trail
by David Tyson. The book includes a chapter of each of the Bruce Trail Clubs with a section on
Side Trails and other features, such as waterfalls or tracts of land in that Club, that are named
after one or more persons. Such trails or features are usually named after someone who has made a significant contribution to the development of the club and/or the Conservancy and are a valuable source of historical data.
Side Trails* in the Toronto Section (starting at the south end)
-Philip Gosling Side Trail: Philip Gosling is one of the four original â€œfoundersâ€ of the Bruce Trail, our first Trail Director and the founder of the Toronto Club. This trail was opened in August 2005. It extends from the Hilton Falls Conservation Area to a point on the Main Trail near the plaque honouring the first blaze on the Trail, which was painted by Philip in 1962.
-Al Shaw Side Trail: Al Shaw was a naturalist and hiker who was at the founding meeting of the Toronto Club on June 28, 1962 and has been active in the Club ever since. He was heavily involved in the building of the Club section of trail and, when the first part was opened, he went on to help the other Clubs. He completed the end-to-end in 1970 and served as the trail captain for the 7 kilometre section from St. Helena Road to 6th Line for 28 years. He has also been a major donor to the BTC and there is a plaque on the trail just south of Speyside which honours Al for his generosity. The Oak Ridge Trail Association has also named a side trail in his honour.
-Todd Bardes Meadowland Side Trail: This side trail was created in honour of Todd Bardes. At the time of his sudden death in 2015, he was President of the Toronto Club and had served on the Board for many years.
-Vanderleck Side Trail: The Vanderlecks were long time landowners who allowed the Club to put trail on their land.
-Charles Hildebrandt Side Trail: Charles was a lifelong naturalist and conservationist who started the Club snowshoe hike program. He also served on the Board of Directors and as a hike leader who was well known for his backpacking trips to wilderness areas.
-Brown Benton Side Trai: This trail is named after the two local Limehouse families, the Browns and the Bentons. Bert and Glenda Benton have had the main Trail on two sides of their farm for over 30 years. The Brown family allowed us, through a handshake agreement, to put the trail on their land in order to connect the Canada Goose Side Trail with the main Trail, shortly after the Canada Goose Trail was opened.
-Duff Pit Side Trail: This trail is named after the Duff family. Ian Duff has allowed a trail on his land for many years.
-Bennett Heritage Trail: Stewart and Violet Bennett created Scotsdale Farm in 1938 with an original 200 acres and eventually expanded it to 540 acres. In 1982, the estate holding the farm after their death donated the farm to the Ontario Heritage Trust. The Bennett Heritage Trail was officially opened July 1, 1992.
-Maureen Smith Side Trail: Maureen Smith joined the Toronto Club in 1983, was President from 1987 to 1990 and has held virtually every other position on the Board of Directors, in addition to also being a hike leader and trail captain. In March 2000 she founded the Halton Hills Chapter of the Toronto Club, which is the only â€œchapterâ€ of a Club in the entire Bruce Trail Conservancy. The first meeting of the Halton Hills chapter was held on August 29, 1999.
-Roberts Side Trail: named after Mr. and Mrs. George Roberts who lived in the area and maintained this section of the Trail for many years. George Roberts served as President and Vice-president of the BTA.
Copyright: David E. Tyson
TBTC Shows Off Its New Trail At Terra Cotta
Posted on: 2018/06/20
The timing could not have been better â€“ our club had just launched its newest section of optimum route trail near Terra Cotta, and the Terra Cotta Conservation Area was offering a day with free admission. And out of that a wonderful partnership was born: TBTC hike leaders led hikes on the newly created 12 km loop as well as family-friendly shorter hikes within the park, and in doing so they helped local residents enjoy the beauty of the park in a new way.
All told, 86 hikers participated, half of whom were not yet members of the BTC. They ranged from families with young children to adults preparing to walk the Camino pilgrimage route in Spain. There was even a local Georgetown resident who had never known the Bruce Trail passed so close to her home. She will be back to explore more of it, she assured the leaders.
And oh, the adventures they had! They discovered wildflowers (even a rare-for-this-area wild yellow orchid) and learned how to identify poison ivy. They found toads and fish swimming in the muddy water of Wolf Lake. They listened to the birds chirping and to woodpeckers tapping on trees high above them. They learned how to follow blazes and how to read Bruce Trail maps. Some overcame their fear of snakes, and all learned to fight off the mosquitoes with insect repellent. Several on the longer hikes said they had never before completed that kind of distance, and they ended the day with a huge sense of accomplishment.
Back at the parkâ€™s visitors centre we had an information table where passersby as well as hike participants could learn more about the BTC and become members if they wished. We had great success on that front as well, selling a total of 10 new memberships.
It was a great day for building awareness of the Bruce Trail and its member clubs, and especially, given the location, awareness of the local Halton Hills chapter. Many peopleâ€™s interest really perked up when they heard there were hikes being organized by people who lived right in the area.
Hats off to Alina who pulled all of our volunteers together, to Janet and Magdalena at the information table, and to all the hike leaders â€“ Malcolm, Peter, Duro, Lucy, and Dariush.
PS: The experience of the hiking was apparently so inspiring to Margreet, one of the hikers who took the hikes on Bruce Trail as part of the training preparation for her Camino pilgrimage, that she joined the TBTC as a new member after the hike and also wrote a blog telling how she joined this event and how she was touched by the Bruce Trail. â€œI had the feeling that we were at the right place at the right time (hiking the Bruce Trail on June 9). Some will call this serendipity, I call it God provides.â€ --- Quoted from her blog. To read whole article, click here.
- By Magdalena Vanderkooy
More information: https://margreetkuypers.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/terra-cotta-12km-9-june-2018-2/