I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the hard work of our volunteers who maintain and improve the trails through the GTA and our highly regarded Hiking Program. I am inspired to report on another year of protecting the legacy and vision of our founders and commitment to encourage cultural diversity, inclusion, and awareness of social justice issues surrounding us all.
We have a strong Land Management Committee (LMC) which includes Biodiversity, Land Securement, Trail Maintenance & Land Stewardship.
- The newly opened Trafalgar Side Trail. 1.6 kms, connects the Duff Pit Side Trail to the extensive system of BTC trails in the Scotsdale Farm & Silver Creek area
- A beautiful combination of woodland & meadowlands, primarily the reclaimed quarry
- Many thanks to the volunteer team of Paul Vanhanen, Rose Mary Mitter & Dave Paape who put the final touches on the trail and declared it open to hikers
- Our trail captains and other trail maintenance volunteer teams is continually working to keep the main trail and side trails in excellent shape, removing fallen trees, fixing boardwalks or stairs in a very prompt manner
A partnership with local Conservation Authorities was launched.
- LMC Chair Neil Stein convened a meeting between staff of Conservation Halton, Credit Valley Conservation Authority & LMC to share information about biodiversity, plans for new trails, trail improvements and signage on the Conservation properties through which the Toronto Club section of the trail passes
Hiking Program & Badges
We have gone from strength to strength under the leadership of Tom Swales, Hiking Director
- The new BTC Unified Hiking Listing calendar with significant input from the TBTC team is a major accomplishment
- Bus & coach trips returned. They require registration and online payment in advance
- Coach trips to Petroglyphs Provincial Park and weekend to the Saugeen Peninsula proved popular
- After a hiatus due to Covid-19, the annual Toronto End to End coordinated by veteran hiker Jacquie Van Dyke drew over 120 participants
- Our Hike Leader Training Program, in partnership with Hike Ontario supported over 20 candidates
- Preserving biodiversity is at the core of our conservation work and celebrated as the theme for our Bruce Trail Day
- Our Badge Committee led by Margaret Corner added a new badge: the 60th Anniversary badge celebrates our club’s founding and first blaze in 1962. A Biodiversity badge will be launched in the Spring 2023.
Communications & Outreach
Our continued success in attracting new members is due to the positive contributions of our many volunteers who serve on our Communications Team led by Communications Director David Rowney.
- Our new and improved website has received critical acclaim
- The editors of E-Notes, Wayne Crockett & Magdalena Vanderkooy continue to deliver interesting content to members
- Alina Lin, our Public Relations and Education Director hosted a series of webinars, including Winter Hiking and celebrating the achievements of one of our hike leaders Fred Berktin in adopting a rigorous hiking schedule to achieve significant weight loss.
Diversity & Membership
We continue to be grateful for the support of our members, supporting networks, community partners, and allies in sharing in the work of inclusion with us.
- Club membership continues to grow now standing at over 3.200. Special thanks are due to Louise Kent, Membership Director, Vice President and Chair of the Diversity Committee for her enthusiastic and determined efforts to grow membership and commitment and action to Diversity and Inclusion to better represent our membership and the GTA
- Our Diversity Committee hosted Diversity Training for our Board of Directors
- Many Toronto Club members were interested in following Zwena Gray, a Black university student who hiked the 900km Bruce Trail this summer
- The Toronto Club were assigned two Trail Ambassadors, Keegan Flower and Charlotte Muileboom to spend the summer on the Bruce Trail, conducting trail outreach at key spots on the Bruce Trail to promote membership, safe and appropriate trail use, and awareness of this vital natural resource
Our volunteers are providing their voices, their creativity, their passion and their leadership to help advance our mission. Our Volunteer Coordinator, Marlis Butcher is leading a Volunteer Recognition Task Force to review our existing recognition program.
- A sincere welcome to all the new members who have joined us: and thank you to all our renewing and lifetime members for your ongoing support.
I am fortunate to be working with an exceptional Board of Directors. We have identified three initiatives that are aligned with the updated BTC strategic vision.
- We will nurture and grow our culture of giving to ensure our Club is resourced to preserve and conserve the rich biodiversity of the Bruce Trail Conservancy corridor
- We will maximize technology and innovation to reach out to create partnerships with schools, community and business alliances
- We will reaffirm what we value with our ongoing commitment and action to Diversity and Inclusion to better represent our membership and the GTA
I look forward to sharing our success.
President, Toronto Bruce Trail Club