Spending time outdoors and in nature benefits mental and physical health and well-being. Expanding Canadians’ access to nature is a priority for the Government of Canada, as has been demonstrated by a historic new investment for the Trans Canada Trail.
Today, while alongside the Trans Canada Trail and Lachine Canal National Historic Site in Montréal, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced an investment of $55 million over five years to maintain, enhance and expand the Trans Canada Trail. This is the single largest investment in the history of the trail, which is a registered charity.
“The more time we spend outdoors, the more likely we are to conserve and protect nature. As an avid hiker of the trail networks around my home of Montreal or across the country, I know first-hand the health benefits of spending time in nature,” said Guilbeault. “With this funding, our Government will ensure the Trans Canada Trail can better connect Canadians to nature, and to each other, from coast to coast to coast for generations to come.”
The Trans Canada Trail is a network of multi-use trails linking 15,000 communities and passing through every provincial and territorial capital across 28,000 kilometres of land and water routes through rural, urban and Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast. This funding, allocated through Budget 2022, will enhance the user experience of the Trans Canada Trail network, supporting its renewal, growth and long-term sustainability.
The Trans Canada Trail along the Ville de Chambly. Image credit: Trans Canada Trail / Jennifer Mahon.
This funding will help expand connections of local and regional trails to the Trans Canada Trail; improve trail infrastructure in communities across Canada; enhance accessibility and strengthen inclusive use of the Trail; support local trail organizations and managers who steward The Trail in communities across Canada; and better integrate the Trans Canada Trail into local, regional, and national tourism offers and marketing – promoting a healthy lifestyle year-round and inspiring the people of Canada to discover, cherish and steward their natural and cultural heritage.
These measures will ensure Trans Canada Trail can continue to connect Canadians to nature, improve mental health and wellness, promote regional economic development and tourism, and provide opportunities to support reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities.
The Government of Canada is proud to be among the many contributors to Trans Canada Trail. Since 1992, the Government of Canada has contributed over $90 million to Trans Canada Trail, including an investment of $30 million over four years through Budget 2017.
“We are thrilled by Minister Guilbeault’s recommitment to Trans Canada Trail’s annual funding in this year’s federal budget. We are honoured beyond measure by this investment – and we look forward to what we can achieve together in the next five years and beyond,” said Eleanor McMahon, president and CEO of the Trans Canada Trail.
“As a valued partner to government, we will catalyze Parks Canada’s investment to build the Trail of the future, and to help Canada build back post-pandemic, with programs and partnerships designed to deliver on leveraging tourism and economic development, health and wellness, truth and reconciliation opportunities, and the conservation and preservation opportunities that the Trail provides.”
The Trans Canada Trail’s story began in 1992, when Albertan Bill Pratt and Quebecker Pierre Camu envisioned a national trail connecting the people of Canada to nature and to one another. Twenty-five years later, in 2017, during Canada’s sesquicentennial year, Trans Canada Trail celebrated the collective achievement of coast-to-coast-to-coast connection.
The Trans Canada Trail is currently the longest multi-use trail in the world, spanning over 28,000 kilometres on land and water.
For further information, visit: Trans Canada Trail Website
Featured images courtesy of Trans Canada Trail / Jennifer Mahon.