Trans Canada Trail is pleased to announce the appointment of Eleanor McMahon as President & CEO, effective March 1, 2020. Ms. McMahon will take over from Deborah Apps, who has been TCT’s President & CEO since 2008 and led the organization with distinction.
“We are a very different organization today, thanks to Deborah’s dedication to building Canada’s national Trail – The Great Trail of Canada. Her forward-thinking leadership and determination helped achieve the connection of The Great Trail in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation – the most successful initiative of its kind in Canada,” says Valerie Pringle, Chair of the TCT Foundation Board.
“We’re so grateful to Deborah for all her hard work, and are confident that, under Eleanor’s leadership, TCT will continue to uphold its mission of developing, enhancing and protecting The Great Trail for generations to come.”
Eleanor has over 30 years’ experience within the private, public and non-profit sectors. She spent the early years of her career working on Parliament Hill, including as press secretary to the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien.
Later, she brought her consensus-building know-how to a variety of other roles, including Director of Public Affairs at the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Vice-President at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Vice-President at United Way Ottawa. She was elected the MPP for Burlington from 2014 to 2018, and served as Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, as well as President of the Treasury Board.
“My fellow board members and I have great confidence that Eleanor is the right person to lead TCT into its future. Notably, her non-partisan approach and successful tenure as founder and CEO of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition gives her excellent experience for working with Trail groups across Canada,” says Neil Yeates, Chair of the TCT Board of Directors.
A passionate advocate for the safety of cyclists, Eleanor founded the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in 2008. Under her governance, this grassroots organization united cycling groups across Ontario to make communities more bicycle-friendly, and pressed the Ontario government to toughen the law regarding individuals who drive while suspended. In addition, she steered the movement that resulted in the launch of #CycleON, Ontario’s first bicycle policy update in 20 years. While in office, she was instrumental in two other legislative safety measures: Ontario’s One Metre Safe Passing Law (2015) and legislation strengthening the Careless Driving provisions of the Highway Traffic Act, creating Canada’s first Vulnerable Road User penalties in 2017. That same year, she announced a $100 million investment in cycling infrastructure in several communities across Ontario.
“As an avid cyclist and outdoor enthusiast, I am thrilled to join the team at Trans Canada Trail,” says Eleanor. “Like so many Canadians, I have watched the inspiring story of The Great Trail evolve from an ambitious idea to the incredible cross-Canada network it is today. I’m looking forward to building upon the significant legacy that Deborah Apps built during her tenure, and leading TCT in its mission to make the Trail a safe, accessible destination for all outdoor enthusiasts in Canada and beyond.”
Moving forward, Trans Canada Trail’s mission will be to continue to enhance and improve the Trail. This involves creating more adventures by developing new Trail sections, converting more roadways to greenways, strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities across the country, making the Trail more accessible, funding emergency repairs and ensuring the long-term financial viability of this national icon.