Valerie Pringle is not shy about her dream for the Trans Canada Trail. She often tells people that when it is fully connected, she wants to take a picture from space, with people stretching from coast to coast to coast, shining their flashlights up into the night sky.
It’s a bold dream, almost as audacious as the TCT’s goal of connecting the entire Trail and Canadians by 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday.
“Trail building is a community effort and it is thanks to the hard work of our community partners that our dream of building a national Trail connecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast by 2017 is becoming a reality,” said Valerie Pringle, co-chair of the Trans Canada Trail Foundation, before some forty guests at a funding announcement ceremony held on May 29 at the Canadore College and Nipissing University Campus in the City of North Bay.
She was there to announce that the Trans Canada Trail is providing $270,000 for the development of ten kilometres of Trail in the region, known locally as the Kate Pace Way.
TCT’s financial contribution be put towards the first phase of Trail development to connect North Bay’s Community Waterfront Park along the lakeshore, past the Regional Health Centre, through the Canadore College and Nipissing University Main Campus to North Bay’s municipal boundary.
This Trail will connect some of North Bay’s most important institutions including the Regional Health Centre, Nipissing University, Canadore College and the Community Waterfront Park, located in the downtown core and is part of a 200-kilometre section of TCT that runs from Huntsville to Sudbury, Ontario.
The anticipated social and cultural benefits of this new section of Trail are considerable. “North Bay’s Community Waterfront Park is a gathering place in the community, and connecting it to the local campus will encourage greater interaction between the students and the community at large,” commented Jennifer McCourt, executive director of Discovery Routes Trails Organization, local TCT Trail partner.
Valerie Pringle also recognized the importance of the other community organizations like the City of North Bay, Canadore College/ Nipissing University and Discovery Routes Trails Organization who are providing funds for this new section of Trail, saying that connecting the Trail by 2017 is only possible with the commitment and dedication of Canadians and the communities they serve.
The first phase of construction on this project begins this summer.