Dreading another early morning commute? Sick of squeezing into another crowded subway? It might be time to leave the bus pass at home and take a walk on The Great Trail instead!
The benefits of a 30-minute walk in the morning are numerous – it helps to improve your fitness, increase your mental well-being and fit exercise into a busy schedule. On top of that, the Trail passes through every provincial and territorial capital in Canada, and 80% of Canadians are within 30 minutes of a Trail section!
Here are our suggestions for experiencing the sights and sounds of the Trail during your walk to work.
Linking the bustle of our capital city with its impressive natural beauty, the Capital Pathway is ideal for a morning commute in Ottawa. This section of The Great Trail takes in Major’s Hill Park, the Rideau Canal and Parliament Hill, and also connects to historic Sussex Drive, the beautiful Gatineau region and the Ottawa to Carleton Trailway.
Despite the fact that Vancouver is one of western Canada’s largest and busiest cities, it is also one of the most strikingly beautiful locations for walking to work. The 29-kilometre City of Vancouver Trail passes through gorgeous parkland and along bustling streets, providing stunning coastal views and spectacular mountain scenery. After work, why not return to the Trail for a stroll around Stanley Park too?
Not often can you say you’ve passed by one of the most exciting urban districts in the world while on your walk to work! Toronto’s Waterfront Trail brings you close to the iconic CN Tower and historic Fort York, as well as the city’s thrilling entertainment district. You’ll also be treated to serene vistas of Lake Ontario and the Toronto islands.
With over 89 kilometres of multi-use pathways spread throughout the entire city, Calgary’s section of The Great Trail offers a myriad of experiences for your morning commute. For one, it passes by some of the city’s most historic and cultural sites, including Fort Calgary, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Grounds and Glenmore Reservoir. It also paves the way towards some areas of striking natural beauty, including the Weaselhead Natural Environment Park, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Taking in the Red, Assiniboine and Seine Rivers, Winnipeg’s section of the Trail runs through forests, parks and residential neighbourhoods, and along former railway lines and creeks.
A key feature on this section of the Trail is The Forks National Historic Site, which has served as a meeting place for Indigenous communities, fur traders and immigrants over the past 6,000 years. Now, it’s a thriving cultural hub and a site of many festivals.
The Trail section along the Lachine Canal National Historic Site follows the route of a navigable canal, which dates back to the heyday of Montreal’s industrial revolution more than 150 years ago. Today, it’s one of the most beautiful cycling paths in Canada and connects the southwest section of the city to the beating heart of its downtown.
Commuters in the Plateau-Mont-Royal district can also explore Axe Christophe Colomb, a Trail section that takes in the famous Parc La Fontaine before leading to the city centre via Berri Street. This 21-kilometre Trail section is also part of La Route Verte.
Winding through the 1,000-hectare Wascana Centre, a historic park in downtown Regina, this section of The Great Trail is the much-loved geographical and cultural centre of the city. Wascana Lake, the popular lake that was built in the 1880s, serves as a popular location for events throughout the year.
This Trail section also passes by numerous monuments, such as the Provincial Legislature building, the University of Regina, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Conexus Performing Arts Centre and the Saskatchewan Science Centre, as well as a waterfowl and grassland reserve.