Protect. Connect. Celebrate…Regenerate.
The Waterfront Trail serves as a ribbon of progress and partnership along the shores of the Lake Ontario, tying together exciting waterfront projects while connecting communities and individuals to their natural world.
The Trail is the link between new pike habitats, in the Royal Botanical Gardens and the remediated industrial soils on Cobourg waterfront. It ties the award-winning Humber River bicycle-pedestrian bridge to the vibrant Whitby waterfront. Thus in communities, large and small along its length, the Trail manifests the application of the scientific principles that guide ecosystem planning to real regeneration projects, and by extension to the future of ecosystem.— David Crombie. Special Places: the Changing Ecosystem of the Toronto Region.
In 2014, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust received a mandate from its partners to expand the vision of the Waterfront Trail to the Great Lakes. The vision and mission and purpose of the Trail remains unchanged. The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a symbol of a new relationship to our waters, and catalyst for ecological health, community renewal and economic vitality.
For over two decades, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust has assisted communities along the shores of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River revitalize their waterfronts by connecting them with a trail now enjoyed by bikers, hikers, and joggers of all ages.
Since 1995, the Trail has been recognized as the first step of a broader strategy to regenerate the waterfront as part of the Lake Ontario Greenway Strategy developed by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and its partners. The goal of the Strategy is to foster a commitment to actions that will regenerate a healthy and sustainable waterfront that is clean, green, accessible, connected, open, usable, diverse, affordable and attractive. This goal is supported by five objectives, and continues to guide our collective actions and priorities:
- Protect the physical, natural and cultural attributes
- Identify restoration needs and methods; remediate brownfields
- Promote greater awareness, understanding and recreational use of the waterfront and encourage community pride and participation in its regeneration
- Promote compatible economic activities and employment on the waterfront
- Foster co-operation by reducing jurisdictional gridlock, sharing resources and co-ordinating waterfront activities.