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Strategic Plan 2014



With a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Waterfront Regeneration conducted an 18-month trail-wide strategic planning process. 

What emerged from stakeholder consultations and the strategic planning process was an expanded vision for a province-wide Great Lakes Waterfront Trail extending from the eastern border of Ontario to the northwest, and an ambitious framework of strategic directions and action priorities corresponding to that expanded vision.

It has been a gratifying process for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and Staff, and our partners who rallied to the call, as they always seem to. Together we created a plan that reaffirms the core values and standards for Trail development which have guided the Trust from its inception, while setting out plans for partnership and network development, promotion, communications and fund developed that will make it possible to fully realize the original vision of a province-wide trail that is ‘complete and connected’ across the entire St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes waterfront in Ontario.

The Strategic Plan comprises three parts:


Our vision is a continuous Great Lakes Waterfront Trail stretching from the eastern border of Ontario to the northwest, incorporating all of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River waterfront in Ontario.

Rooted in the principles that have guided the development of the Waterfront Trail from its beginnings in 1992 we envision a Great Lakes Waterfront Trail that is ‘complete and connected,’ an integral part of each ecosystem it passes through, enhancing the environment, economy, society and history of every community that participates in the development and use of the Trail.

OUR MISSION...leading a movement to regenerate Canada's Great Lakes

Working with all levels of government, municipal partners, the private sector, communities and individuals, the WRT brings people, ideas and resources together to regenerate waterfront and complete the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

In supporting the continuous enhancement of the existing Trail and the development of new parts of the Trail, the work of WRT is guided by the nine principles that frame our commitment to building a healthy waterfront along the entire shoreline of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River in Ontario. In all aspects of our work we strive for a Great Lakes waterfront that is clean, green, connected, accessible, affordable, open, useable, diverse and attractive.

strategic plan web cover smallSTRATEGIC DIRECTIONS

  • Completing, Enhancing, Expanding and Connecting the
  • Great Lakes Waterfront Trail
  • Renewing and Expanding Partnerships and Networks
  • Promoting the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail
  • Developing and Implementing a Communications Plan
  • Establishing a Sustainable Funding Base

To download a summary of the Plan click here

Visit the 2014 Waterfront Partners Meeting section of the Website


Highlights from the WRT work program

  1. Lynde Shores.  Participate in the design and implementation of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail through the Lynde Shores section in Whitby for completion by 2015 as part of the PanAm Legacy. The project moves the Trail closer to the water's edge, off a busy stretch of regional road and by two provincially significant wetlands. Once completed the Waterfront Trail in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will be family friendly.
  2. Quinte West to Belleville. Following the Lynde Shores announcement (and the successful advocacy that preceded it), closing the gap between Quinte West and Belleville is a priority objective.  
  3. Greenbelt Bike Route.  In 2013 the WRT entered a three year partnership with the Greenbelt Foundation to build a 460 kilometer bike trail, a major project that will contribute to unifying the whole Greenbelt region, establishing north/south connections from the headwaters, through communities to the Waterfront Trail.  
  4. Extending the Waterfront Trail in Lambton Country.  Plans are now underway to extend the Trail by about 170 kilometers to Grand Bend. 
  5. Building the Waterfront Trail from Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie. As the first step toward a major expansion of the Trail on the north shore of Lake Huron, the WRT and our partner, Tourism Northern Ontario, have commenced consultations with communities from Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie to expand the Waterfront Trail. The Trail will be designated as Trans Canada Trail as well. 
  6. Trail Enhancement: State of the Trail Report.  Continue to record trail projects in progress or planned along the Trail. The first ever State of the Trail was presented at the February 2014 partners meeting.
  7. Mapping and Website Development.  Ongoing map updates, including for Lake Ontario and the Niagara River Recreation Trail, continues to enhance the availability of information and access to the  Trail across its full length.  
  8. Great Waterfront Trail Adventure. Continue to organize the fully supported, recreational bike holiday on the Waterfront with the goal of promoting our partner communities, fostering active living and building the Trail's reputation as a renowned and distinctive tourism attraction.
  9. Ragnar, Adventure Cyclists and the Desjardins Grand Tour: Work with major partners to attract events to the Waterfront Trail especially from markets attractive to our partners.


donate and regenerateThank you to the many people who served on advisory committees and circles of expertise to help the Waterfront Regeneration Trust board and staff reflect on great input from our partners. We also wish to acknowledge the wonderful support and expertise of the Strategic Planning Team: Bruce Carr, David Kraft of StratComm, Anne McIlroy of Brooks McIlroy, Justin Lafontaine, Kaitlynn Dodge of Brown and Cohen.

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Contact Information

(416) 943-8080
4195 Dundas St. West - Suite 227,
Toronto, Ontario M8X 1Y4

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