TRCA Trail Strategy

Trails have become a defining feature of our landscapes. Trails connect residents to nature and to each other, and provide opportunities for community, recreation, active transportation, and healthy living.
aerial view of trail

About the TRCA Trail Strategy

On September 27, 2019, the TRCA Board of Directors fully endorsed the TRCA Trail Strategy for the Greater Toronto Region. Its endorsement prompts a new phase of TRCA’s long history of trail planning and implementation. Single-page and full-spread digital copies of the Trail Strategy can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

The Trail Strategy for the Greater Toronto Region outlines Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) plan to work with partners to complete, expand, manage and celebrate the Greater Toronto Region Trail Network, a connected trail network in our regional greenspace system. It serves as a framework to protect potential trail alignments, and to guide the planning, development, and management of these trails.

The Vision of the TRCA Trail Strategy

The Vision of the TRCA Trail Strategy sees a complete regional trail network in greenspace and along the Lake Ontario shoreline that connects our growing communities to nature, to culture, and to each other, contributing to active living and enhancing our conservation legacy.

Family walking along a trail

The Greater Toronto Region Trail Network Concept

There are approximately 520 km of regional trails in our greenspace system. The concept of the Greater Toronto Region Trail Network proposes almost 480 additional kilometres of trail to complete a regional trail system of 1,000 linear kilometres that connects greenspace to conservation destinations, neighbourhoods, employment lands, and transit and mobility hubs.

It also proposes investment in 10 conservation destination areas to enhance the trail network and provide amenities.

Potential Outcomes of the TRCA Trail Strategy

  • Protection of regional trail opportunities
  • Protection of corridors for active transportation, recreation, and wildlife
  • Provision of natural spaces for exploration and recreation
  • Provision/protection of green infrastructure and ecosystem services
  • Protection of our cultural heritage and promotion of its understanding
  • Creation of opportunities for land-based education
  • Enhancement of our physical landscapes, to inform existing and future development
  • Encouragement of urban regeneration
  • Support for the economic potential of eco-tourism
  • Improvement of social inclusion, equity, and accessibility of greenspaces
  • Improvement of opportunities to enjoy and connect with nature
  • Reinforcement of our regional identity

Two youth riding their bikes on a pedestrian bridge

What does the TRCA Trail Strategy mean for you?

Connecting people to recreational and active transportation opportunities in greenspace supports healthy lifestyles. This is a key resiliency strategy that supports climate change adaptation and mitigation for our region by helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The advancement of the Greater Toronto Region Trail Network will help contribute to active living by providing a safe off-road network within greenspace for people to move about their daily lives, linking them to greenspace, neighbourhoods, employment lands, and transit and mobility hubs.

It will help to address the first-and last-mile regional transit issue, and combat road congestion. It will create more equitable access to trails and greenspace by improving accessibility to conservation areas and greenspace across our region.

It will also allow a wider population to access a backyard nature experience and move us closer towards building sustainable communities that minimize our collective impact on the environment.

How will TRCA use the Trail Strategy?

TRCA will leverage the Trail Strategy to partner with municipal, provincial, and federal colleagues, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community partners, and the development industry to inform our efforts to acquire, protect, and enhance natural assets, and to achieve new and upgraded trails, while connecting people to nature.

Trail Strategy Project Files