Lands & Trails

Providing optimal access to conservation lands managed or owned by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is an important part of our 10-Year Strategic Plan.

TRCA owns and manages thousands of hectares of greenspace as a means to protect and manage valley and stream corridors, flood plains, shore lands, wildlife and vegetation. The majority of these lands are open the public for trail use and enjoyment.

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WHAT WE DO

The Lands & Trails team provides TRCA and its partners with the following programs and services that support one of the core mandates of the Conservation Authorities Act:

Greenspace Planning

Leading land planning projects, such as environmental assessments, feasibility studies, management plans, master plans, and trail plans.

Land Management and Trails Implementation

Design and construction of trails, parking lots and other trail and property amenities utilized by the public. Other activities include hazard reduction, restoration, landscaping, and infrastructure and property maintenance.

Monitoring and Assessment

Identification and evaluation of encroachments, illegal dumping, unauthorized uses, property hazards, trail conditions, property fencing, and security and safety issues. Monitoring and assessment also includes the use of trail user surveys, trail counters and trail assessment tools and devices. Information collected is used for planning purposes and to identify where land and trails maintenance is required.


FAQs

What are Conservation Lands?

Conservation Lands are protected valley and stream corridors, flood plains, Lake Ontario shore lands and environmentally significant areas owned by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). TRCA has a tradition of providing outdoor recreation and education facilities on lands that are acquired for flood and erosion control or natural resource protection reasons.

Aside from TRCA managed parks, conservation areas and public use facilities, many of the parks and green spaces located in the City of Toronto, and the Regional Municipalities of Peel, York and Durham, are in fact TRCA Conservation Lands, but managed by your local governments.

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How do we manage TRCA Conservation Lands?

TRCA and its municipal partners own and manage trails and conservation areas and parks within communities, continuously linked along the river/ravine system, and ultimately linked with trails on the Lake Ontario shoreline.

Large urban wilderness parks like Tommy Thompson Park offer outdoor activities such as hiking, cross country skiing, bird-watching and nature appreciation. While TRCA owned and managed lands provide many opportunities for minor recreational use or passive non-intrusive uses, there are some areas with major recreational uses such as campgrounds, educational facilities, sustainable community demonstration sites (The Living City Campus at Kortright), and a golf course (Bathurst Glen).

TRCA employs best management practices and environmental stewardship — through the establishment of management and master plans — to protect and conserve the valuable natural and cultural heritage attributes within each of our nine watersheds.

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Why do we create management plans and master plans?

TRCA develops management and master plans for one (or more) of the following reasons:

  • To address property management and public safety issues.
  • To develop a plan which responds to future demands and growth in the region.
  • To integrate and implement watershed management strategies.
  • To establish appropriate environmental protection and regeneration techniques.
  • To receive public input regarding appropriate use, development and management of the property.
  • To create a sense of stewardship among users and adjacent land owners.