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October 8, 2013
For immediate release

Generous donor helps to complete the TCT Confederation Trail by 2014

Tourism and Culture

A $1 million donation from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and an additional $400,000 from Trans Canada Trail will help complete Prince Edward Island’s portion of the Trans Canada Trail, known as the Confederation Trail, ahead of the 2017 deadline, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.

“The Confederation Trail is not only a premiere venue for hiking and cycling, but it is also an ever more important tourism draw for the province,” said Minister Henderson. “This very generous donation means the Trail will be fully complete from Tignish to Elmira and from Wood Islands to Borden-Carleton, and the timing couldn’t be better given the celebrations planned for 2014. I want to express our sincere thanks to both The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and Trans Canada Trail for making it all possible ahead of the sesquicentennial.”

The donation means the TCT Confederation Trail will remain a greenway in perpetuity, meaning no motorized vehicles will be allowed on the Trail moving forward, with the exception of snowmobiles during winter. Prince Edward Island will also become the second province to complete its portion of the Trail after Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We are delighted to support the Stratford to Iona portion of the Trans Canada Trail in Prince Edward Island. This Trail is not only significant to the Island but also to all Canadians,” says Nancy Baron, Trustee, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. “By 2014, we will all be able to hike, bike, or walk a continuous Island Trail that follows a path our first settlers established more than 150 years ago.”

“The bold plan to create a national recreational Trail that would celebrate the natural beauty of our country was born in Prince Edward Island just over 20 years ago, so we are thrilled that this generous commitment from Mrs. Nancy Baron will support the full connection of the province’s Trail in time for 2014 celebrations,” says Deborah Apps, president & CEO, Trans Canada Trail. “Prince Edward Island’s accomplishment is fuelling the momentum towards our 2017 goal of a fully developed Trans Canada Trail that connects Canadians from coast to coast to coast at human speed.”

The largest section that remains unfinished is the 15-kilometre section between Vernon River and Iona. Construction is already underway on that section. There are also small sections to be completed near Lake Verde, Hazelbrook and within the town of Stratford. A portion of the donation will go to Stratford but that amount has not yet been finalized. In total, approximately 30 kilometres of Trail remain to be completed and this donation will accomplish that goal.

“We are very grateful to the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and the Trans Canada Trail for enabling Stratford to become part of the Trans Canada Trail network,” said Stratford Mayor David Dunphy.“The original railbed was abandoned prior to the establishment of the trail system and this will now give our residents direct access to this wonderful trail network. Giving residents more opportunities to become more active and improve their health is an important part of our plan to build the best community possible.”

Once all sections are complete, the Confederation Trail will measure 444 kilometres. That includes branch trails from Mount Stewart to Montague, Georgetown and Cardigan, from Harmony Junction to Souris and from Wood Islands to Murray Harbour.

Media Contact: Andrew Sprague
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