Corp Comm Connects

Linking Brampton to network - Trail connections

June 24, 2015
By Leah Wong

Brampton is optimistic that the time is right to close the gap in public ownership and connect Lake Ontario to the Credit River’s headwaters through an interregional multi-purpose trail.

“The largest gap in public ownership [along the Credit Valley Trail] is the 12-km gap in Brampton,” Credit Valley Conservation community outreach manager David Beaton told Brampton council at its June 17 meeting.

Credit Valley Conservation and the Credit Valley Heritage Society have partnered to create a consortium, which seeks to work with watershed municipalities to create a master plan for a 113-km multipurpose trail through the Credit River Watershed. Presently 64 per cent of the land accommodates existing trails, but they are not all connected.

Brampton council voted to support the Credit Valley Consortium and directed staff to participate on its steering committee.

Running a trail through the Credit River Watershed in Brampton is not a new idea-the concept of a recreational trail was identified in plans dating back to 1956. However, the gap has still not been overcome.

“The trail will knit our urban and rural communities together and stimulate local economic development,” said Beaton. “It will serve as a green gym, a destination in tourism strategy, a history lesson, a gallery for nature’s artwork, an active transportation network and, most important, as a constituency builder for the Credit River and watershed.”

With secondary planning underway Brampton staff has indicated that the time is right to close the trail gap, as there will be an opportunity for the city to negotiate with landowners to secure access to these lands as development applications are submitted. While much of the land within the Credit River Valley through Brampton is privately owned, staff is optimistic that private landowners may choose to grant conservation easements or donate land. Also the city may consider purchasing select lands. Staff has identified conceptually the long-term routing for the trail, though the route will ultimately be influenced by landowners’ consents.

“Brampton has a strong history of creating trails to connect its natural space,” said Brampton open space planning supervisor Bryan Smith. “The Credit Valley Trail is the last big piece.”

The master plan, which will identify an optimal route, will be developed over the next two years. Through the planning process staff will start the process of engaging private landowners within the Credit River Valley.