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Lake to Lake Cycling Route and Walking Trail



This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Tom Shaw 3 years, 10 months ago.

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    Tom Shaw

    Construction to begin in 2017 with huge Government funding. This project is something that has a broad range of people who will benefit by using it, so it is a great way to spend the public’s money.

    New southern Ontario cycling trail on track to begin construction in 2017



    Very cool, look forward to riding it. Thanks for sharing.




    But the price tag… did I read that correctly, one 2.9km segment is billed at $1.8million? $620/m? That can’t be right… unless it will be paved by hand with marble cobblestone.



    If they need to acquire property in Richmond Hill, even a tiny bit, then $620/m isn’t going to be enough.



    Looks awesome- hop on yer bike downtown and ride right outta town!

    Awesome to see the government putting money into these projects! Obviously they understand the benefit in tourism dollars that these sorts of trails/ infrastructure can bring to the many municipalities this trail will pass through. Not to mention the health and wellness benefits that will hopefully offset spending on health care down the road by having healthier citizens. Really forward thinking.

    Price tag sounds about right given what they are talking about for the Ridge (1.8km for $398K) – which isn’t even paved and basically already built. I have no idea what section the amount is referring to for the Lake to Lake but I imagine some of the cost will also reflect building bridges and other similar infrastructure which no doubt significantly increases cost in a project such as this.



    Bloated bureaucracies sucking up public funds.

    Compare this project to DMBA, they built 10km of some of the sweetest singletrack in southern ON on around $40g and the labor of dozens of volunteers. The Ridge proposal is 10x more money for 1/10th the distance.

    Before y’all start waxing on about needing to pay for engineering, studies, etc and liability issues with volunteers, blah, blah, blah and … it’s still crazy.


    Tom Shaw

    Realities of Government limitations would be a different take on Bloated Bureaucracies.

    Give a bit of money to people with a passion for what they are doing and watch it get stretched into something fantastic. This is why grass roots local volunteer organizations are so necessary to give the little people some power to create. The people at DMBA wanted everything they could squeeze out of the $40 000. Same at SCMBC 10 kms new singletrack with 9 bridges cost us around $9 000. All volunteer labour, mostly Monday build nights from May thru October. There is also huge power in individual financial investment, it means real community buy-in. A bureaucracy cannot compete with a lean determined group. We had the money to buy impact drills, but found a local business, Tony’s Power Tool & Vacuum Service, to sponsor our club with free drills. Leaving us more money to build more trails.

    1. Before-After.jpg



    Local clubs have made exponential leaps in my local riding area, as you said, out of passion, dedication and a drive to get the most out of the funds available. It’s one of the best times to be a rider in these parts, imo.

    Governments, however, are leeched by private companies that pad budgets, inflate costs and waste money. On the surface this project just looks like yet another example… it’s great to get the trail, but unfortunate that many other community project s(riding or otherwise) won’t be funded because some private contractors are going to pocket a few hundred grand in profit if this project goes to tender.

    If that gift horse has 5 gold crowns, I’m going to look in its mouth.


    Tom Shaw

    Governments of course have their place and in my opinion this is definitely one of them. This trail will be used by everyone from Baby Carriages to Wheelchairs. That is a perfect place to spend our money, inclusive and useful to all. Also the costs and construction techniques of this type of project require expensive equipment, materials and oversight. This will produce something closer to an all weather road, then the trails us MTBers love. I would think the tender process would keep costs in check.

    Compare this project with a narrow ridge line dirt singletrack with high exposure and large whoopee factor. How many people are able to use it? I am likely not taking my newborn or Great Grandma for an outing on it. Personally I do not feel MTB singletrack is the place to spend everyone’s money on. I feel our Governments should spend our money in places that we can all use. Yes they do spend money on all sorts of things that are not useful to the masses, but I do not agree with it. User pay should fund things that are not used by the masses.

    Our MTB community can afford to fund our own fun since most of the people are sitting on expensive rigs. Unlike the paved walking/riding project in this thread, our singletracks are relatively inexpensive to build and maintain. A small yearly membership from each user would fill the trail fund beyond what we need. Governments would still be needed because they own the land, so working with them is still necessary, but let’s wake up and not think they also need to pay for the singletrack.

    We could do so much with just a small amount of money from all the riders, but we don’t because most people choose to keep that small amount of money for themselves instead of giving it to their local Trail Maintaining and Building club. Too bad, so much could be done with so little. The Nashville Tract comes to mind when I think of the possibilities. I have read about it’s potential for around a decade, the meetings, the collaboration between user groups, the vision, all the fantastic things that have been so well thought out. All approvals have been given. One big problem … they are waiting on the Government to fund it. No one has put effort into organizing a MTB club to raise funds and do volunteer work. I see pics of a couple people working away getting a tiny bit done. Why is there not a chit load of volunteers with beautiful equipment churning out dirt roller coasters? Because the group (not club) thinks it is the Government who needs to pay for. So the plans are still just plans. I agree that lots of the trails infrastructure for this place will need Government funding because of the scope of the builds. The main trails will be more like roads with dug out, packed foundations. Bridges with large spans. I get it. But why wait for the many miles of dirt singletrack. Where is the MTB community?

    If you do not pay for a yearly membership to your local Trail building and maintenance club, you are part of the problem.



    Fair to say this is where trails get political – literally. Without wading into a political minefield suffice to say that there are a variety of views towards government and their role in society.

    With that out of the way I would like to comment on a few points that @tom_shaw made. Firstly, Tom I respect your opinions and you and the SCMBC have obviously put a lot of blood, sweat and likely a few tears into your trails. While I have not ridden them I am sure by all accounts they are works of art and you and the rest of the club are to be commended for your tireless efforts. Your model is obviously working well for your regional circumstances.

    Where I think we differ is when we make blanket statements such as ‘most of the people are sitting on expensive rigs’. I think it is important that we differentiate between regions and trail systems when we are having these conversations. If you were to show up at say, the Loblaws Trail head on a Tuesday or Thursday night, it would likely look like many riders are in fact sitting on ‘expensive’ rigs. However, I would argue that many people who ride the Don are not on the latest and greatest rides. You see, unlike what I will refer to as ‘destination trail systems’ (i.e. outside of the city in more remote locations) the urban singletrack we have here in Toronto services a MASSIVE number of users who come from all walks of life and use the trails for a variety of reasons. It is easy to get the perception that we all ride expensive rigs when we ride with experienced riders who live and breathe the sport.

    I would also argue that single track in Toronto (and other Urban areas) is responsible for bringing more people in to the sport than most, if not all, other trail systems in our lovely province. Why? Because it is accessibility and its proximity to large populations. Growing up if it weren’t for my proximity to trails I likely wouldn’t be the rider I am today – heck, I might not even be riding. I grew up about 2 km from trails in Hamilton. Neither of my parents rode and I wasn’t old enough to drive so that meant if I couldn’t ride to the trails – I wasn’t riding – simple as that. I learned to ride on a matte black, rattle can painted department store bike. A few friends would meet up and ride – some of us still do. We didn’t have the latest and greatest gear but we had a helluva good time riding bikes. If I had to guess this is still the way many people stumble into the sport.

    So what is my point? Well, single track in highly populated area will always be extremely important for growing our chosen sport. It is a numbers and proximity game. The other side of that is that single track in large urban centres will ALWAYS need to be shared with a multitude of user groups and as a result will likely have a much harder time attracting paid members. These potential ‘members’ will likely have a difficult time shelling out time and/or money for a trail that isn’t solely designed and used primarily by mountain bikes. Selfish outlook perhaps but I think many would agree. Ride sharing Apps such as Strava and Trail Forks have further eroded the need to join a ‘club’ to get the goods. Why would someone pay for a map, trails etc. when they can get all the intel for free? While I am not saying that I agree with all of the above they are the realities that we are facing whether we like it or not.

    As I pointed out in this thread: https://www.ridingfeelsgood.com/topic/city-demolishes-build/page/3/#post-814624 there are several missing components in the GTA to formalizing trails, beyond a ‘club’. Others will have a difference of opinion and that’s okay, but at this point in time this is my opinion.

    Which brings me to your last point:
    If you do not pay for a yearly membership to your local Trail building and maintenance club, you are part of the problem.’

    Funny, I have never considered myself as part of the problem. However, I am not currently paying a yearly membership to any local (bike) club, so I guess I will continue to be part of the problem. Wonder how many others are in the same boat?


    Tom Shaw

    Interesting perspective fietser. You zoned in on expensive bikes.
    What do you think would happen if just the people on bikes worth over $500, that are willing to pay $40 towards singletrack that is open to everyone to hike, bird watch, etc. on?
    You seam to find reasons why the 4th largest city in North America cannot fund singletrack with a user pay system. If even say 5% of users put money into a club, would this not do wonderful things? Would love to try to understand why you think this is not a great way to organize getting things done. I would think you understand that waiting on the Government is not the best way. What do you think is the best way?



    Just to be clear – I never said I was opposed to paying for riding, never. I have been a long time membership holder for Halton Conservation and I have never knowingly poached ‘pay to use’ trail. If they put up a pay to use kiosk on my local trails tomorrow you would find my money in the box – but that isn’t going to happen on public land in Toronto, we both know that.

    My point is more what we have discussed several times before – the system as it is currently designed in the City does not allow for the membership pay system that you have in place at the SCMBC. It is working for you and that is great – honestly, I am stoked for you guys, you have a good thing going.

    Waiting for the government does suck – not denying that. But what sucks even more is constantly being told ‘NO’ or worse ‘Maybe… let’s check with legal or environmental or (enter department name here) and then ‘NO!’

    We have LOADS of trail here – I can ride 32 km of single track from my back door. My question is more why would people feel the need to pay for that? It already exists. I am not saying people wouldn’t pay for it, just why would they need to pay for it? We have FREE skating and swimming in the City so why would someone pay to play outside on dirt trails?

    Being a big City does not make things easier – in fact it I would argue that it actually makes it more difficult. Look at ongoing debates about the Gardiner, toll roads, TTC etc… being big means cumbersome. Yes, we may have loads of potential money but we also have WAY more ‘government’ to wade through.

    As I have said before I don’t have the answer, if it was that easier I am sure it would have already been done. Because goodness know many well before I even lived in this City had tried much hard than me.



    I don’t think anyone here has a problem donating money to make trails better. However, NOBODY is going to give a nickel to the same government who budgeted $398 000 to fix up a few km’s of the ridge.


    Tom Shaw

    Fair enough fietser, you do support a local trail building and maintenance club, Halton Conservation. HAFTA has some nice stuff in that area as well, check it out some time.
    I will not talk like I know how things are in your area, but I will say that Governments listen to people who represent more then just themselves. You might find an organized group is able to do more and this organized group would need money to function. But that is for your area to figure out.

    dexter01 my thoughts are to give the money to dedicated volunteers to do great public things trail wise. Not to give to Governments and expect them to do good things.

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