In February of 2022, the City of Welland adopted its new Community Trails Strategy – a blueprint for expanding cycling, walking, and recreational trail networks over the next 20 years. With a focus on creating an active, connected community, the CTS guides the City in improving and enhancing active transportation and trail infrastructure across the City.
As part of the implementation of the CTS, the City of Welland is proposing to create high-quality connections through the North End of the City. The Trails will connect from Niagara College to the Welland Canal Parkway Trail, providing comfortable, convenient access for people walking, cycling and wheeling. These connections were identified as a high priority for implementation based on forthcoming development and the feasibility of constructing these connections in the near term.
About the Community Trails Strategy (CTS):
The CTS was developed to give the City of Welland a clear direction for the investment in its existing trails networks. The CTS was created through extensive consultation with City and Regional stakeholders and members of the public, and was informed by existing policy documents and best practices. The goals of the CTS are to:
- Enhance connectivity between trail networks, sidewalks, and on-road cycling routes to create an integrated, connected system of trails and active transportation infrastructure.
- Refine existing plans, particularly the City’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan, to develop an implementation strategy, project phasing, and cost estimates.
- Connect residents and visitors alike to Welland’s Trails and natural heritage to provide more opportunities for recreation, transportation, and access to amenities and;
- Reinforce Welland’s position as the Trails Centre of Niagara Region, bringing new tourism and economic development opportunities to the city.
About the Proposed Trails:
The CTS identified a number of high-priority Trails that could be constructed in the near term. One of the highest priority routes was identified in the North End of the City, connecting Niagara College to the Welland Canal Trail. Another high-priority trail connection that was identified within the CTS was a connection from Hilda Street to the Welland Canal Parkway Trail. When taken together, these projects expand access to the City’s most well-used Trail, bringing new users to the Trail and expanding access to Welland’s waterfront. You can review details of the trails, including notes from the project team on alignment, vegetation and working around existing structures here. Other key pieces of information about the Trails are that:
- The trails proposed are all located on publicly owned lands – no private property will be impacted by the Trails. Where private landowners have created semi-permanent structures within the public lands, those structures will be subject to removal.
- Trails will be constructed to a fully accessible, 3m wide standard with a crushed limestone surface. The City will assume all maintenance responsibilities for the Trail, including enhanced maintenance for the areas abutting the trail.
- The trail is being designed to minimize the impact on trees and other vegetation in the area. Some minor trees may need to be removed, but any large trees slated for removal are either invasive species (Manitoba Maple, Scots Pine) or are already dying (Ash trees infected with Emerald Ash Borer). Some trees will also be trimmed to accommodate the Trail.
- All roadway crossings are being designed per existing standards to create safe, accessible crossings.
As the project moves ahead, we look forward to the opportunity to discuss the Trail with community members. We are planning community meetings to review the corridor and discuss the plans for implementation in the coming months – so Subscribe to this page and stay tuned for more updates!