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EXPERIENTIAL WATER ROUTE Developing a Unique Ontario Cultural Tourism Product in the Heart of the Continent.

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Presentation on theme: "EXPERIENTIAL WATER ROUTE Developing a Unique Ontario Cultural Tourism Product in the Heart of the Continent."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXPERIENTIAL WATER ROUTE Developing a Unique Ontario Cultural Tourism Product in the Heart of the Continent

2 “PATH OF THE PADDLE”  TRANS CANADA TRAIL (TCT) National & Ontario board sanctioned initiative connecting northern Ontario land-based trails to Manitoba recreational trails  900+km proposed canoe/kayak route in the Heart of the Continent  Aptly named after Canadian canoeing icon Bill Mason

3 PROJECT BACKGROUND  2003 - Water route concept proposed  2007 - TCT National approved canoeing/kayaking preferred use  2008 - Planning exercise with MNR & Ontario Parks  2008 – MOU signed: MNR, MHP & TCTO

4 PROJECT BACKGROUND  2009 - Hap Wilson recruited to assist with project development  2010 - RTO13 funding approved to conduct first season of route planning & ground- truthing  2011 - 5 water trail concept plans completed

5 WATER TRAIL HISTORY  Water routes were the first trail in Canada referred to as “Onigum”  Ojibwa & Cree descendant used this water route for almost 10,000 years  Used for early trade & barter between Nations and for seasonal hunting and fishing forays

6 WATER TRAIL HISTORY  Archaeological surveys along the selected route include over 200 pictograph sites, dolmen stones and waymarkers, tooling site & pottery shards  The Pigeon River link was used by the North West Company as a point of rendezvous and inland trade

7 PATH OF THE PADDLE  The creation of an all- Canadian, representative “canoe route trail” in terms of National Heritage values  Recognizes a rich & exciting part of our history and acknowledges People of the First Nations & Canada’s historic use of the canoe

8 WATER TRAIL SEGMENTS  Anishnabe Trail – 107 kms: Falcon River through Shoal Lake FN #40 to Kenora  Rushing River-Eagle Dogtooth – 256 kms: Kenora through 2 Provincial Parks to Dryden  Maukinak Trail – 212 kms: Dryden through Turtle River Provincial Park to Atikokan (White Otter Castle)

9 WATER TRAIL SEGMENTS  Quetico Trail – 208 kms: Atikokan through Quetico Provincial Park to Granite River  Omimi Trail – 129 kms: Granite River through La Verendrye & Pigeon River Provincial Parks to Neebing

10 FIELD RESEARCH OBJECTIVES  Determine the Best-Fit routes, divided into management units  Cultural, natural resource & historical trail initiatives gathered  Site planning & preparation  Digitally mapped & ground- truthed as a risk management tool

11 FIELD RESEARCH OBJECTIVES  Risk assessment of the water route: skill level required on trail & portages  Identification of route development projects locations: access points, camp sites, portages, wayfinding & trail head signage  Estimate cost to develop each trail segment

12 FIELD RESEARCH OBJECTIVES  Initial identification of partners to form sub-clubs for trail stewardship & portage maintenance  Materials gathered for draft guidebook which will serve as TCTO’s risk management plan

13 DEVELOPMENT STATUS  2011 - Season One field research: 3 of 5 trail segments completed  2012 – Path of the Paddle Project Manager recruited  2012 – Funding to be secured for Season Two field research $40,000 and completion of draft guidebook & art and digital mapping $47,400

14 DEVELOPMENT STATUS  2012 – Independent trail segment funding for infrastructure build to be secured (ie: Quetico Park)  2013 – Path of the Paddle not-for-profit club formed  2013 – Additional trail segment infrastructure builds  2013 – Printing of guidebook as risk management plan

15 DEVELOPMENT STATUS  2013 – Completion of wayfinding & trail head signage program  2013 – build and create the support structure, businesses that support trail users  2014 – Initiate water trail marketing and promotional campaigns with partners

16 PROJECT BENEFITS  Community diversification  Job creation  Volunteer driven  First Nation inclusion  Business opportunities  Themed development  Education  Events & festivals  Health promotion

17 PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES  Develop a world-class marketable experiential tourism destination  Natural links to RTO13, OTMPC and Northern Growth Plan objectives  Unique marketing integration including: “passport” achievement program and mobile application

18 PROJECT SUMMARY  Review & renew MoU signed: MNR, MHP & TCTO to include MNDM  Provincial designation & route recognition  Funding $87,400 to complete risk management plan

19 THANK YOU Path of the Paddle Steering Committee Members: CAM CLARK – Past Chair and Board Member of TCTO KIRSTEN SPENCE – TCTO Northern Trails Coordinator VICKI KURZ – Path of the Paddle Project Manager

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