News release: July 15, 2022
Orangeville Brampton Railway has been acquired for a new trail system in Peel
Brampton, ON. (July 15, 2022) – The Region of Peel, City of Brampton, Town of Caledon and City of Mississauga have finalized the acquisition of approximately 51km of the former Orangeville Brampton Railway corridor which run from the Caledon-Orangeville boundary to just north of Streetsville.
The lands were purchased at a cost of $5.8 million, funded from the Region’s Greenlands Securement Program, and have largely been transferred to the local municipalities, who will manage the multi-year process of developing the future of the lands, from design to construction and ongoing maintenance.
The acquisition is an excellent example of partnership between the Region and local municipalities, which will benefit the health and wellness of the community, support local business and become a significant regional tourism asset. It also provides a protected corridor for future utility needs.
In addition, the lands offer the opportunity to secure a strategic north-south connection of the Trans Canada Trail System.
Dignitaries from each of the municipal partners were in attendance at a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Region to commemorate the acquisition.
The purchase of the corridor demonstrates the value Regional municipalities can bring to unite communities and facilitate connections. As a result of this partnership, these lands will help connect our Regional community, and support growth in a sustainable and responsible way.
Regional Chair Nando Iannicca, Region of Peel
I applaud the Region of Peel for being the catalyst in bringing this deal together and my sincere gratitude to our municipal partners for buying into the vision the City of Brampton brought forward five years ago. As we expand and enhance our active transportation networks, we are making a difference in the lives of residents and setting the stage for healthier, happier and more harmonious communities of the future.
Brampton Mayor, Patrick Brown
Caledon is a well-known trail community and the first community in Canada to feature a pavilion on the Trans Canada Trailway. Our trailways are the natural linkages that bind our vast rural and small urban communities together. This acquisition is especially important because it gives the Town the opportunity to create a new north-south recreation trail that will travel through Caledon's breathtaking scenic areas at the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. I look forward to the many benefits it will bring including the opportunity to use the trailway corridor for the continued expansion of rural services like broadband infrastructure.
Caledon Mayor, Allan Thompson
Finding new and innovative ways to transform surplus property and land is central to Mississauga’s plan to build more complete and liveable communities for our residents. As we continue to develop into a world-class city, it’s essential that we prioritize accessible green spaces for our residents. These trails will offer a way to stay active year-round, promoting mental and physical well-being. The addition of this trail to our City’s already large network of more than 250 km of park trails, will have a substantial impact on our tourism industry by encouraging people from all over the province to visit to enjoy the natural beauty that we have right in our backyard.
Mississauga Mayor, Bonnie Crombie
This is an exciting day for The Town of Orangeville, the Region of Peel and all of those who support Active Transportation. The advent of Intermodal transportation of goods has been evolving in North America for many years. Short-line rail has become expensive and inefficient. The result is rail lines all over North America have been declared surplus – which has fostered an incredible North American-wide wave of Rail to Trail conversions. Here in Canada the Le Petit Train du Nord is a 234-km bike trail and multi-use pathway in the Laurentians. The Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island is another incredible Rail to Trail conversion where cafés, B and B’s cater to thousands of cyclists every year -- and locally, the Georgian Trail connects the Towns of Collingwood, Thornbury and Meaford.
In 2019 I attended the Bike Ontario conference in Toronto. One of the speakers was Frank Hofmann – the National Chairman of the German National Cyclists Association. Mr. Hofmann told the conference that 800,000 tourists come to Germany every year to cycle. He described how a decision was made many years ago to ensure that there was a universal customer experience amongst cyclists. The idea was that cyclists would travel seamlessly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Trail surfaces and signage would be similar throughout the country. This is an important concept as we collectively look to develop a new recreational trail in our region. As part of this -- the Town of Orangeville has approved $1,300,000 in our 2022 budget for rail to trail conversion within our boundaries. We know that good trail systems make for more liveable towns and cities.
The Town of Orangeville knows this valuable piece of infrastructure will be in good hands with our Region of Peel partners. Many thanks to the municipal staff, advisors and Councillors who were involved in this process. We need to call upon our provincial and federal governments to help us turn this asset into a world class tourism asset.
Orangeville Mayor, Sandy Brown
Communications Specialist, Transportation and Planning Divisions
Region of Peel
The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter @regionofpeel and Instagram @peelregion.ca.