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Township of Tiny: Tiny Trails and Active Transportation Master Plan

Municipality Description

The Township of Tiny is part of Simcoe County in south-central Ontario and can be found in the Southern Georgian Bay region. It is the most northerly township of Simcoe County and occupies most of the Penetanguishene peninsula.

The Township has a total area of 344 square kilometers and has a coastline on Georgian Bay measuring 70 kilometers. The southern boundary, about 16 kilometers long, abuts the Springwater Township and the northern tip of the Town of Wasaga Beach. The eastern boundary, 17 kilometers long, marks the western boundary of Tay Township. The Township skirts the municipalities of Midland and Penetanguishene and embraces the coastline in a sweep around the peninsula.

The Township of Tiny includes the following communities/hamlets:

  • Lafontaine,
  • Perkinsfield,
  • Wyevale,
  • Wyebridge, and
  • Toanche.

In addition to the mainland and Giant’s Tomb Island, the Township also has three First Nations Islands; Christian, Hope, and Beckwith. Christian Island is home to the Chippewa people of the Beausoleil First Nation and is a self-governing body. The Beausoleil First Nation also owns an 8 hectare shoreline property on the mainland, specifically in the Cedar Point area, which accommodates private dwellings for individuals who wish to live on the main land. It is also used for the ferry service to and from Christian Island.

Trail Description

The Tiny Trail is a multi-user trail system trail on 22.5 km of abandoned railway right of way located in the Township of Tiny, County of Simcoe, and has its southern point at the Tiny/Flos (Springwater) line, 1.5 km north of Elmvale. It runs north, parallel to County Road 6, one of the main north-south arteries of the Township and then angles northeastward to its northern point at the southern town limits of Penetanguishene.

The Tiny Trail passes over agricultural land and into areas of hardwood forest. The Wye River and Copeland Creek meander across the trail at many points, providing habitat for resident wildlife and scenic views of nature.

Trail users also have access to the Tiny Marsh Wildlife Area, which is classified as a provincially significant wetland (PSW), with trails, canoeing, boardwalks and an education centre. Also less than 10 kilometers to the west of the trail are some of the longest freshwater sand beaches in North America along southern Georgian Bay.

Considering the significance of the trail not only to the community but to visitors as a tourism platform, the Township created the Master Plan to ensure the trail & the surrounding area was maintained & enhanced for users, both now and in the future.

Project Contact

Bonita Desroches, Community Recreation Coordinator

E: bdesroches@tiny.ca

P: 705.526.4204 x.230

Date Completed

The Master Plan was completed in June, 2011 with implementation considered on-going.

Update on ‘Short-Term Phasing Priorities’ and any implemented recommendations from the Plan (i.e., ATV removal)

The Trails and Active Transportation Committee was established in early 2012, with a committee vision as: ‘The Trails and Active Transportation Committee will promote active transportation (AT) by making the existing and proposed Tiny Trail system safe, connected, accessible and financially and environmentally sustainable.’ In January 2015, the Township removed access to the trail system by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and in mid-2015 the committee worked with the County of Simcoe and other County partners in the creation of the Simcoe County Trails Loop. The committee is currently engaged in the development of a Wayfinding Master Plan which will establish a clearly signed network of existing and new trails, on road bike lanes, as well a recreational and commuter routes. The Plan will orient users by providing concise directional information. The committee has also prepared an active transportation brochure that can be distributed to the community and visitors to the Township.

Project Goals

In August of 2010 The Township of Tiny initiated the preparation of a Trails and Active Transportation Master Plan – based on recommendations from municipal staff. The Plan acts as a guidance document to strategically inform the decision-making process regarding trails and active transportation in Tiny Township including Wyevale, Perkinsfield, Lafontaine Wyebridge, and Toanche. The Township consulted with a team that prepared a plan designed to enhance the efforts towards improving the pedestrian and cycling environment in the Township, while also balancing the interests of the varying users including; snowmobilers, hikers, bikers, equestrians and ATV users. The active transportation component of the Plan is concerned with non-motorized travel only, whereas the trails component of the Plan has included an analysis of motorized trail users, including where necessary, recommendations for the separation of uses.

Connection to the Township’s Strategic Plan

Strategic Goal

‘Support Community Health, Safety & Well-Being - Promote wellness and active lifestyles. Improve access to healthcare services and improve connectivity across the Township. Build well- planned Communities that are healthy, diverse and safe.’

Township of Tiny Strategic Plan

List of Project Partners/Committee Members

Community groups involved or consulted, description of open houses, etc.

The committee which oversaw the development of the Plan was comprised of a staff representative from Building and Planning, one staff member from Public Works, and one staff representative from Parks and Recreation. One Council member and one community member were also on the committee.

During the public consultation process, the Township invited cycling groups, park and beach associations, neighbouring municipalities, Snowriders, ATV users, hiking clubs, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, Committees of Council, RT07 (Regional Tourism Organization 7), and interested residents were also welcome to attend and provide feedback.

List of Key Stakeholders

  • Broader community,
  • Land owners around the trail,
  • Snowmobilers,
  • Hikers and walkers,
  • Equestrians, and
  • ATV users.

Drivers/Champion

What was your municipalities’ main reason for moving this project forward? Who was the biggest champion for the project?

Township staff were the main drivers for the Plan, as staff were aware that they needed to address the multi-use aspect of the trail. In addition, Public Works had initiated surfacing of the Tiny Trail after repairing the bridges along the north area of the trail. Members of the community approached the Township with concerns about the surfacing, and requested that the Township maintain the trail in its most natural state. This led to the Township undertaking the project in order to better understand the community’s vision of the trail system.

Challenges/Obstacles

List 2-3 points of frustration faced with this project, and describe how you or the project team developed solutions to those challenges.

Representation from targeted groups at the public consultation sessions was difficult to achieve - even though the stakeholders were directly invited. The committee and the consultants mitigated this challenge by scheduling individual interviews with the user groups which were not in attendance at the sessions but those that the Township wished to receive feedback from.

Financial Considerations

What was the cost of the project? (Consultant fees, in-kind contributions, etc.) How was the project funded? Internally or externally? If externally, where was the support acquired (i.e., grant program, community donations, multiple methods)?

Initial development of the Plan cost $25,000, with the Plan being developed by consultants Plan By Design. The Township also was successful in receiving $25,000 for 2017 from the County of Simcoe, resulting in a 2016-2017 budget of $50,000 to complete the Wayfinding Master Plan (Plan By Design) and to initiate the replacement of active transportation signage and placement of new wayfinding signage throughout the Township.

Document Link

Township of Tiny Trails and Active Transportation Master Plan

Type of Case Study

Education and Outreach

☒ Policy Adjustment or Development

☒ Partnerships & Collaboration

☒ Enforcements & Incentives

☒ Implementation of Programs & Services

☒ Facilities & Infrastructure Improvements

Website: Visit Site


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130 Balm Beach Road West
Tiny, Ontario, L0L 2J0