Toronto Bruce Trail Club Blog
Book Excerpt: Trail to the Bruce
Posted on: 2018/06/12
The following is an excerpt from Trail to the Bruce - The Story of the Building of the Bruce Trail
by David Tyson. The book includes a chapter of each of the Bruce Trail Clubs with a section on
Side Trails and other features, such as waterfalls or tracts of land in that Club, that are named
after one or more persons. Such trails or features are usually named after someone who has made a significant contribution to the development of the club and/or the Conservancy and are a valuable source of historical data.
Side Trails* in the Toronto Section (starting at the south end)
-Philip Gosling Side Trail: Philip Gosling is one of the four original â€œfoundersâ€ of the Bruce Trail, our first Trail Director and the founder of the Toronto Club. This trail was opened in August 2005. It extends from the Hilton Falls Conservation Area to a point on the Main Trail near the plaque honouring the first blaze on the Trail, which was painted by Philip in 1962.
-Al Shaw Side Trail: Al Shaw was a naturalist and hiker who was at the founding meeting of the Toronto Club on June 28, 1962 and has been active in the Club ever since. He was heavily involved in the building of the Club section of trail and, when the first part was opened, he went on to help the other Clubs. He completed the end-to-end in 1970 and served as the trail captain for the 7 kilometre section from St. Helena Road to 6th Line for 28 years. He has also been a major donor to the BTC and there is a plaque on the trail just south of Speyside which honours Al for his generosity. The Oak Ridge Trail Association has also named a side trail in his honour.
-Todd Bardes Meadowland Side Trail: This side trail was created in honour of Todd Bardes. At the time of his sudden death in 2015, he was President of the Toronto Club and had served on the Board for many years.
-Vanderleck Side Trail: The Vanderlecks were long time landowners who allowed the Club to put trail on their land.
-Charles Hildebrandt Side Trail: Charles was a lifelong naturalist and conservationist who started the Club snowshoe hike program. He also served on the Board of Directors and as a hike leader who was well known for his backpacking trips to wilderness areas.
-Brown Benton Side Trai: This trail is named after the two local Limehouse families, the Browns and the Bentons. Bert and Glenda Benton have had the main Trail on two sides of their farm for over 30 years. The Brown family allowed us, through a handshake agreement, to put the trail on their land in order to connect the Canada Goose Side Trail with the main Trail, shortly after the Canada Goose Trail was opened.
-Duff Pit Side Trail: This trail is named after the Duff family. Ian Duff has allowed a trail on his land for many years.
-Bennett Heritage Trail: Stewart and Violet Bennett created Scotsdale Farm in 1938 with an original 200 acres and eventually expanded it to 540 acres. In 1982, the estate holding the farm after their death donated the farm to the Ontario Heritage Trust. The Bennett Heritage Trail was officially opened July 1, 1992.
-Maureen Smith Side Trail: Maureen Smith joined the Toronto Club in 1983, was President from 1987 to 1990 and has held virtually every other position on the Board of Directors, in addition to also being a hike leader and trail captain. In March 2000 she founded the Halton Hills Chapter of the Toronto Club, which is the only â€œchapterâ€ of a Club in the entire Bruce Trail Conservancy. The first meeting of the Halton Hills chapter was held on August 29, 1999.
-Roberts Side Trail: named after Mr. and Mrs. George Roberts who lived in the area and maintained this section of the Trail for many years. George Roberts served as President and Vice-president of the BTA.
Copyright: David E. Tyson