Several major donors, including the Canadian National Railway Company, have been recognized by the Heritage Trail Committee at a cocktail party held Wednesday, Jan. 8.
The fundraising campaign to restore the Upper Canada Heritage Trail has raised $55,000 so far, with more than 120 people making contributions, said Tony Chisholm, the committee’s vice-chair.
“We really want to thank all of those people who have taken this concept to heart and have given us money so we can get started,” Chisholm told The Lake Report.
More than a dozen of the committee members and town councillors, including Lord Mayor Betty Disero and regional Coun. Gary Zalepa, came together to celebrate the committee’s successful fundraising at the cocktail party.
CN’s manager of public affairs Daniel Salvatore was on hand on behalf of the company to donate $10,000 toward the trail's restoration work.
“CN operates through hundreds of communities throughout the province,” Salvatore told The Lake Report. “Although we don’t operate in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we have a rich rail history. This is something we’d like to do to give back to the community and preserve that history and tradition.”
Other mentioned donors included Kim and Thomas Elltoft of Niagara-on-the-Lake Realty, and Fran and John Boot of NOTL Rotary.
Now that an archeological study had been conducted, the committee and the town will start the first phase of the restoration work sometime in spring.
What makes it exciting is that the first portion, stretching from John Street to Charlotte Street, will be done by June 1, Chisholm said.
The committee members also hope to have the second section of the first phase, which runs from Charlotte Street to East and West Line, completed this year.
“We’ll get at least that first section done, so we can show people what we have to offer and what we’re planning to do for the remaining of 10 kilometres,” he said. “Our eventual hope is to join this on with The Bruce Trail.”
The committee is also in the process of organizing a 5K Fun Run/Walk fundraiser in the upcoming months.