“20 on the Trestle” to mark anniversary of Grand Trunk Trail
Twenty years ago, vision and community spirit turned a relic of the past into a centerpiece of our town. Now, it’s time to celebrate that St. Marys icon: the Grand Trunk Trail.
In the mid-1990s, the Town of St. Marys purchased the then-abandoned CN rail line which spans the Thames River. In 1996, the council of the day struck a committee to turn the eyesore and safety hazard into the Grand Trunk Trail, an integral part of our trail system.
“For many, it’s impossible to imagine St. Marys without this amazing trail,” Andrea Macko, Events Coordinator, Town of St. Marys, says. “The Grand Trunk Trail is so much more to our community than just a means to cross the Thames River.
“The trail is unique – so we’re having a unique celebration,” Macko says. “In honour of the trail’s 20 years, we’re going to hold at least 20 events on the trestle, the most iconic part of the trail.”
The celebration, known as “20 on the Trestle”, will begin in mid-May and conclude in early October to coincide with the October 3, 1999 dedication of the trail.
The events will take inspiration from the simple pleasures of the trail: the unparalleled panoramic view, the expanse of recreational space, and the proximity to nature. The events will be free and open to all to attend.
The 20 event goal will be met in a few ways. Some events, such as the annual Terry Fox Run, already utilize the trestle and will be included in the tally. Other existing events, such as the Heritage Festival walking tours, will be relocated to this special location for this celebratory year.
Additionally, popular municipal programs, such as fitness classes and reading programs, will be moved to the trestle as weather permits. New events are also being planned so that residents of all ages can literally take fun to new heights.
Just as volunteers stepped forward to fundraise for and build the Grand Trunk Trail, it is hoped that this 20th anniversary celebration will have a strong grassroots component. 20 on the Trestle sponsors will be recognized at the east end of the trestle, a one-of-a-kind location to show support for accessible, iconic recreation. Community groups interested in proposing an event or businesses or organizations interested in sponsoring this incredible series of events can contact Macko at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-284-2340, ext. 249.
“We have a modest budget for this celebration, but with community support, we can augment our programming,” Macko says. “Sponsorship information will be released soon; businesses and persons interested in contributing to this special celebration are welcome to contact me in the interim for more information.”
“20 on the Trestle” events will be posted to www.townofstmarys.com/20onthetrestle as they are confirmed, and shared on social and local media. Facebook users can join the “20 on the Trestle” event page by first “Liking” the Town of St. Marys page.