Will the trail construction require any trees to be cut down?
While there may be some selective pruning to trees for safety and visibility, there is no intent to remove any healthy trees. If an issue is found with the health of a tree that would pose a public safety issue, removal may be necessary.
Will there be flower plantings along the trail?
Yes, in some areas there may be opportunities to add daffodils and flowering plants, ensuring that they don’t conflict with the trail maintenance. Staff will be looking at the provision of flowering plants and trees thru the final design process.
Can more native shrubs be added to provide a wildlife corridor?
The project plan will include the planting of large number of new native trees and plants for this trail.
Will there be any policing/security along this trail section?
The City has the ability to utilize City Staff patrols, and private security company to assist with this trail in terms of security checks and periodic patrols. Criminal activity would be handled through the Niagara Regional Police. This is same practice used for other City Parks and Trails. By-law enforcement staff are also available, as needed.
Will there be a parking lot trail users can utilize?
A new parking area is shown on the Concept Plan which will provide parking for this trail section. The size and location of the parking area is still conceptual and may be adjusted through the final design process (eg. if more parking spaces are deemed needed).
Will there be a public washroom available along the trail?
Not at this point, however this is a larger issue that the City is looking into for parks and trails in general since access to a public/accessible washroom facility has been a request in locations across the City parks system.
Will the Millennium Recreational Trail continue to the Welland River and Chippawa?
The ‘Millennium Trail ‘ will effectively end when it connects with Chippawa Parkway/Dorchester Road , however connectivity of the trail to Chippawa and other areas of the City is the goal and vision the City shares, either thru roadway improvements (which would include bikelanes), new sidewalks, off-road trail routes, and utilizing existing systems such as the NPC pathway system.
Will trail Sections 1 and 2 connect without having to cross Mcleod Road?
The crossing will be at the lighted intersection of Mcleod and Oakwood, using this pedestrian crossing along with the sidewalks to make this connection.
Does the City have trail use rules?
Users will be required to obey the rules outlined by the City Parks By-Laws (No Smoking, No Littering, Scoop and Leash, etc.) - signage will be installed accordingly.
However, in terms of trail use rules, that would be an issue that the City has not to date adopted, and would have to go thru the Park In The City Committee, Staff, and City Council to consider since it would need to be enforceable.
I have concerns with privacy and safety. What is being done to address this?
To help address concerns with privacy and buffering, the City will design the new trail with additional tree planting between residential properties and the trail for enhanced screening. For those specific residential properties that directly back onto the hydro canal section, privacy and screening options that include new fencing and higher density plant buffering are available.
Numerous trails have successfully been constructed throughout the City in residential areas, such as other sections of the Millennium Trail, Warren Woods Trail, Garner Neighbourhood Trail, and the Olympic Torch Run Trail. These trails have received positive comments and there has been no evidence of increased crime or security problems. To the contrary, the new trails have shown increased positive use and enjoyment. City of Niagara Falls has By-Law enforcement officers, Property Operations staff, and a private security company that regularly patrols parks and trails. Residents may contact the City should there be any concerns.
How far will the new trail section be from my backyard fence?
The proposed trail will be a minimum of 10m from the backyard fences, in some areas further where space permits. In comparison other trails are closer to backyards, such as the Warren Woods Trail, other sections of the Millennium Trail, and Garner Trail that are within 3m of backyard fences. The distance depends on a number of factors but primarily the available width of the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) hydro canal corridor that is being utilized.
Why is the trail section being built on the East side of the canal?
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) owns the lands of the hydro canal. The City has appreciated a mutually beneficial partnership with OPG for the Millennium Recreation Trail since it began in 2000, utilizing under a legal agreement the hydro canal corridor. There was a period when a pedestrian bridge was proposed to span the hydro canal for this Section 2. In recent years OPG has expressed concerns with respect to a bridge of this size and span in this location due to future infrastructure work planned for the canal, liability, and risk. OPG has denied permission for a bridge therefore the City is proceeding to complete this final Section on the east side of the hydro canal.