BADDECK, N.S. (July 21, 2016) RBC made an extraordinary donation of $1 million to Trans Canada Trail (TCT), which was celebrated today at a community event at Inverary Resort on Cape Breton Island. This transformational gift has already been disbursed to support the development of three signature paddling routes in key areas of The Great Trail's country-wide network. The Sea to Sky Marine Trail (British Columbia) and Chief Whitecap Waterway (Saskatchewan) were completed and officially opened to the public in 2015, and now, the Bras d'Or Lake Water Route in Nova Scotia, which is in its final phase of development. RBC is being celebrated for its key role in the development of these important sections of The Great Trail of Canada, representing more than 500 kilometres of water routes.
Water routes are a vital part of The Great Trail, Water routes connect Trail users to Canada's history – canoe and portage routes dating back several thousand years that played an essential role in the lives of Canada's First Nations and Métis peoples, early traders, explorers and settlers. Currently, The Great Trail network includes 11 water routes, making up 26% of the multi-use Trail. an epic trail of trails offering a wide range of activities on both land and water.
"We are grateful to RBC for their generous investment in The Great Trail and these innovative water routes, which are valuable recreational amenities," said Deborah Apps, TCT President & CEO. "The Bras D'Or Lake water route is a world-class paddling destination and we are thankful to RBC for contributing to this important project in time for Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation celebrations in 2017, and as a gift for the community and visitors to enjoy for years to come."
RBC has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and, in 2007, launched the RBC Blue Water Project — a 10-year investment of $50 million to protect fresh water across the globe. RBC contribution is helping to fund the development of access points along the over 350- kilometre Bras D'Or Lake water route, including the creation and installation of interpretive and way-finding signage, picnic shelters and improvements for paddlers, providing residents and tourists with wonderful opportunities to participate in safe, healthy, affordable recreation while enjoying the natural beauty of Cape Breton Island.
"RBC is proud to contribute to the development of The Great Trail, it aligns perfectly with our commitment to environmental and community-based initiatives," said Patricia DePalma, RBC's Regional Vice-President, Cape Breton and Northeastern Nova Scotia. "These water routes are driving environmental sustainability, volunteer and community engagement, as well as economic growth."
Since 1992, the TCT has been working with all levels of government alongside its 13 provincial and territorial partners who collaborate with local Trail groups in the development of The Great Trail, which is owned and operated at the local level. Nova Scotia Trails Federation is TCT's dedicated provincial partner, responsible for the development of over 600 kilometres of Nova Scotia's section of The Great Trail, and is actively involved in the development of the Bras D'Or Lake water route.
"The Bras d'Or Lake water route is a spectacular addition to Nova Scotia's section of The Great Trail," said Vanda Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Nova Scotia Trails Federation. "We are thankful to RBC for this generous investment in our communities by supporting the development of access points to allow paddlers to explore this magnificent UNESCO biosphere reserve."
The Great Trail in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia's portion of The Great Trail will be 1,014-km long when fully connected in 2017. Of this total, just over 600 km are currently connected across the province, with 400 km under development. Nova Scotia's section of The Great Trail is 61% connected.
Trans Canada Trail: connecting The Great Trail in 2017
Trans Canada Trail (TCT) is a not-for-profit organization created in 1992. TCT is working with donors, partners and volunteers to create The Great Trail of Canada – an epic trail of trails offering a wide range of activities. By Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, The Great Trail will be the longest and grandest recreational trail in the world and will wind its way through a variety of landscapes – urban, rural and wilderness – along greenway, waterway and roadway. It will span 24,000 kilometres, link our three oceans and connect over 15,000 communities.
The Government of Canada is supporting Trans Canada Trail toward connecting The Great Trail, through a matching grant of one federal dollar for every two dollars raised, up to $25 million.
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 36 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.
RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $121 million to causes around the world.