Ottawa, Ontario, May 28, 2021—As Canada makes progress in the fight against COVID-19, Canadians are eager to spend time outdoors. To keep residents safe and healthy, support economic recovery, create jobs and build vibrant, resilient communities, local governments and community partners across the country are enhancing outdoor spaces to safely enjoy nature.

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, joined the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Ottawa—Vanier, Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission, Tais McNeill, Senior Associate at the Ottawa Community Foundation, and Peter Nor, Operations Manager and Board Chair of the Rideau Winter Trail, to announce $71,401 in federal funding from the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative for the Rideau Winter Trail in Ottawa.

The Rideau Winter Trail project aims to invigorate underutilized existing trail in winter and create a safe, vibrant space along the Rideau River for people of all ages to walk, cross country ski, snowshoe, and fat bike. Federal funding will support the expansion of the existing trail to improve its safety as well as allow the purchase of better equipment to maintain this winter-friendly urban pathway.

The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31-million investment to build safer spaces and ensure a higher quality of life for people across the country, by helping communities adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

The second round of funding for the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is open, and the application period will close on June 25, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. PST. Applicants can apply for funding ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 for eligible projects, within an overall envelope of $31 million in federal government funding. 

Quotes

“The Rideau Winter Trail, at the heart of Overbrook, Sandy Hill and Vanier, provides an amazing space for skiers, snowshoers, walkers and cyclists to get outdoors and active each winter. Federal funding will support trail expansion and the purchase of new equipment to maintain this winter-friendly pathway for residents to continue to enjoy. The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting projects across the country that build more inclusive communities and ensure a higher quality of life for Canadians.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

“The Rideau Winter Trail volunteers have worked tirelessly to increase access to outdoor activities for the residents of Ottawa-Vanier and neighbouring areas. Today’s announcement will make a great difference as it allows the organization to expand, maintain, and widen this winter trail that brings so much to our area. Local initiatives like this one are critical to improve the quality of life of our communities as we continue our fight against COVID-19.”

The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Ottawa—Vanier

“The NCC is pleased that one of its community partners, the Rideau Winter Trail, is receiving support under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. This funding will provide people with access to more winter trail space on NCC lands, beyond the 50% increase that we provided this past winter in partnership with the Winter Trail Alliance. We look forward to continuing to support community-managed trails that help create accessible outdoor winter activities in the National Capital Region.”

Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission

“The Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting organizations in Ottawa, Ontario to bring people together in our communities both in-person and digitally, while respecting public health measures. These projects show us the creativity and resourcefulness of communities as they create temporary and longer-lasting solutions that enable people to connect and access public spaces safely.”

Andrea Dicks, President of Community Foundations of Canada

“We are grateful and honoured to have received this support. This grassroots effort, supported by the National Capital Commission and City of Ottawa leverages underutilized space in downtown to create a winter trail for walking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking. Our trail serves socioeconomically diverse, dense urban areas that desperately need accessible outdoor winter spaces. With this grant we will accelerate our plans to improve our trail, and be on a more sustainable footing to maintain this downtown jewel for years to come.”

Peter Nor, Operations Manager and Board Chair, Rideau Winter Trail

Quick facts

  • The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative was created to help communities adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and create safe ways for residents to access services and enjoy the outdoors. The Initiative is designed to fund eligible projects that fall under three main themes: creating safe and vibrant public spaces, improving mobility options, and digital solutions.
  • Community Foundations of Canada was selected through an open call for applications to implement a national project. Together with its partners, including the Canadian Urban Institute, it is working with pan-Canadian networks to manage the funding process and serve the distinct needs of communities across Canada, including equity-seeking groups interested in applying.
  • The first intake for projects was launched on February 9, 2021 and closed on March 9, 2021. 
  • The second intake is now open and will close on June 25, 2021. Applicants wishing to apply for the second round can access further details on the Community Foundations of Canada website. Local governments and a variety of community-led organizations are eligible to apply, including charities, Indigenous communities, and registered non-profit organizations.

Media contacts

Chantalle Aubertin, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Jacqueline Reid, Communications Manager, Community Foundations of Canada

  • 647-901-5225
  • jreid@communityfoundations.ca

Media Relations, Infrastructure Canada