Feb 7 communication from the Friends of OVRT

Hello Friends! 

This is the third communications sent to our growing list of supporters sharing the vision of a non-motorized recreational trail linking Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills.  

In the next few weeks it will be very important for people to voice their thoughts and concerns about the rail trail development. 

  • There is one more Lanark County Open House in Almonte on Thurs. Feb. 16, at 6:30pm at the Almonte Old Town Hall Auditorium
  • We have until March 1 to submit written comments to the County (email OVRT@lanarkcounty.ca). 

After that, the public may not have another chance to directly impact the decision-making process at the County.

To keep everybody informed on the process and to ensure we all know the facts of the matter, Friends of the OVRT have developed a few sources for share news and information: 

  • This website
  • A Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OttawaValleyRailTrail/
  • our email list

Please share our information with your friends. Let us know if we can add your name or organization's name to our public webpage. Join our Facebook page and share the posts. If you know of someone who wants to get involved, have them contact us.  

We will be in touch later this week with further background materials and our group’s media to help prepare for the Open House in Almonte next week. If you have ideas or information that will help this cause, we would love to hear from you.

Who are the Friends of the OVRT? 

The Friends of Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail is a group of Lanark County citizens, mainly in Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place, who have a vision for the development of the CP rail bed as a non-motorized, recreational trail in Lanark (through Mississippi Mills and Almonte to Carleton Place).

We want to see the trail developed as a new economic and tourism asset in our region, one that promotes safe, physical, environmental, and improved public health outcomes for citizens of all ages and abilities. It would be a new attraction for the downtown cores of Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place communities. A non-motorized trail running through the heart of our towns will have great tourism potential and the trail will provide safe commuting for students, runners, and those who wish to cycle or hike between the communities.

What are the group’s core beliefs? 

Friends of OVRT support the following statements:

  • A non-motorized recreational trail will be of the greatest economic, environmental, social and health benefit to the communities of Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills
  • To maximize the trail’s future tourism and economic potential, the trail needs to be developed and promoted in Ottawa as a safe and accessible experience for families, cyclists, walkers and local community uses.
  • ATVs and snowmobiles already have local infrastructure and use of the roadways – and a variety of established routes through the County. Therefore, the County and its municipalities should not feel compelled to develop the whole length of the OVRT for motorized uses.

What is the group’s position on motorized vehicles on the OVRT? 

We have nothing against ATVs or snowmobiles only a keen interest in developing a new and different tourism and economic attraction for Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills – one that can link into the growing communities of western Ottawa.

Lanark County is fortunate to have a great trail infrastructure already in place for snowmobiles and ATVs. However, there is a need for a recreational, non-motorized trail – as today nothing like this exists. 

We see this as an exciting opportunity for Lanark County to develop a new asset – and we hope the County will consider this small portion of trail through the communities of Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place as a specially designated recreational trail. 

It’s not either-or for our communities, but the opportunity for us to have both.