ROB DRAL The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The Township of Uxbridge has honoured a resident who is largely responsible for having the town recognized as the “Trail Capital of Canada.”
John McCutcheon was recognized by the Township, after his vision led to the restoration of the wooden trestle bridge, on Barton Trail. During a presentation on Monday, July 11, Uxbridge Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor presented John McCutcheon with a replica of the street sign named after Mr. McCutcheon, that now welcomes hikers at the entrance of the trestle. The sign reads, “John McCutcheon Way.”
Mr. McCutcheon has always been a fierce protector of the abundant natural landscape. About 15 years ago, John McCutcheon along with Mayor O’Connor, formed a committee to assist in the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine, by the Township of Uxbridge, instead of having to rely on big government to do the right thing. The group became known as ‘Uxbridge Naturally.’
John McCutcheon is also a pioneer of the extensive trail network in Uxbridge, now spanning a whopping 220 kilometers of trails. Many years ago, John McCutcheon, Ingrid Svelnis, Liz Howson, Wynn Walters, and other volunteers came up with the idea, to propose to Council a series of interconnected neighbourhood trails. “That would help people really appreciate what this town is all about; to meet neighbours... and a real connection to our wonderful natural heritage,” said John McCutcheon, speaking to Council during the street sign presentation. The first of the many trails to be developed was, The South Balsam Trail.
Mr. McCutcheon then focused his efforts on the old wooden trestle bridge, that now connects the Trans Canada Trail through Uxbridge. The historic train trestle is one of the last of it’s kind in Ontario, built in 1872. The bridge was restored for $250,000 , with no hit to tax payers, as it was paid for entirely by grants and fundraising. “It is probably one of the best examples of an old wooden trestle bridge, around,” said Mayor O’Connor, during the recognition presentation.
“We wouldn’t be in the position we are in today, with our trails, or with our Heritage Bridge, if it wasn’t for John McCutcheon and his group,” continued Mayor O’Connor.
“Thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to re-live what was a wonderful experience in my life and for the recognition given to me today, thank you.” said John McCutcheon.
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