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ONE CLUB AT A TIME: A PROPOSAL TO RECONNECT ALL OF ONTARIO

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I like the idea, don't give up hope.

 

I will also purchase a permit in D16. I am not loyal to any club since I ride them all. I will volunteer where I can when they need help in my local area trails.

 

Why can't the northern remote trails have part time paid staff? Students taking courses in forest management, heavy equipment operators, surveying, etc. could be paid in an Ontario Works program to aid in their skills and pad their resume. 

So can we agree to to offer all the committments here to the club who can connect to Longlac or Marathon.  I do agree, along highway 11 is easier geography, but not nearly as nice to ride.  I would like to start small and stay focussed.

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Just finished a tour of the north and was very impressed.

Keep up the good work.

The group I was with had this very discussion with regards to buying a permit from the north as we sat at warm up shack north of Dubreuiville.

It was a no brainer for us and we would be on board to buy a permit from the north.

Myself I would buy it at the snowmobile show so I could shake the hand of the volunteer from the club and tell them how much I enjoyed their trails this year.

Okay, so we have a few on board already.  Now we just need to decide which club to give it to.  As much I'd love to give it to Dub and they deserve it.  I'm hoping to give it to a club who has shut down and is willing to reopen trail.

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 I agree we need to hook up those trails there is no dis from me here at all.

 

 I went to the map base where the city/town names are covered up by the trail also the trail markers seem to be right in the way some places. Does anyone else notice this?

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Are you sure this isn't a call for over-extending a trail network beyond the capability to support it?

 

Bingo, we are no longer 1997 anymore

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Try to engage your local high school if you have one.  Reach them young.  Our students much prefer trail work over working in a seniors home. ( although they need support too )

 

Where there's a will there's a way/

 

I agree with your approach about the students 100%. A couple of years ago when the OFSC VIA had a booth at the Toronto show I manned that booth for a good chunk of the weekend. So many students had no idea that volunteering for their local sled club qualified. I spoke to some and asked what they were doing for their volunteer hours. Many had limited opportunities where they lived and funny you should mention a seniors home, one was doing things like bed pans at a seniors home. Boy did he perk up when he realized he could do something like trail signs or staking a lake instead. We collectively need to do a better job of increasing the level of awareness.

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So how does Quebec manage to keep their remote areas open?  I have not ridden there, but from the little bit of research I have done over the past 2 years it seems that their system is rather vibrant.  Is there something being done there that might help Ontario trails flourish?

 

Anyone wishing to obtain information about the former D16 can email to: info@snowclub.ca

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I think that getting Chapleau going again and completing the loop through to Timmins or Wawa to Searchmount would make a lot more sense than going further west.

Apparently this club isn't dead. They are grooming locally I was told. Dub is hoping to reconnect with them next winter.

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So how does Quebec manage to keep their remote areas open? I have not ridden there, but from the little bit of research I have done over the past 2 years it seems that their system is rather vibrant. Is there something being done there that might help Ontario trails flourish?

Anyone wishing to obtain information about the former D16 can email to: info@snowclub.ca.

I'm not the expert on Quebec but I can share my limited knowledge. The Quebec government values snowmobiling and understands that it generates money for the province and boosts the economy. The government invests money into the snowmobiling club so they can provide a better product/service. The investment attracts more people to snowmobile in Quebec and spend money at local businesses. The ontario government doesn't embrace snowmobiling and see it's value. The government does not invest in our sport. Our snowmobiling clubs operate on the money generated by the trail passes, map sponsors, and trail side business advertising. Most of the maintenance work on ontario trails is done by a small group of volunteers donating their time and sometimes their own personal equipment.... Someone else chime in on the reasons why Quebec's trail system is vibrant. Edited by Re:Leaf
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I agree with your approach about the students 100%. A couple of years ago when the OFSC VIA had a booth at the Toronto show I manned that booth for a good chunk of the weekend. So many students had no idea that volunteering for their local sled club qualified. I spoke to some and asked what they were doing for their volunteer hours. Many had limited opportunities where they lived and funny you should mention a seniors home, one was doing things like bed pans at a seniors home. Boy did he perk up when he realized he could do something like trail signs or staking a lake instead. We collectively need to do a better job of increasing the level of awareness.

 

You know........ it has often occured to me that the OFSC should hire a communications person - someone who would create an awareness of snowmobiling to those who are not presently involved nor have the knowledge base necessary for possible involvement. Indeed, this person could also address concerns within the snowmobiling community such as clubs closing, volunteer burnout and..... that sort of thing.

 

Maybe at the next annual meeting, which apparently happens every year, someone could get the ball rolling on this idea. Just a thought.

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You know........ it has often occured to me that the OFSC should hire a communications person - someone who would create an awareness of snowmobiling to those who are not presently involved nor have the knowledge base necessary for possible involvement. Indeed, this person could also address concerns within the snowmobiling community such as clubs closing, volunteer burnout and..... that sort of thing.

 

Maybe at the next annual meeting, which apparently happens every year, someone could get the ball rolling on this idea. Just a thought.

 

I suggested that they could make a video on volunteering focuses on what high school kids could do to volunteer. In a lot of cases the spin off result is that perhaps their parent(s) may also become involved if their kids do. I doubt it would be costly. Then the clubs could visit their local schools, particularly in the regions where there are local trails. It could be a tough sell in the GTA but picture the schools outside of that area where they have nearby trails in their community.

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The Federal Government pours huge $$$ into Quebec snowmobiling including trails, groomers and massive advertising.

Some of their MPs manage to get grants for their clubs for groomers.

I sent factual info to our local MP, who is Conservative, asking him why Ontario doesn't get similar treatment. Never received a reply which says a lot.

We did get National Trails Council 50% funding this year for a new bridge so that was helpful but that NTC funding is not every year.

Quebec law on litigation and their ability to include liability insurance in their Trail Permit apparently lessens their total insurance costs compared to litigious Ontario.

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The mayor of snowbound Alma on Lac St. Jean agrees.

“Snowmobiling is a very important social and economic activity here in winter,” said Marc Asselin.

According to Asselin, the health of the industry relies heavily on the trail-maintaining efforts of volunteers in the local Club de motoneigistes Lac-St-Jean, which received $123,710 in non-repayable federal funding in December to purchase a new grooming machine.

Has this ever happened in Ontario?

In the same article they are critical of the Quebec provincial government for not spending taxpayer funds on snowmobiling.

In Quebec 80% of winter tourism is due to snowmobiling.

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Okay, so we have a few on board already. Now we just need to decide which club to give it to. As much I'd love to give it to Dub and they deserve it. I'm hoping to give it to a club who has shut down and is willing to reopen trail.

District 13 needs the support badly. They are just hanging on. Dub, hornpayne either club would help, since no one arrives there to buy a permit. I will buy one from dub next winter.

Edited by Viperules700
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The mayor of snowbound Alma on Lac St. Jean agrees.

“Snowmobiling is a very important social and economic activity here in winter,” said Marc Asselin.

According to Asselin, the health of the industry relies heavily on the trail-maintaining efforts of volunteers in the local Club de motoneigistes Lac-St-Jean, which received $123,710 in non-repayable federal funding in December to purchase a new grooming machine.

Has this ever happened in Ontario?

In the same article they are critical of the Quebec provincial government for not spending taxpayer funds on snowmobiling.

In Quebec 80% of winter tourism is due to snowmobiling.

 

Of course I'm from the States and don't know F'all about how this works in Ontario.  Why wouldn't all of the clubs; those in the north and the south unite and apply pressure to the Ontario government to support this?  Is the Quebec model successful or not?  If business and communities are able to sustain themselves and snowmobiling helping, the question would be; is the financial support from the government harvesting enough benefit to justify the expense?  That's a input effort vs. return question; never mind looking out for your people.  Sounds like it could be a win-win for everyone.

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One of the key differences between Quebec and Ontario seems to be how far one has to travel to find trails to ride. For Ontario the vast majority of the population are in the GTA and typically need to travel 1.5 hours or more to find trails to ride. That is if there is sufficient snow. In Quebec the highest population density is Montreal. Could be relative to latitude but the Montreal area tends to get much more snow than the GTA. I work with a number of people who are in Montreal and they live in the "burbs" of Montreal. It seems they are the equivalent of King City to Toronto and they tell me that they can go home and ride from their garage after work.

 

It could well be that a significant part of the equation is convenience. If I had to trailer 3 hours each way each time I wanted to go sledding I probably wouldn't do it. And that is what an awful lot of people in Ontario have to do.

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Once your in the truck what is the difference between 3 hours or 10? People will keep driving until they find snow!

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I agree.  If there's no snow and you wanna ride, you're gonna drive there.  It all depends on how bad you need your sledding fix....

 

 

I'm game to get at least one permit from Hornepayne next year, it would help their club just a bit more ... it would be a good excuse to go down for a drive and visit Perry (club pres).  If trail expansion doesn't happen, it'll still be another permit they sold.....

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Once your in the truck what is the difference between 3 hours or 10? People will keep driving until they find snow!

 

It makes a lot of difference to a lot of people. If you are going on a week long vacation that is one thing. If I only have Sat and Sun and I have to drive as you say 10 hours to get there what is the point. Leave 5 am Sat. get there 3 pm. ride for a couple of hours go to bed and then drive home... not something I or most people would be willing to do and how many week long trips can most people do in the middle of winter often leaving their spouse and family at home. OFSC survey found I believe that the max most people are willing to drive is 3 hours.

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It makes a lot of difference to a lot of people. If you are going on a week long vacation that is one thing. If I only have Sat and Sun and I have to drive as you say 10 hours to get there what is the point. Leave 5 am Sat. get there 3 pm. ride for a couple of hours go to bed and then drive home... not something I or most people would be willing to do and how many week long trips can most people do in the middle of winter often leaving their spouse and family at home. OFSC survey found I believe that the max most people are willing to drive is 3 hours.

O2 sled is correct about the 3 hr trailer limit. (for most) I was also at that workgroup in the OFSC  AGM a couple of years back.  I often drive 3 hrs for weekend, but would not do it for 10hr.  I have driven 4 hrs just for the day once.  

 

The point is , lets get riding options out to everyone.  I don't see a need for the extensive network of trail that exists in most  of Ontario, but I my ambition is one trail for the next season with the hope that the closure of loops that have recently closed return.  

 

I loved being able to brag about the possibility of riding my snowmobile for the trail head down the street from the school that I teach at and ending at the Manitoba border if I wanted.  (and it is on my bucket list when I retire in 10 years)

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The Federal Government pours huge $$$ into Quebec snowmobiling including trails, groomers and massive advertising.

Some of their MPs manage to get grants for their clubs for groomers.

I sent factual info to our local MP, who is Conservative, asking him why Ontario doesn't get similar treatment. Never received a reply which says a lot.

We did get National Trails Council 50% funding this year for a new bridge so that was helpful but that NTC funding is not every year.

Quebec law on litigation and their ability to include liability insurance in their Trail Permit apparently lessens their total insurance costs compared to litigious Ontario.

I live in London (obviously) and ride North Bay a fair amount.  You truly can go anywhere from there.  I've contacted you (Brian) before and you have been very helpful.  I listened to you speak last year at the OFSC  AGM about best practices and your club is a testament to exactly that.  Brian is right,  Financial support from the government is completely different in Quebec than in Ontario.   Basically that they get quite a bit and we get very, very little. (especially considering the financial injection that snowmobiling brings in province wide)

 

For me I love snowmobiling and when I moved to the south, I joined a club because I thought I owed something to snowmobiling, not the other way around.  It really bothered me that not one of the people i rode with when I brought my sled down here from D9 joined a club.  Too many what's in it for me, or I just want to enjoy.  If you want to enjoy you need to give.  In my opinion few give like Brian and his club, and I'm grateful for this.  I only have 2 permits to buy (for now) and one must go to my local club.

 

I don't know how we can change this attitude or if we ever can, but all I can do is my part year after year and I will.

 

Lets make Ontario even better. 

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One thing I want to make clear, is that it is my long term and ongoing goal to see every trail that was once open, be open again.

 

My short term goal is connect Manitoba to Quebec and to Southern Ontario (ie St. Mary's, Ilderton)  both only a few minutes from London.  

 

Connect it all, then once traffic is moving work on the closed loops like through Chapleau and Folyett.

 

My plan of action:

 

I plan to keep this thread going as long as it takes.  I hope that I will again represent my club at the OFSC  AGM to bring forward some of your suggestions.  I plan on asking all of you when the time comes to allocate at least one permit to a club in the north who will extend the network to the west, and to repeat this yearly until the province is connected, and if necessary continue it until all clubs are up and running again.

 

 This will mean though that if we get 50 permits" club A" next year, those 50 permits must commit to this club until until it is self-sufficient and vibrant on its own, i will solicit 50 more people who will dedicate to "club B" and so on.   Perhaps this is snowmobiling socialism, but I'm ok with it if it means I can accomplish my bucket list. 

 

 

I can confirm that despite what you believe the OFSC is acting in the best interest of snowmobiling in Ontario.  i am not an employee of the OFSC  but am active as VP of Science Hill Drifters in district 5 as vice president.

 

I can also confirm that finances between Quebec and Ontario are not equal and probably never will be for a variety of reasons, the greatest of which is geography.

 

I have come to realize that a partnership or understanding that the north and south are co-dependent on each other and that success is dependent on working together

 

Lets do this because it can be done and was once done. I want to see snowmobiling in Ontario move forward not backward.  This will take a financial commitment and a time commitment and it cannot be done by just one person or one club whether it is a north or south club.  I want all of Ontario to thrive and consider anything less, unacceptable. 

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One thing I want to make clear, is that it is my long term and ongoing goal to see every trail that was once open, be open again.

 

My short term goal is connect Manitoba to Quebec and to Southern Ontario (ie St. Mary's, Ilderton)  both only a few minutes from London.  

 

Connect it all, then once traffic is moving work on the closed loops like through Chapleau and Folyett.

 

My plan of action:

 

I plan to keep this thread going as long as it takes.  I hope that I will again represent my club at the OFSC  AGM to bring forward some of your suggestions.  I plan on asking all of you when the time comes to allocate at least one permit to a club in the north who will extend the network to the west, and to repeat this yearly until the province is connected, and if necessary continue it until all clubs are up and running again.

 

 This will mean though that if we get 50 permits" club A" next year, those 50 permits must commit to this club until until it is self-sufficient and vibrant on its own, i will solicit 50 more people who will dedicate to "club B" and so on.   Perhaps this is snowmobiling socialism, but I'm ok with it if it means I can accomplish my bucket list. 

 

 

I can confirm that despite what you believe the OFSC is acting in the best interest of snowmobiling in Ontario.  i am not an employee of the OFSC  but am active as VP of Science Hill Drifters in district 5 as vice president.

 

I can also confirm that finances between Quebec and Ontario are not equal and probably never will be for a variety of reasons, the greatest of which is geography.

 

I have come to realize that a partnership or understanding that the north and south are co-dependent on each other and that success is dependent on working together

 

Lets do this because it can be done and was once done. I want to see snowmobiling in Ontario move forward not backward.  This will take a financial commitment and a time commitment and it cannot be done by just one person or one club whether it is a north or south club.  I want all of Ontario to thrive and consider anything less, unacceptable. 

 

This is great!  Someone who "gets it".  I want for those in the south to be able to ride right from their front door if they want and still be able to ride to Thunder Bay if they choose.  Hoe great would all of that be?  It might take some compromise but I believe it is possible.  I would be willing to come up, at my expense, to help volunteer to get a Northern Ontario former trail on the OFSC map again.

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Cheesyrider for OFSC President.  You'll get my vote.

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Well said thanks!!!

This is great! Someone who "gets it". I want for those in the south to be able to ride right from their front door if they want and still be able to ride to Thunder Bay if they choose. Hoe great would all of that be? It might take some compromise but I believe it is possible. I would be willing to come up, at my expense, to help volunteer to get a Northern Ontario former trail on the OFSC map again.

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