The Trans Canada Trail:
The Trans-Canada Trail is a multi-use trail intended for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. The Trans-Canada Trail (TCT) was started in 1992 as a project to celebrate Canada’s 125th anniversary.
According to section 22 of the Municipal Assessment Act:
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Real property partial exemptions
22(1) Subject to sections 25 and 26, real property is exempt from taxation levied by a municipality, other than for local improvements, where the real property
(p) is used as a public multi-purpose recreational trail and is owned by
i) the Manitoba Recreational Trails Association Inc. or a corporation it controls, or
ii) a non-profit organization whose membership is open to the public and whose purposes and objects are substantially the same as those of the Manitoba Recreational Trails Association Inc
The Manitoba Recreational Trails Association (MRTA) was incorporated in 1993 to oversee development of the TCT in Manitoba and obtained charitable tax status. MRTA now uses the operating name “Trails Manitoba.”
Trails Manitoba Executive Director Melissa Sitter advises us that in Manitoba 18 local volunteer groups currently oversee development and maintenance of a corresponding 18 segments of the Trail.
These range from 15 to 200 kilometers. Although the first major portion of the TCT registered in Manitoba-the Rossburn Subdivision-was purchased from CN, Trails Manitoba actually owns little real estate.
They rely on a number of property owners for access, either by “handshake” agreements or sometimes permanent easements.
At this time the Trail is 92% complete in Manitoba, with six gaps remaining. Sitter reports that their goal is to finish in the next three years. By contrast Saskatchewan is only 35% complete.