Transformational projects will enhance connections to the Grand River.

To mark Brant Waterways Foundation’s 30th anniversary – and build on the legacy established to date – the Board of Directors embarked on an ambitious initiative to: 

  • identify a catchment of projects in the local Grand River watershed, and  
  • lead the campaign to raise the required funding. 

After extensive public consultation with members of the community and our municipal partners – we publicly launched our TIRA (Trail Improvement & River Access) fundraising campaign in April 2019 with a goal of inspiring healthy communities through connections to world-class outdoor recreational opportunities that respect the natural ecosystems and promote their conservation for generations to come. 

TIRA’s game-changing initiatives will:

  • Connect communities in Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations of the Grand River by developing new river access points that allow people to enjoy and explore our local waterways 
  • Add amenities such as benches, signage, guide wires and docks that will increase accessibility for seniors and people with physical disabilities 
  • Fund emergency repairs to trails damaged by floods, fires, storms or other natural disasters 
  • Revitalize areas in need of restoration 
  • Provide mountain bike and hiking trails development in areas that connect the community to the natural setting 
  • Ensure the protection of environmentally sensitive areas through proactive trail planning 

Early in the campaign, local philanthropists Paul and Margot Williamson announced their support for TIRA with a leadership gift of $100,000. Since then, a growing and committed team of individual and corporate donors have helped bring us closer to our ambitious goal with donations and pledges of all sizes. Thanks to their generous and visionary support, more than half a million dollars has been raised to date for our identified projects. 

In 2020, despite COVID-19 related delays and restrictions, two TIRA projects were completed:  the installation of the canoe/kayak “EZ” dock system on the north side of Penman’s Dam, and the Nith River Sensory Trail in Paris’ Lion’s Park featuring musical instruments, a guided rope, braille signs, an accessible picnic table and other unique elements. Both innovative projects have encouraged residents and visitors of all ages and abilities to safely enjoy the Grand River and adjacent trails. 

This year will see significant progress on two larger TIRA initiatives: the Newport Bridge River Access Project and the Williamson Family Pavilion and Gardens at Waterworks Park in Brantford.