James Street Trail BUILD A BRIDGE Campaign


The Guelph Hiking Trail Club (GHTC) needs your help with improvements to the most well used naturalized rail trail in Guelph. We’re working to make the James Street Trail safer and more accessible for everyone. It is currently impassable for some and seasonally hazardous for all, because of a dangerous crossing in the first kilometre.

This beautiful trail is a key piece of the Guelph Radial Line and a significant part of the GHTC’s Trail network.

The trail runs along the south side of the Eramosa river on the abandoned rail bed of the 1920’s Toronto Suburban Railway from Marianne's Park at Gordon St. to Victoria Road.

With your help we will build a multi-use bridge over the storm water crossing that now cuts through the trailway.               

Let’s Build a Bridge to a great trail future in Guelph. This is your opportunity to make an accessible trail connection from central Guelph to some of the city’s best natural features, like the Arboretum at the University of Guelph.

Please give today, the campaign ends on April 30th 2021.

You can make a tax deductible donation to the James Street Trail BUILD A BRIDGE Campaign below.

Or a donation through our CanadaHelps Peer 2 Peer charity site. 

Watch a virtual hike of this trail from the Guelph Covered Bridge to the top of the steps at the entrance to the Arboretum, presented by Chris Earley the Arboretum Interpretive Biologist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAFPeF7diI0&feature=youtu.be

Warning: browser cookies disabled. Please enable them to use this website.


* Mandatory fields
*First name
*Last name
Postal Code
*Primary Contact's Email
*Amount ($CAD)
*Donation Fund
Select the button that you wish your donation to go to.

The new James Street Trail Bridge will be named ‘The Gosling Bridge’
in recognition of a major donation to the project.

The Guelph Hiking Trail Club and its coalition of partners have announced today that the new multi-purpose bridge for the James Street Trail will be named The Gosling Bridge. The naming is in recognition of a $15,000 donation from The Gosling Foundation made early in the campaign.

“The Gosling Foundation, a Guelph-based organization, was very supportive of our campaign in the early going,” says GHTC President John Fisher. “They helped us get halfway to our $50,000 goal before we started asking for public support two weeks ago, a major boost,” he adds.

As of Monday, April 12, the campaign has raised about 95 per cent of its target, with 350 individual donations. Most of these have come in the two weeks since the campaign was first announced. “It caught the public imagination,” says Fisher. “People want this popular trail that connects the downtown to the forest to be safe and accessible, and they want it built soon.”

The Gosling Foundation is a funder of nature projects, with close connections to the University of Guelph and The Arboretum. Stan Kozak, executive director of the foundation, says, “The Guelph Hiking Trail Club and their community partners are showing great initiative in managing this resource, and they’re encouraging citizen involvement in down-to-earth nature projects.”

The Foundation is named for its founder, Philip R. Gosling, a successful entrepreneur and naturalist. It is driven by a passion to protect birds in particular and the natural environment more broadly. Perhaps fittingly, the James Street trail runs beside Goose Island, a wildlife haven in the middle of the Eramosa River.

The recent campaign to raise money for the bridge, which will span a dangerous storm water outflow from Cutten Fields, is all about connection. The Hiking Trail Club, which recently signed an agreement with the university to manage the trail, has partnered with more than a half-dozen other community organizations in the fundraising campaign including: Speed River Cycling Club, Guelph Victors Running Club, Guelph Off Road Bicycling Association, Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation, and Nature Guelph.

The trail itself also connects to some of the Guelph region’s best recreational greenspaces: The Arboretum, The Smith Property on Watson Road, The Arkell Springs Trails (the source of the city’s water), and the Starkey Hill Conservation Area, all to the southeast of the city.