Tofino cheered the official opening of its newest Multi-Use Path extension last week.
The 2.8 kilometre addition to the MUP’s existing 6 kilometre pedestrian, jogger and bicyclist haven spans from Tofino’s visitor centre at Cox Bay to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s northern border.
“The multi-use path extension intimately connects locals and visitors to experience Tofino’s stunning beauty,” said Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA and Tofino’s former mayor Josie Osborne.“Through our CleanBC plan, the province is committed to making active transportation safe, easy and convenient for all people— and we are a proud contributor to this project. I’ll be on my bike using this trail to commute around town as much as possible, I hope to see you out there!”
The $3.9 million project was paid for with support from the provincial and federal governments, Island Coastal Economic Trust and Resort Municipality Initiative funding.
“This has been a highly anticipated project that will transform how visitors and locals travel and experience Pacific Rim Park and the region,” said ICET Chair Aaron Stone. “This new year-round outdoor tourism and community amenity will enable visitors and locals to leave their vehicles behind and experience a closer, cleaner and more sustainable connection to the region’s amazing offerings.”
Work on the extension began back in 2019 after the Park Reserve announced an ambitious plan to build a 22-kilometre trail between its northern and southern borders and local leaders raised concern over the safety of cyclists and pedestrians attempting to navigate through a then-treacherous stretch of shoulderless highway to access that trail from Tofino.
“Tofino’s Council and residents are excited to see the extension of Tofino’s Multi-Use Path completed. Having a safe, non-motorized connection to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve—and eventually to Ucluelet—not only enhances the quality of life for our region’s residents, but also brings benefits to those who visit us from across Canada and around the world,” said Tofino’s acting mayor Coun. Duncan McMaster. “Projects like these can only happen with partnerships between all levels of government and we’re very appreciative of the collaboration that has brought us to completion.”
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark said the new path will help visitors explore the West Coast without being tied to their vehicles.
“B.C.’s West Coast is known for its stunning nature, its exciting recreation opportunities and the people who live in these vibrant communities,” Mark said. “This new path makes it easier for locals, residents and visitors to access this world famous park and demonstrates that tourism development is an investment that creates winning conditions for everyone.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Andy Fillmore said he was delighted to see a safe link created for non-motorized transport between Tofino and the Park Reserve.
“Active mobility in the great outdoors helps preserve nature’s beauty and contributes to Canada’s low-carbon goals. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities,” he said.