Access Committee History

The Access Committee of the Toronto Section of the Alpine Club of Canada was originally formed in the 1980s by concerned climbers who found themselves collaborating with provincial parks, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, regional conservation authorities and the Ministry of Natural Resources in solving complex access issues. The Access Committee provided a common voice for climbers. In consideration of the ACC’s Access and Environment Policy, the Access Committee was charged with representing the climbing community in negotiations with land owners, conservation authorities and provincial bodies concerning continued access to climbing locations in Southern Ontario.

In the late 2000s the Toronto Section Access Committee worked with other concerned Ontario climbers to form the Ontario Access Coalition (OAC). The OAC, which was incorporated in 2009 and changed its name to the Ontario Association of Climbers (OAC) in 2018, now takes the lead on representing the climbing community on access issues. The Toronto Section continues to work with the OAC and strongly supports this important work for the climbing community.

Historically, in the 1990s much work was done by the Access Committee. The ACC has long been involved with the Peregrine Falcon Release Program at Bon Echo and Killarney Park. The ACC helped with a survey of native rock pictographs at Bon Echo, trained fire and rescue personnel within the Halton Region Conservation Authority (HRCA) area and assisted in clean-up days to remove decades of garbage from the base of the HRCA cliffs. The researchers involved with the Bon Echo Cliff Face Study and the University of Guelph Cliff Face Ecology Group were trained climbers. Today, the ACC Toronto Section continues to take the lead in the Bon Echo access file on behalf of the OAC.

The Access Committee of the Toronto Section of the Alpine Club of Canada has a successful history in negotiating climbing management plans and agreements with a number of land managers. A Memorandum of Agreement is in place with Bon Echo Provincial Park to allow climbing to take place under strict guidelines. The committee has been able to demonstrate through research (c.f. “Life Science Inventory of the Mazinaw Rock Cliff face at Bon Echo Provincial Park”, Duggan & Associates) that climbing has negligible impact on the environmental resource at Bon Echo.