By Chris Pickup

Haldimand County’s Trails Advisory Committee has recommended the stupefyingly banal name of Cayuga Grand Vista for the new rail trail, expected to be finished this September.

Members of the public had submitted suggestions for naming the trail, most of them referencing people or places of note from the community, but this particular suggestion was thought up by members of the trails advisory committee itself.

In the process they ignored a much more interesting suggestion on the list of those submitted by the public … Cayuga Hangman’s Trail. Whose interest wouldn’t be piqued by such a unique name? It would call tourists to come see why it was called that.

Since the trail begins at the historic Cayuga Courthouse grounds, where a fair few felons were hanged back in the day, the trailhead plaque could perhaps recount a few of the more interesting stories including the curse said to have been cast on the village.

Further down the trail, the legal historical theme continues with two lookouts on the viewing platform set to be named after two well known Cayuga Justices.

Legal pioneer Helen Alice Kinnear, 1894-1970, also has a Canadian Postage stamp designed in her name.  David Marshall forged his own unique path with the joint professions of medical doctor, lawyer and judge.

The trail itself mimics a noose. It also has its own complex knot as the trail swings into its urban loop, leaving trail users to navigate the Talbot Street/Hwy 3 traffic to reach the sidewalk on the opposite side in order to cross the bridge on their way back to the courthouse grounds.

The Trails Advisory Committee also ignored community suggestions for the Caledonia to York trail, some referencing Haldimand history, coming up with their own recommendation of Gypsum Mine Tract.

Who are these people on the committee anyway? And why did they call for public suggestions with no obvious intent to seriously consider any of them? It’s all of a piece with other supposedly public consultation on recreation and tourism.

Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract are the advisory committee’s preferred names to propose to Council at the August 28 council in committee meeting.

August 2 at 4 pm is the deadline for written public feedback addressed to the Manager, Community Development & Partnerships at the county offices in Cayuga, containing name, phone number, address and a statement related to the specific concerns regarding the proposed name for the trails.

For questions or concerns contact Sheila Wilson, Manager, Community Development & Partnerships, swilson@haldimandcounty.on.ca 905 318-5932 ext. 6339.