Greater Niagara Region Route Committee Terms of Reference

Overview · Agenda/Minutes ·Terms of Reference


The Greater Niagara Circle Route Committee is an advisory body established by the Niagara Region in accordance with the following Terms of Reference. The Committee has been established to advise Regional Council on the completion of the Trails component of The Greater Niagara Circle Route and to collaborate with appropriate agencies to complete that project. The Committee is also responsible for carrying out activities originally identified for the Welland Canals component of the Circle Route, as these are still significant aspects of the development work.


To promote, assist in, and coordinate the development of The Greater Niagara Circle Route with the development to proceed in the following two stages:

  • The creation of a Greater Niagara Circle Route Trails System as indicated in the map attached to these Terms of Reference; and
  • The creation of a Greater Niagara Circle Driving Route for vehicular traffic

To promote the creation of an East Side Trail along the East Side of the Welland Canal as an unpaved Trail for various types of uses.

To work cooperatively with the various agencies involved in the creation of the Greater Niagara Circle Route, especially the local municipalities, the Niagara Parks Commission, the Waterfront Trust, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, and the Trans-Canada Trail Foundation.

To provide a Regional position and approach regarding the disposal of the surplus St. Lawrence Seaway lands.

Reporting Structure

The Greater Niagara Circle Route Committee will report to Regional Council through the Planning and Economic Development Committee.

Work Plan

The Greater Niagara Circle Route Committee will provide commentary to staff in the development of an annual work plan identifying the specific initiatives and activities to be undertaken within each of the areas of focus, inclusive of budget needs, to further guide decision-making and resource management.


Membership for the Greater Niagara Circle Route Committee shall not exceed a maximum of 16 members.

Membership for the Greater Niagara Circle Route Committee shall include:

  • One representative from each of the following local municipalities:
    • City of St. Catharines
    • City of Thorold
    • City of Welland
    • Township of Wainfleet
    • Town of Fort Erie
    • City of Niagara Falls
    • Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake
    • City of Port Colborne
  • Up to three (3) Regional Council representatives as appointed by Regional Council
  • Up to seven public members with experience related to recreational trails
  • The remainder of the membership may target but is not limited to the following organizations/interest groups:

    • Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
    • Niagara Parks Commission
    • St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
    • Welland Recreational Canal Corporation

    The term of membership shall be four years, concurrent with Regional Council's elected term of office, and the membership shall be approved by Council in accordance with membership requirements in the Terms of Reference. Current Committee members shall indicate their desire to be reappointed to the Committee no later than the December meeting prior to the change in Council.

    All attempts will be made to stay within the guideline composition; however, if the applications received or the qualifications of applicants do not fully address the guideline composition criteria, the most capable and qualified applicants will be recommended for appointment to fulfill the membership composition.

    The call for membership shall be made by invitation circulated to appropriate stakeholders and by advertisement for the public members.

    Chair and Vice Chair

    A Chair and Vice Chair will be elected from Committee members on a biannual basis at the first meeting of the New Year to preside over meetings. The Chair of the Committee shall be a Regional Councillor. The Vice Chair of the Committee shall be a stakeholder member.

    It is the role of the Chair to preside over Committee meetings so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively, and to act as a liaison between the Committee, the Planning and Economic Development Committee and Regional Council.

    It is the role of the Vice Chair to preside over Committee meetings in the absence of the Chair and to perform any other duties delegated by the Chair or as assigned by the Committee through a majority vote.


    Planning and Development Services is the designated lead department regarding resource support for the GNCRC; however, the Committee also has access to the technical expertise of staff from other Regional departments as may be required. It is recognized that staff time and the level of participation will be dependent on other departmental priorities as determined by senior management and/or Regional Council. As required, additional resources may be sought. Additional resourcing may be required for projects with senior levels of government.

    The Committee shall receive administrative support from the Office of the Regional Clerk for meeting and agenda management.


    A meeting schedule following a 6-week rotation shall be set for the Greater Niagara Circle Route Committee. The schedule will be circulated to the members for approval each year. Should a time sensitive matter arise, the committee may meet at the call of the Chair.

    Meetings will be held at Regional Headquarters at a time as determined by the members. Subject to requirements under the Procedural By-law, a meeting may be held in alternate location. All meetings will be open to the public.

    Meetings shall be governed by the Region's Procedural By-law, being a by-law to govern the calling, place and proceedings of the meetings of Council and its Committees, as may be amended from time-to-time. This includes rules surrounding quorum.


    Members, who miss three unauthorized consecutive meetings, shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee and will be notified of this in writing by the Committee Chair.

    Amendments to the Terms of Reference

    The Terms of Reference should be reviewed and refined at a minimum of every four years to ensure that they remain current and meaningful.

    Proposals to amend the Terms of Reference shall require the approval of a majority of the members present. Proposed amendments to the Terms of Reference shall be submitted to Regional Council for approval through the Integrated Community Planning Committee and shall take effect only upon the approval of Council.

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