Bruce Trail Conservancy

55 Head St., Unit 101
Dundas, ON L9H 3H8
CEO: Michael McDonald
Board Chair: Leah Myers

Charitable Reg. #:11921 7578 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 91 cents are available for programs.

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About Bruce Trail Conservancy:

Bruce Trail Conservancy is a 5-star rated charity with best practice in financial transparency. It has above average accountability to donors as seen in the A results reporting grade. For every dollar donated to this charity, 91 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending. 

Founded in 1967, Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) works to protect the Niagara Escarpment environment. This region contains the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest walking path. BTC has nine regional Bruce Trail Clubs that each maintain a section of the trail. 

In F2022, Bruce Trail Conservancy spent 94% of program costs on Land Acquisition, Conservation, and Trail. The other 6% went towards other programs including memberships, communications, and Bruce Trail Enterprises.  

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

BTC’s conservation work occurs mainly through its Land Acquisition and Management, Conservation, and Trail program. BTC secures land through donations, purchases, or life interest agreements. These agreements allow landowners to live on their property while BTC maintains it. 

The Bruce Trail currently includes 1,376 kilometres of trails. BTC works to make sure its trails are on permanently protected land. In F2022, BTC secured 1,039 more acres of protected area, so now 70.2% of its trails are on protected land. During F2022, BTC also removed 4.6 kilometres of its trails from roads. This improves the hiking experience for users. 

Bruce Trail Conservancy helps protect species in the region as well. In F2022, it helped plant over 11,000 native trees. Through BTC’s iNaturalist project, people can upload pictures of at-risk species they see on the trails. So far, users have reported 29,306 animal observations of 2,348 different species. 

Other Programs accounted for 6% of BTC’s program costs in F2022. Bruce Trail Conservancy currently has 12,831 members, with 2,579 of them joining during F2022. BTC started a youth council last year which now has 40 members. The charity also runs communication programs and Bruce Trail Enterprise.

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Results and Impact

In F2022, Bruce Trail Conservancy acquired 14 new protected natural areas. These areas covered 1,039 acres of land with 11.5 kilometres of trails. BTC also had 73 of its areas added to the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database. In F2022, the charity launched its Bruce Trail App to help hikers stay safe and learn about the region. February of this year was the first time since 2004 that BTC had to increase its membership dues. A one-year membership went from being $50 to being $75. 

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Bruce Trail Conservancy’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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Bruce Trail Conservancy received $16.4m in donations in F2022. It also received $82k in government funding and $18k in donated land and easements during the year. Administrative costs are 5% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 4% of cash and land donations. This results in total overhead spending of 9%. For every dollar donated, 91 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

BTC has $12.8m in net funding reserves. This means the charity can cover 1 year and 7 months of annual program costs with its existing reserves. 

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to Bruce Trail Conservancy for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on May 31, 2023 by Clive Stevens.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.5%5.5%8.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 3.9%3.8%6.1%
Total overhead spending 9.3%9.3%14.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 159.1%110.7%65.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 16,36713,2889,101
Goods in kind 181,46298
Government funding 82129227
Business activities (net) 15224187
Investment income 49891724
Other income 234
Total revenues 17,12016,0409,541
Program costs 8,0267,0707,330
Grants 402754
Donated goods exp 181,46298
Administrative costs 911825772
Fundraising costs 633566560
Other costs 703424
Total spending 9,6999,9848,838
Cash flow from operations 7,4216,056703
Capital spending 2822414
Funding reserves 12,8367,8564,844

Note: Ci included covid-19 government assistance, affecting revenues by $nil in F2022, $56k in F2021, and $192k in F2020. Ci classified donated land as goods in kind, affecting revenues and expenses by $18k in F2022, $1.5m in F2021, and $98k in F2020. Ci included endowment contributions and restricted funding for land purchases in donations, affecting revenues by $10.1m in F2022, $9.5m in F2021, and $4.9m in F2020. Ci included unrealized gains and foreign exchange gains in investment income, affecting revenues by ($285k) in F2022, $242k in F2021, and ($206k) in F2020. Ci reported investment income net of investment management fees, affecting revenues and expenses by ($38k) in F2022, ($17k) in F2021, and ($23k) in F2020. Ci reported Bruce Trail Enterprises revenue net of expenses in business activities, affecting revenues and expenses by ($216k) in F2022, ($289k) in F2021, and ($116k) in F2020. To report on a cash basis, Ci adjusted donations by changes in deferred revenue from non-government sources. This affected revenues by $173k in F2022, $87k in F2021, and $9k in F2020. Ci reported land acquisition costs net of land sales in program costs, affecting expenses by $5.9m in F2022, $5.4m in F2021, and $4.4m in F2020. Ci reported contributions to Parks Canada Agency for the Driftwood Cove acquisition in program costs, affecting expenses by $nil in F2022, $nil in F2021, and $1.4m in F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 24

Avg. compensation: $82,246

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2022

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 905-529-6821


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001