The creation of the digital Toronto Robert Bateman Urban Nature Trail  (TRBUNT) was announced yesterday by Robert Bateman at a reception held in his honour by Momentum1  ‘community in motion’ and the Ontario Medical Association . The digital Trail, which will take the form of an app available on the Bateman Centre  website, provides a guided tour via mobile devices of the Ravines and Trails of central Toronto that were once the childhood playgrounds of Robert Bateman.
“In the ravines behind our home at 287 Chaplin Crescent, I spent most of my childhood. In my younger years, I pretended that I was one of Ernest Seaton’s ‘Two little Savages’, but grew to observe, love, and eventually paint the nature around me. I’ve had a fantastic life and I own it all to those humble beginnings along the Beltline Ravine!”
The TRBUNT app will provide approximately 30 geo-located virtual sign posts, each with a Bateman painting (including many painted as a teenager) a video story by the artist and supporting content.
Designed for people of all ages, these engaging ‘stops’ along the trail will create a sense of place and engagement. The app will fully support social networking and is expandable to roughly an 18km circuit of trails and neighbourhoods that had such a profound effect on Bateman’s life.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to promote a re-engagement with an active, healthy lifestyle in nature AND in downtown Toronto,” said Foundation Executive Director, Paul Gilbert. “We hope the digital Trail will be complete and available for download by end of this year.”
“Ontario’s doctors have a strong tradition of promoting healthy living,” said Dr. Doug Weir President of the Ontario Medical Association. “We’re pleased to support programs that encourage people to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine.”
Eric Hoskins, MPP for the Toronto riding of St. Paul’s, said “this trail will be a great addition to our community by encouraging kids to lead healthy lifestyles while learning about Canadian art and celebrating the natural gifts in their own backyards.”
Tom Fiore Executive Director Momentum1 ‘community in motion’ said, “We are certain that this digital Trail concept will be positively received and greatly utilized.”