Through the collaborative efforts of the Martyrs’ Shrine, Georgian Bay Trails and Simcoe County Trails, a permanent Pilgrim Route has been established to the Martyrs’ Shrine. While the official signs marking the new Pilgrim Route continue to be developed, the map below can be of assistance in guiding your pilgrimage to the Shrine.
The 89 km off-road Pilgrim Route utilizes many local trails, including the Georgian Bay Snowriders Trail and Tay Shore Trail and also extends to Barrie’s North Shore Trail, Oro Medonte Rail Trail, Orillia’s Millennium Trails and the Uhthoff Trail. This is just the first phase of forming a “Canadian Camino,” the full pilgrimage route from Toronto to the Martyrs’ Shrine. Further expansions are planned south to Tottenham and into neighbouring regions. While hundreds of pilgrims already take part in organized pilgrimage walks on specific days throughout the summer from Burlington, Guelph, Toronto, etc. to the Martyrs’ Shrine, they tend to use roads, some quite busy, to make the annual trek. Certainly, a pilgrimage along the trails network in Simcoe County is more suitable for quiet reflection, meditation, prayer and enjoyment of our beautiful countryside. Thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the concerted efforts of the Martyrs’ Shrine, Georgian Bay Trails and Simcoe County Trails, the naming of a permanent Pilgrim Route to the Martyrs’ Shrine has been enthusiastically embraced by various municipalities in Simcoe County.
“The Pilgrim Route enables anyone to follow the route any day of the year, alone or with friends or family, as a parish, or as a tourist to explore this part of Canada, in an off-road setting. Some pilgrims may want to follow the Pilgrim Route for religious reasons, others may just want to set themselves a personal challenge, meet other people, or visit another region.”
– Fr. Bernard Carroll, SJ, Director of the Martyrs’ Shrine- Fr. Bernard Carroll, SJ, Director of the Martyrs' Shrine
Grand Opening of the Permanent Pilgrimage Route to the Shrine
Click here to read more about the opening ceremony of the Pilgrim Route.
Reflection Article by Fr. Philip Shano, S.J.
After participating on the opening day walking pilgrimage from St. Ignace to Martyr’s Shrine, Fr. Philip Shano, S.J. wrote a reflection titled “A Canadian Camino,” capturing his experience on the new Pilgrim Route to the Shrine. Enjoy his reflection here: “A Canadian Camino.”
About the Author: Philip Shano, SJ, is the Superior of the Jesuits in Pickering, Ontario. He is also Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger and Director of the Apostleship of Prayer. In addition, Fr. Shano is currently a member of the Martyrs’ Shrine Board of Trustees.
Map of Pilgrim Route to the Shrine
Click here to view and download the The Pilgrim Route Mapbook.The Pilgrim Route Mapbook
Click here to view the online map.The Pilgrim Route Virtual Map