Roads and Grounds Superintendent Patrick Gauvreau surveyed repairs at the city’s longest staircase beside the bottle depot on Rossland Avenue. The city just approved a $50

City readies staircases as event nears

This week, Trail council approved a $50,000 increase to the public works budget for stair repair and maintenance for "Storm the Stairs"

As Storm the Stairs readies for its fundraising day, so is the City of Trail.

This week, Trail council approved a $50,000 increase to the public works budget for stair repair and maintenance.

“This is to ensure that the city staircases will be able to safely accommodate a higher volume of foot traffic,” explained Andrea Jolly, Trail’s communication and events coordinator. “In addition to the staircases’ daily use, it is planned that the staircases will be used for annual community events.”

The money, which is being re-directed from the winter road sanding account, will be used to fix 12 covered staircases and about 1,200 stairs throughout West Trail. Additionally, a July public works inspection found repairs are needed to leaking roofs, broken electrical conduit, and cracked concrete as well as replacement of rotten stair stringers.

Minimizing impact to the historical stairways was also considered by Trail and District United Way, the organizers of the event.

Participants will be staggered when the race kicks off at 9 a.m, says Naomi McKimmie, executive director for the Trail-based charity.

High school kids and anyone else ready to break a sweat for a good cause are asked to join the Sept. 12 event.

The inaugural race is a means to invigorate the launch of United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.

So far, 12 people have signed up to climb 1,501 stairs, and walk or run through West Trail streets before heading back down to Rossland Avenue – but McKimmie is hoping for more participants.

Registration has been pushed back to a Sept. 9 deadline, so once vacationers get back to town and students start to think about sinking into their desks, chances are more fundraisers will jump aboard, she hopes.

“Any students out there looking for a little extra training at the beginning of the year and wants to help out their community, please come out,” she said. “Help us help our communities. Monies raised will be re-invested back into our communities and in programs that serve our communities.”

Teenagers 14 to 18 years are encouraged to race, provided a parent or guardian signs a liability waiver giving permission to participate.

The top three prizes will go to the top three fundraisers, not for whomever crosses the finish line first.

“It depends on the walkers or runners, but we believe the race will be done in two to three hours,” McKimmie said.

“But there’s all kinds of possibilities to participate.”

The community is invited to the 11 a.m. block party at the Rossland Avenue site, where the top three fundraisers will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m.

“We’ll have free activities for the kids, live music, raffles and a few vendors,” she said, adding that $5 will cover a barbeque lunch of either a hot dog, hamburger, or smokie. “And for those who love fried onions, we are going to have those too.”

To register, visit traildistrictunitedway. com and click on the Storm the Stairs link. Users will be directed to the fundraising site,, where they can register for a $50 fee.

Those wishing to donate to the United Way campaign, can visit and give directly to the organization or race participants.

For more information, call McKimmie at 250.364.0999.

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