With CP discontinuing operations on the line in 2010, the tracks and ancillary equipment have been removed from the rail bed. The county wants to become its future owner and convert the railway into a recreational trail corridor.
The CP line, 302-kilometres long, stretches from Smith Falls to Mattawa, through Renfrew County, Lanark County, Pembroke, Ottawa and the Township of Papineau-Cameron. Each have claimed first right-of-refusal for the abandoned rail beds for their respective section of the line, however, CP wants to see the line sold off wholesale.
Of the 302-kilometre stretch, about 72 per cent runs through the County of Renfrew. If acquired, a multi-use trail of that magnitude is believed to benefit the county in terms of economic development, according to county staff.