November 2014
Ontario By Bike™ Network UPDATE
What a Great Ride - 2014 in Review

We hope you have had a busy year to date, welcoming many guests, customers and visitors to your location, and among them a growing number of cyclists.

As the cycling season ends for 2014 for all but the die-hards, we would like to take the time to update all of our Ontario By Bike certified bicycle friendly locations and professional contacts on our year:

  • New name, rebranding to the Ontario By Bike Network was well received.
  • Added French content to our website, L'Ontario en v�lo.
  • Distributed 35,000 copies of the Cycling in Ontario / Le v�lo en Ontario 2014 publication in partnership with Direction Ontario. See the link below for opportunities to be featured in the 2015 publication.
  • Approaching 1,000 certified bicycle friendly locations, extending over 28 participating regions. Over 200 new bicycle friendly locations joined the Network in 2014. 
  • We welcomed new regions and certified locations resulting from the 2014 workshops series extending to: Ottawa; Oxford, Middlesex, Elgin Counties; Parry Sound District; and existing Greenbelt areas.
  • We certified the first Ontario By Bike Bicycle Friendly Business Area in Ottawa - Check out the Wellington West BIA Bicycle Page!
  • We rolled out a new Ride Guide Series, featuring best of ride routes in Ottawa, Toronto and Grey County, with supporting launch events and tours.
  • Over 110,000 unique visitors used information at in 2014.
  • Connected directly with thousands of cyclists, via our enewsletter (distributed 7 times a year, now reaching nearly 5,000 cyclists - view archive here) and at large scale cycling events and shows including: Outdoor Adventure Shows (Toronto and Ottawa), Bike shows (Montreal and Toronto), Becal Ride for Heart and more.

Looking forward to 2015, we plan to continue to grow and refine our programming, bringing you more opportunities to connect with this growing market with new promotional materials, events and routes. Hang on to your handlebars, 2015 is going to be a great ride!

 2015 Edition - Cycling in Ontario / Le V�lo en Ontario Publication

We are pleased to announce that Ontario By Bike and Direction Ontario have partnered again to produce and distribute the 2015 edition of the Cycling in Ontario/Le V�lo en Ontario publication.


The 2014 edition garnered a fantastic response from both consumers and industry partners. Here is what one cyclist had to say:


"We used the brochure just to see the possibilities. We did take a cycling vacation in Niagara and were inspired to do this with the help of the brochure. Stayed in the bike friendly hotel: Loved it!"

- Ute from Vankleek Hill, October 2014


In 2015 we will be producing an all new edition, printing 35,000 copies (25,000 in English and 10,000 in French) and distributing this full-colour, magazine-style publication at travel information centres and some of the largest cycling events and consumer travel shows in Ontario and Qu�bec.


Through engaging editorial and impactful cycling images, we'll share your cycling experiences with cyclists, encouraging them to visit your region, stop at local businesses and stay overnight.


View the sales information sheet at: Enquire about advertising opportunities by sending an email to Michael at 

Ontario By Bike™ 2014 Site Visits

This summer we had the opportunity to visit 80 randomly selected Ontario By Bike certified bicycle friendly locations across four regions in the province (Prince Edward County, Grey County, Niagara, Durham Region.) This was a part of our new quality assurance system ensuring that our Network participants comply with the minimum requirements of our bicycle friendly certification program.


Currently, in order to participate in this free promotional program and become certified, all locations must complete a self-audit at the time of registration. Adding the annual regional site visits to our programming is an important and valuable component to the Network that has been rapidly expanding since launching in 2010. It is also important for the consumers, cyclists using the Network and visiting certified business locations.


At the time of the site visits, some locations were unable to meet some minimum requirements, however Ontario By Bike has since worked with these businesses to bring them into compliance with our certification criteria.


To ensure your location continues to meet the minimum requirements for certification, visit our Criteria Checklists.

Cycle Tourism Sector Report - Visitor Tracking
Ontario By Bike is looking for your assistance over the coming weeks. We'll be publishing a Ontario Cycle Tourism Sector Report in January and would like to include insight from our business and destination partners. 
What type of info are we looking for?
Here are a few examples (and remember it can be both statistical or anecdotal information):


  1. Did the number of cyclists visiting your region, destination or location increase this year?
  2. Did your region print more cycling maps in 2014? If so, how many?
  3. How many visitors to your information centre were asking for cycling-related information? Was this more than 2013?
  4. On your destination or business website, was there a % increase in website traffic on your cycling pages over last year? 
  5. If your location is a tourist attraction or food service business, did you receive more visitors who arrived by bike?
  6. Were cyclists staying over night at your accommodation? Was this an increase from last year?

This report will paint a picture of the status of Ontario's cycle tourism sector, and become an invaluable research piece that you and many of our partners will have access to. We have a wide range of information at will be included in addition to any information you may share, having completed a number of primary research projects this year.


If you have any relevant information to share please contact us at: Unless requesting to remain a confidential source, all information sources will be acknowledged, yet another opportunity for your location or destination to receive additional promotional value from Ontario By Bike.

    Updates to Industry Pages
In an effort to improve the online experience for our industry partners (businesses as well as tourism and cycling industry), Ontario By Bike has added a few instructional webpages and have made some simple modifications to the layouts of a few pages.

Whether it's clearly understanding the benefits of joining the Network, accessing information on bike parking options or how to purchase an Ontario By Bike outdoor metal sign, obtaining communication tools or  steps to registering a business to the Ontario By Bike Network, we've made this information easier to find and share with others interested in learning more about the cycle tourism industry in Ontario.
Here are the new pages that have updated layouts:

  Featured Business(es):

Cycle and Stay Huronia Simcoe

The 8 certified bicycle friendly bed and breakfasts that make up Ontario's latest Cycle and Stay program reflect some of the advancements we're witnessing in cycle tourism products/services in Ontario (Niagara and South Georgian Bay also have similar programs). 
Why do we like it? 
  • Business collaborations: We're excited when we see businesses communicating and working together to make the collective 'tourism' pie bigger!
  • Working with relevant associations: They worked with Ontario By Bike to ensure all locations were certified as bicycle friendly. They also provide online users with direct links to relevant cycling and visitor information through the websites of Tourism Simcoe, Ontario's Lake Country, Cycle Simcoe and Simcoe Trails.
  • Flexible product development - While they offer multi-day cycling tours, these are not set packages. Guests have options and can decide if they're going to rent bikes, use an experienced guide or go self-guided and whether they need assistance with route planning and luggage transportation.  

  And the winner is....

Congratulations to Toronto Island Bicycle Rental

On November 13th, Ontario By Bike was pleased to present the third annual Best Toronto-Based Cycle Tourism Partner Award to Toronto Island Bicycle Rental. Jason Lei joined us on stage to receive the award, at the annual Toronto Bike Awards ceremony and cycling community event hosted by Cycle Toronto and the City of Toronto
Jared Kolb (left), Cycle Toronto's Executive Director, Michael McCreesh (Middle), Transportation Options' Project Coordinator, award recipient Jason Lei (right), Assistant Manager of Toronto Islands Bicycle Rentals
Open from May 1st to September 30th, this busy bicycle rental location on Toronto Islands rents a variety of bicycle types (e.g. kids, youth, adult, tandem and quadricycles).  The business has a sizeable number of seasonal staff for sales and servicing what can be between 250 to 300 riders per hour, in peak times. For over 30 years this location has given both visitors and residents the chance to explore a top destination attraction in Toronto by bike. 
In This Issue
2014 in Review
2015 Publication
Site Visits This Summer
Cycle Tourism Sector Report
Communication Toolkit
Featured Businesses
And the winner is...
Help with Research & Report
Did you have cyclists come to your business this year? Did a group of cyclists eat at your restaurant?
Ontario By Bike™ is asking network participants if they have any insight or visitor data regarding cyclists that they are willing to share with us. 

See below article for more info on how you can participate and help. 
Updating our 2015 Event Listings!

The cycling events page is one of the most popular pages on our website. We'll be updating our Events Page for 2015 over the coming weeks and if a cycling event or tour is coming through your community and is not already included on our 2014 page, please let us know. We'd be happy to add it!


Send emails to with event details and 2015 dates.

2014 Update: Highway Traffic Act

The Ontario Government is still reviewing Bill 173 - Highway Traffic Amendment Act. Along time in the making, its current status, at a second reading, is a positive step forward. The following amendments specifically relate to cycling:

  1. Allowing cyclists to use the paved shoulders on unrestricted provincial highways.
  2. Allowing municipalities to create contraflow bicycle lanes to provide more direct routes and connectivity.
  3. Increasing the fine range for convictions of dooring of cyclists from $60 to $500, to $300 to $1,000 and raising the demerit points from two to three.
  4. Requiring all drivers to maintain a distance of one metre when passing cyclists, where practicable.
  5. Increasing the maximum fine ($20) to a set fine amount that falls in the range of $60 to $500 for not using required bicycle lights and other reflectors / reflective material; and permit the use of flashing red lights as a safety feature on bicycles.


For more information visit the Ontario Government's Ministry of Transportation Website.

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Missed Industry E-Newsletters?

To catch up on any information you may have missed, check out previous issues. Sent biannually, this is our eighth issue. 


Industry E-Newsletter archives

Consumer E-Newsletter  

This is our industry e-newsletter that we issue twice a year to stay in touch with our Network participants, workshop attendees and tourism partners.


If you are interested in receiving our consumer e-newsletter, sent to nearly 5,000 subscribers monthly for 7 months of the year, sign up HERE.

Purchase an Ontario By Bike™ Metal Sign

These outdoor metal signs (7"x7") are valuable marketing tools that help locations easily communicate that their business caters to cyclists with specific services and amenities.

Cost for signs is $30, includes HST and shipping.


If you're interested in ordering a metal sign for your business, please email

Industry Partnership
Did you know that we have a cross provincial industry partnership with a 30 person advisory committee including regional representatives?

The Ontario By Bike Industry Partnership meets twice annually and connects as needed to share information on cycling and cycle tourism related developments regionally and at the provincial level.
Working together we aim to better facilitate destination development and promotion of Ontario's growing cycle tourism product. 
Find more information on the partnership here:
Not Yet a Participating Location? 
It's easy to register on-line to become an Ontario By Bike™ participating location. 

If your business meets the criteria to become certified as bicycle friendly, simply visit Add Your Business page and follow the instructions.


Registration will be reviewed and your listing added within 48 business hours. Look forward to receiving a welcome package with decal in the mail.

Already a Participant?

Add to your basic listing with a more detailed description, full contact details and your logo. 

  • Go to the website's Login Page and log in.
  • Navigate to your listing, and click the 'Edit Listing' button
With Thanks to Our 2014 Sponsors & Funding Partners

VIA Rail


  Pedal Magazine 




Norco Bicycles

City of Toronto


For a complete list of partners, visit:

Cycling Tours Named As
Ontario Signature Experiences 
Ontario Tourism (OTMPC) has just announced the unique tourism experiences in Ontario that will be best used to market and motivate visitors to come to Ontario. 

We are pleased that on the list are a number of bike tours and partners offerings from around the province including: 


The 2014 cycling season is all but done (except for those brave winter riders and Fat Bike enthusiasts!), but there is still a lot to do before the end of the year!


As we continue our planning for the new year, we're excited about what's on the horizon for the Ontario By Bike Network!


If you have stories to share from the past year or news about cycle tourism initiatives you are undertaking to better cater to cyclists in 2015, let us know! We're always looking to share great stories with cyclists.


We wish you all the best in remainder of 2014 and we look forward to connecting with you all again in 2015!


Louisa Mursell & Michael McCreesh & Joanne Hurley
Phone us at 416-827-2774 or 1-866-701-2774