June 2014
Ontario By Bike™ Network UPDATE
 Just a Small Reminder!

While we have sent several email notifications since our program name changed six months ago from Welcome Cyclists Network to the Ontario By BikeNetwork, we want to ensure that all of our Network participants and partners are aware of the rebranding.


The name has changed, but the important message we want to remind our community of is that the services and benefits of the program, and our commitment to making Ontario a top cycling destination in Canada remains the same! 


Please ensure any links or logos are updated, and window decals are replaced when new ones are received by mail. If you require any assistance or have any questions just let us know. 


For more information visit - OntarioByBike.ca/newname

Half-Year in Review - Cycle Tourism is on the Rise!

As the cycling season rolls on, we want to share with you a snapshot of some of the exciting program developments, partner and business initiatives, and most importantly, our outreach efforts to bring cycle tourists to your front door.

  • Our website traffic is up significantly this year with over 50,000 visitors and 100,000 page views already in 2014. This is a 25% increase year-on-year and we're just getting started!
  • Since January 1st, 2014, 103 new participants have registered as bicycle-friendly businesses and locations.
  • In preparation for the 2015 launch of the Greenbelt Route, Ontario By Bike held 6 regional workshops, drawing in nearly 200 tourism and business professionals.
  • Throughout April and March, the Ontario By Bike Network expanded to four new regions/counties: Ottawa; Elgin; Oxford; Middlesex.  
  • Our consumer e-newsletter has reached over 4,500 cyclists per issue and is distributed seven times a year.
  • We have active Facebook and Twitter accounts and leverage these engaged communities to drive traffic to our registered businesses.
  • Recognizing the importance of the Francophone market to Ontario`s tourism industry, we've translated a bulk of our website to French at OntarioByBike.ca/francais. We continue to add content here all the time and web traffic on this section is picking up! If you're looking to target this market, consider updating your business listing to include a description in French.
  • We have distributed over 15,000 of the new Ontario By Bike promotional rack cards to cyclists, businesses and information centres across the province. If you`re interested in receiving rack cards to distribute to from your location -  request by email
  • In February, we published a 20-page brochure and guide promoting cycling experiences in Ontario: 25,000 - 'Cycling in Ontario', and 10,000 'Le vlo en Ontario,' a total of 35,000 copies. This publication has proven to be very popular with distribution via our partners, tourism information centres, businesses, consumer shows, cycling events and individual requests. Already over two thirds of the guides have been distributed in Ontario and Quebec. We will be creating a new guide for 2015. 

New Certification Category

"Business Area"

In March 2014, the Ontario By Bike Network expanded its program offerings to businesses in Ottawa. As part of this project, Ontario By Bike and Ottawa partners worked towards the creation of a new certification category.


After researching industry standards and reviewing a number of economic and community impact studies on the implementation of bicycle-friendly business areas, Ontario By Bike developed a set of certification criteria and has launched its latest certification category - Business Area!


To view the certification criteria for this category visit Ontario By Bike - Criteria


Enquire about how your business district can become a certified bicycle-friendly business area by emailing us at - info@OntarioByBike.ca


Congratulations and welcome to the Network, our first bicycle-friendly business area: Wellington West BIA

Ontario By Bike™ 2014 Site Visits
and Business Audits

This summer across select regions, Ontario By Bike™  will begin conducting site visits to businesses that are registered and certified as bicycle-friendly locations within the Ontario By Bike™ Network. This is an important new feature to the Network that has been rapidly expanding since launching in 2010. It will also help ensure that there is a standard set of services being provided to cyclists stopping at participating locations. 

All Ontario By Bike certified locations have completed a self-audited checklist at time of registration to ensure they meet the category specific minimum requirements in order to become eligible to participate in this free promotional program.


During site visits, businesses located in these select regions will be inspected to ensure they do indeed meet the minimum requirements for certification, and where time permits answer a few additional questions to assist with service and sector assessment. 


While the locations will be determined randomly, all Network members in the select regions will be contacted prior to the actual site visit. 2014 regions include: Grey County, Prince Edward County, Niagara east; and Durham Region. 


To help ensure your location meets minimum requirements for certification visit our Criteria Checklists.

 What Are Your Numbers - Visitor Tracking
As we are all stakeholders in the development of Ontario's cycle tourism sector we're asking for your assistance in the collection of visitor data to show the changes and growth in cyclists visiting your location and destination.


This information would be of value to participating businesses, and also to the continued growth of our program and of interest to our supporting partners and funders. We are often asked for this type of information, and while sometimes hard to collect and draw conclusions year over year, we are always looking for more quantitative and qualitative insight to complement our ongoing research and to be included in reports to partners. With Ontario By Bike run by a not-for-profit organization, your participation in the collection of cycling, and cycle tourist information is both helpful and very much appreciated.

Our current research documents and data can be found at www.transportationoptions.org/research. Late this fall we will be completing a sector status report that we will be able to share with all who are interested and also deliver to the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport.

Make sure your information in included


Access our easy to use visitor tracking sheet templates by logging into your Ontario By Bike account on and visiting our "Network Only" section - HERE, or create a version that works for your location. We are interested in any data, whether it is collected for a month long period, the whole summer, and or verbal anecdotes. In October, we will do another call out for contributions, or contact us sooner for more info or assistance on how your location can participate. We thank you in advance.

New Self-Guided Cycling Itineraries Roll Out

New for summer 2014, Ontario By Bike is launching a number of Ride Guides to help cyclists explore Ontario on two wheels. Recognizing that many cyclists wish to explore Ontario by bike independently, these guides will provide an optimal self-guided route itinerary with links to further cycling resources, routes, certified bicycle-friendly business locations and suggestions for a fun bike getaway.


We didn't forget that some prefer the ease of a guided tour.  

Send your guests, tell your customers, or experience for yourself! Join in this summer for a special guided tour of each new route, and launch event. And not to worry if you can't make it out, the Ride Guides were meant to help visitors navigate their way around some of the great places to enjoy Ontario by bike. If these Ride Guides are located in your area, consider making use of these self-guided itineraries.


Ottawa Ride Guide - Downtown Explorer Route
Tour Launch - May 31
Downloadable self-guided map and itinerary available now at:  www.ontariobybike.ca/ottawarideguide


Toronto Ride Guide & Downtown Explorer Route 


Launch and route information available. Self guided map and itinerary coming soon. www.ontariobybike.ca/torontorideguide


Grey County Ride Guide & Thornbury Heathcote Route 

Tour Launch - June 29 - SPACES AVAILABLE - Register HERE

Launch and route information available. Self guided map and itinerary on-line now. 



For information on all new Ride Guides and route launches visit: www.ontariobybike.ca/rideguides 


Featured Business: Leaping Deer Adventure Farm   
In the heart of Oxford County, in south west Ontario, lies Leaping Deer Adventure Farm. Located near the intersection of Oxford County Road #6 and Clarke Road, this is one of the latest businesses to register and become certified as bicycle-friendly. 
New Bike Rack

Leaping Deer Adventure Farm hosted April's Ontario By Bike Workshop for Oxford County. While the weather was still not spring like, the 20+ participants were able to see blue skies ahead as the Ontario By Bike Network was launched in the area.
The Farm offers a number of activities and picnic areas ideal for cyclists looking to take a break. But what is sure to be a top draw is the Country Market that serves up homemade lemon ice cookies, quiches, and their famous maple butter tarts. 
What's more, Farmer Budd has really taken to welcoming cyclists to his property! So much so, that this winter he was busy welding together one of the most creative bike racks Ontario By Bike has ever seen!  View listing HERE.

Featured Accommodation: Residence Inn

by Marriott Ottawa Downtown 

Residence Inn by Marriott
This Ottawa hotel found an easy solution to provide covered secure bike parking for guests, meeting certification criteria to become a part of the Ontario By Bike Network.
With the Ontario By Bike Network launched in Ottawa in March, this Marriott location was keen to participate. The hotel quickly found room in their locked baggage and general storage area located near the reception to install 10 wall mount hooks to neatly hang bikes, keeping them safe and out of the way of traffic in and out of this multi-purpose room.
While we have heard from some hotels in larger urban areas in the past that they have limited room to accommodate bikes beyond inviting guests to bring them to rooms, the installation of these hooks (available at Canadian Tire for $10 each) was a simple solution.

The hotel, located in the downtown core, is right on the Laurier Street segregated bike lane, minutes to top attractions and the lengthy off-road canal and river pathways. Many of the front line staff at the hotel are cyclists themselves and are looking forward to welcoming an increasing number of cycle tourists, groups and individuals, to their location this summer and beyond. View listing HERE
In This Issue
Our New Name
Year-to-Date Review
New Certification Category
2014 Site Visits
What Are Your Numbers?
Ontario By Bike - Ride Guides
Featured Business
Featured Accommodation

Ontario By Bike™ Window Decals and Metal Signs

As part of our re-branding and name change, we've begun mailing out new branded window decals to all participating business locations. The decals are a valuable marketing tools that helps identify locations as certified bicycle-friendly stops and a part of the Network.


We thank you for your patience as we distribute the decals to over 900 Ontario By Bike™ locations throughout the province. If you have not received your decal by June 20 please let us know. 


Additionally, we've received our first set of the popular Ontario By Bike metal outdoor signs. These 7"x7" signs are fantastic for businesses looking to highlight their location to cyclists. Cost for signs is $30, includes HST and shipping.


If you're interested in ordering a metal sign for your business, please email info@ontariobybike.ca

Like Our Facebook Page


Ontario By Bike


Stay up to date on industry news and connect with consumers on our Facebook page!


Now also on Twitter:

 Cycling in Ontario Guide 2014!

The Ontario By Bike™ Network and Direction Ontario partnered again in 2014 to create an Ontario wide cycling guide and promotional brochure for consumers. 


View online here and at: 



To request copies for distribution please contact us by email. 


Information on opportunities to participate in the 2015 guide will be made available in Fall 2014. Feel free to send us an email early to indicate interest in regional inclusion in the next version. 

2014 Event Listings Online!

The Cycling Events page is one of the most popular pages on www.OntarioByBike.ca and we're excited to announce that the number of events on our 2014 Cycling Events and Tours page grows every week!


Click here to view the wide array of events during the 2014 cycling season across the province!


If a cycling event or tour is coming through your community and is not already included on our 2014 page, let us know. We'd be happy to add it! Just let us know!

Missed Industry E-Newsletters?

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

Industry E-Newsletter archives

Consumer E-Newsletter  

This is our industry e-newsletter that we issue several times 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 4,500 subscribers monthly for 7 months of the year, sign up HERE.

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:
Are you a community champion?
Do you know of businesses in your community that would benefit from becoming bicycle-friendly and promoting their services to cyclists?
Are you interested in enhancing the cycle tourism product in your area?
Ontario By Bike™ has developed a Business Outreach Kit to help community champions get even more businesses on board.
Contact info@ontariobybike.ca for more information.
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, just:

  • Go to our Join the Network page
  • Review the certification criteria and program information
  • Create an account and follow the instruction to add information about your business

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 Join the Network page
  • If you don't already have an on-line account, create one
  • Next login to your on-line account, 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:

With the 2014 cycling season already picking up steam, we're excited about where things are heading with the Ontario By Bike Network, but we can't take our eyes off 2014 yet! Lots to do!


If you have stories to share from last year or news about cycle tourism initiatives you are undertaking to better cater to cyclists in 2014, let us know! We're always looking to share great stories with cyclists.


Please email us with your comments or suggestions at any time. We value your input.


We wish you all the best in the (quickly) approaching summer season.

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