FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2013
CONNECTING THE GREENBELT THROUGH CYCLING
New Route Will Increase Tourism and Recreation and Support Local Economy
The Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT) and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation have partnered to create a 600 kilometer recreational cycling route through six Greenbelt regions, spanning West from Northumberland, through the Greater Golden Horseshoe and ending in Niagara.
The route will increase opportunities for tourism and recreation throughout the region, as well as generate economic activity in local municipalities and communities. Featuring uniquely identified signs marking the route through each municipality, route mapping and listings of activities along the route will be available online.
“Cycling is a great way to experience Ontario’s Greenbelt,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto Medical Officer of Health and Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation Board Member. “Not only will this route increase tourism in the region’s municipalities, it also supports physical activity and recreation, and the important health and wellness benefits it brings.”
With more than ten years’ experience in cycle tourism, and a grant of $500,000, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust will work with municipalities to develop the route. Other partnerships will include local tourism operators, accommodations and restaurants through the Welcome Cyclists Network.
"The Greenbelt cycling route is an exciting addition to Ontario's emerging trails/cycling network. It will join a prestigious group of signature experiences including the 1400 Waterfront Trail, the Bruce Trail, the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail, and the Greater Niagara Circle Route,” said Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. “The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is pleased to lead this initiative and bring our 20 years’ experience in partnership building that has resulted in the creation of the Waterfront Trail from the Quebec border to Windsor along two Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.” ￼￼￼￼
More and more, Ontario residents and visitors are enjoying cycle tourism. Between 2008 and 2010, the number of Canadian visitors who cycled while travelling in the province increased by 25%. These visitors spent approximately $390 million, an 18% increase over previously surveyed periods of travel.
“A bicycle is the perfect vehicle for getting outdoors to tour, explore and enjoy fresh air across the Greenbelt, said Louisa Mursell, Projects Director, Transportation Options / Welcome Cyclists Network. “With farms, artisans and communities enroute welcoming cyclists, those on two wheels will be tempted to turn an afternoon ride into a multi-day tour along the new Greenbelt cycling route. To the over 600 Ontario businesses who have been certified as Welcome Cyclists destinations—the new Greenbelt cycling route offers another great way to attract the lucrative cycling tourism market.”
The anticipated launch of the route is July 2015 and will include an end-to-end recreational bike ride showcasing the route and its many attractions.
About the Greenbelt:
Fresh air, clean water, healthy local food – all brought to you by Ontario’s Greenbelt. At more than 1.8 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, wetlands safe and sustainable. The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation works to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, and protect and grow natural features. Join us! Learn more at: www.greenbelt.ca or find us on Twitterand Facebook
About the Waterfront Regeneration Trust:
The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is a registered charity that co-ordinates a partnership of waterfront communities, conservation authorities, community groups and corporations dedicated to the completion, enhancement and promotion of the Waterfront Trail and Greenway. For more information about the Waterfront Trail and about the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, visit the website at: www.waterfronttrail.org, or call (416) 943-8080. ￼￼￼￼
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 337
Waterfront Regeneration Trust
Phone: (416) 943-8080
Cell: (416) 520-4205