Vive la difference! The Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail connects to La Route Verte in Quebec, to offer cyclists more excitement and variety
Montreal – From city to countryside…wetland to beach…vineyards to museums…and now, from Ontario to Quebec. Now the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail offers even more exciting possibilities for Ontario bicyclists and tourists looking for that unusual and rewarding vacation. Vicki Barron, Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, today announced the extension of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail from the City of Brockville to the Ontario-Quebec border, so that it connects to the over 4300 kms of Quebec’s La Route Verte. “The Waterfront Trail and Greenway is a national and provincial resource that currently serves over six million people – including 59% of Ontario’s population”, said Vicki Barron. “We are pleased to make this excellent recreational resource more accessible to the people of Quebec”.
The inter-provincial connection will be celebrated with a 6-day bicycling trip from Brockville to Montreal. The bicycling party will consist of representatives of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (Vicki Barron, Marlaine Koehler, Program Director; and Nikki Rendle, Project Coordinator) and Kate Harris of the Toronto Star. Mike Lalonde, Executive Manager of the Cornwall & Seaway Valley Tourism group, organized the tour for the Trust and will guide the group on the Ontario leg of the journey.
A highlight of the trip will take place Wednesday June 15, when the group will meet Jean-Francois Pronovost, Executive Director of the Vélo Québec Association, at the Québec border. He is leading group to Montréal along the La Route Verte. La Route Verte is a 4300km network of cycling routes connecting communities in Québec.
The connection of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail to La Route Verte reflects the growing popularity of cycling vacations in North America. According to the Adventure Travel Report, published by the well-respected Travel Industry Association of America (TIAA), over 27 million North American travelers have taken a cycling vacation, making it the third most popular outdoor vacation, after camping and hiking. Cyclists tend to be younger and affluent.
This finding is consistent with the Trust’s 2002 User Survey results, in which 1,000 Waterfront Trail users responded. 77% of the survey respondents expressed an interest trail-related holidays. Among cyclists surveyed this number increases to 87%. This popularity is also evident in the use of the Waterfront Trail website.
“Over one-million people visit www.waterfronttrail.org during the spring and summer months to download the full-coloured, detailed maps and checkout travel information and itineraries”, said Marlaine Koehler, Program Director for the Trust.
The extension of the Trail is expected to result in increased tourism to the area. “Cornwall & Seaway Valley Tourism is very pleased that the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail has been extended from the City of Brockville east to the Quebec border. The marketing efforts of the Waterfront Trail will enhance our present initiatives to promote our existing recreational path to markets in Western Quebec, Central & Eastern Ontario, as well as northern US border states”, said Mike Lalonde.
Funding for the extension has come in part from CIBC, which has made
a commitment of $300,000 over the next three years. CIBC is a founding
corporate partner of the Waterfront Trail and has provided more than $1.2
million since 1996.