discoveryroutes.ca – Discovery Routes Trails Organization - Discovery Routes is a not-for-profit trails organization that market and promotes recreational trails across the Near North region of Ontario.

Voyageur Cycling Route

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The Véloroute Voyageur Cycling Route is Ontario’s next major cycling tourism experience spanning 380-km across Northeastern Ontario from the Ottawa Valley to Sudbury East. Following the path of the Voyageurs over 400 years ago along three heritage waterways and 200-km of the Trans Canada Trail, the Route celebrates a national significance experienced at a human-powered pace.  With a strong Francophone culture within many of the communities along the Route and direct connections to Quebec’s La Route Verte, the Véloroute Voyageur has the potential to serve as a major attraction to a diversity of market segments.

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The vision is that the Voyageur Cycling Route will become part of the foundational provincial cycling network with direct connections to the Waterfront Trail’s Lake Huron North Channel Cycling Route, the Georgian Bay Cycling Route, and the National Capital Region.

The Véloroute Voyageur supports the goal of the Province to establish Ontario as a premier cycle tourism destination while creating healthy, active and prosperous communities. Development of the Route encourages regional cooperation to expand and diversify provincial tourism offerings and increase tourism visitation.  The Route will enrich the quality of life in Northeastern Ontario communities through environmentally sustainable economic opportunities while promoting awareness and behavioural shifts, improving cycling infrastructure and making highways and streets safer.

In 2015, the Voyageur Cycling Route Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan identified the benefits to local communities such as increased tourism, infrastructure investment, improved recreational opportunities and greater community connectivity.  The report confirmed the preferred route alignment and estimated the level of funding required to implement the route.

Discovery Routes Trails Organization has assumed the role of coordinating agency for the implementation of the Véloroute Voyageur / Voyageur Cycling Route.  Seed funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has been secured to support the first phase of implementation.

Implementation Plan

Over the summer and fall of 2016, the work plan involves:

Marketing and Awareness

  • The first edition of detailed route maps were used to navigate during the Mobile Workshop in September 2016.  They are available for review, but require editing based on feedback received during the Mobile Workshop.
  • With funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a Mobile Workshop took place September 19-22, 2016 to test ride of the route between Mattawa and Coniston (avoiding sections of Highway 17).  Route Evaluation reports were completed for all road authorities along the route including municipalities and the Ministry of Transportation. A summary of the Evaluation Report is available to download.
  • Discovery Routes and partners will work to build and expand the Ontario by Bike Network to include more tourism businesses and attractions to register as bicycle-friendly
  • A Marketing Plan will become a need as the route becomes established. Funding to support marketing efforts will be a priority in the coming months.

Route Signage

  • In consultation with road authorities, roadway trail signage guidelines consistent with the relevant Ontario Traffic Manuals have been developed and incorporated into the existing Discovery Routes regional Trail Signage Program
  • Fundraising to cover the cost of signage along 208-km of the route that are sign-ready
  • Develop detailed signage plans for all sections of the route
  • Wayfinding and regulatory signs installed

Draft Wayfinding Signage Plan for TCT Roadway Trail and Voyageur Cycling Route in Township of Nipissing and Municipality of Callander – Roadway Jurisdiction:  Ministry of Transportation – revised July 2016

Draft Wayfinding Signage Plan for TCT Roadway Trail and Voyageur Cycling Route in West Nipissing, French River and St. Charles – Roadway Jurisdiction:  Ministry of Transportation – revised July 2016

Route Launch

One important consideration in the process is the route’s connection to the Trans Canada Trail (TCT). In 2017, Canada will celebrate 150 Years of Confederation which will be marked by the completion of the TCT from coast to coast to coast.  Working within this timeframe, an aggressive goal has been set to launch the Trans Canada Trail sections of the Voyageur Cycling Route from North Bay to Sudbury in 2017.

PROJECT AND FUNDING PARTNER:

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