Véloroute Voyageur/ Voyageur Cycling Route is a developing long-distance cycling route spanning over 645 km connecting 29 northern and rural communities from Sudbury to Ottawa. Following the path of the Voyageurs along the great waterways that supported transportation and trade for several thousand years, the Route celebrates a national significance with strong connections to the land and the people. The Voyageur Cycling Route is part of Ontario’s foundational province-wide cycling network with direct links to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the National Capital Region and Quebec’s La Route Verte while also sharing alignment with over 200 km of the Trans Canada Trail.
Discovery Routes is proud to be leading the development of the Voyageur Cycling Route.
The Véloroute Voyageur/ Voyageur Cycling Route will become part of the foundational province-wide cycling network with direct connections to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the Georgian Bay Cycling Route, and the National Capital Region. Development of the Voyageur Cycling Route encourages regional cooperation to expand and diversify tourism offerings and increase tourism visitation. The Route will enrich the quality of life in Northern and rural Ontario communities through environmentally sustainable economic opportunities while promoting awareness and behavioural shifts, improving cycling infrastructure and making highways and streets safer.
- 2015 Voyageur Cycling Route Feasibility Study – Northeastern Ontario
- 2016 Mobile Workshop – Northeastern Ontario (Test Ride of Route)
- Marketing and Awareness
- Route Signage
- Voyageur Cycling Route Eastern Expansion – Eastern Ontario
Feasibility Study – Northeastern Ontario
In 2015, the Voyageur Cycling Route Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan was completed for the 380km northeast arm of the route. The study 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 across northeastern Ontario.
Working under the direction of a stakeholder-based working group, Discovery Routes Trails Organization has assumed the role of coordinating agency for the implementation of the Véloroute Voyageur / Voyageur Cycling Route. Keeping in line with the long-term vision of the Voyageur Cycling Route to create a continuous cycling route to Ottawa to close an essential gap in the province-wide cycling network, Discovery Routes has developed a partnership with the Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance and Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Network partners to coordinate cycling route expansion across Eastern Ontario.
2016 Mobile Workshop – Northeastern Ontario
With funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a Mobile Workshop took place September 19-22, 2016 to test-ride the route between Mattawa and Coniston (avoiding sections of Highway 17). Greetings from the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, then Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, in support of the cycling route and the mobile workshop were received by the Voyageur Cycling Route Working Group and shared during the mobile workshop.
Route Evaluation reports were completed for all road authorities along the route including municipalities and the Ministry of Transportation. A summary of the Voyageur Cycling Route Evaluation Report; Northeastern Ontario is available to download.
Marketing and Awareness
- The first edition of detailed route maps for the Northeast arm was used to navigate during the Mobile Workshop in September 2016.
- 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.
- The Voyageur Cycling Route Marketing Strategy Report was completed late in 2018 for the entire 645km cycling route between Sudbury and Ottawa with funding support from the provincial government and the tourism agencies in all three of the tourism regions encompassed by the Voyageur Cycling Route.
- Discovery Routes has taken a leading role in the implementation of the Marketing Strategy
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. The first wave of wayfinding signs along 208km of the route was installed in 2017/18.
In support of communities along the route developing their regional bicycle tourism product, information kiosks with bicycle supports including bike fix work stands and air pumps have been installed in St. Charles, Noelville, Lavigne, Sturgeon Falls, Astorville, Bonfield, Eau Claire and Mattawa. Cyclist supports are also available in Callander and North Bay.
Voyageur Cycling Route Expansion to Eastern Ontario
With funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Voyageur Cycling Route’s eastern expansion got underway in 2017. A dedicated webpage has been developed to detail the steps of the expansion.