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Cycling

Man cycling

We demonstrate our commitment to cycling by planning, building and maintaining bike facilities, trails and laneways in co-operation with the Region of Waterloo, and are proud to be recognized as a gold Bicycle Friendly Community by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in 2018. Waterloo is the first mid-sized city in Ontario to achieve this designation, joining the larger cities of Toronto and Ottawa. There are a total of 42 communities in Ontario that are now recognized as bike-friendly (31 bronze level, eight silver level and three gold), representing 70% of Ontario's population. Waterloo was recognized for its commitment to designing complete streets and connecting people throughout the community. For more information about Waterloo winning the gold level see the full media release.

Our transportation master plan cites active transportation as a key ingredient in developing a more sustainable transportation system for Waterloo and we have an active transportation committee that advises council on this topic. Much of the city is accessible by bike, including a portion of Davenport Road that was made into a "complete street" that is completely accessible to all modes of transportation.

Cyclists and the local economy

In 2015, the City of Waterloo completed a study through the University of Waterloo's School of Planning to better understand in what ways cyclists contribute to the economic vitality of our uptown core. Online and in-person surveys and a GPS study were conducted. Of interest, are spending power, shopping patterns, transportation patterns and demography of uptown shoppers. The key findings indicated that cyclists spend as much as drivers per trip but make more trips on average and that cyclists, pedestrians and public transit users are a core segment of the uptown Waterloo retail and culinary economy.

Register for the city's new e-newsletter - Cycling in the City

In January, 2018, we launched a new e-newsletter with information about active transportation in our city. This e-newsletter will run four times a year. We'll share highlights of new active transportation projects and initiatives, new cycling infrastructure, safety and education programs.  If you're interested in receiving Cycling in the City via e-mail please register here. Our current issue is provided below:

  • Winter 2018 - In this issue, we talk about the city's snow clearing policy on trails and other cycling routes, highlight past successes of 2017 and share details of upcoming projects for 2018.
  • Spring 2018 - Learn about the city receiving the gold level Bicycle-Friendly Community designation from Share the Road and get updates on the central promenade project, uptown streetscape project and more. 

If there's an area of active transportation in Waterloo that you are interested in learning more about, please let us know! Simply e-mail cyclingwaterloo@waterloo.ca or share your feedback through our engageWaterloo public forum.

Maps

Before heading out on your bike, you may want to download a map or learn more about our trails, bike safety and road, trail and sidewalk closures. Please report poor travelling conditions to us at 519-886-2310.

The Ontario Trails Council is the largest trail association of its type in Canada promoting the development, preservation, management and use of recreational trails in Ontario. Their website and mobile app contains information and maps about trails throughout the province including City of Waterloo trails.

Other resources

The Region of Waterloo also offers some cycling-related programs, including Travelwise and CAN-BIKE. And there is a Blue W program promoting the location of tap-water refilling stations.

Look up cycling clubs, groups and organizations in our online directory or get your group listed there today. And watch our calendar of events for cycling-related activities in Waterloo.