Township of Tay: Tay Bike Day

Municipal Profile

The Township of Tay is a ‘strong, cohesive rural community’ located in the North Simcoe region on the shores of southern Georgian Bay. Tay has a strong history of partnerships in the Township, and they are committed to building upon and using these partnerships to promote their unique history, natural heritage and recreational amenities as the cornerstone of their quality of life. The population in 2011 was 9,736, which comprises the villages and rural hamlets of Ebenezer, Elliots Corners, Melduf, Mertzs Corners, Ogden's Beach, Old Fort, Paradise Point, Port McNicoll, Riverside, Sturgeon Bay, Triple Bay Park, Vasey, Victoria Harbour, Waubaushene and Waverley, which cover 139.00 km2 (53.67 sq miles) with a population density of 70.0/km2 (181/sq. mi).

Project Name and Description

Tay Bike Day is an event which began in 2015 to promote use of the Tay Trail, encourage healthy, active transportation options and contribute to the development of new and positive community connections and relationships. This community event is supported by a joint partnership between Southern Georgian Bay Active Transportation Advocates (SGBATA) and the Township of Tay and brings together organizations, community members and visitors who engage in and support active living. SGBATA is the lead organization on the event, and is a volunteer run organization that promotes Active Transportation in Tay, Tiny, Penetanguishene and Midland. Volunteers of the group have been involved in creating a comprehensive cycling and trails map for the region, available for free at many local businesses. SGBATA’s major goal is to get more members of the community, especially youth and families - cycling, walking and using public transit to benefit their own health and the health of the environment.

2017 was also a successful year! The Scavenger Hunt was a huge success, with Deputy Mayor David Ritchie and Councillor Jim Crawford manning a water station along the Tay Shore Trail.

Activities at the 2017 and 2016 event included:

Of the approximately 200+ attendees, those that registered arrived from Waubaushene, Midland, Coldwater, Barrie, Midhurst, Innisfil, Penetanguishene, LaFontaine, Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour, Warminster, Newmarket, and Toronto.

Project Lead

John Hauser

Additional Project Contact (Municipal Staff)

  • Bryan Anderson
  • Manager of Parks, Recreation & Facilities
  • E:
  • P: 705.534.7248 x.235

Date of Implementation

  • Event #1 - August 23, 2015
  • Event #2 - June 18, 2016
  • Event #3 - June 17, 2017

Project Goals

  • Create an platform to promote the Tay Trail, active transportation and health,
  • Increase community connectivity and provide socialization opportunities to develop new relationships,
  • Stimulate activity in the local economy,
  • Involve the community, and particularly youth and families, in cycling and cycling safety, and
  • Emphasize the advantages of cycling and highlight local projects and social initiatives.

List of Project Partners

Christy Manual (with Jumpstart)

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)


What was your municipalities’ main reason for moving this project forward?

Active transportation is a key way for more people to be consistently active in their daily lives, improving their health and making stronger connections within their community. Some benefits key considerations include:

  • Cyclists are a rapidly growing sector of clientele throughout the province.
  • Cycle tourism is a $390-million industry in the province of Ontario and is rated among the top ten tourism trends in 2015 (Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum, 2010;, 2015).*
  • People who cycle/walk are more likely to make repeat trips to local shops (US Department of Transportation, 2015).*
  • The communities of North Simcoe are ideally located as a stopover along the Georgian Bay Cycling Route (currently under development). This will be a premiere cycling route in Canada.
  • When people save money on their travel costs by walking or biking, they have more money to spend on local businesses.
  • Active transportation reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contributes to cleaner air and a healthier environment. *Statistics provided by SGBATA.

John Hauser and the members of SGBATA were the initiators and planners of the event, and requested support from the municipality to host the event. After Council endorsed the concept, Councillor Cate Root provided administrative and organizational support, and Bryan Anderson, Manager of Parks, Recreation & Facilities offered technical and staff support.


  • Media, communications and awareness (how to best spread the ‘word’)
  • Financial costs and requirements
  • Scheduling (conflicts with other events and activities)

Financial Considerations

What was the cost of the project? How was the project funded? Internally or externally? If externally, where was the support acquired (i.e., grant program, community donations, multiple methods)?

The cost to run the event was approximately $2,500, which was acquired through donations from +50 local community organizations and businesses. Donations over $20 which met CRA rules were eligible for tax receipts with assistance from the Huronia Community Foundation.

Monetary donations for 2016 were $1,700, with over $2,000 received in the form of items for prizes and giveaways.

Measures of Success/Impacts

How has the project helped your municipality or department achieve its sustainability goals? What specific metrics can you share about the impact it has had?

  • Volunteer Hours Contributed (125+)
  • Community Groups or Individuals Involved (60+)
  • Approximate Attendees (250)
  • Potential Carbon Off-set (.22 MT of CO2e) (approximate GHG footprint reduction and carbon capture)*
  • Vendors (25) Attending
  • Bicycles Awarded by Jumpstart (271)
  • Council Members in Attendance (4)
  • Helmets Distributed (10)

Project Rationale (Summary)

Why would you encourage other municipalities to adopt/implement a similar practice?

Walking and bicycling are affordable forms of transportation. Car ownership is expensive and consumes a large proportion of many residents’ income. When people save money on their travel costs by walking and biking, they have more money to spend at local businesses.Health The health benefits of regular physical activity are far reaching. In an open letter, Dr. R. Phillip McGuire, Past President of the medical staff at the Georgian Bay General Hospital, advocated for increased physical activity and better nutrition to overcome some of the most common physical ailments in our region. For example, heart attacks, breathing difficulties, obesity and diabetes can all be somewhat managed or avoided with exercise and diet. Whether walking or cycling for recreation or for the daily commute, active transportation is a way to increase physical activity and improve the overall health, both physically and socially, of the community.

Type of Case Study

☒ Education and Outreach

☐ Policy Adjustment or Development

☒ Partnerships & Collaboration

☒ Enforcements & Incentives

☒ Implementation of Programs & Services

☐ Facilities & Infrastructure Improvements

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450 Park Street, PO Box 100
Victoria Harbour, Ontario, L0K 2A0