Via Rail delivers Cycling Christmas Gift

Ontario East (Toronto – Ottawa and Montreal)

Ontario Cycling Hostel delivers the perfect accommodations for cyclist
Bike Train service between Toronto-Ottawa and Montreal is now provided by VIA Rail.  For 2011 schedules and ticket information, please refer to the VIA Rail website at www.viarail.ca/en/bike or call 1-888-842-7245.  NOTE: Bikes can be transported only on trains listed with baggage cars.  12 bike racks are available on those trains, with no disassembly or boxing required. Upon arrival at the train station, check your bike at the baggage counter.

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FEATURE DESTINATION:  Ontario East
Cycle the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail!

Bike Train service on this route connects cyclists to destinations along Lake Ontario’s waterfront and the St. Lawrence Seaway. These communities offer excellent cycling and a summer full of events. From the rolling hills of Northumberland County, to the bike paths along the shores of the St. Lawrence Parks System, Eastern Ontario offers countless opportunities for recreational and avid cyclists alike.

 

Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail

The Waterfront Trail follows Lake Ontario from the US border at Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border near Cornwall. Along it you will find a 900km celebration of nature and culture – where peaceful countryside, small and big cities share a common bond through Lake Ontario.

Made up of both paved and unpaved off-road paths as well as on road routes, the Waterfront Trail provides cycling routes for everyone from families and recreational cyclists to long-distance road cyclists. The Waterfront Trail links up with La Route Verte at the Quebec border, allowing cyclists to continue on to Montreal and beyond.VIA Rail provides easy access to many sections of the trail.

Resources:

Waterfront Trail website

87 full colour trail maps, free to download

Great Waterfront Trail Adventure July 2011
Amazing End-to-End Bike Tour covering 720 km of Ontario’s waterfront and 41 communities over 8 days.

Ontario East Destinations

Cobourg and Northumberland County
Northumberland County, accessible from the Cobourg train station, encompasses the communities of Port Hope,Cobourg, Colbourne and Brighton.The quiet country-side has rolling hills and a proliferation of quiet, undulating paved country roads with peaceful views of Lake Ontario and Rice Lake.
www.northumberlandtourism.com

Prince Edward County
A bending and curving shoreline, vast marshes and wetlands, a bevy of agricultural delights and the largest freshwater dune system in the world at Sandbanks are just some of the natural treasures you will enjoy. Prince Edward County is accessible from Cobourg or Kingston.
www.pec.on.ca
www.winesofontario.org

Kingston
Kingston offers a lively downtown filled with great pubs, restaurants and accommodations.Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Fort Henry and the Rideau Heritage Route. For those looking to cover more ground, use Kingston as the launching ground for trips east to the Loyalist Parkway,west to Prince Edward County, or a loop on the Rideau Heritage Route.
www.tourism.kingstoncanada.com
www.rideauheritageroute.ca

Wolfe Island
Wolfe Island is the largest of the world-renowned Thousand Islands. Located where Lake Ontario ends and the St. Lawrence River begins its flow to the Atlantic, its beautiful sunrises, breath-taking sunsets and spectacular night-time skies are a big part of its charm. The island features 4 signed bike routes on rural country roads. Maps are available online or at the tourist information centre in the town of Marysville. Free ferries run hourly from downtown Kingston so you can stay for the day or weekend.
www.wolfeisland.com

 

Rideau Heritage Route
Wind your way through charming communities, historic sites and spectacular recreation areas from Kingston to Ottawa. What sets the Rideau area apart from other lakes and river systems is its rich history. The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America, the locks work today much as they did when first opened in 1832. Back then, the Rideau was a wilderness of lakes, rivers and swamps. Out of this wilderness sprang up communities, most of which were settled in the 1800’s by entrepreneurs purchasing mills, seeking better livelihoods. We welcome you to please explore our history and that of the very beginnings of our great Nation.
www.rideauheritageroute.ca

 

Brockville and the Thousand Islands
Charming heritage homes and buildings,Canada’s first railway tunnel, and beautifully landscaped waterfront parks define Brockville’s contribution to the shores of the St. Lawrence River. See the Thousand Islands and cycle the WaterfrontTrail.
www.brockvilletourism.com

Cornwall and the Parks of the St. Lawrence
Cornwall has a well developed waterfront trail with 75 km of off-road paved trails.The path takes cyclists west towards the Parks of the St. Lawrence and the Long Sault Parkway. Discover the SeawayValley, campgrounds, scenic waterside vistas and historic towns. Cycling east will connect you with cycling routes into Quebec.
www.cornwalltourism.com
www.parks.on.ca

Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region
Ottawa and indeed all of Canada’s Capital Region is truly a first-class destination for cyclists, boasting one of North America’s most extensive recreational pathway networks and Canada’s oldest bicycle club, founded in 1882! Hundreds of kilometres of paved pathways meander next to the Rideau Canal, Rideau River and Ottawa River, while just north of downtown, Gatineau Park (www.canadascapital.gc.ca/gatineau) offers challenging mountain bike trails. During Alcatel Sunday Bikedays (www.canadascapital.gc.ca/biking), you can hop on your bike, lace up your inline skates, and explore several scenic streets—they’re closed to motor vehicles every Sunday morning from Victoria Day weekend in May to Labour Day in early September. Bring your own bike on VIA Rail’s Bike Train from Toronto or Montréal, or choose from among 250 new bikes at RentABike (www.rentabike.ca) and get ready to ride! Major museums and other attractions are easily reached and offer bike parking, often with a place to stow your excess gear. Learn more at www.ottawatourism.ca

 

 

 

Signs of December

 

Holiday Scene in Colborg's Victoria Park Bandshell

December is the magical month.  People around the world celebrate in the manner of their culture and beliefs.  December is a time of renewal and Joy.   Here in Colborne/Brighton and many other North American cities and towns December becomes the time for Santa to deliver presents to all the children as the adults seek their own peace in the world.   Each month we collect photographs that seem representative of that particular month.

Santa Arrives at Loughbreeze Bay B&B

 

So December is a time for Santa.   Home and yard decorations abound and many towns have displays of coloured lights along with holiday art.   While many of the artistic pieces, reflecting community values, are best suited for evening/night viewing because of the many illuminated displays & messages.   Here at Loughbreeze B&B on the North Shore of Lake Ontario, secluded privacy in the middle of everything, our holidays include spending quality time with our children and grandchildren.  We send our best wishes of the season to all with a fervent hope for peace and good will to all men and women

Poinsettias galore at Wain's Garden Centre in Brighton/Colborne

Santa Training his Deere John. 

Lee Valley Christmas Gift & Tools Catalog 2011

Lee Valley is the incredible spot where traditional “tools that work” meet and meld with technology.  The Lee Valley Christmas Gift & Tool Catalogue is the dream gift book for men and many ladies too and you will love those speciality kitchen items and sensational crafts..  When you visit Lee Valley, they have 15 stores across Canada, or contact them on line,  all those old favourite commercials like, “I’m loving it”, “This one’s for you” and many more come to mind because here you will find magical gifts and all those wonderful tools you wish were in your workshop (house).    Lee Valley is also home to many favourites of the professional wood craftsmen of generations past now made even better by the good folks at Lee Valley. (www.leevalley.com) or call at 1-800-267-8767.    Lee Valley is a modern store, with locations across Canada, conceived and built on quality and value.    You, your parents and grandparents will love it!

Welcome to
Lee Valley Tools has been meeting the needs of serious woodworkers and gardeners for over 30 years
as one of the leading mail-order and retail suppliers of woodworking tools, gardening tools and cabinet hardware.

Select your country to continue:

 

Canada’s New $50.00 + $20.00 Bills

The CCGS Amundsen will be featured on the new polymer $50 Canadian bank noteWith the new Canadian polymer $100.00 now in full circulation the mint has finalized plans to introduce a $50.00 and $20.00 version of the longer lasting and near impossible to counterfeit polymer bills. The new $50.00 bill commemorates the anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard. Preceding the introduction of the new bill Canada Post (www.rpsc.org/canadapost.htm)  will launch a Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker stamp as part of its Flag, Canadian Pride Issue stamp series. The handsome new $50.00 bill featuring the CCGS Amundsen will be issued in March 2012, (www.bankofcanada.ca) utilizing innovative printing standards and holograms. (http://.ccg-gcc.ca/eng/CCG/50th_Anniversary/50_dollar_bill)

Loughbreeze B&B Santa Sunday Celebration

Ho! HO! HO!

Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Men & Women!    T’is the season to be jolly, t’is the season to be thankful and t’is the season to celebrate the good things of life and the year.  For the past month we at Loughbreeze have been working hard planning for 2012 adding venues Yes, our Wedding Amphitheatre on the Lake bank is a priority plus finalizing our art & photography programs, as we create new environmental endeavours, develop our nature walks and definitely accelerate our already popular cycling program as we induce a greater partnership with Presqu’ile Provincial Park.   To celebrate our 2011 successes we organized our “Santa Sunday Celebration” for a few close friends and supportive guest.  What a great party. Even Santa showed up and promised everyone their fondest Holiday wishes would become a reality.
http.www.facebook.com/LoughbreezeBandB
www.loughbreeze.com

Canadian Pacific Christmas Train in Colborne/Brighton

Valdy and friends on the Santa CP train

Every year in December Canadian Pacific Railroad provides a Canada Wide Food Bank Train. These days, the CP Train is legendary Canadian custom, as it travels across Canada stopping in towns along its main line for Santa to emerge and Canadian Musicians perform Holiday selections.

This year it was Valdy and Friends gracing the travelling stage.

Our own Santa Train Greeter!

And there is second CP Train travelling in the United States. Visitors to the hosting towns are encouraged to bring items for the local food bank and/or make a monetary contribution. It is nice to know that all collections (food and monies) stay in the local community!  Needless to say the Train’s arrival is a much anticipated joyous time. Once parked in the designated area a gleaming stage is opened and the performance begins just as Santa emerges from the passengers car to the delight of young and old.

Goodbye til Next Year!

But parking even a Santa Train on the Main Line necessitates a limited time stoppage. So after about 45 minutes the whistle blows and as the stage is retrieved. Then the CP Holiday Train is off to the next town(Bowmanville). In Brighton 500 eager Santa supporters from the surrounding towns of Colborne, Grafton, Hilton, Coburg, Cassleton, Warkworth and Gosport cheered good bye as Santa waved from the back of the caboose. I must day it was a beautiful occasion.

www.loughbreezebay.com      www.facebook.com/LoughbreezeBandB

Bike Train to Loughbreeze

Congratulations to Lousia Mursell, Director Bike Train & Ontario Welcome Cyclist Program

Bike Train & Welcome Cyclists Update
In This Issue: Fall 2011
Winter Cycling Tips 2012 Adventures Contest Winners
Welcome Cyclists Network Facts: 420 certified bicycle friendly locations
14 regions around Ontario Newest addition: Manitoulin Island & LaCloche Foothills
Region with the biggest growth in the number of bicycle friendly businesses:
The Great Waterway (South Eastern Ontario)

Nando cycles the world for Humanity!

Winter Cycling Tips
Had an awesome cycling season, but not keen on putting your bike away for the dark months ahead? Here are some tips to stay safe and warm on two wheels this winter:
Cover your ears with an earband, wear quick dry layers, and pick footwear that is waterproof, or purchase boot covers.
Use a steady white light in front, and constant red light in back, along with reflective clothing or bands for greater visibility.
Consider using an inexpensive (beater) bike for the salt and snow. Keep old bikes out of the landfill! They can be re-used and recycled.
Be smart about when you cycle, consider temperatures, ice on roads and trails, and keep your eye on local weather forecasts.
If this doesn’t inspire a cold weather ride, then join a gym or spinning class and “cycle” in the great (and warm) indoors!

Or better yet, book at trip south. Consider supporting www.bikesforcuba.com

For more winter cycling safety tips and other information visit: www.toronto.ca/cycling
Start planning for 2012 Adventures
Planning your next Ontario cycling adventure is a great way to get over the fact that roads and trails are covered in that frozen white stuff for several months of the year. Dig into our Welcome Cyclists website to get some ideas on great places to cycle, download cycling maps and plot your stops to sample culinary delights, sip crisp wines and visit attractions enroute. Certified bicycle friendly accommodations look forward to welcoming you for the night, making sure your bike is kept safe and all your needs are meet.
www.welcomecyclists.ca

If you need any additional trip planning advice or would like to view many of the maps and information on our website why not stop by our Ontario Welcome Cyclists Information Booth at one of the following shows:
Montreal Bike Show / Salon du Vélo, Montreal February 18-20, 2012
Outdoor Adventure Show, Toronto
February 24-26, 2012
Toronto International Bike Show
March 2-4, 2012
Alternatively, feel free to give us a call or email if you would like additional trip planning information or maps mailed to you, we would be happy to help. Email: information@welcomecyclists.ca
Phone: 416-338-5083 / 1-866-333-4491

Contest Winners Cycling in Northumberland; Tanja and Thorsten Berger were the winners of the Smart Commute ‘Bike to Work’ 2011 prize package.
They enjoyed at 3-night getaway exploring beautiful Northumberland County on the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail. Enhancing their cycling trip, they travelled to/from Cobourg by VIA Bike Train, and stayed at Loughbreeze B&B/Ontario Cycling Hostel Welcome Cyclists-certified accommodations.

Visit us at: www.loughbreeze.com
Follow Nando as he cycles around the world at:www.gambada.com
For more information about cycling in Northumberland visit www.welcomecyclists.ca/northumberland
www.northumberlandtourism.com
www.viarail.ca/bike

For more information on how to Smart Commute year round visit: www.smartcommute.ca
What Will We Be Doing This Winter ?
You may be thinking we shut shop and head off to some tropical cycling destination awaiting the big thaw. Wishful thinking indeed !

Winter is the busiest time of the year and will see our team working hard to further develop and promote Ontario as a top cycle touring destination. Our work will include:
Assisting the Waterfront Regeneration Trust on the development of the Lake Erie Cycling Route, creating cycling itineraries in a number of regions including The Great Waterway
Developing creative marketing campaigns so we can reach out to more cyclists than ever
Meeting with industry representatives and partners working towards an Ontario cycle tourism strategy
Supporting the growth of our newest program – Parkbus – stay tuned for 2012 park destinations & bike transport services
Planning special events and Bike Train getaway weekends for you to come out and enjoy
So please stay in touch for 2012, we have a great new year ahead of us with plenty of Ontario cycling adventures to keep you inspired.
Staff Changes at Transportation Options
After 5 years as Projects Director of Transportation Options and founder of our cycle tourism programs, Justin Lafontaine has decided to move on from his position to embark on an extended period of travel and personal development. “It’s been a very interesting and exciting five years. I feel so fortunate to have worked with my colleagues and partners from across the province to put cycle tourism on the map in Ontario”, he remarked. “Thank you to the thousands of cyclists – of all ages and abilities – who have supported us and participated in our programs.”

Louisa Mursell, who has been working for Transportation Options since 2008, will be taking over the position at the end of the month. She has led the expansion of the Welcome Cyclists program to great success, and will lead the development of a province-wide cycle tourism partnership with a new staff team, Joanne Hurley, Admin and Finance Manager, and Vivien Leong, Welcome Cyclists Network & Research Manager.

Loughbreeze B&B Holiday Preparation

How did we do?

In a spurt of Holiday Spirit late November saw us headed out to gather holiday decorative materials.  Regrettably, there was none of that beautiful North Carolina mistletoe we love so much. When we are in the Carolina’s we love to see those trees sprouting hundreds of mistletoe plants with their tiny white berries.  But we are blessed here with great neighbours and a rural environment that abounds with a many varieties of greenery and nature’s summer wild flowers all of which we transform into our holiday decor inside and out.   When the call comes to harvest, out comes John Deere along with the trailer, our pruning sheers, those necessary work gloves and the gathering begins.  Frequently, it takes several days to hit the satisfaction button as I survey the work in progress and call for more of everything.   Thankfully we have Jack to help us and he supports each job with special attention to the outside lighting.  

Putting on the Finishing Touches.

Happy Holidays to our friends and guests from around the world.  You have enriched our lives.   Visit with us at: www.loughbreezebay.com http://www.facebook.com/LoughbreezeBandB

Innovative “Trees by Dan”

Trees by Dan at Loughbreeze B&B

Here at Loughbreeze B&B we have been fortunate enough to meet some most interesting community friends.  “Trees by Dan”, that is Dan Buchannan is one of those people.   In a second career, the first has been as a Computer Consultant, has branched out to Genealogy.  In fact he has a data bank  of more than 80,000 names and his research has led him to conduct family histories for some of Canada’s best known names.  In addition, he has written several books plus he guides and teaches folks how to do their own family searches plus he is conducting local tours.   By his own admission, he has catalogued hundreds of cemeteries, including photographs of countless grave stones, spent untold hours pouring over municipal records and interviewed nearly everyone he meets.   In fact, he actively covers the communities of:  Colborne, Brighton, Gosport, Casselton, Hilton, Warkworth, Morganston, Cobourg, Baltimore, Garden Hill, Precious Corners, Trenton, as well as Prince Edward County all of which are close neighbours of Loughbeeze B&B.    Loughbreeze B&B your four season resort is secluded privacy on beautiful Lake Ontario in Northumberland County where we are surrounded by Nature’s Bounty.  www.loughbreeze.com    www.treesbydan.com