The Toronto to Algonquin Greenway (TAG) will bring a new identity to a corridor of communities. In size, they might be cities, towns, villages or small hamlets, but we’re calling them TAG Towns. They’ll all be part of a new tourism marketplace. The Greenway will bring a mobile clientele through their doors eager to purchase particular goods and services.
TAG plans a project in Ontario, based on the successful Trail Town Program® in the USA. It was developed around the Great Allegheny Passage which links rail trails and canal paths through abandoned coal mine towns, allowing 335 miles (not kms) of continuous off-road bike travel from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC. Here’s an overview from their website:
The Trail Town Program® is an economic development and community revitalization initiative working in Trail Towns along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The program’s purpose is to ensure that trail communities and businesses maximize the economic potential of the GAP.
The program also works to address trail-wide issues and opportunities through regional cooperation and to build the connection ‘between trail and town,’ so that there are safe and well-marked routes into the towns.
We work extensively in nine communities, and offer basic services in other trail towns along the GAP. Program staff works with local and regional partners toward the vision of a corridor of revitalized trail-side communities that reap the economic benefits of trail-based tourism and recreation.
Turning our attention back to the Toronto to Algonquin Greenway, our proposed TAG Towns project will ensure that the requisite amenities and services will be dotted along the Greenway – this will be the first such endeavour in Ontario. As such, it will serve as a demonstration model that can be followed by other long-distance trails such as the Trans Canada, the Waterfront, the Bruce and the new Greenbelt (cycling) Route.