The Toronto to Algonquin Greenway (TAG) will bring a new identity and vitality to a corridor of communities. In size, they might be cities, towns, villages or small hamlets, but we call 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 partake of local hospitality. Our next challenge is to ensure that these communities become ready to offer all the services a TAG traveller will seek out.
TAG Towns Initiative is the economic development project envisioned in Ontario, based on the successful Trail Town Program® in the USA. That Program was developed around the Great Allegheny Passage which links rail trails and canal paths through abandoned coal mine towns, allowing 335 miles (540 km) 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 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 Initiative 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.