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Ontario pledges $1M investment in bike parking at province's tourist attractions

A new fund will provide money for racks, rings and lockers for Ontario tourism and cultural attractions like the Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario.

Bike parking in downtown Toronto can fill up fast.

Torstar News Service

Bike parking in downtown Toronto can fill up fast.

More bike parking is on the way as part of Ontario's climate-change plan.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon, herself an avid cyclist, announced Monday that $1 million will go toward better bike parking at museums and cultural attractions, including bike racks, rings and indoor lockers and storage rooms.

"This investment will help make our communities more cycling-friendly and encourage more people to leave their cars at home and ride their bikes instead," said Minister McMahon in a release.

The money comes from the government's cap-and-trade program, which puts a hard cap on carbon emissions but lets companies buy or sell carbon credits.

A spokesperson for the minister said the institutions have yet to be determined, but 14 across the province are eligible to apply, including the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Ontario Place and the Ontario Science Centre.

Two GTA spots, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, are also eligible.

Officials also recently announced plans for bike lockers at Southern Ontario Go Stations and carpool lots.

Ontario's five-year climate-change action plan aims to reduce emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. Along with lowering emissions, the cyclist-friendly parking is meant to support the province's new tourism plan Tour by Bike.

While the announcement will mean more options for cyclists, the province is still far behind places like the Netherlands. In the Dutch city of Utrecht, for example, a giant indoor parking lot with eventual room for 12,500 bikes opened in 2016, the Guardian reported.

Places eligible for bike parking funding:

Fort William Historical Park (Thunder Bay)

Discovery Harbour (Penetanguishene)

St. Marie Among the Huron (Midland)

Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto)

McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg)

Metro Toronto Convention Centre (Toronto)

Niagara Parks Commission (Niagara)

Ontario Place (Toronto)

Ontario Science Centre (Toronto)

Ottawa Convention Centre (Ottawa)

Royal Botanical Gardens (Burlington)

Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto)

St. Lawrence Parks Commission (Eastern Ontario)

Science North (Sudbury)

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