Bicycle Friendly Communities
About the Program
The Bicycle Friendly Community Award (BFC) Program provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling. The BFC Program was launched by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in Canada in August 2010 in partnership with the Washington based League of American Bicyclists.
In Canada, the Canadian Automobile Association (South Central Ontario) is the major sponsor of the program, with additional support coming from Trek Canada.
City of Ottawa receives Gold designation in 2013
Communities complete a thorough application and are judged in five categories often referred to as the Five “ Es": Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate achievements in each of the five categories in order to be considered for an award on the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum or Diamond level. Applications are judged by a volunteer panel of expert judges and communities with more significant achievements in these areas receive higher awards. The BFC application is a great self-assessment tool, as communities see where they can improve in each of these categories.
The 5 ‘Es’
ENGINEERING - Physical infrastructure and hardware to support cycling
EDUCATION- Programs that ensure the safety, comfort and convenience of cyclists and fellow road users
ENCOURAGEMENT - Incentives, promotions and opportunities that inspire people and enable them to ride
ENFORCEMENT - Equitable laws and programs that ensure that cyclists and motorists are held accountable
EVALUATION & PLANNING - Processes that demonstrate a commitment to measuring results and planning for the future
Spring 2018 Bicycle Friendly Community Awards
The Spring 2018 application round for BFC awards saw some exciting developments for the program. The race to be Ontario's first Platinum-level BFC is heating up, with The City of Waterloo joining the ranks of Gold-level BFCs in Ontario. The race is truly on now, with Ottawa and Toronto as Ontario's other 2 communities with Gold status. Will one of these 3 communities be the first to reach Platinum, or is there a dark horse community out there setting big plans to leapfrog Ontario's current leaders? Only time will tell!
In addition to Ontario's third Gold level BFC, the Spring 2018 round also saw two brand new communities join the ranks of BFCs. Once again, Share the Road's BFC Workshops have proven to be a successful path towards becoming a BFC, with the Town of Caledon using the Workshop as an opportunity to create the foundation of an application, and using the resulting workplan to set themselves on a path to achieve their new Bronze BFC designation. The Town of Cobourg also joins the BFC Program as a Bronze level BFC, becoming the 6th community east of the GTHA to achieve a designation. The City of Kitchener renewed their Silver designation, and the City of Barrie receieved an Honourable Mention for their application. The continued growth of the BFC Program in every area of the province and among communities of every shape and size shows the strong interest in cycling all across the province, and bodes well for the future of the program!
Representatives from the Town of Ingersoll Receive their BFC Award at the 2017 Ontario Bike Summit
If you are interested in applying for the BFC program, the next round of applications will close on March 1, 2019. To receive announcements about the deadline without beginning an application, please email [email protected] to be added to the contact list for all BFC updates. To begin your application, check out the Getting Started page. If you have would like to log in to the Bicycle Friendly Communities application page, click here to login with an existing account, or click here to set up a new application. Please contact [email protected] if your community should have any questions. You can also find the Frequently Asked Questions section about the BFC Program HERE.
42 Communities in Ontario are Bicycle Friendly Communities
View Bicycle Friendly Communities - June 2013 in a larger map
- Waterloo (Moved up in 2018)
- Ajax (Moved up in Fall 2017)
- The Town of Blue Mountains
- Caledon (New in 2018)
- Cobourg (New in 2018)
- Greater Sudbury (New in Fall 2017)
- Halton Hills
- Mississippi Mills
- Niagara Falls
- Richmond Hill
- St. Catharine's
- St. Thomas
- Temiskaming Shores
- Thunder Bay
- Wasaga Beach
The 2017 Bicycle Friendly Communities Yearbook
To view past BFC yearbooks, click here.