Mayor of the Town of Ajax
“For me there is a sense of freedom on a bike that can’t be replicated, it allows you to slow down and see the world at a human pace.”
The longest serving Mayor in the town’s history, Steve Parish wants to see Ajax have the finest quality of life of any municipality in the GTA and in the entire Province of Ontario. Being an avid, life-long cyclist has allowed him to experience his community at a human pace and has built his belief in the necessity of smart growth that fosters health and wellbeing among residents.
Mayor Parish recognized early on the importance of a safe, strong and diverse transportation system that meets the needs of all users; whether young or old, motorist or cyclists, or walker or bus rider. To educate and raise awareness, he introduced the Mayor’s Cycling Event for residents. Today, it has evolved into a cycling and walking festival with hundreds of participants from across the Durham Region. On the infrastructure side, Ajax boasts 90 km of trails and 28 km of on-road facilities and was recognized as one of the first Bicycle Friendly Communities in Ontario.
The Town of Ajax is also a partner with the Region of Durham on the Welcome Cyclists Network, a not-for-profit organization that aims to create a network of businesses to enhance cycle tourism together in the Region and Province. Active transportation can be utilized to leverage tourism opportunities. With infrastructure in place, Ajax is capitalizing on this emerging industry and has more than 21 businesses in the Welcome Cyclists Network.
By being progressive and having the foresight, Ajax is now seeing the dividends of their active transportation investments. It’s time for the region as a whole to follow their lead and invest in healthy transportation options that pay off in the long run.