Mississauga councillors have agreed to continue to support one of Ontario’s largest cycling events and has hired an outside agency to help.

Those at general committee approved spending close to $52,000 to hire SustainMobility to help organize this year’s event. SustainMobility is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting active lifestyles.

The move will see the city use almost $10,000 earned from last year’s event to help with the costs. The Region of Peel is also contributing $15,000. The city will also look for corporate sponsors to assist with the costs in future years.

The Tour de Mississauga has been an annual event since 2007 and generally attracts thousands of riders into the city each September to cycle through courses of various lengths along designated streets. There had been discussions over whether it would continue until the new plan was unveiled.

Though technically not a race, the event is seen by serious racers and marathoners as part of the circuit to train for more competitive events. Still, it is an event geared towards families and those who just want some exercise and fun.

The Mississauga Cycling Advisory Committee (MCAC), the group that organized the event in the past, will continue to be a part of the Tour de Mississauga through various other support roles.

“Since its start in 2007, the Tour de Mississauga has motivated thousands of residents to cycle and has become one of Canada’s largest community cycling events,” said Geoff Wright, city transportation and works commissioner. “As a city, we continue to pursue our goal of growing cycling for commuting, recreation and exercise. By partnering with SustainMobility and MCAC, this gives us the opportunity to reach a broader group of cyclists while we look for a more permanent solution for operating the tour.”

The plan is expected to be approved by Mississauga city council at its next meeting.

Photo: Cyclists take part in last year’s Tour de Mississauga (photo courtesy of Tour de Mississauga)