Collections of stories and anecdotes of ATVing in Canada by Andrew Ryeland of 




 All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are the fastest growing segment of the recreational motorized vehicle market, outselling snowmobiles by a ratio of 4:1. 

 Statistics show that there is an ATV sold every 5 minutes in Canada[1] and one every 40 seconds in the US!  Our border states of Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Ohio have collective sales exceeding 10,000 per month[2].  Quebec averages about 2,500 per month and Ontario about 1,500 per month.  Adding to the equation is the fact that the used-unit population doesn't seem to be diminishing any (many ATVs have been in use for 10+ years, according to some OEM estimates). There are literally millions of older ATVs still in circulation.
The snowmobile industry contributes approximately $1 Billion to Ontario’s tourism coffers annually.  Extrapolation suggests that ATVs have a potential of contributing 4 times that amount.  This figure is conservative, in that it does not factor in the 12-month usability factor of ATVs versus the 3-month sport of snowmobiling.

 To-date no community has laid claim to the huge Southern Ontario and North-eastern US market for recreational ATVing.  The keen community and business interest and financial support demonstrated for Spring Jam 2003 is cause for the Parry Sound District to hereby ‘stake that claim’. 

 The Parry Sound area is unique in geographical, political and demographic positioning with respect to the aforementioned marketplace.  Given our proximity to the market, our recent transportation conduit upgrades, the abundance of crown lands and established trails we are an obvious ATV tourism destination. This and the presence of a vetted tourism infrastructure position us should give us a significant share of the ATV pie for this region.

 There are competing interests for trail use and control in Ontario.  The challenge that faces our community is in our ability to develop sustainable models that balance a variety of needs.  Its time to re-think old stewardship agreements, re-enforce proven tourism concepts and think ‘out of the box’.  The coming ATV boon is a multi-million dollar opportunity for our district and therefore demands a marketing initiative in line with the potential benefits.  Consequently, we are busy re-positioning ourselves as a node in an economic network rather than just a club in an organization.

The Parry Sound ATV District Club, in its planning of Spring Jam 2003, was blessed with overwhelming community involvement.  Over half of our volunteers were business people who were not club members. We had a dream team that very quickly learned the value of building business and political relationships.   

In the coming months the explosive and unorganized growth in ATVing will appear to be like an uncapped oil well.  Regrettably, there will be instances of abuse and trespass as the pressure of thousands of ATVers meet the cold reality of thousands of kilometres of closed unshared trails.  Fortunately there are business templates that offer solutions.  Some of those are contained in the Ontario Ministry of Tourism supported ‘Best Practices Manual’.  The manual outlines a Tourism Product Model development process for ATV trail use in our province.  If you are interested it can be downloaded for free from

 There are a lot of forks in the trail ahead but also a lot of prosperity if we steer the right course. If you are interested in helping us cap the well and build a productive pipeline to our community’s benefit check us out or call us at 705 774-9778.

 We’d love to have your company.

[1] Source: Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council