The province is giving Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge $975,000 to improve cycling infrastructure.

"We want Ontario to be the leading place to be to cycle," Cambridge MPP and the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Transportation Kathryn McGarry told CBC News after Friday's announcement in Cambridge.

Cambridge, Waterloo and Kitchener all received $325,000 each through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program.

Projects create, improve bike paths

Cambridge will put the money towards a $1 million project to build a 2.2 km cycling and walking path along Conestoga Boulevard. That path will be separate from the roadway and will include modifying six intersections, putting up 30 cycling specific signs and adding five traffic signals that can be triggered by cyclists.

Waterloo will improve nearly 1 km of the cycling and walking path through Waterloo Park. This will create a better connection between the two universities and uptown Waterloo, and will connect with the future Laurier-Waterloo Park light rail transit station at the north end of the park.

'We want Ontario to be the leading place ... to cycle.' - Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry

Kitchener will use the funds to widen about 1 km of a path along Courtland Avenue to provide enough space for cyclists and walkers. That project will also provide a safe route for people to travel underneath a bridge.

McGarry said rural tourism operators are happy because they are benefiting from an influx in the number of cycling tourists taking in local sights.

McGarry said trails like the Cambridge to Paris rail trail bring people into the area.

"Not only is it good for health benefits … those that are commuting are not creating any greenhouse gas emissions while they're cycling to and from work. It's a nice family time to be able to cycle to different areas, but there are many people who are seeing the province through beautiful trails and communities throughout Ontario," McGarry said.