Thunder Bay·Audio

Flag raised at city hall in Thunder Bay, Ont. after City of Kingston prevails in commuter challenge wager

After losing a friendly mayoral wager over the annual Commuter Challenge, Thunder Bay, Ont. mayor Bill Mauro had to raise the City of Kingston flag at city hall.

Thunder Bay, Ont. mayor Bill Mauro wore City of Kingston shirt while raising flag at city hall

Mayor Bill Mauro from Thunder Bay, Ont. raises the City of Kingston's flag at City Hall after losing a mayoral wage over the annual Commuter Challenge. (Logan Turner / CBC)

After losing a friendly mayoral wager over the annual Commuter Challenge, Thunder Bay, Ont. mayor Bill Mauro had to raise the City of Kingston's flag at city hall while wearing a Kingston t-shirt on Mon., July 8.

Both cities saw a large increase in participation in the Commuter Challenge, with Thunder Bay having the second-highest participation rate per-capita in the country.

Mauro said, "It's all well-intentioned. Anything that communities can do to lead on this and encourage people to become more active, it's a good thing." 

Last year, Thunder Bay had the highest number of participants in the Commuter Challenge for medium-sized cities. Prior to that, Kingston, Ont. had won the challenge for five consecutive years.

In response, Kingston's mayor Bryan Paterson challenged the City of Thunder Bay and mayor Mauro to a friendly competition in May 2019, to see which city could sign up the largest number of participants in the event.

In the end, there were 1,388 participants signed up from the City of Kingston, while Thunder Bay only had 1,107 participants.

This was the sixth year of the annual Commuter Challenge, a week-long event which encourages Canadians to leave their cars at home and use alternative means of transportation - like walking, biking, or using public transit - to commute to work.

This year saw over 17,000 people take part as they travelled over 1,400,000 kilometres to get to work.

Residents in Thunder Bay may notice a strange flag flying at City Hall today. It is the City of Kingston's flag, which Thunder Bay mayor Bill Mauro had to raise today while wearing a t-shirt from Kingston. This comes after Thunder Bay lost a friendly competition between the two cities over who could get the highest number of participants for the Commuter Challenge. The challenge is an annual, week-long event held across Canada at the beginning of June. The goal of the competition is to encourage residents to leave their cars at home and use alternative methods of transportation to get to work. Thunder Bay's Mayor Bill Mauro says the competition was all in good fun. 4:11