Fitz Tours began with the simple idea that the most fulfilling travel experiences are created by connecting with locals and discovering places both authentically and sustainably.
We've always believed that the best way to explore a destination is by bike, providing the ideal pace to ignite all of your senses.
We are very proud to have gained a solid lasting reputation from consistent 5-star reviews, to international press features, award recognition from the travel industry, and loyal recognition of our brand from our local community.
We may be Ottawa's newest bike tour company, but we've been around since 2009 showing thousands of visitors the best of Montreal, Toronto, and now Quebec City!
Shea's Grandma "Fitz" and Grandpa "Follwell" inspired the company name
In 2009, my cousin Rob ordered my first 10 bikes to his newly opened Toronto bike shop, Bateman’s Bicycle Company. We built them up and loaded them in a UHaul to head back to Montreal. There I set up my $100-a-month laneway garage and hit the ground riding.
My Mom was working at digital agency and developed my first website and flyers. They worked – I was taking bookings on my cellphone as I lead my groups along the wonderful bike paths of Montreal. I was the sole guide & only staff member! I soon outgrew the garage and my Dad helped setup a new storefront space near Mont-Royal, Montreal’s soul of a mountain park.
My approach was casual yet carefully-crafted. My early reviews and feedback continually mentioned “riding Montreal with Shea was like having a friend show you around his city.” Those kind of experiences with me spread back to people in Boston, Melbourne, Berlin, and all over. Word of mouth was my friend in those early days.
Our business in Montreal grew immensely – we became a team of 20 staff and guides showing thousands of visitors around our favourite parts of Montreal.
In 2018 we expanded to Toronto, and now in 2019 we’ve expanded to Quebec City, and Ottawa!
As I’ve been visiting friends & family in Ottawa over the years, I’ve been constantly impressed by the city’s ever-evolving bike infrastructure. Aside from the miles and miles of dedicated waterside bike paths, bike lanes are to be found almost everywhere in Ottawa. Bikes are taken seriously, and the locals heavily use the network as a result. Up there with Montreal, Ottawa is a true leader in proper bike planning in North America.
With the help of local family to design our new tour routes, we have created some truly spectacular tour routes. We are extremely proud to have launched here in Ottawa and look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world to Canada’s capital!
How do we know when we are on to something? When testing our routes with family & friends we kept hearing over and over “wow, I’ve never been here before!”
He didn’t hire ‘cyclists’ as guides, but rather charming, personable hosts that would show guests why they loved their city so much. It paid off – within a few years Buenos Aires developed an impressive network of cycle lanes and catapulted to #14 on the Copenhagenize index of bike friendly cities, and he had a staff of a dozen locals loving their jobs. His background in designing systems and procedures for other tourism businesses was put into practice in his own company.
Love would take him from Argentina to Quebec where he has landed comfortably at Fitz and helped integrate the company into the Velo Quebec headquarters in Montreal.
Veronique wears many hats as Fitz's head Operations Manager. She's been with Fitz for more than 4 years and is a graduate of Art Therapy. She grew up in Ottawa and now lives in Montreal.
Cecily has been living in Ottawa for 5 years and she is beginning her Master's studies this fall in public & international affairs. Her favourite thing about Ottawa is how happy and active people are!