Dedicated to progress, inspired by potential.
Tyler Allsopp is a local home and business owner, and the 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his work with Doug’s Bicycle. Dedicated to progress and inspired by the potential of this community, Tyler was part of the group that successfully advocated for the construction of our Skatepark in 2008, and worked with the city to develop the Riverside Bike Park in 2015. Tyler is a former Ontario College Marketing Championship competitor and has also served on the St Lawrence College School of Business Program Advisory Board. He lives on the West Hill with his wife Jennifer and their Golden Doodle, Oakley.
Here are some of his stories about growing up in Belleville.
Coming to Belleville
My family moved to Belleville from Mississauga when I was two years old, in hopes that the smaller community would provide us with better personal relationships, greater opportunities, and a slower pace to our lives. Our new community accepted us with open arms. Though we had just landed on Southwood Crescent, the other families invited us to join them in an effort to revitalize Stanley Park which was just two doors from our new home. When the park renovations were completed and the plaque was erected, we saw our names on it next to the names of all the other families on the street. We not only had a safe place to play and grow, we also had new friends, and though we had just arrived we now felt that we had roots in the community.
The importance of being involved, and not calling in sick
This was my first experience with community involvement, but it wouldn’t be my last. Growing up riding my bike around town with my friends we dreamed of one day having a skatepark to ride, instead of jumping curbs, and often getting kicked out while riding in front of local businesses. The idea seemed impossible, as a skatepark had been discussed since 1981, with no action. Nevertheless, a 12 year old Tyler Allsopp got involved with the Can’t Wait to Skate group and went to all the meetings for four years until the park was built in 2008.
It was at one of these meeting I learned the value of participating in local politics and standing up for what you believe in. There was a bowl feature in the park that had been designed into the plans for the new park, but many skateboarders at the meeting wanted to cut it from the design to allow more room for a Skate Plaza. I stood up as the only BMX bike rider at the meeting and said that this bowl was very important for BMX riders and should not be cut from the plan. We went back and forth for what felt like an hour, outnumbered but unwavering we worked out a deal. The bowl ended up being roughly half the size of the original design but Belleville was building one, only the second like it in the province at the time.
When I ride by the sign that says “BMX Bowl” to this day I smile and chuckle knowing that had it not been for one determined young teen, hundreds of kids would never have had a bowl to ride. A fire was lit in me. I knew then the difference that could be made if you were willing to stand up and have a voice…and not call in sick.
Learning to work in Belleville
I learned about hard work and the value of a dollar delivering news papers for the Belleville Intelligencer. No matter the weather when I came home from school I had work to do. Later when my earnings were lacking and I picked up a second, adjacent paper route. With a bag over each shoulder I was on my way.
Later I learned about customer service working for Greg Sheridan at Sans Souci Special Occasion Catering, serving thousands of hungry customers during my time there, not to mention washing mountains of dishes and carrying more than my share of Cambro’s (huge plastic insulating boxes full of food) up the stairs of the Belleville Club. If you ever want to become more polite, become a server. To this day I still call almost everyone I meet Sir or Madame, a habit I haven’t quite been able to kick.
Next it was on to my true passion, cycling. Working at Doug’s Bicycle, our own small town bike shop I learned to be resourceful and to think on my feet. If you every want to learn about patience and understanding spend some time trying to fix things that other people have broken. It was here that I also learned the art of sales, which has served me well over the years. I eventually went on to buy the business after college in 2012, and as they say the rest is history.
Giving back and community involvement
I have been very fortunate to be involved in an industry that I am so passionate about, and to be in a community like Belleville, as I have often said this community has been better to me than I have deserved. I have always been grateful for the support that I have received, and have always done my best to support the community that supports me. Over the last six years we have hosted and supported countless bike rodeos, races, contests, and special events. We have sponsored charity rides and events for causes like children’s cancers, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, autism, and heart and stroke.