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The Best Toronto Cycling Routes to Ride on a Shared Bike

From the bustling waterfront to the scenic Humber Valley, here are four havens for Bike Share Toronto users.

Cyclists ride along the Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto, Ontario

Cycling is a great way to explore Toronto, which, despite its status as a metropolis, is brimming with nature trails, parks and neighbourhoods that qualify as downright quaint. But if you don’t have a bike, fret not. You can rent one from Bike Share Toronto, which has 625 locations. With your bike in hand, here are four routes you’re not going to want to miss.

Martin Goodman Trail between Parliament Street and Parkside Drive

What: Paved, protected bike path

Why: This 30-minute ride will take you through the heart of Toronto’s always-bustling waterfront. Soak in the grandeur of Lake Ontario, gaze up at the CN Tower, and kick back in one of the many parks that line the trail. If your legs are feeling good, tack on a side trip to the Toronto Islands or a jaunt through idyllic High Park.

Where to Grab Your Bike: Lake Shore Boulevard East and Parliament Street

Humber Valley Trail between Lawrence Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard West

What: Paved, protected nature trail

Why: While you’re still firmly within city limits, parts of this trail feel very country. It follows the gently declining Humber River, which is home to salmon, trout and pike, and passes through the Humber Marshes, some of the last remaining wetlands in Toronto. There’s a chance you’ll spot ducks, turtles and migratory birds here. The trail ends at the architectural gem that is the Humber Bay Arched Bridge, which sits on the shores of Lake Ontario and has epic views of downtown.

Where to Grab Your Bike: Weston Lions Parks (near Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave.)

Beltline Trail between Bathurst Street and Bayview Avenue

What: Off-road trail

Why: This largely gravel path, built on what was once a rail line, takes in some of Toronto’s most scenic ravines. Start in ritzy Forrest Hill, home to multi-million dollar mansions, and follow the trail southeast through the sprawling Mount Pleasant Cemetery and into the rugged Moore Park Ravine. From there, it’s a 15-minute pedal to Don Valley Brickworks Park, where you’ll find reclaimed marshlands and great views of downtown Toronto.

Where to grab your bike: Chiltern Hill Road/Eglinton Avenue East

Queen Street East between Victoria Park Drive and Coxwell Avenue

What: On road cycling

Why: Slow things down a gear with a cycle through Toronto’s idyllic Beaches neighbourhood. Begin your ride at the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, an Art Deco masterpiece dubbed the “Palace of Purification”. From there, amble along Queen St. East, home to a collection of quaint shops, restaurants and ice cream parlours. At Balsam Ave, turn left and head down to Lake Ontario to pick up the Martin Goodman trail, which will take you to sprawling Woodbine Beach.

Where to grab your bike: Queen Street East/Nursewood Road

Get more with CAA

CAA Members receive four free rides when they purchase 10 rides with Bike Share Toronto. CAA on the Move cardholders are eligible for a 25 per cent discount on annual Bike Share Toronto memberships and will get five free rides to give to friends or family. Learn more about the offers at CAA Rewards.

Image Credit: Bill Brooks/Alamy Stock Photo