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2021 Cycling In Ontario Guide

Locals Share Top Bike Rides in Waterloo Region

If you are a keen cyclist chances are you know the best routes in your neighbourhood, city and surrounding area. Hence who better to ask than local riders for their favourite rides and destinations in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge areas for some great fall cycling.

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The Happy Stragglers: Ride Experience, Community and Gravel at Reggie Ramble 2021

Oct Blog Reggie Ramble

When my partner Natalie and I decided to sign up for the Reggie Ramble, a self-described “gravel grinder” event, we were admittedly both a little nervous. While we are pretty experienced cyclists the sustained output required to participate in a bike “race”, especially on gravel, soon had us questioning our decision.

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Ontario By Bike Photo Contest

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Ontario By Bike's 2021 photo contest is open for submission. Click below to learn how to participate in the contest and to see all the great winners and honourable mentions from previous years.

Click HERE for more information.

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Ontario By Bike Blog

Blog coverCredit: Destination Ontario

Read on for inspirational cycling experiences across Ontario. Whether you're looking for rail trails, mountain biking or road riding, we're putting together stories to get you out on two wheels. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get more updates and so we can hear your story. Interested in guest blogging with Ontario By Bike? Shoot us an email!


3 minutes reading time (672 words)

Cycle the Toronto Islands

Cycle Toronto Island

Grab a bike and pedal your way to the best island spots to swim, eat, paddleboard, take photos and sunbathe. Follow along below as we take you on a local tour of the Toronto Islands.

Pre-Ride Check

For the new Toronto resident, or visitor to the city, one of the first attractions locals will suggest visiting is the Toronto Islands. The talk of white-sand beaches is enough for most people to set their sights on the ferry boats gliding there from Queens Quay. This quiet oasis is a short 10-minute ferry ride, or even quicker if you take a Tiki Taxi. And although it’s right beside downtown, you’ll feel worlds away from the busy city streets, because the islands also happen to be a car-free community—North America’s largest, in fact.

The islands (15 in total) are all connected by paths and trails that are best explored by bike or foot. You can BYOB (bring your own bike) on the public ferry or rent wheels from Toronto Island Bicycle Rentals on Centre Island. For families, couples and friend-groups, there are even tandem bicycles and fun 4-seater quadricycles—complete with golf cart-style roofs to protect you from the sun.
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Set your Sites

Head to photo-worthy spots like the (potentially haunted) Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. Built in 1808, it’s one of the oldest structures in Toronto and comes with a spooky backstory surrounding its first lighthouse keeper.

Delight the Little Ones

Toronto Islands have a number of stops that will keep the kids entertained. There’s Far Enough Farm, a petting zoo on Centre Island, which has llamas, pygmy goats and mandarin ducks. Plus, right beside the farm is Centreville Amusement Park, where you’ll find a Ferris wheel, and rides like a miniature roller coaster and bumper boats.

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Photo Credit: Toronto Bicycle Tours

Stop for Lunch

After a morning of pedaling, there are a number of spots to stop for a bite (If you didn’t pack a picnic, that is!). The Riviera (102 Lakeshore Ave.) on Ward’s Island has a popular patio. Situated under a canopy of tall trees, right on the lakefront, it’s perfect for sipping on a pint and has a range of summer salads, tacos and burgers. Another great option is the Island Cafe (20 Withrow St.), also on Ward’s Island, which is open from brunch through to sunset dinner. But if you’re just riding past, grab a take-out sundae or popsicle. You can pedal and eat, right?
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Pick a Patch of Sand

There are endless beach options as you traverse your way around the islands, and each area draws a different crowd. The definite family favourite is Centre Island Beach. It’s an easy walk from the ferry and is close to takeout food options and bike rentals. Ward’s Island has more of a youthful, beach-club vibe. On weekends, it’s quite the happening scene. Hanlan’s Point Beach is the clothing optional choice. And Gibraltar Point Beach is a quieter stretch with endless views over Lake Ontario.

Seek out Hidden Surprises

Walk or ride along the boardwalk between Centre Island and Ward’s Island to see the cottage-like homes, which belong to members of the 600-strong community that live here year round. If you’d like to stay on the water though, rent a stand up paddleboard from Toronto Island SUP (13 Algonquin Bridge Rd.) and traverse the many calm waterways that flow between the different islands. Or if you’re feeling competitive, bring a frisbee and challenge yourself to an 18-hole round of disc golf.

Getting to Toronto Island

  • Union Station, then walk or take the 509 or 510 streetcar one stop to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal
  • Take the public ferry from the docks or grab a water taxi from several locations along Queens Quay
    (Insider tip: You can purchase ferry tickets online, which will help avoid what can be lengthy line-ups on weekends)
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Additional Information

Toronto Island Destination Ontario
Photo Credit: Destination Ontario

 

destination toronto logo
Originally written for Destination Toronto by Kelly Stock. Reposted with permission

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