Urban Cycling Experiences in Ontario
Ottawa – Credit: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (2016)
There is no better way to get to know an urban centre intimately than by hopping on a bike and pedaling through neighbourhoods, explore downtowns and beyond. Every year city centres across Ontario are adding more bike lanes, improving bikeway networks and creating more connections for cyclists to get from Point A to Point B safely. This allows riders to meander through city streets, accessing incredible parks, trails systems and attractions. Here is a selection of ideas and resources that will help you plan out your next urban cycling adventure in Ontario.
Hamilton – Grab a bike to explore Hamilton, a city coming of age with a burgeoning culinary, music and arts scene. With a growing network of dedicated bike lanes, signed bike routes and over 60km of off-road multi-use paths, cyclists of all ages can safely enjoy urban riding in “The Hammer”. Hamilton and the surrounding area has over 25 certified bicycle friendly locations to help make your cycling trip easier. For more information on cycling in Hamilton visit our “Great Places To Cycle – Hamilton” page or hamilton.ca/cycling. For tourism related information visit Tourism Hamilton or The Heart of Ontario or OurTrueNature.ca websites.
Kitchener-Waterloo – Both on-road bike routes and trails crisscross and connect the two cities. Trail riders can enjoy the historic Iron Horse Trail, which follows a former railway corridor, and the Walter Bean Trail along the Grand River. he region has 25 certified bicycle friendly locations to help make your cycling trip easier. For more information on cycling in Kitchener-Waterloo visit our “Great Places To Cycle – Waterloo Regionpage, City of Waterloo Cycling or City of Kitchener Cycling. For tourism related information visit Explore Waterloo Region.
London – Cross the city on the 40km Thames River Pathway, a paved multi-use path that easily connects cyclists to fantastic downtown attractions such as Covent Garden Market, Storybook Gardens, London Children’s Museum and Museum London. Consider exploring the city of London by bike and extend your trip with a mountain bike adventure at Boler Mountain. Bike rentals available. London has 9 certified bicycle friendly locations to help make your cycling trip easier. For more information on cycling in London visit our “Great Places to Cycle – Southwest Ontario” or London.ca/cycling. For tourism information in London visit LondonTourism.ca or the greater Ontario Southwest region.
Windsor – Ride from the foot of the Ambassador Bridge along Windsor’s River Walk (part of the Waterfront Trail), an 8.5km stretch of paved multi-use trail that hugs the Detroit River through downtown Windsor. Take a guided Bikes and Beers tour and explore the city’s past and present history, one beer at a time. Windsor, Essex County and Pelee Island have 25 certified bicycle friendly locations to help make your cycling trip easier. For more information on cycling in Windsor visit our “Great Places to Cycle – Windsor Essex Pelee Island<“ or CycleWindsor.ca. For tourism information in Windsor visit Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island or the greater Ontario Southwest region.
Toronto Islands – Credit: TorontoBicycleTours.ca (2016)
Toronto – Traverse the southern portion of the city following the Martin Goodman / Waterfront Trail for 56km. Enjoy the newly paved, separated bike path downtown along Queens Quay or bike around the car-less Toronto Islands. Get into the heart of the city using on-road routes, bike lanes and a growing network of separated bike lanes. Consider joining one of the fantastic Toronto Bicycle Tours while on your trip! Toronto has over 20 certified bicycle friendly locations to help make your cycling trip easier. For more information on cycling in Toronto visit our “Great Places to Cycle – Toronto“ or Toronto.ca/cycling. For tourism information in Toronto visit Tourism Toronto.
Ottawa – Cycling is one of the most enjoyable ways to discover downtown Ottawa and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Get to major cultural sites such as the National Art Gallery, the Canadian War Museum and Rideau Canal using the paved and off-road Capital Pathway network. Visit vibrant neighbourhoods like the Glebe and the certified bicycle-friendly business area of Wellington West using bike lanes. While visiting Ottawa, we suggest connecting and joining one of the great bicycle tour operators in Ottawa, Ottawa Cycling Tours or Escape Bicycle Tours. Ottawa has over 55 certified bicycle friendly locations to help make your cycling trip easier. For more information on cycling in Ottawa visit our “Great Places to Cycle – Ottawa“ or CycleWindsor.ca. For tourism information in Windsor visit Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island or the greater Ontario Southwest region.
Try Bike Share
The following cities have easy to use bike share programs in addition to bike rental locations and urban bike tour options:
- Ottawa – Velogo.ca & Rightbike.org
- Toronto – Bikesharetoronto.com
- Hamilton – Sobihamilton.ca
Ontario has lots of urban cycling experiences and they range from those found in the larger metropolises of Toronto, Hamilton or Ottawa to the smaller urban environments of St. Catharines, Kingston and Barrie. Looking for more options? Go to Ontario By Bike’s “Great Places To Cycle” section of the website, find the region or city you’d like to ride more in and scroll down to the “Major Off-Road Trails” section and look for options that best suit your group. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, perhaps we can help. Call toll-free (1-866-701-2774) or email info (at) OntarioByBike.ca for more information.
The above is an excerpt from the annual Cycling in Ontario / Le velo en Ontario guide. View a copy online or order a print copy at ontariobybike.ca/2016