Like many issues in Toronto, cycling and where it takes place has become one pitting the political left and right against each other. They are battling it out on the floor of council, and sadly also on the streets of our city.
As North York Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong told Toronto Community News in our special feature on cycling in the city, the main bone of contention is lack of space on Toronto’s streets.
“Because there’s a limited amount of geography, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are all competing for the same space,” he explained.
And nobody seems willing to give up any ground.
There are two kinds of cyclists in Toronto, those who ride to commute and those who ride for recreation. What we don’t want to see is the political battles ending up costing either groups of riders.
We need good and safe cycling routes along our streets for those who depend on their bikes to move around. We also need recreational runs that all can enjoy at a relaxed pace. And we don’t need one at the expense of the other.
As part of our feature today, we decided to take a look at nine bike rides that recreational riders across Toronto could enjoy. All these rides are on bike paths, separate from city roads and free of cars for almost their entire routes.
These are runs that both experienced riders and those who are new to cycling can enjoy by themselves or with their families, confident that they won’t have to negotiate through busy traffic or dangerous intersections.
Hopefully readers will try one of these rides for themselves.
There are some great choices and they highlight much of Toronto’s natural, and far too often hidden, beauty.
Valleys make up so much of our city’s landscape, and planners have not been shy about running cycling (and pedestrian) paths along them. There are some beautiful runs through Taylor Creek, along the Don River and Highland Creek that have riders thinking they are miles away from Canada’s largest city. The featured rides also focus on the close connection between the city and Lake Ontario. While it is not yet possible to ride along the lake from one end of Toronto to the other only on a bike path, large sections are accessible.
There are no shortages of great, safe rides in the city and we encourage our readers to try one of the runs we’ve highlighted today.