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Everything You Need to Know About Cycling in Toronto

Everything You Need to Know About Cycling in Toronto
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Everything You Need to Know About Cycling in Toronto

With over 10,000 streets all around the city connecting one town to the other, it is no wonder that Toronto witnessed the boom of cycling, especially during the pandemic.

So, if you’re thinking twice about hopping on that bike of yours to tour around and get about, here’s everything you need to know about cycling in Toronto. 

Is Toronto a good city for biking?

Toronto is generally a good city for biking due to its growing network of bike lanes. The local government actively supports cycling by creating separate bike lanes on the busiest highways of the metro, ensuring the safety of the cyclists.

With over 1.4 million cyclists all around the city, Toronto is also a safe city to bike in as it reports one of the lowest biking fatality rates in the world. 

Laws also govern cycling in the city, indicating that the local government takes its support for cycling very seriously.

If you’re still thinking twice about riding a bike to get a feel of the city, read on to get convinced.

5 Reasons Why Toronto is a Good City for Biking

1. Toronto is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the continent.

Toronto is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the continent
Source: Toronto Cycling Handbook

Did you know that Toronto ranks 16th as the best major cycling city in the entire North America? This is based on a study spearheaded by PeopleForBikes.

The city achieved a Network Analysis Score of 42% against the average world score of 27% for all cities in the world in 2022. 

In fact, our city fares well in several components such as biking access to neighbourhoods, offices and schools, hospitals and government services, and recreation such as parks and trails, and retail stores.

ComponentsNetwork Score
Neighbourhoods25%
Opportunity44%
Essential services46%
Recreation44%
Retail63%
Transit33%

Source: PeopleForBikes

The community analysis also shows that Toronto scored well in the ridership category, with a score of 75% against the average world score of 50%.

2. Toronto has a vibrant cycling community.

Toronto has a vibrant cycling community
Source: cycleto.ca

With a population of over 2.7 million residents, Toronto has one of the most vibrant cycling communities in Canada. Cycling clubs have popped up all over the city — from recreational to competitive. 

Honestly, biking is a great way to connect with locals and participate in some meaningful activities.

If you want to be part of a cycling club, here are some of the most popular ones in the city:

1: Ontario Cycling Club

Ontario Cycling Club
Source: enduranz.biz

If you’re a serious cyclist in Toronto, you might want to consider joining the Ontario Cycling (OC) organisation. 

They’re the real deal when it comes to all things cycling in our city. As the official governing body for cycling in Ontario, cycling clubs in the province apply for membership with OC as they’re the duly-recognised cycling organisation in Ontario. 

OC also offers training for competitive cyclists who wish to represent Toronto and Ontario in national and international races. 

They cover everything from gravel and track to road, mountain bike (MTB), cyclo-cross and BMX riding.  If you’re looking to up your cycling game to the next level, OC is the way to go.

2: Dark Horse Flyers Flying Club

Dark Horse Flyers Flying Club
Image Source: Dark Horse Flyers Flying Club

Looking for a fun and friendly group to join? Dark Horse Flyers Flying Club is for you! 

The biking club is open to all levels of riders, so don’t worry if you’re a beginner or haven’t been on a bike in years. This club is a great entry point for you.

With a range of events and rides to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely Sunday morning ride or a challenging hill climb, Dark Horse Flyers got you covered.

It’s not just about biking either – the club is known for its social events. Smells like a perfect opportunity to meet new friends, right?

3: Toronto Bicycling Network (TBN)

Toronto Bicycling Network (TBN)
Image Source: Toronto Bicycling Network

If you’re looking for a recreational cycling club in the Great Toronto Area, look no further than the Toronto Bicycling Network (TBN)!

They’re one of the largest recreational cycling clubs in the are and they’re got a lot more to offer than just cycling.

They organise outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing in the winter months, making them a great choice for the outdoorsy bikers. 

Their programs are jam-packed with daily trips, scheduled workout training for cyclists, fall and winter rides, and even overnight long rides in Canada. 

TBN is also known for their social events, which are a great way to meet fellow cycling enthusiasts and make some new friends along the way. 

4: Cycle Toronto

Cycle Toronto
Image Source: Cycle Toronto

Cycle Toronto isn’t just your average cycling club. They’re an advocacy group fighting against oppression, racism and other causes. They dedicate their cycling activities to make their advocacies known to the community, loud and heard.

In fact, some of the campaigns they’ve started since their establishment in 2008 are: Bloor Loves Bikes, Danforth Loves Bikes, Yonge Loves Bikes, and Build the Grid campaigns. 

If you bike occasionally in Toronto, chances are you’ve heard at least one of these campaigns spearheaded by the club. If you want to elevate your biking and fight for causes you’re passionate about, go join Cycle Toronto. 

5: Morning Glory Cycling Club

Morning Glory Cycling Club
Image Source: Morning Glory Cycling Club Facebook Page

If you want to join a cycling club that dedicates their love for the sport through diverse programs, check out Morning Glory Cycling Club.

As a registered cycling organisation with the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA), Morning Glory offers a range of programs and daily group rides for cyclists of all levels. 

With experienced marshals leading and sweeping the pack, you can feel confident as you explore new routes and make lasting connections with fellow riders. Plus, rides are rated according to your skill level, from novice to advanced. 

3. Toronto bike laws protect bikers from harm.

Toronto bike laws protect bikers from harm
Source: Toronto Star

Did you know that in Toronto, bikes are officially recognised as vehicles and given the same rights as your typical four-wheel vehicle? 

The city even published the Toronto Cycling Handbook, including a family edition that provides all cycling safety tips, required equipment, traffic laws, and safe cycling habits that every cyclist in Toronto should follow.

Bike lanes and cycling routes are likewise governed by Toronto Municipal Code (Ch. 886). The law states that no other vehicle other than bikes are allowed to make full use of the designated bike lanes and cycling tracks, making these paths exclusive to bikers.

With these laws, Toronto’s taking the safety of bikers seriously, ensuring that they are protected and treated equally as vehicle owners without any bias or discrimination.

4. All bikes in Toronto are duly registered.

All bikes in Toronto are duly registered
Source: Toronto Star

Should you ever find yourself in a situation with a fellow biker, don’t worry! In Toronto, all bikes are duly registered by the law and are held accountable by their behaviour on the road.

Our law enforcement agencies, like the Toronto Police, are committed to protecting all bikers and promoting biking as a primary mode of transportation around the city.

To register your bike, simply visit the Toronto Police Service Bike Registry Database on their website or head to your nearest local police station. 

This way, if any unfortunate incident happens involving your bike or another biker, the police will be able to take immediate action in accordance with the law. 

5. Toronto offers roads and trails for all kinds of bikes.

Toronto offers roads and trails for all kinds of bikes
Source: Toronto Star

Whether you own a road, gravel, or mountain bike, Toronto offers all kinds of terrain for you to practise on. Great, right?

In fact, the local government has designated cycling infrastructure such as cycle tracks, bike lanes, shared roadway routes, and multi-use trails for cyclists.

Some of these bike lanes can be accessed via Argyle Street (which offers contra-flow bike lanes), Borden Street and Brunswick Avenue, Conlins Road, Denison Avenue and Bellevue Avenue, among others.

Here’s a more detailed list for your reference:

Bike LaneOpenedJurisdiction
Argyle Street2015Spadina-Fort York, Davenport
Borden Street and Brunswick Avenue2020University-Rosedale
Conlins Road2009Scarborough-Rouge Park
Denison Avenue and Bellevue Avenue2017University-Rosedale, Spadina-Fort York
Lawrence Avenue East2019Scarborough-Rouge Park
Shaw Street2013University-Rosedale
Simcoe Street2016Spadina-Fort York
Winona Drive2021Toronto-St. Paul’s
Woodbine Avenue2017Beaches-East York
Woodfield Road-Monarch Park2022Toronto-Danforth

Source: toronto.ca

Meanwhile, if you want to practise some stunts with your BMX bike or you want to just simply avoid the crowd while breaking a sweat, try out the following cycling routes all around the city:

Cycling RoutesOpenedJurisdiction
Birmingham Street2007Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Bloor Street West (Shaw Street to Runnymede Road)2,020University-Rosedale, Davenport, Parkdale-High Park
Bloor Street-Danforth-Avenue-Kingston Road2016Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Parkdale-High Park, Davenport, University-Rosedale, Toronto-Danforth, Beaches-East York
Conlins Road2009Scarborough-Rouge Park
Davenport Road (Yonge Street to Dupont Street)2021University-Rosedale
Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park2018Toronto-Danforth
Knox Avenue2023Toronto-Danforth
Lake Shore Boulevard West (Norris Crescent to First Street)2018Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Peter Street2016Spadina-Fort York
Rathburn Road and Martin Grove Road2021Etobicoke Centre
Richmond Street and Adelaide Street2014Toronto Centre, Spadina-Fort York
Scarlett Road2019York South-Weston
Shuter Street2003Toronto Centre
The Esplanade and Mill Street2021Spadina-Fort York
The Kingsway and Dundas Street West Infrastructure ImprovementsIn progressEtobicoke Centre
Willowdale Avenue2019Toronto-St. Paul’s
Yonge Street2022Humber River-Black Creek

Source: toronto.ca

Finally, if you want to experience nature while riding your trusty gravel or mountain bike (MTB), head on to the following multi-use trails sanctioned by the Toronto local government.

We also included official trails for bike and recreational trekking, as well as private trails for your reference:

Trail routesOpenedJurisdiction
Chorley Park Switchbacks2018-
Crothers Woods-Environmentally Significant Area
Betty Sutherland Trail Park-Duncan Mill Rd & Valleybrook Dr
Duncan Creek Trail2021Don Valley North
East Don Trail2018Don Valley East
Eglinton Avenue West2021York South-Weston
Ellesmere Road2021Scarborough-Guildwood
Etobicoke Creek TrailEtobicoke
Finch Corridor Trail2011Humber River-Black Creek, York Centre, Willowdale, Don Valley North, Scarborough-Agincourt, Scarborough North
Humber River Recreation Trail-
Kay Gardner Beltline Trail1989Toronto Belt Line Railway
King-Liberty Pedestrian/Cyclist Bridge2021Spadina-Fort York
Kingston Road Trail2001Scarborough Southwest
Kipling Avenue2004Etobicoke North
Lower Don Trail2018Don Valley
Martin Goodman Trail1984-
Moccasin Trail Park-Don Valley
Morningside Park2002Highland Creek
Rosedale Valley Road2022University-Rosedale
Toronto Islands Park1939
The Meadoway-Scarborough-Rouge Park, Scarborough- Guildwood, Scarborough Centre, Don Valley East
Unwin Avenue2019Toronto-Danforth
West Toronto Railpath2008Davenport

Source: toronto.ca and dailyhive.com

FAQs on Biking in Toronto 


It’s never too late to try exploring the city through cycling! And who knows, it might even help you gain a new perspective about life while meeting new friends along the way.