Last week, I found myself in downtown Toronto on a beautiful mid-week summer afternoon. Rather than packing up bikes and gear to ride, J. and I decided to try out the Bike Share program downtown.
After a bit of internet research, I learned that there are several options for this program. We’d take advantage of the one-day pass for $7 (there are also pay-per-ride, three-day and annual options available). The one day pass includes use of the bike for 30 minutes at a time for one day. There are no additional charges if you limit your rides to 30 minute at a time. However, if you don’t check in to a station within 30 minutes, there’s an additional charge of $4 per 30 minutes. With over 2,700 bikes and 270 stations, there were plenty of options to pick up and drop off the bikes.
The bikes are 3 speed and are equipped with a bell and front/rear (red) lights, and we brought our own helmets.
We started near Ontario Place (after dropping my kiddo and friend at a concert). There was a Bike Share station just outside the main gate. Sign-up was simple with a credit card. There are bike stations all along the Martin Goodman Trail (and all over downtown Toronto), which follows the shore of Lake Ontario on a combination of segregated multi-use paths and bike lanes:
We headed west to the Humber Bay Arch Bridge, where we found another station to dock our bikes before the 30-minute schedule and sign out another bike..
The view from Sheldon Lookout across Humber Bay to the Toronto Skyline:
We then turned around and headed back east to downtown. We rode past Ontario Place where we came across the William G. Davis trail head, which took us into Ontario Place from the east. This took us through Trillium Park, which opened in 2017 in an area that used to be a parking lot…. yes… they put in a nice green park over a parking lot!
I spent many summer days in Ontario Place as a youth back in the 1970s. Concerts at the Forum, IMAX movies at the Cinesphere…. hours of fun! But Ontario Place closed 2012 and some of the land was turned into Trillium Park at the east end. We were able to bike past the old water park, the Cinesphere and other deserted parts of the park.
Only this year has the park re-opened, including new features at the Cinesphere!
From the west side of the Ontario Place grounds, we watched the sun dip towards the horizon
We completed our short 15 km ride along Queen’s Quay near Harbourfront. I’m not certain of the final cost of the bike rental. We tried to check in at a station every 30 minutes, but at least once, we extended that to about an hour. Nevertheless, whatever the price was, it was well worth the ride!