Cycling in Toronto – Humber River and Waterfront Trails

The day after we got back from our vacation in Newfoundland, I found myself in Toronto for an afternoon.  It made perfect sense for me to take a bike with me and explore the city a bit more.  I didn’t have a lot of time to plan because we got in late Monday evening and I had to drive to Toronto the next morning.

Quick research into routes revealed a bike path along the Humber River, starting around Steeles and Islington and winding south to Lake Ontario. From there, I planned to follow the Waterfront/Martin Goodman trail through downtown to Woodbine Beach, then return the way I came.

After driving in circles looking for a place to park, I discovered a parking lot at Rowntree Mills Park off of Islington Rd, just north of Finch.   The Humber River trail is a paved, multi-use trail that follows the Humber River as it meanders south to Lake Ontario.  According to maps I discovered later, the northern terminus of the Humber River trail is at Steeles, only a couple of km’s from where I started.

As I headed south on the paved trail, I was amazed at the scenery and nature in the middle of Toronto.  I passed under bridges (with beautiful graffiti), ponds (where I saw a blue heron) as I made my way to the Lake, which was about 23 km from where I started.  The trail was paved for the entire length and only a couple of times did I have to ride on roads.  Here are a few pics:

Much of the Humber River Trail was designated as the “Pan Am Path“.

Cycling the Pan Am Path/Humber River Trail

 

A staircase, complete with tracks for bikes!
View of the Humber Bay bridge, looking north.
An iron bridge – reminding me of the bridges in the Region of Waterloo, except with high-rise apartments and kids playing in the river below.
Mini waterfalls on the Humber.
Graffiti on bridge supports.
More bridge graffiti – #lovebot
Old Mill Bridge – 1916.

Once at Lake Ontario, I turned east and crossed over the Humber Bay bridge towards downtown Toronto.  I’ve been on this trail before and I’m always impressed by how much it gets used.  People riding bicycles, scooters.  People walking or rollerblading.  It’s great to see!

I continued my route east past the downtown core to the Don Valley Parkway (where, I later learned, the Don River Trail continues north).  Past the DVP, the Lakeshore Trail continues to Woodbine Beach, where I stopped for a snack. At this point, I was about 40 km from where I started.  I filled my water bottles and retraced my route through downtown and back to the Humber River.

Woodbine beach.

The return trip was about 85 km:

The 85 km route.

I later discovered some other trails for next time, including a path along the Don River that would take me north.  There’s also an east-west route that could complete a loop back to the Humber….. next time!

 

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