Best Time to Ride a Bicycle in Toronto

Best Time to Ride a Bicycle in Toronto

The best hours are usually when there is the least amount of cars on the road. As in most cities, try to avoid going for a ride during rush hour. In the city of Toronto, rush hour typically takes place in three stages:

  • Avoid Between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.
  • Avoid Between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.
  • Avoid Between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.

Try to go for a ride between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. In these early morning hours, you can have the roads mostly to yourself. As a bonus, it will be a little cooler, which will be helpful in the Toronto spring and summer months.

If you want to go for a longer ride, start around 10:00 a.m. so you can get your exercise in before rush hour starts up again.

Taking quiet trails or a peaceful path can be a great alternative to cycling through the busy city. There has many of these “side routes” that Toronto cyclists can take advantage of while enjoying a gentle stroll through the streets.

What Route Should I Take?

Toronto has a reliable cycling infrastructure in place. Cyclists can ride leisurely on protected bike lanes, also called cycle tracks or bike share lanes. These bike lanes are separated from cars and other motor vehicles, but you still need to exhibit caution as a two-wheeled rider. Toronto cyclists can also ride adjacent to cars on quiet residential roads.

There are plenty of popular routes specifically for biking in Toronto. One of our favourites is The Tommy Thompson Park, also known as the Leslie Street Spit. This peninsula stretches for 5 kilometers and is located just minutes away from downtown Toronto. You can explore this route without straying too far from the main city.

Despite its proximity to Toronto, Tommy Thompson Park is home to some extraordinary natural sights. During your ride, you can view the wildlife present in ponds, coves, wetlands, and lagoons throughout this Toronto park. The park is also fantastic for any and all bird enthusiasts. Cyclists can admire its bird sanctuaries and wildlife preservation projects.

The Leslie Street Spit route is ideal for beginner riders who want to see all that the outskirts of Toronto have to offer.

The Toronto Harbour Light, a famous automated lighthouse built-in 1974, is another popular site among visitors.

If you need a bite to eat in the middle of a ride, there's a hotdog and soda vendor located at the park entrance. During the spring, summer, and fall, you can find several food trucks on Cherry Beach, which is just a 10-minute ride west of the Toronto park.

How To Make the Most Out of a Bicycle Riding Trip in Toronto

To avoid any hiccups on your ride, follow these steps for making the most out of your cycling trip.

Consider Your Tires' Durability

Know the trail, path, community, and route that you'll be travelling on. If the route is dotted with streetcar tracks, you may want to invest in thicker biking tires, especially for the winter. This way, your tires won't catch air everytime you hit an imperfection in the road. The last thing you want to do is to fly through the air and lose control of where you are heading. If you'll be riding on mostly-paved roads, you can get away with thinner biking wheels. The City of Toronto is constantly improving their roads, so you should expect construction in many different places.

Follow These Safety Tips Riding In Toronto

As a cyclist with generally less visibility to other drivers than any typical vehicle, follow these safety tips:

  • Act like a car. As a cyclist, you should still act like a car. Obey all stop signs and lights. Don't make any unpredictable lane changes or other movements. Take a few minutes to learn about the rules of the bike lane to minimize the chances of an accident. If you feel uncomfortable on major roads, start on quiet side streets. Make sure to always wear a helmet, too! 
  • Know that parked cars can be just as dangerous as moving ones. When riding by parked cars, don't just speed by them. Parked drivers may be unaware of your presence and throw their doors open carelessly. Take note if parked cars' headlights are still on and proceed forward with caution.
  • Secure your bike. When on a lunch break, secure your bike up with a reliable lock. Toronto can be a busy place, and any bike laying around without a lock could be taken very easily. Park legally, as the city and private businesses can remove offending bikes as well.

Need Other Suggestions, Equipment, or Bike Advice?

Even if you aren't an experienced cyclist in Toronto, you should explore the views that Toronto has to offer. If you need equipment or advice, visit our Toronto bike shop location today to get started with your adventure!

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