Cycling in Toronto has become one of the most popular forms of transportation and, of course, a great way to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining a safe physical distance from others. Bike lanes continue to make it easier, safer, and more enjoyable to bike through the busy city streets.
You may have noticed bike lanes popping up quite frequently around Toronto. This is conducive to the City’s 10 year Cycling Network Plan that was approved in July 2016. We are currently in the middle of the 3 year rolling implementation process, running from 2019-2021. So far in 2020, 40kms of new cycling infrastructure have been completed in light of the pandemic, with hopes to keep people commuting outdoors and physically distant.
So, where are these new bike lanes and how do we find them? And most importantly, how do we plan our routes to keep moving and stay safe?
A response to the city’s need for outdoor, physically distant activities, Active TO has taken over some major roadways to allow for cyclists, runners, bladers, and beyond to enjoy the freedom of some open space.
Closures on the following roads make up the ActiveTO paths;
What was meant to be a weekend initiative throughout the summer, ActiveTO gained quick popularity and extended through weekends in October. Based on the weather forecast, we could see this continuing through the next few weeks. Stay up to date
You may have noticed some new waves on Bloor with one of the first installations to pop up this summer. This Bloor St. bike lane runs from Avenue Rd. to Sherbourne St.
Commuting along this route? We got you covered! There are actually 9 Bike Share Stations just in this 1.6km stretch.
New Waves on the Bloor bike lane pic.twitter.com/cWE6KFV81W
— Mathew Wells (@EFD_Toronto) July 24, 2020
A little further West on Bloor, there are more protected bike lanes between Shaw and Runnymede spanning 4.4kms. This stretch houses 14 Bike Share stations to allow you to easily hop on or off a bike, and dock ahead of that 30 minute mark.
The painted bike lanes along the busy Danforth Ave appeared from Broadview to Dawes in early 2020.
Phase 3 (Woodbine and Dawes) Update:
– Line marking complete
– Curbs, posts and planter installation will be completed by this week
– Regular traffic lanes open tomorrow #DestinationDanforth #ActiveTO #VisionZero #BikeTO pic.twitter.com/rcXLlgMul2
— TO Transportation (@TO_Transport) August 11, 2020
Cyclists loved the new addition to the Danforth. According to data released to the Toronto Star by CycleTO and the David Suzuki Foundation, bike traffic along Danforth Ave increased more than 40% with the addition of these bike lanes. This opened up the opportunity for cyclists to get to their favorite local stores or take a stroll through beautiful Greektown. “Simply put, when people feel safe, more people will ride and walk – especially locally – and more people riding and walking means more business for local merchants,” – Danforth Community Health Promoter and Scarborough Cycles coordinator Marvin Macaraig
In this 5.2km stretch there are 18 Bike Share Toronto stations, with ample opportunity to dock your bike and support some local businesses.
A central and commonly used corridor, this strip now hosts 2.3kms of protected bike lanes from Adelaide to Bloor.
Checked out the new Bloor St E, Bloor St E, University Avenue, Queen's Park Circle bike lanes. Amazing to see and ride! #biketo @CycleToronto @TO_Cycling @CityPlanTO @kristynwongtam @m_layton @joe_cressy @kemosite @LisaStokes66 @EMcMahonBurl @BradMBradford @torontomike #topoli pic.twitter.com/6qNRHQglo8
— Chris Drew (@chrisjamesdrew) June 27, 2020
These lanes were highly anticipated, as they provide a safer commuting option for healthcare workers in this hospital corridor. Members of the group Doctors for Safe Cycling, who work in hospitals in this area, had indicated the importance of these lanes in enabling health care workers and staff to get to work safely and patients to access these essential facilities.
The Scarlett Road Cycle Track Art Project ‘Stories on Scarlett’ is underway! Completed Cycle Track Art Barriers will demarcate the cycle track on Scarlett Road from Edenbridge Drive to Bernice Cres. Photos by Andre Kan pic.twitter.com/MONBltJb33
— StreetARToronto (@StART_Toronto) October 2, 2020
Protected bike lanes along Scarlett Road from Humber River to Bernice Crescent popped up in late 2019. Stories of Scarlett is an initiative currently in motion that StreetARToronto is bringing to this community to animate and enliven these bike lanes. They have commissioned 141 Toronto artists to paint or create a wrap for the protective lane barriers. Not only are these colourful additions, bringing beauty to the concrete, but they are also more visible to drivers and making these lanes ever safer for the cyclists. Flora, Fauna, Fossils, and Fables is the theme for this collection of diverse artistry.
Want to see it for yourself? You can grab a bike at our Eglinton Ave W / Scarlett Road station and ride these bike lanes south down Scarlett Road.
For a full list of the current and upcoming bike lanes, check out the map below or plan your route with some tips and tricks from CycleTO.