Toronto Visitors' GuidesToronto: Getting around the Big Smoke on two wheels
Toronto’s winter and summer months have their respective charms, but spring is where it’s really at for cyclists. Not only does June contain the most pleasant weather, with Torontonians relaxing on patios and park lawns across the city, but there is also a slew of cycling-related events, as June is bike month. The blue skies and warm temperatures, but with none of that nasty humidity, make for the perfect weather for day trips and neighborhood exploration.
Kensington Market (West of Spadina Ave. and North of Dundas St.) A little urban village if there ever was one, the pedestrian- and cycling-friendly Kensington Market is the best place to grab picnic fixings.
Toronto Island (Via Ferrydocks at 9 Queen’s Quay West) This car-free island is a short ferry ride from the downtown and is a must for bikers. It also contains a nude beach, but best keep your shorts on while biking.
Bike Month (all over the city) In June of each year, this month is packed with bike- and family-friendly events.
Critical Mass (Corner of Bloor St. and Spadina Ave.) This group bike ride is a great way to meet other Toronto cyclists. Starts at 6 p.m. last Friday of the month.
Sherbourne Common (Lower Sherbourne Street at Queens Quay) Part of the city’s new Blue Edge, this waterfront park features a splash pad great for cyclists looking to cool off.
Toronto Cyclist Union This member-based advocacy groups hosts regular meet-ups like pub nights and their coldest day of the year ride on January 30th.
Woodlot Restaurant & Bakery (293 Palmerston Ave.) A much hyped, trendy restaurant located just off the College St. bike lane.
Jet Fuel Coffee Shop Inc. (519 Parliament St.) This coffee shop is also home to Canada’s longest-running cycling team. Fuel up here.
Pizzeria Libretto (221 Ossington Ave.) – Baked for 90 seconds in a 900 degree wood burning oven, this Ossington establishment is the best pizza in the city.
La Palette (429 Queen St. W) – This French restaurant bikes in much of their supplies using the rickshaw parked outside.
Hen House (1532 Dundas St. W) – A cute, Formica-table decorated bar with a juke box and a relaxed atmosphere.
Sam James Coffee (297 Harbord St.) Located on the Harbord bike lane, this coffee shop puts out a sign reminding drivers not to park in the bike lane while they grab their fix.
Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St. W) This funky hotel offers bike rentals and a great bar.
Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. W) Down the street from the Drake, this hotel has 37 rooms, each designed by a local Toronto artist.
The Rex (194 Queen St. W) Located in the entertainment district and near BIXI, this hotel features live jazz seven nights a week.
The Planet Traveler (357 College St.) Located right on the College bike lane, this hostel features solar panels and a rooftop bar.
Annex Quest House (83 Spadina Rd.) Located in the beautiful Annex neighborhood, this old Victorian-style home has 18 rooms and is near several BIXI stations and the subway.
Global Village Residences (280 Augusta St.) This hostel is located right in Kensington Market, near the College Street bike lane and several BIXI stations.
BIXI Toronto (various locations) The public bike share program is fairly new to Toronto and has 1,000 bikes in 80 stations around downtown.
Toronto Island Bike Rentals (Centre Island) You can rent regular or tandem bikes.
Curbside Cycle (412 Bloor St. W) – This bike store sells European bikes and accessories, but they also rents out bikes.
Curbside Cycle (412 Bloor St. W) This bike store sells European bikes and accessories, but they also rents out bikes.
Urbane Cyclist (180 John St.)
Sonic Café (60 Cecil St.) – Yes, you can grab coffee and a snack, but you can also repair your bike with their tools and hang out with other cyclists.
Bike Pirates (1292 Bloor St. W) – A non-profit operation where you can learn to repair your own bike or get one of the volunteers to do it for you.
Bike Sauce (235 Broadview Ave.) – This DIY bike repair shop run by volunteers acts a great community hub. They even have a fairly extensive bike-related library.
Sweet Pete’s (517 Bloor St. W & 1204 Bloor St. W) – This store has two locations, offers tune-ups, accessories, and sells bikes for the mountains and the road.
Jake Tobin Garrett is a writer currently living in Toronto with a toe still in Vancouver. He is currently completing his Masters in Urban Planning at the University of Toronto and writes for both Spacing Magazine and Torontoist. Check out his blog or follow him on Twitter