T.O. Sunday Morning – Cycling The Lakeshore To Port Credit

Previous Post: Tall Ships In Toronto Harbour- July 2016

A Sunday morning training run I’ve done a hundred times is the bike ride from my Riverdale neighbourhood to Port Credit along the lakeshore.  The terrain, as the graph below shows, is about as flat as it gets. (It also shows that I lost  GPS reception a couple of times!)

T.O. Lakeshore altitude chart

Taking advantage of the Lower Don Trail, the Martin Goodman Trail, and an almost-traffic-free Lakeshore Road, I get a good ninety-minute cardio workout which I monitor with my Polar M400 GPS fitness tracker.  After a cup of coffee at the Starbucks on Lakeshore in Port Credit, I ride back home.

This morning I would choose to do the second half of the ride to Port Credit on Lakeshore Road instead of on the less-direct and meandering Goodman Trail.  The route on the insert map illustrates the difference!  On my way back home I would take the more leisurely route.

Rooster Coffeehouse to Starbucks along the Waterfront Trail and Lakeshore Road

Rooster Coffeehouse to Starbucks along the Waterfront Trail and Lakeshore Road

On this ride I also brought along my Sony A57 and my Zeiss 16-80 lens. However,  except for the four images which follow,  I did not stop to take many pix on my way there, intent as I was on keeping those pedals moving.

bike-depot-for-the-toronto-triathlon-festival-2016

I did stop as I cycled past Ontario Place.  It turns out that the 2016 Toronto Triathlon Festival was taking place.  From the mess of bikes and wetsuits in the pic above, it looks like the cycling and the swimming have already been done. I would see participants running in the stretch from Ontario Place to the Humber River bridge as I continued on my way.

marina and restaurant on the east side of the Credit River

marina and restaurant on the east side of the Credit River – click on to enlarge!

Before I pulled in to the Starbucks I did get some shots of Port Credit Harbour and the bridge over the river. Then it was off for my caffeine injection and a ten-minute breather at a spot popular with Sunday morning cyclists.

bridge over the Credit River

bridge over the Credit River

Port Credit harbour and lighthouse

Port Credit harbour and lighthouse

The turning point - Starbucks Port Credit

The turning point – Starbucks Port Credit

ride to Port Credit - stats

ride to Port Credit – stats

Now for the return ride!  After tucking in with a peloton for two or three kilometers as we headed east on Lakeshore Road,  I decided to slow down a bit – and escape from the traffic. It was about 11:30 and It had definitely picked up.  The Goodman Trail is much more relaxing – and all sorts of great views of the city can be had along the way.

the Waterfront Trail on the Lake Ontario lakeshore

the Waterfront Trail on the Lake Ontario lakeshore

Lake Ontario Shore - about 20 km W of downtown T.O.

Lake Ontario Shore – about 20 km W of downtown T.O.

beach, sailboat, and CN Tower

beach, sailboat, and CN Tower

A sunny Sunday morning – and everybody was out. Kayakers, canoeists, joggers, fellow cyclists, folks walking their dogs, parents with strollers, rollerbladers … a veritable fitness commercial in the making!

kayakers on lake Ontario shore west of Toronto

kayakers on lake Ontario shore west of Toronto

The route includes bridges over the Don, the Humber, and the Credit Rivers. Also on the list is Mimico Creek. In the two photos below you get to see the view from the bridge towards the lake – quite idyllic – and then the view looking up the creek.  Quite a contrast!

the mouth of Etokicoke Creek emptying into Lake Ontario

the mouth of Mimico Creek emptying into Lake Ontario

Etokicoke Creek - looking north from the bridge

Mimico Creek – looking north from the bridge

Toronto lake shore park area west of the city

view from Toronto Humber Bay Park west of downtown T.O.

whimsical upgrade to a concrete structure

whimsical upgrade to a concrete structure on the Toronto Waterfront Trail

I stopped on the west side of the bridge over the Humber River and framed the following half-dozen views of the neighbourhood in my viewfinder. That’s my bike – a  “vintage” 2007 carbon fiber Trek Madone 5.0 which is my official Sunday bike!  For bike tours I take my 1990 steel frame Miyata 600GT and my everyday bike is another Trek, the 2005 aluminum frame 2100.

city view from the parkette on the west side of the Humber Bridge

city view from the parkette on the west side of the Humber Bridge

city-view-from-the-humber-bridge

city view from the Humber Bridge

condo developments west of the Humber Bridge

condo developments west of the Humber Bridge

The Bridge across the Humber as it empites into Lake Ontario

The Bridge across the Humber as it empties into Lake Ontario

Humber Bridge with city behind it

Humber Bridge with downtown behind it

the Humber Bridge - multi-use!

the Humber Bridge – multi-use!

It’s 13 kilometers from the bridge to my front door – still 45 minutes or so of work to do! I followed the Goodman Trail as it makes its way east along the lake shore – past Ontario Place where the triathletes were wrapping up their day, past the giant Inukshuk, past all sorts of great photo ops that I’ve stopped for on other occasions.

Toronto Waterfront Trail - Dufferin to Spadina

Toronto Waterfront Trail – Dufferin to Spadina

dock at Ontario Place

dock at Ontario Place

Triathlon conclusion at Ontario Place

Triathlon conclusion at Ontario Place

The Inukshuk on the Toronto waterfront

The Inukshuk on the Toronto waterfront

the boats at the harbour by Stadium Road Park

the boats at the harbour by Stadium Road Park

This time I bombed right past them all – though I should have stopped at Sugar Beach for a nice view of the umbrellas and of the downtown area from the east. I headed right for the junction of the Lower Don Trail with the one which runs on the north side of Lakeshore Blvd. all the way to the Beach(es).  The pic below shows the new art on the pillars of the expressway – still new enough for taggers not to have ruined it with their mundane scrawls.

the Waterfront Trail junction with the Lower Don Valley trail

the Waterfront Trail junction with the Lower Don Valley trail

Corktown Common

Corktown Common – see here for source

As I cycled up the Don Trail I left it for a few minutes to visit Corktown Common’s Pavilion Terrace. It is a high plateau overlooking the neighbourhood and provides a great view of downtown.

The entire neighbourhood was created to serve as the temporary housing for the Pan-American Games athletes in the summer of 2015 before being turned into mixed-income housing.  By all accounts it has been an urban planning success story – and it looks great.

Canary District play area

Canary District play area – looking west towards downtown T.O. from the Don River trail area

The Lower Don multi-use trail runs along the west side of the Don River all the way up to the Riverdale footbridge that I use to access the trail from Broadview.  In the photo below it is hidden by the swath of tree cover on the right-hand side.

The Don Valley Expressway and River - bike trail on river right

The Don Valley Expressway and River – bike trail on river right

To no surprise, my ride back from Port Credit took a bit longer and was less intense than the ride there –

ride back - stats

I would take the next day – usually a one-hour workout with weights at the gym – off!

 Useful Links:

Waterfront Trail

A map of the Waterfront Trail – the Hamilton to Toronto section –  can be found at the Waterfront Trail website. (See here for the pdf file.)  In years past  I have followed the trail all the way from Niagara-On-the-Lake to the Quebec border; it provides an almost-traffic-free way of bicycling along the shore of Lake Ontario.  this website can get you started.

Biketrain

Biketrain began as an initiative to make taking bikes on trains easier.  From the original Toronto-Niagara Falls VIA route it has expanded to include routes across the province. It allows you to come up with more interesting ride possibilities by making use of train connections.  For example, instead of doing the typical “there and back” route, I took the train to Niagara Falls one Saturday morning and then spent the day cycling back to Toronto. It is definitely a nice way to introduce new rides to your repertoire!

Over the years VIA (Canada’s national passenger rail service – it rents track usage from CN)  has made it easier to take your bike on the train.  It used to be that boxing your dismantled bike was part of the routine . These days they have bike racks on specified trains and you just hand up your bike to the attendant and that’s it.  When you get to your destination, he hands down the bike and off you go – no unpacking, no putting everything back together – it’s great!  See here for the details.

Ontario By Bike cover

Another source of information and inspiration on bicycling Ontario is at the Ontario By Bike website.

Twenty years ago none of this existed. All of the above have certainly made it easier to plan and do exciting one-day and multi-day routes in a province whose quiet beauty we take for granted.

 

 

Your comments and questions are always appreciated, as are any suggestions on how to make this post more useful to future travellers. Just drop me a line or two!

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