CITY CENTRE: There’s a long and rewarding ride ahead for cyclists who want to brave the Lower Don River trail, that stretches eight kilometres from Don Mills Road and the Don Valley Parkway south along the Don to Lakeshore Boulevard. At the best of times, it’s a good idea to bring water. But the ride is rich with sights
East York EAST YORK: The bike path winding
through Taylor Creek Park has long been a favourite family biking route. After a mid-July rainstorm this year, the shady route seemed more of an Iron Man family biking route. Running 3.5 kilometres from Victoria Park Avenue to Don Mills Road and the Don Valley Parkway, the route was slick
Otherwise, it’s a gentle ride, uphill from Don Mills, through valley lands that snake behind the Ontario Science Centre, past Sunnybrook Park, and deep north through the lush, thick woods lining Wilket Creek. Once you arrive, you’ll have to dismount as bicycles are prohibited in the gardens. But there are bike rings and benches.
and landmarks, and worth the trip. The Prince Edward Viaduct is at its most impressive seen from the saddle of a bicycle below, and urban wildlife abounds. Heading towards the new crossing at Pottery Road, a lone chipmunk tempts fate crossing the path. Further south, where the trail dips underneath Eastern Avenue, a flock of geese stand guard. with mud, and several bridges have now been washed out. Just past Lumsden Avenue, a downed tree called for a cyclist ‘portage’ through the branches. Two of the wooden bridges are washed out, and two others have the safety railing snapped off. It’s a reminder that even in well-groomed Toronto parks, nature still reigns supreme.
| SCARBOROUGH MIRROR | Thursday, July 26, 2012
NORTH YORK: The five-kilometre ride between Edwards Gardens and Taylor Creek Park is an easy run—for the most part. However, even experienced cyclists will want to get off their bikes and walk the wooden foot-bridge that curves over the CNR tracks cutting through the valley.
SCARBOROUGH: The ride from Greenvale Park, just north of Kingston Road across from the Guildwood GO station, through the Highland Creek Valley and along the shores of Lake Ontario to the Port Union Village Common Park, is a run of approximately 12 kilometres which takes in a wide variety of features and parkland through southeast Scarborough. The run starts with a steep hill and a warning for cyclists to dismount at the Greenvale Park entrance, but levels off nicely. It is a bit smelly, due to sewers running underground near the Lawrence bridge, along the creek into Morningside Park. After that it rolls through the University of Toronto Scarborough campus.
Cyclists cross under Old Kingston Road and continue along beside the creek all the way to Lake Ontario. There’s lots of opportunity to see wildlife on this ride, a pair of deer were spotted by the Morningside bridge, and it’s a fun run for kids with mostly level riding and lots of sites to see.
BEACH: On most weekends, taking a bike to the Beach is an exercise in frustration: just the same as is taking a picnic, a volleyball, a pair of roller blades or an automobile is. Everyone else has the same idea. On weekdays, it’s a different story; the run east from Leslie Street will take you a good five kilometres, past the new TTC vehicle storage facility, a skateboard park, and the millen-
nium-project Woodbine Park into the Beach proper. It’s good manners to stay off the Boardwalk – there are still a few visitors taking a stroll – but it’s a nice, safe ride through Woodbine Beach, Kew Gardens and Beaches Park. The bike route officially ends around Balsam Avenue; but a few hundred metres further east, and you’ll end up at the stunning R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant.
Story and photos/TCN STAFF
Bike sharing program lets students explore Scarborough >>>from page 1 cycling club. The UTSC Sustainability Office, handed the program last year, has eight bikes ready for the road when campus authorities give the arrangement their blessing. Students have started a petition to speed the process up. “It’s kind of getting a reboot now,” said Tim Lang, the Sustainability Office manager, who wants to see the program expand but said demand must be proven first. Last year, BikeShare (not affiliated with other programs of that name, including one in downtown Toronto from 2001 to 2006) had 94 registered users and 10 bicycles on the road for up to 48 hours at a time. It had to turn people away last summer, said Michael Overall, who was the program’s maintenance co-ordinator. Overall saw BikeShare replace
Staff photo/JUSTIN TANG
Scarborough Centre Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, second from right, leads cyclists along the new biking and hiking trail in Thomson Park during its official opening in late June.
original single-speed coaster-brake bikes with multi-speed, multi-gear
models. The program found a niche
among international students who could use it instead of buying a bicycle for a season, said Overall, who also taught bicycle maintenance to BikeShare volunteers. UTSC is well-situated for cyclists who plan their routes, being beside a multi-use path along Highland Creek to Lake Ontario, waterfront trails and Rouge Hill GO Station, said Overall, adding without much trouble, a rider from the campus can reach the Toronto Zoo. As well as providing transport and recreation, BikeShare can get people interested in cycling through Scarborough, said Overall, noting many UTSC students haven’t explored areas near the campus. “They’re missing out.” Glenn De Baeremaeker, a Scarborough councillor and a UTSC alumnus said he sees “immense potential” in bicycle-sharing hubs
at Scarborough Town Centre and the future McCowan Road light-rail transit station, so that “instead of jumping on a bus, students could jump on a bike and get out to Scarborough A campus” or to CLOSER Centennial LOOK College’s Morningside Campus next door. De Baeremaeker said hydro corridor paths have opened a new cycling route from Victoria Park Avenue to Orton Park and Ellesmere roads, but students on bikes will need paths along Ellesmere’s grassy boulevards to reach the UTSC campus. The road is too dangerous to cycle on otherwise, he said.
Scarborough Mirror July 26 East Edition