Your bike looks lonely — Photo courtesy of insidestory, Flickr Creative Commons
So the sun is shining in Toronto. It's time to get out there. Put on your spandex. Fill your water bottle. Throw some snacks (or even a picnic) into a backpack. Rent a Bixi bike, and take the subway station to High Park. It is time to have a great day, with the wind against your face and the CN Tower in the background.
Turn south at the High Park gates. Watch out for the latte mamas and ice cream trucks, as this park likes to celebrate any hint of good weather in a big way. At the bottom of High Park is Colborne Lodge, which is a historical museum housed in a house from 1836. Toronto doesn't have a lot of history that old, aside from some oak trees that predate Confederation.
Like cotton candy on trees — Photo courtesy of Toshiyuki IMAI
From Colborne Lodge, turn left to take the Martin Goodman trail. This is a 56-kilometer-long biking trail named for the former editor-in-chief for the local newspaper The Toronto Star. You will ride past ponds, picnic areas and landscaped gardens. During one very particular two-week period sometime in April or May, you may see the fleeting cherry blossoms. This makes the trail even more gorgeous.
The view of Lake Shore Blvd., from above — Photo courtesy of Peter
The Martin Goodman trail will help to lead you to the Waterfront trail. As you ride through Queens Quay, you will start to move alongside Lake Ontario. This part of the city coexists with nature in a big way. Rather than the trees of High Park dwarfing you, the condominiums loom over the landscape. Harbourfront is prime real estate in Toronto. (Doesn't everyone like a good water view at the end of the day?)
Turn right on Harbour Square to move your way towards Hanlan's Point ferry. Up until this point, this journey should have taken around 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Take a water break as you wait for the ferry to the Toronto Islands. On a beautiful day, expect to wait some time. Don't worry; it's all worth it.
View from the Toronto Islands — Photo courtesy of Robert Jack Will
Choose your island. Centre Island is the bustling choice and has attractions like a kid's theme park. It also has a 3.4 kilometer bike path.
Or if your trip is adults only, consider Hanlan's Point, which has a clothing-optional beach for you to let it all hang out once you've finished your exercise for the day. It also has a lovely 2.5 kilometer bike trail.
The more subdued Ward's Island has a quieter feel and is great if you want some private time and to get away from the bustle of the city. On any island, you will have a tremendous view of Lake Ontario on one side and the city skyline on the other. It makes logging the kilometers pure pleasure.
After heading back from your day in the sun, enjoy a cold drink back on the mainland and watch the sun set. The cycling season in Toronto may be short, but it sure is sweet.
Great beer lives here in Toronto — Photo courtesy of Mack Male