Biking the Toronto Islands


Plane comes into land on the Island Airport just meters behind the ferry boat.

The Toronto Islands are a special place in the city, they offer an escape from the hussle and bussle of city life while still being in the shadow of the skyscrapers. The islands even have their own cottage community, a remnant of the island’s former community that survived the efforts of the city in the mid 20th century to turn the islands into parklands. Two small communities remain, one on Algonquin Island and one on Ward Island. The two human encampments make for a lovely stroll amongst tiny cottages that overlook the city skyline, how fortunate one must be to secure one of those leases.

The islands are a place I haven’t really been to in a while, well not on my bike and certainly not by ferry. Although I paddle over to the islands often, it’s not the same. I’m always tied to my paddleboard and don’t get out onto the islands themselves but rather sit on the beach waiting to paddle out again. Recently I’ve taken out my road bike (I call her Trekkie) a 2009 Trek 1.2 out of storage and fixed her out. Her and I have spend some time traveling the waterfront trail from the Don river to the Humber and all the places inbetween. In this particular case I took the ferry, riding my bike out to enjoy one last quiet summer day on the island itself. Lucky for me the usual Toronto summer crowds were dispersed for this midweek adventure which made it easy to navigate around and take in the views.

Okay so this last little bit is a PSA of sorts, so my apologies for the bloody pictures of my limbs but they serve a point. In the last three weeks I’ve had two bicycle accidents, all on bike paths and all involving dogs. Each one involved a dog running into or in front of me. It’s becoming a sort of bad habit for me it would seem. First, I got knocked off my bike and into a creek by an unleashed dog while riding over a water crossing. Second, I had a dog run away from its owner and in front of me, I swerved to avoid it my tire got caught in a run and I feel right over my handlebars. Needless to say that last one was the worst of the bunch and really left me in a lot of pain. The point of this little rant is to just very politely ask all dog walker and dog owners to keep their dogs on leashes while walking them on bike paths. That would be much appreciated and it would be safest for both dog and cyclist. 


6 thoughts on “Biking the Toronto Islands

  1. I could add my own little rant about dog owners / walkers … and if your experience has been anything like mine, they don’t even offer anything in the form of an apology. Just an attempt at humour and “really, he’s very friendly” … and if a dog is on 12 feet of lead, he’s effectively off-leash to a cyclist/runner/hiker.
    ok – I managed a rant anyway.

    Hope you’re feeling ok. Going over the handlebars is never a happy experience and I’m guessing your wrist is still grouchy.

    I’ve never cycled on the Islands, but it has been on my list of things to do this year. Obviously my collarbone squashed all of my plans this summer, but hopefully it is still something I can do this fall.


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