Imagine this: your tires crunching over gravel or hissing on pavement, the city speeding past, and the entire world belonging to just you and your bike. Nearly 80 km of it. That’s the scenario possible as a result of the Pan Am Path, a lasting, living legacy of the Toronto Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games of 2015.
Designed for mixed-use, especially the use of cyclists, the Pan Am Path will be an expansive, 80 km route that connects Brampton in the west with the Rouge River in the east. Like the revitalization of the Vancouver waterfront before Expo ’86, for example, the Pan Am Games bear the promise of such high-profile events benefiting citizens — new facilities, new spaces, and new opportunities for area residents. With the Pan Am Path, that certainly appears to be the case.
This Saturday, May 16, the path’s unveiling officially begins with festivities to launch the Pan Am Path Art Relay.
At Humber College and University of Humber-Guelph—205 & 207 Humber College Blvd., respectively—a series of events are happening this Saturday 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to herald the Path as a new, more grassroots addition to the GTA. With kid-friendly programs courtesy of Arts for Children and Youth, ROM BioBlitz, Dos Mundos, the David Suzuki Foundation, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival, and others, the event promises to be a forerunner of the colourful, dynamic possibilities that happen when a city is opened up to its people. The event will also featured bike-powered music offerings, thanks to the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival.
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For cyclists, it will also be a general preview of what the Pan Am Path will offer. Starting at 11 a.m., the Playing For Keeps Bike Ride gets underway, tracing the route from Pan Am Path to Pine Point Park and back. Local cyclists, of course, are strongly encouraged to RSVP early.