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Ontario Place cycling trails to bring ‘a little bit of country’ to Toronto

The new bike trail, connecting Ontario Place with the Martin Goodman Trail on Toronto's waterfront, and its adjoining park are scheduled to open on Canada Day 2017

The cycling trail winds through Ontario Place on Toronto's waterfront. (Image: IDuke
The cycling trail winds through Ontario Place on Toronto’s waterfront. (Image: IDuke

Ontario Place has twice hosted Red Bull’s Race the Place, a criterium-style event in the shadow of Toronto’s skyline. Riders can also be seen dotting the surrounding paths year-round, sun, rain or snow. So there’s something fitting about the fact that the facility, resting on the shores of Lake Ontario, will soon be getting its own network of cycling trails.

It’s certainly in good company, considering the other cycling facilities on Toronto’s waterfront. One of those is the city’s newest BMX park, southwest of downtown Toronto near the Humber River.

Along with a 1,700-tonne granite rock wall, stunning vistas of the Toronto skyline and facilities for hikers—as well as carvings and other celebrations of local First Nations culture—a cycling trail will connect Ontario Place with the Martin Goodman Trail, allowing cyclists access from the west or east. The preservation of park space, and the infusion of recreational opportunities for riders not always seen in the city, is the point, officials told the Toronto Star—and what’s good for cyclists, they suggest, is good for cities.

“Cities around the world,” said Ontario tourism minister Eleanor McMahon, “like New York, to which Toronto is arguably comparable, have lots of urban park space.”

“This is a little bit of country right here in the city,” she added.

While a timeline for the project’s remaining development hasn’t been disclosed, the Star reports, the site itself is scheduled for a July 1, 2017 opening—in time for Canada’s 150th birthday.