Canada’s most populous province is relatively flat compared to the more mountainous western provinces or even the more undulating terrain to the east. Ontario’s highest point is a mere 693 m above sea level but is found in the Northeastern part of the province. With a complete absence of truly mountainous terrain, there are still some challenging roads that point upwards for enough time that they are worth seeking out. Here are Ontario’s top categorized climbs.

Cat 3 climbs

Scenic Caves – Blue Mountain – 2.3 km – 9 per cent

One of the toughest climbs in Ontario, Scenic Caves winds its way up Blue Mountain just outside of Collingwood. It is a pretty consistent effort with most of the gradients edging above 9 per cent. The maximum gradient is a leg aching 20 per cent.

Foymount Rd – Cormac – 2.5 km – 8 per cent

A climb that rises up violently with tough sections of 14 per cent at its base, the climb goes north to south on Foymount Rd just outside of Cormac. The climb eases up at the end.

County Rd 21 – Honeywood – 3.7 km – 5 per cent

A steady but quite lengthy climb for Ontario, the County Rd 21 climb runs east to west outside of Honeywood. The climb has a couple of false flats in it meaning the bulk of the climb is in the 7 to 9 per cent range. The climbs steepest section is 10 per cent.

Cat 4 climbs

Rattlesnake – Milton – 1.2 km – 9 per cent

The climb to Rattlesnake Point is on a narrow road and bites hard early with sustained 15 per cent gradients before starting to ease once past the park entrance.

Sydenham Road Climb – Hamilton – 2.1 km – 6 per cent

A steady climb on a wide road just outside of Dundas, Sydenham features long sections at about 9 per cent. From the top you look over Lake Ontario and the Hamilton area.

Northumberland Heights Rd – Alnwick/Haldimand – 1.3 km – 7 per cent

A steady start along the 401 service road gradual kicks up with the steapest section of nearly 17 per cent towards the end when the road kicks up for a cruel couple of hundred meters.

Moonstone Rd Climb – Coldwater – 1.8 km – 5 per cent

A relatively gentle climb which only kicks up to 7 per cent that runs east to west in Oro-Mendonte on County Rd 19.
Maple Valley – Creemore – 2.9 km – 5 per cent

A long climb that rises gently for almost 3 km next to Noisy River Provincial Park, the Maple Valley climb features a max gradient of 10 per cent at the start and a false flat final section of meaning most of the climb is actually at about 7 or 8 per cent.

Effingham Hill – Pelham – 2 km – 5 per cent

A climb that runs directly south in the Niagra Peninsula, Effingham Hill only really bites in the final 500 m when the road hits with consistent gradients above 10 per cent. With a max gradient of 15 per cent, it’s a tough little climb.

Brimley – Toronto – 1.3 km – 6 per cent

A popular climb in Scarborough which rises from the lakeshore Bluffer’s Park Marina. A large portion of the start is at 10 per cent before steadying off a bit towards the top.

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  • Greg Manbeck says:

    You Forgot Grey Rd 19, at over 4k at 5% average, Bowles hill in Beaver valley at 2km with almost 9% avg, Epping Climb near Thornbury at 4k at 5%, and Redwing Climb near Ravenna at 2.5 km at 4.5%. and Creemore Climb North on Fairgrounds at 7% for 1.75 Km. All Collingwood cycling climbs,

  • Jamie O'Connor says:

    Each township should put up their Ten Finger Climbs Ride. Travel about 100k or more and stuff 1500-2000m of elevation. Done in a group or solo, its a good chunk of work. Here, in Hamilton, we can oval a main loop and switch back and forth through Sydenham, Weirs, Middletown, Sulphur Springs, Wilson, Snake, King, Kerns, Old Ancaster, and Old Guelph up Valley. You can sometimes go down and circle straight up. We did this with a cool group on a good day. Automatic distance and climbing, the group did each hill kinda like this: roll steady to the base, let the guys who wanna drill it go, main pack climbs steady, and slower guys just climb. At the top, the group slow rolls recovery and everyone regroups. No one left behind, group goes to each base in a great mood. By climb ten, I was off the front getting to the climb early so I could pace up in my comfort zone and be passed near the top. Its a great day.

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