Toronto Bikeways: Bike Lanes, Multi-Use Paths, and More

Toronto’s growing cycling network consists of many different standards of infrastructure. We’ve broken down the cycling infrastructure (or lack thereof) into four categories:

  1. Protected bike lanes
  2. Painted bike lanes
  3. Multi-use paths
  4. Streets without cycling infrastructure

 

Protected bike lanes

Protected bike lanes are physically-separated lanes for bicycles that run next to motorized vehicle traffic. These are the safest on-street places to ride in the city. The physical protection makes it difficult for vehicles to enter the bike lane. Protected bike lanes are increasingly common in Toronto.

There are many different types of protection used in Toronto ranging from low concrete walls to flexi-posts. They are often used in conjunction with each other.

Protected bike lanes are also known as cycle tracks.


Painted bike lanes

A painted bike lane is the most common type of cycling infrastructure in Toronto, and is indicated by the bike symbol and a solid white line. The solid white line tells motorists that they can't cross it and gives cyclists dedicated space on the road. A dashed white line indicates where a vehicle might have to enter the bike lane to make a right or left turn at an intersection.


Multi-use paths / trails

There are lots of trails and off-road paths in Toronto, and they are a great way to explore and integrate natural beauty into your routes. They are scenic, quiet, safe, and easy for beginner cyclists. Many offer great views of the lake, the Don River, the Humber River, and can be a quick break from the busy city.

Streets without cycling infrastructure

It’s legal to ride your bike on almost every road in Toronto. Many people choose to keep their rides on quiet residential streets to avoid high traffic areas, but this is entirely up to you. Sticking to quiet streets is possible in some neighbourhoods, but there are real barriers such as Toronto’s highways and many popular destinations are on wide, fast streets. Your level of comfort, speed limit, actual driving speed, width of the road and more should go into your decision to ride with car traffic. See our guide on how to plan a bike route for more information.

How to plan a bike route

 

Discover new cycle-friendly routes using the Toronto Cycling Map!

You can view the Toronto Cycling Map online, or pick one up from City Hall, your local library, the nearest Civic Centre, or the Cycle Toronto office.

 

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