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  1. #1
    Senior Member bwinton's Avatar
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    North Toronto to Downtown route advice.

    Hi everyone!

    So, on my daily commute, I used to head down Welland (just south of Mount Pleasant Cemetery), and across the pedestrian bridge over the train tracks then over to Glen Road and down Sherbourne, but a few weeks ago, I found that they had completely demolished the bridge, and would be rebuilding it until September 28th!

    So now I'm looking for a hopefully-similar route across those train tracks.

    I'm currently heading down Bayview, but it's a little faster and narrower than I'ld prefer. Yesterday I tried going north on a trail from Mt. Pleasant and Roxborough to David A. Balfour park, but that ended up horribly. (By which I mean carrying my bike across a stream, up 40 wooden stairs followed by a huge hill, and finally lifting it over a 5' fence to get back to pavement. Bleah.)

    Does anyone have any better ways to get from Mount Pleasant Cemetery to Sherbourne and back?

    I guess I should also mention that I'm riding a Trek MountainTrek 800. I can do some off-road stuff, but I far prefer riding on the road. (As long as it's not the Bayview Extension! )

    Thanks!
    Blake.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jurgen's Avatar
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    Yeah. It really kinda blows.

    You could always go down Mt. Pleasant to cross the tracks, and then turn ASAP to get back to Summerhill. (That's what I've been doing.) I don't think there's any other good way without going further east or west...

  3. #3
    Senior Member bwinton's Avatar
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    Curses.

    I do head over to Mt. Pleasant to cross the tracks on my way home, and it's not too bad, (admittedly, half the time I take the sidewalk for that block,) but I was kinda hoping for a beautiful, perfect route to magically appear.

    Ah well, I'll try David A. Balfour park coming from the north, to get a better idea of whether or not there's a decent route that takes it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bwinton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwinton View Post
    I'll try David A. Balfour park coming from the north, to get a better idea of whether or not there's a decent route that takes it.
    There is a much better route through David A. Balfour park heading north, but it's not really surprising that I missed it the first time. Basically, take the first open bridge across the river, and it's mostly pavement/hard packed soil all the way up to Avoca Rd. But wow, what a climb that was. My legs were aching by the time I hit the top.

  5. #5
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    Just curious - what's wrong the the Bayview Extension?

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    Bayview Ext - paved shoulder

    Try Moore east of Bayview, through the Loblaws parking lot, and ride down the paved shoulder on the Bayview extension, but opposite direction (northbound). Its wide enough, and a very short downhill to the traffic light, then cross that and you are on Nesbitt, which eventually will wind its way over to Park Road. On the way back, its a nice climb up that stretch of Bayview.
    Enjoy!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Indie's Avatar
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    Heh, I just discovered that this morning. Haven't ridden in a little while. I stopped at the bottom of the ramp on the north side and asked a dog-walker if there was a way to get to Summerhill, and here's what I got:

    1. Ride down to the right, and head west under the footbridge. This is Carstowe Rd. It says No Entry and is a one-way street, so walk (or, if you have tiny sidewalk-legal folder/BMX tires like mine, ride slowly) on the sidewalk.

    2. At the end of Carstowe you'll come to Mt. Pleasant. Don't bother trying to get on the road or into traffic; just follow the sidewalk south under the train bridge.

    3. Take the first left onto Whitehall. You'll start to go uphill. (This is where I got off the sidewalk and back onto the street.)

    4. Take an immediate left (the sidewalk disappears somewhere around here), following the signs that say trucks must use Summerhill. This road will angle to the right again, going back eastward past the south end of the footbridge. There's construction there but if you wait a minute they'll let you through. You're now on Summerhill and can pick up where you left off.
    Last edited by Indie; 07-29-08 at 09:23 AM.

  8. #8
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    I think the other posters have covered it - you can swing east or west and cross the tracks at Bayview or Mt. Pleasant and then return to your original route.

    There is also the Moore Park Ravine, but at the south end, you are way down in floor of the Don Vally and it's hard to get back up to Sherbourne. You either have to ride up Lower Balfour Park to Mt Pleasant, or continue down the Bayview Extension to River Street, and those lanes are narrow and hairy, or ride up the Rosedale Valley Rd. which is very long and roundabout, or carry your bike up some stairs at the corner of the Bayview Ext. and the Rosedale Valley Rd and cut through Cabbagetown. None of those options are very satisfactory.

    However it might be an enjoyable ride coming home. Take Queen St (or is it King, or Dundas?) to the Don Valley, and halfway across the bridge you can go down some stairs to the lower Don Trail. Ride north to Pottery Rd, cross over to Bayview and ride south to the Brickyards, and then north up the Moore Park Ravine trail. Although interrupted now, it is the roadbed of a 19th century commuter rail that came up from downtown and then swung west and continued as the beltline along Chaplin.
    Last edited by cooker; 07-29-08 at 11:36 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bwinton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmills View Post
    Just curious - what's wrong the the Bayview Extension?
    Right where it starts, it's got some blind-ish corners, narrow lanes, impatient cars, and is really bumpy on the right half of the right lane. I seem to remember that it widens out a little further on, but between Bayview and Nesbitt, it's an ugly road.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cdn Guy View Post
    ride down the paved shoulder on the Bayview extension, but opposite direction (northbound).
    Ah, the opposite side... That's a neat idea. (The rest of the route is pretty much what I'm doing already.) I generally don't like people riding the wrong way towards me, but I can't imagine that there is a lot of northbound cycle traffic on that stretch in the morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie View Post
    Heh, I just discovered that this morning. Haven't ridden in a little while. I stopped at the bottom of the ramp on the north side and asked a dog-walker if there was a way to get to Summerhill, and here's what I got:
    That must have been quite the surprise! And it's closed until September 28th!!!

    So I'm not really sidewalk-legal (but I don't let that stop me on that little stretch over Mt. Pleasant!), so I guess I won't take the sidewalk, but it's a pretty nice route even on the street. (I take that route going north, back home.) Oh, and yesterday there was an oil spill on the road, so it was closed off, but the cop who was sitting there just warned me, and told me to take the sidewalk to avoid it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    I think the other posters have covered it - you can swing east or west and cross the tracks at Bayview or Mt. Pleasant and then return to your original route.
    Yup, that seems to be about it. Odd that I never really knew how cut apart the city was until they closed that bridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    There is also the Moore Park Ravine [...] None of those options are very satisfactory.
    Yeah, not really. I've been up and down there, and I find I really prefer riding on the road. I mean, I end up going the same average speed, but I like the speed and lack-of-slipperiness I can get on the road. (Funny, I suppose, what with my riding a mountain bike.)

    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    However it might be an enjoyable ride coming home. Take Queen St (or is it King, or Dundas?) to the Don Valley,
    I'ld probably just head down to the waterfront, and get on at Cherry Street, if I took that route. Actually I might do that tonight...

    Thank you, everyone, for the suggestions. I'll probably try them all out at some point, just for the variety

  10. #10
    better livin thru cycling
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    I also ride these routes to get downtown (from Eglinton near Laird) - my frequent route is similar to that posted by Cdn Guy, I take it to Sherbourne and then all the way down to the water. What I like about that route is that the traffic isn't bad in those residential areas, and it's not moving very fast, unlike bayview ext/mt. pleasant in places. Although I still take those routes and others for variety. Sometimes if I want a more continuous ride in the morning I go further down Bayview Ext. to Pottery Rd., and join the Don Valley trail to Lakeshore [NB - currently a little overgrown and a couple sandy spots further down, I'm hoping it gets cleaned up soon]. The length of ride tends to be about the same.

    If you haven't seen it, the City of Toronto Bike Map (http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/map/index.htm) gave me ideas for routes when I started biking around those areas to downtown.

    Good luck!

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