Ride the 17 km of newly expanded bicycle paths along Etobicoke Creek, a route that has taken years to develop into an excellent long cycling adventure.
As you ride by the waters of this creek, there is little to remind you that there is a bustling city beyond the edges of the valley. Assorted hills, curves, underpasses and bridges keep it all interesting. The scenery is a naturalized ravine setting typical of the Toronto area.
From Lake Ontario, this trail starts in Marie Curtis Park. It winds up the creek valley for an enjoyable 3 km to the QEW highway. That’s it for the south end. Beyond is a MTB adventure on a rough, grown-in track I have not done in years. The way is blocked by this untamed section and a golf course.
The master plan is to one day, someday, connect the whole length. Till then, let me suggest a much longer section above this mere 3 km jaunt.
As of 2021, you can start from Fleetwood Park off Burnhamthorpe Rd. E. to catch this trail as it follows the west bank north. Most of it is paved and recently upgraded with new signage, benches, and crossing lights.
A highlight on the trip is Centennial Park, whose large parklands have many features like a conservatory, ski hill, BMX race track, and extra paths to explore.
Once the trail reaches the other side of Highway 401, you may see airliners coming in low over your head to land at the airport. A thrill for any aviation junkie (like me!).
I am not sure why the path does not continue to follow the creek. At Dixie Rd., there is a road bypass where the trail veers off onto Mid-Way Blvd. then north on Columbus Rd. onto Cardiff Blvd. and back into a natural environment at Mt. Charles Park.
Here, you are not actually riding on the road, but just beside it, on a raised curb. It’s a brief 2 km stretch for a few blocks through a bland, ugly industrial area.
Once on the trail again, this part of the new path takes you under nine highway bridges! Then ride beside a golf course into Brampton, ending at Steeles Ave. E.
A mere minute going west is the Upper Etobicoke trailhead, where you can access another 20 km of parkland riding. Or you can just relax, grab a bite at the mall, and head back home.
I should mention Elmcrest Creek Trail, a tiny stream on a skinny 3 km pathway. It’s definitely a pleasurable side trail. It starts in Nelson Park and takes you north to Centennial Park, where you can ride west to catch the main trail.
The Etobicoke Creek route has been a ride I have wanted to mention for years. It’s still not complete, but what there is, is fine riding for cyclists. It may take a few more years ’til they sort out a way around the middle obstructions. I’ll let you know.
And there does not seem to be a simple road bypass either (mention one in a review below if you find one). For now, keep crankin’.