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  1. #1
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    Toronto trails???

    Hi everyone,

    Have done a quick search on the site but didn't really come up with what I was looking for, so sorry if this has been discussed before.

    I am coming to Toronto for 6months and am debating whether or not to bring a bike from Australia. I will be looking for some XC trails with easy access from Toronto city as I won't have a car.


    Basically my questions are:

    Are there any decent local trails within riding distance from the city?

    If so, what kind of bike would be best for these trails?

    If not, where are some good places to get a decent commuting bike for the time being?

    (Am interested in getting a 29er one day, so that could always be an option once I am over there. They aren't so popular here at the moment, so can't really shop around before I go)

    Lastly, apart from the obvious (crashing and no-one knowing where I am) is it dangerous to ride on your own (re: wild animals....please don't make fun of an Aussie...the dangerous animals we have are snakes which just get out of your way or spider webs....but you overcome them by letting some other person take the lead )

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    Yeah there are very good trails within TO. They're known as the DVP trails. Lots of fun. You'd be fine on a hard tail. Few stunts and stuff. In terms of commuting, I'd buy a beater while your here. There are a few shops selling second hand(?) bikes. Theft is a problem, especially if you have a nice ride. Dangerous? Just watch out for the black bears. They like to jump out and scare you now and again. And the wolves, they'll eat you alive. Just kidding. It's totally safe riding the Don. No animals to worry about, only the other humans on bikes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Tickles
    Hi,

    Yeah there are very good trails within TO. They're known as the DVP trails. Lots of fun. You'd be fine on a hard tail. Few stunts and stuff. In terms of commuting, I'd buy a beater while your here. There are a few shops selling second hand(?) bikes. Theft is a problem, especially if you have a nice ride. Dangerous? Just watch out for the black bears. They like to jump out and scare you now and again. And the wolves, they'll eat you alive. Just kidding. It's totally safe riding the Don. No animals to worry about, only the other humans on bikes.
    The witch (as Wenji is commonly known over here) has no nice bikes (other than the Superlight, Chameleon and the Blur with the nice pink bits).
    The animals will have more to be scared of should they run across the witch on a dark night.

    You guys look after our witch until she gets home to us will you??

    Have fun Wenji. We will miss you.

  4. #4
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    The Don Trails are definitely worth riding.
    No critters to worry about. We saw a deer on the trail to Sunnybrook a few weeks ago, and I saw a groundhog yesterday, some squirrels, but that's about it.
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  5. #5

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    The don trails are good if you like slower, more technical tricky stuff.
    For faster more flowing trails, you can try Albion Hills. About a half hour drive, but group rides are common so catching a ride up there shouldnt be a problem.
    Also there are bike lanes and recreational paths across toronto, great for exploring the city on a bike. Hit the city site for a map and info: http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/map/index.htm

    EDIT: I see you are coming for 6 months. If you are here in winter, (December to February) we have something here called "snow." That will give you a good idea of what real Canadian biking is like
    Last edited by prod; 05-10-2006 at 09:03 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wenji
    Basically my questions are:

    Are there any decent local trails within riding distance from the city?

    If so, what kind of bike would be best for these trails?

    If not, where are some good places to get a decent commuting bike for the time being?

    (Am interested in getting a 29er one day, so that could always be an option once I am over there. They aren't so popular here at the moment, so can't really shop around before I go)
    The Don trail is pretty much right in downtown Toronto. It's a shortish ( 20 - 45 minute), out and back trail that goes up and down the side of a ravine. You can get a good workout on it in a short amount of time. If you've got a hardtail, that will do fine on the Don. If you manage to hook up with some other riders and get lifts out of the city the hardtail will also be more than enough for the trails around this part of the world. It's pretty flat really.
    If you are coming in the winter you might want to wait and see what you are going to end up doing over here. You may not want to ride in the cold, and for part of the winter at least the Don won't be ridable, so for mtbing you would need lifts out of the city.
    If you don't bring a bike over then for a commuting bike I would go and look at Urbane Cycles ( www.ucycle.com ). They carry Surly and have had the Karate Monkey sitting in the front window in the past, might interest you (?). They are located right downtown so are easy to get to. Another store, within walking distance of Urbane, is Dukes Cycle ( www.dukesonqueen.com ), which would perhaps be a better choice if you were looking for a straight ahead mountain bike or road bike. (I believe Dukes also does group rides into the Don which would be handy for getting to the trail for the first few times. They definitely have a club associated with the store, the Lapdogs, who might help with lifts out of the city ). ( Urbane aims more at the commuting, courier crowd ). I can spend hours wandering around either of those stores.

    Have a good trip eh?

    Cheers, Dave
    Last edited by dskunk; 05-10-2006 at 10:11 AM.

  7. #7
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    Like others said the Don is a popular spot. You can also do the Rouge but getting out there might be harder as taking your bike on the bus might be an issue with the driver (I never tried it)

    When going through the Don though after you get to the end theres other trails that you can ride too in Sunny Brook and the parks there but they wont be as long as the Don is but still can be alot of fun.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR
    The witch (as Wenji is commonly known over here) has no nice bikes (other than the Superlight, Chameleon and the Blur with the nice pink bits).
    The animals will have more to be scared of should they run across the witch on a dark night.

    You guys look after our witch until she gets home to us will you??

    Have fun Wenji. We will miss you.
    Well....so much for my new identity... and leave my pink bits alone! However, you made me cry because I don't want to leave you all!!


    None the less, thanks everyone for the feedback on the trails and other useful info. The Don sounds perfect for me and will hopefully entertain me for the 6 months or so. I have heard of that white phenomenon called "snow", have even experienced it in another country (certainly not Brisbane Australia...we just get the rocky stuff called hail!) Can't say I enjoy it much and may have to use a mag trainer instead if my time there extends into winter.

    I am keen to check out the shopping over there (as in for the bike gear!)..will be nice to pass the hours away!!!

    Will just have to decide between the SS Chameleon or the Blur for the trip.
    Last edited by wenji; 05-10-2006 at 04:50 PM.

  9. #9
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    Snow? Whats that? I seen some when I went out of Toronto this year but while in TO it was never here long.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    Snow? Whats that? I seen some when I went out of Toronto this year but while in TO it was never here long.

    See..it's so cold...snow itself won't stick around! (Not one for the cold weather so I am hoping your summer over there will be a good one!!! )

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wenji
    See..it's so cold...snow itself won't stick around! (Not one for the cold weather so I am hoping your summer over there will be a good one!!! )
    Expect temps in the 30's (that's Celcuis, eh?!?!) and a drrrryyyyyy heat. "It's not the heat. It's the humidity" (god, I HATE hearing that!!!!! )

    Welcome wenji! There's plenty of places to ride around TO, also. I'm sure there might be a few people that wouldn't mind carting you and your bike to a place or two. Albion Hills, Kelso, Durham ...... gotta get you a hook-up with wheels. I'll volunteer - let me know. I don't have a hat and white gloves, but a big heart. You can't possibly come to TO and only ride the Don with what is to offer within a hour's drive. You must see/ride more!

    DO bring a bike!!!!!!! When you ride "over here" there's TREES with LEAVES on them to ride around. They're called forests here. (okay, now i'm being a smarta$$)

    When are you coming here? What style of riding do you prefer?
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

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    Oh, and you should check out the list of bike stores at http://tbn.ca/retailer/rtdb/at.htm if you are looking to buy stuff.
    Actually I dont see a lot of 29ers around here either, I think Skiis&Biikes had a couple.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    Expect temps in the 30's (that's Celcuis, eh?!?!) and a drrrryyyyyy heat. "It's not the heat. It's the humidity" (god, I HATE hearing that!!!!! )

    Welcome wenji! There's plenty of places to ride around TO, also. I'm sure there might be a few people that wouldn't mind carting you and your bike to a place or two. Albion Hills, Kelso, Durham ...... gotta get you a hook-up with wheels. I'll volunteer - let me know. I don't have a hat and white gloves, but a big heart. You can't possibly come to TO and only ride the Don with what is to offer within a hour's drive. You must see/ride more!

    DO bring a bike!!!!!!! When you ride "over here" there's TREES with LEAVES on them to ride around. They're called forests here. (okay, now i'm being a smarta$$)

    When are you coming here? What style of riding do you prefer?
    WOW! Thanks everyone for all the info, it is making me look forward to the trip there!

    Humidity I can handle...its frost I can't!

    I arrive this weekend (Sunday 14th) but will need a little time to adjust and get into the swing of things. Hopefully, I will be on the bike soon after though!

    I used to DH in Japan but its been about 2years since I have done it regularly so I have lost a lot of my nerve. However, I have spent all that time on my XC bike and mostly do endurance events and adventure races here. Having said that, I imagine the trails you have would be much more technical than what I am used to in Australia!

    I would love to hook up with other riders...anyone with a little patience qualifies!

    I also normally ride at night (hence one reason I get called a witch over here) but won't be bringing my lights to Canada. Trying to limit the amount of luggage I am going to carry! However, I WILL clean up the Blur tonight and get it ready for the trip.

  14. #14
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    If you are looking for a good deal on a 29'er, I saw that Skiis and Bikes had last years X-Caliber 29" in stock in 15".

    Also, let us know when you are here, and I'm sure rides to other popular places can be arranged.

    Bring the SS. Probably more than enough.
    Last edited by bigwheelboy_490; 05-12-2006 at 07:22 AM.
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  15. #15
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    The Witch is nearly there guys. Be careful not to get cursed by her it can be an expensive hobby. (Things mysteriously break on rides with her) Another thing she didn't mention is she is an endurance freak won the last two 24 hour races for solo women over here.

  16. #16
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    None of her competiters turned into frogs?
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  17. #17
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    None of her competiters turned into frogs?
    Newts but not frogs.
    Flippa Knoggin Dude :)

  18. #18
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    Maaaaaaaaaaan, I move countries and you people still hassle me from Brissie. Sheesh! PorKy...with a name like yours....do you REALLY think people will believe that I cursed you and made you break your seatpost???? Seriously...think about it a little...

    OK, have made it to Toronto....slight culture shock but am going to enjoy exploring the neighbourhood later on. Just hope I survive crossing roads expecting cars to be on the OTHER side...

    I was going to bring the SS but ended up bringing the Blur, I hope I made the right choice. I know most of you suggested a HT but just in case I feel the need to travel around a bit, I wanted the more comfy bike. Need to set myself up with a helmet, camelbak and lock before heading out. Also need to get used to being here too!

    Am looking forward to meeting some locals and seeing some trails!!!

  19. #19
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    Welcome to Toronto

    I wouldnt lock up the Blur outside other then maybe running in quickly for a pop or such as anything longer its just asking it to become some scums easy paycheck. Toronto was once called a bike theft capital of North America couple years ago and nodoubt still high on that list.

    Mountian Co-op (MEC.ca) down on King st W has their line camelbaks if you dont mind getting something that isnt the offical thing and across the street from them is Europebound had a 1.5litre camelbak for like 30-40$ but that was a couple months ago when I saw it.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    I wouldnt lock up the Blur outside

    Mountian Co-op (MEC.ca) down on King st W has their line camelbaks if you dont mind getting something that isnt the offical thing and across the street from them is Europebound had a 1.5litre camelbak for like 30-40$ but that was a couple months ago when I saw it.
    Nope, wouldn't dream of locking the bike up for longer than what you suggested and only in emergencies. Just want to have a lock for in general...just in case.

    I think I have been to MEC about 2years ago, probably the exact one you mentioned. Will certainly check out those places to see what's available now. THanks for the tips!

    BTW...when you say "pop"...you mean softdrink/fizzy stuff??? right????

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wenji
    BTW...when you say "pop"...you mean softdrink/fizzy stuff??? right????
    Yeah. Soda down in aussiland?
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    Yeah. Soda down in aussiland?
    Softdrink actually Heheheh, by the end of these 6months, I will be bilingual...I can speak Aussie AND Canadian..ey... (was that right? I really should get my Canadian workmate to check my pronunciation. ey.... )

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wenji
    Softdrink actually Heheheh, by the end of these 6months, I will be bilingual...I can speak Aussie AND Canadian..ey... (was that right? I really should get my Canadian workmate to check my pronunciation. ey.... )
    Welcome to Canada, eh?!?!?!

    Glad to see/hear/read your trip was successfull! Likin' the weather so far?

    Get your gear and let's go riding! IMHO, the Blur was the best choice. Best to "over-do it" when you don't know what to expect.

    Check your P.M.'s.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    Glad to see/hear/read your trip was successfull! Likin' the weather so far?
    .

    It's very similar to the weather we have in Brisbane...in WINTER! Am a little cold but going out for pizza with the co-workers now....carbo loading...hahahaha....must get on the bike soon!

  25. #25
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    Rain all week too. I think we need a new weather (wo)man. Care to work your magic?
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    Rain all week too. I think we need a new weather (wo)man. Care to work your magic?
    Oh sorry,,,figured if I don't have the time and gear to ride this week I would just spoil it for others.... Kidding, would love to wave a magic wand....but am too jet lagged to think straight!

    Have got some great tips on shops to check out, thank you everyone!

    I am looking forward to meeting some of you to check out the trails!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by wenji
    Maaaaaaaaaaan, ...do you REALLY think people will believe that I cursed you and made you break your seatpost????
    And the 9 spokes 2 nights before a race.
    Flippa Knoggin Dude :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by PorKy
    And the 9 spokes 2 nights before a race.

    Whaaaattt...you make that sound like a bad thing....was just lightening up the Heckler for ya! Hey....wasn't it 7 spokes last time you shared this story

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PorKy
    And the 9 spokes 2 nights before a race.
    Sooooo, basically you're warning us that if we go riding with wenji we should bring a spare .....bike?

    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

  30. #30
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    Not necessarily a spare bike just a few pieces to get you out of trouble. Secondly stay in front of her bad things only happen if you are stuck behind her.
    Flippa Knoggin Dude :)

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    Sooooo, basically you're warning us that if we go riding with wenji we should bring a spare .....bike?

    It wouldn't hurt... not as much as it would have hurt Porky when his seat broke...(hey...you shouldn't have been tailgating ) and then have to ride the few kms uphill back to the cars

    Anyway, I am in the NORTHERN hemisphere now....perhaps my evil will turn all good

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    Quote Originally Posted by wenji
    Anyway, I am in the NORTHERN hemisphere now....perhaps my evil will turn all good
    Perhaps, like how the toilets flush in the other direction here

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PorKy
    Not necessarily a spare bike just a few pieces to get you out of trouble. Secondly stay in front of her bad things only happen if you are stuck behind her.
    Ooooooohhhhh, NOW I see what's going on! It's HER fault that YOU were distracted and not paying complete attention to the trail in front of you.

    (sticks neck out on guillotine)

    Please note I said trail, not tail. (hey, PorKy started it!)
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by prod
    Perhaps, like how the toilets flush in the other direction here
    Not to mention the obvious...righthand side driving

    Light switches....ours go down for ON and up for OFF. Damn broken hallway light gets me every time too!

    Actually, so many other little differences here and there which are quite amusing...eh?
    Well maybe not....


    AndrewTo...Porky just doesn't know how to ride a bike....

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    Ooooooohhhhh, NOW I see what's going on! It's HER fault that YOU were distracted and not paying complete attention to the trail in front of you.

    (sticks neck out on guillotine)

    Please note I said trail, not tail. (hey, PorKy started it!)
    I was trying to see the trail but the load in front of me was taking up the whole view.

    Witch the few Klm's back to the car was more like 8.

    If the light switches are upside down there could you bring a couple back that way I could get all of the switches in my house to move the same way.
    Flippa Knoggin Dude :)

  36. #36
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    Porky....the light switches in your house do work all the same way...YOU are the problem....

  37. #37
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    Get out the screwdriver and "fix" the light switches Actually my rooms lightswitch is like that as the rest of the house is normal but doesnt confuse me.

    You could try driving on the left side of the road too but I wouldnt recomend it.

    I cant offer a fix for the toilet thing as it should go that way since the clock hands turn that way after all Im sure clock hands dont go the other way down south there.

    Did you like the hail? it scared the crap outta my cat.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  38. #38
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    Hey Porky, should I bring garlic er good to ward off witchs bad luck for rides incase she gets ahead of me?
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  39. #39
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    We once tied a chook to her bike but it just made her cranky.
    Flippa Knoggin Dude :)

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    I cant offer a fix for the toilet thing as it should go that way since the clock hands turn that way after all Im sure clock hands dont go the other way down south there. .
    If only my camera was here. I have an Irish clock at least thats what the salesman said. The hands go backwards as do the numbers.
    Flippa Knoggin Dude :)

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    Did you like the hail? it scared the crap outta my cat.
    I must have missed the hail, but I saw plenty of lightening, it was great..... I have had my fair share of hail ...got stuck in one storm in my car (was only 10mins from home). Beat the crap out of it with larger than golf ball size hail! Don't blame the car for being scared....it doesn't happen to be black does it??? Looking for a Canadian replacement for a few months....

    Well, if any of the Canadians work out what a "chook" is, then I am sure they wouldn't blame me when a dead one is tied to my bike....and I don't need them for any spells....

  42. #42
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    I think I see where the witch "powers" came from now.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb


    I think I see where the witch "powers" came from now.
    Well done SN....but the one tied to my bike was still feathered...

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