Getting Started

Cycling is a great way to travel to work, school or to run errands, especially for those daily trips that are shorter than 5 kilometres (approximately 15 minutes of cycling). No need to pay gas or parking all while getting some exercise and improving air quality. Try cycling recreationally at first to better gain confidence and skill.

GTHA municipalities have planned and implemented a network of bicycle routes to connect neighbourhoods, transit stops and between communities.

Planning Ahead:

  • Choose right: Choose the bike that fits your purpose (e.g. for commuting) and where you want to ride. Local bike shops can help you identify which bicycles would best meet your needs.
  • Plan your route: Where possible, avoid traffic heavy roads and look for trails, paths and bike lanes. Local municipalities have developed cycling maps that help you identify and plan these routes. Check their websites for more information. 
  • Protection: A bike helmet helps prevent serious head injuries. While it is not required for adults, a helmet is required for cyclists under the age of 18 in Ontario.
  • Dress for the weather: Check the weather before leaving and dress according to the temperature and weather conditions. Keeping extra clothing and shoes at work or school can cut down on the amount of items you have to carry.
  • Carrying capacity: Choose your luggage carefully to ensure you can comfortably carry what you need, such as a backpack, pannier or bike saddle bags.
  • Security: Remember to take a lock to keep your bicycle secured when parked in a designated bike parking spot or bike rack.

When Riding:

  • Ride with the flow of traffic: Always ride on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Watch for uneven pavement debris and give yourself plenty of room to move over if needed.
  • Communicate by shoulder checks and hand signals to show your intentions to stop or make a turn.
  • Be careful when cycling past parked cars as their driver may open their doors without warning.

Cycling Safety

Bicycles are classified as a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (1990). This means cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists to obey all traffic laws. Be sure to check local by-laws on whether it is legal to cycle on sidewalks.

For more information on bicycle safety, visit:

Before starting to ride, ensure your bicycle has the required equipment, including a white front light, rear light or reflector, a bell/gong/horn, and red and white reflective tape (no less than 250mm in length and 25mm in width) on the front and rear forks of the bicycle. Make sure to perform an Air, Brake, Cranks and Chain (ABC) check to ensure your bike is in good condition for your safety and comfort.

Bikes and Transit

Combining transit and cycling can help you get to your destination faster and easier, and is a great option for longer trips. Municipalities and transit systems are adding bike racks to buses, bicycle parking and permission to bring bikes on-board. Check your local and GTHA regional transit agency for opportunities to bus-and-bike and/or train-and-bike.

Cycling Maps and Information

Visit your local municipality website for more information on cycling in your area.