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Complete guide to bike rentals in Toronto

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Traversing Toronto can be exhausting sometimes as it feels like every option has so many downsides. The TTC can be slow and inconsistent,  driving can be expensive and walking can be slow and dangerous depending on the weather. Thankfully the bustling city of Toronto has great biking infrastructure with many different services and trails to let you see the city in an affordable fast way. So we decided to make the complete guide to bike rentals in Toronto to help newcomers and tenured residents have an easier time exploring the wonderful city of Toronto by bike.

Bike Share Toronto station along the Waterfront Trail, photo by Terry Lankstead

1. Choosing the Right Bike Rental Service

Toronto offers a variety of bike rental options ranging from city-run programs to private rental shops and bike tours. The most popular choices include:

  • Bike Share Toronto: This is the city’s official bike-sharing service, which offers 24/7 access to thousands of bikes across hundreds of stations in the city. You can rent bikes via a mobile app or membership card.
  • Private Rental Shops: Numerous bike shops across Toronto offer hourly, daily, or weekly bike rentals. These often include specialized bikes like road bikes, mountain bikes, or electric bikes.
  • Guided Bike Tours: Several companies provide guided bike tours that include bike rental. This is a great way to explore specific areas of the city with the insight of a knowledgeable guide.

Here are some places to rent bikes and some bike tours to start you off:

Bateman’s Bicycle Company

Website: https://batemansbikeco.com/ 

Address: 913 Bathurst St

MetroCycleTO

Website: https://www.metrocycleto.com/ 

1412 Queen St W

Sweet Pete’s Bike Shop

https://www.sweetpetes.com/ 

1204 Bloor St W

Urbane Cyclist

https://www.ucycle.com/ 

280 College St

Curbside Cycle

https://curbsidecycle.com/ 

412 Bloor St W

Toronto Bicycle Tours

https://torontobicycletours.com/ 

124 St Patrick St

Wheel Excitement

https://wheelexcitement.ca/ 

249 Queens Quay W

Cyclepath Danforth

1520 Danforth Ave

https://www.thecyclepath.com/ 

Beach Toyz

https://www.beachtoyz.ca/ 

1787 Queen St E

Gears Bike Shop

https://gearsbikeshop.com/

599 King St E

Guided tours

Toronto Bicycle Tours https://torontobicycletours.com/ 

Cycle Canada Bicycle Tours https://www.cyclecanada.com/ 

Downtown Toronto Bike Tour https://www.toniagara.com/tours/toronto-waterfront-island-and-distillery-bicycle-tour

2. Understanding Bike Rental Pricing and Membership Options

  • Bike Share Toronto: Offers a range of pricing from single-ride passes to annual memberships. A single ride can cost around $3.25, while annual memberships might be around $99, offering unlimited 30-minute rides.
  • Private Rentals: Costs can vary depending on the type of bike and rental duration. Expect to pay from $15 to $40 per day for a standard bike.
  • Toronto Bike Tours: Bike tour prices usually start at around $50 and can go up depending on the tour’s length and the type of bike used.

3. Rules and Regulations for biking in Toronto

  • Helmets: While helmets are not mandatory for adults over 18 in Ontario, they are highly recommended for safety. Most rental services offer helmets for free or a small fee.
  • Road Rules: Bicyclists must follow the same rules as vehicles when riding on the road and are entitled to use the whole lane. Make sure to signal turns and stop at all red lights and stop signs.

4. Biking Trails and Routes to Explore

Kay Gardner Beltline Trail, a mixed-use trail, Toronto, photo by Terry Lankstead
  • Waterfront Trail: This scenic route offers stunning views of Lake Ontario and runs along the city’s waterfront. It’s perfect for a leisurely ride.
  • Don Valley Brick Works Park: A beautiful area for those looking for a bit more nature. The park features trails that cater to all levels of cycling proficiency.
  • High Park: Toronto’s largest public park offers both paved and dirt trails suitable for cyclists who want a mix of city views and greenery.
  • There are numerous other fantastic bike trails to explore in Toronto. Here is a list of the best places to bike in the city.

5. Safety Tips

  • Stay Visible: Wear bright clothing and use lights if you are riding early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Inpsect the Bike: Ensure that the bike’s brakes, gears, and tires are in good condition before you start your ride.
  • Plan Your Route: Especially if you’re new to the city, plan your route in advance to avoid heavy traffic areas and to utilize bike lanes and trails.

6. Mobile Apps and Resources

  • Bike Share Toronto App: For locating stations and checking bike availability.
  • Google Maps: Offers bike routes and navigation.
  • Strava: Useful for tracking your rides and exploring popular routes used by local cyclists.

By following this guide to bike rentals in Toronto, you should have a great experience biking around Toronto. Whether you’re renting a bike for leisure, exercise, or as a way to commute, Toronto’s bike-friendly infrastructure and beautiful landscapes make it an ideal city for cyclists.

by Ryan Howse-Hackl

Here are more great guides to biking and walking in Toronto:

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