September 30, 2023

Oshawa to Downtown Toronto

After marking ten years earlier this year, this post marks the 300th on my Two Wheeled Politics blog! 😊 To mark this milestone, I will write about an almost 80 kilometre trip I did on Thursday, September 28 from Oshawa to Downtown Toronto for a day off work.


The good news about starting in Oshawa is the GO train goes there every 30 minutes, but the bad news is there are no safe bikeways connecting (Durham College) Oshawa GO station. I took Bloor Street east to Oshawa Creek which was not pleasant with heavy traffic.

Once on the (Joseph Kolodzie) Oshawa Creek Bike Path, it was smooth sailing all the way to the Waterfront.

Shortly past the railway tracks and along the trail, I noticed lots of fish swimming by Oshawa Creek. Here's a photo over a bridge just north of Wentworth Street.

The wayfinding signage along the Oshawa Creek trail was decent, though it would be nice to indicate the distance to the next trail exit.

The trail ends at Southmead Park on Simcoe Street.

From there, a painted bike lane leads to the Waterfront Trail at Lakeview Park, though there was some construction on the bridge immediately south of Southmead Park.

At the Waterfront Trail at Lakeview Park.

In addition to e-scooters, Bird offers e-bike rentals in Oshawa.

Several Greenspoke bike repair stations can be found along the Waterfront.

At Lakeview Park and Kluane, you need to turn left to continue on the Waterfront Trail. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any trail signage stating this, while going straight would have lead you back to Oshawa Creek.

Despite this wayfinding snag, the City of Oshawa used these signs on Cedar Street. Coincidentally, there was an e-scooter blocking the path which is why I don’t like shared scooter companies like Lime and Bird.

A nice photo by Lake Ontario at Lakefront Park.

If you look to the right, you can see the General Motors assembly complex past the sports fields.


While Oshawa has some wayfinding quirks and GO station connectivity to fix, the Whitby portion of the Waterfront was pretty straight forward consisting mainly of trails. Here is the boardwalk crossing the marshes by Corbett Creek.

A landfill site could be found just past Thickson Road.

The trail was closed at Kiwanis Heydenshore Park due to the Whitby Water Supply Plant expansion work.

Fortunately, a safe trail detour was provided to Rotary Sunrise Lake Park.

A pier can be found next to that park.

Charles and Watson Streets offered decent in-boulevard trails to ensure a continuous bikeway.

The Waterfront Trail between Whitby Harbour and Lynde Creek had some very wide sections; making it likely it used to be a road.

If the stop sign wasn’t obvious enough, an extra barrier was added near Victoria Street and Havenwood Place.

The Victoria Street path runs adjacent to Lynde Creek.

I approve of the “cyclists yield to pedestrians” sign on this bridge at Lynde Shores Conservation Area.

Before entering Ajax, I used Halls Road which is narrow with sharrows. While not ideal, there was no traffic which was nice.

Ajax and Pickering

The last time I biked along the Ajax and Pickering portions of the Waterfront was in September 2016 with Helen which you can read here. However, a few things have changed since then.

At Paradise Beach, twin trails were created to separate people walking from cycling.

Ajax created four short trail loops for Discovery Bay, Rotary Park, Duffins Bay, and Clover Ridge. This symbol is for Clover Ridge.

The entrance to Pickering is clearly marked with a small shelter. Didn’t see any benches there, but I noticed additional seating areas and ring and posts were added since 2016.

One big disappointment was the boardwalk disappeared which is an epic fail for Waterfront connectivity! If the trail needed to be temporarily diverted, shouldn’t the City of Pickering at least put up some signage?

The sand was pretty hard to ride through so I had to push my bike. 😞

Looking back to the Pickering nuclear power plant.

Finally, the boardwalk reappears.

After the ride, Robyn Hughes informed me the boardwalk was damaged from high water levels in 2017. After doing more research, I found there were also storms in 2019 which prompted the boardwalk removal in Spring 2020. The latest update on the Waterfront Trail website indicated the new boardwalk should be constructed next year which Mayor Kevin Ashe indicated should be built higher up to protect from the elements. Until then, I suggest turning right at Sandy Beach Road and then follow Parkham Crescent, Colmar Avenue, and Commerce Street to avoid the missing boardwalk.

During the summer, Liverpool Road was normally bustling with activity, but was deserted when I rode by.

Some new trails were put in by Frenchman’s Bay Park West.

There was one short trail to nowhere by Beachpoint and West Shore which I thought was stupid. However, it looks like the trail could be rerouted to be adjacent to the lake to Marksbury Road in the future.

Unlike Whitby’s friendly signage, the Petticoat Creek crossing not only used dismount signage, but also added three P gates at each end which weren’t there before. A serious safety hazard.

Just before crossing the Rouge River, I noticed Parks Canada added some new signage given the Rouge Beach area is part of the Rouge National Urban Park.

Scarborough and Highland Creek

Here’s a quick look at the Rouge River and marshlands looking north.

The Rouge Hill portion of the Waterfront Trail is now named for the late Councillor Ron Moeser.

A ghost bike was placed near Rouge Hill GO in 2016 when a 19 year old cyclist was killed by a train.

Doesn’t it just feel good to be out on a long ride?

Approaching the bridge to East Point Park.

The Highland Creek Trail is now visible.

Shortly after turning into the Highland Creek Trail, I saw two deer on the trail and a third in the bush. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my phone in time to snap a picture.

The Highland Creek Trail could use some wayfinding; especially as you approach UTSC. At this trail fork, head toward the “Main Campus”, but stay left instead of right at the following trail fork to continue.

Overall, the Highland Creek Trail was pretty decent.


This ride marks the first time I used the RapidTO lanes on Kingston Road and Eglinton Avenue East. While I still prefer cycle tracks as are proposed with the Eglinton East LRT, it’s still safer than before.

At Scarborough Golf Club Road where the planned Danforth-Kingston bikeway will end. Once that can be done, the Durham Waterfront and Highland Creek Trails will become a lot more accessible from downtown. If you haven’t already, please sign the Danforth-Kingston 4 All petition.

Shortcuts to Danforth

Instead of continuing along Eglinton, I turned off at Mason Road to ride the McCowan District Park Trail to Brimley between Eglinton & St. Clair. This trail would become even more useful if it could be extended southwest through Midland-St. Clair Park to Jeanette Park, as well as add a pedestrian crossover at Brimley.

I took another shortcut through Scarborough GO which was shorter than the McCowan District Park Trail.

Some people planting trees could be seen at the end of that trail.

I then took some side streets to get to Danforth Avenue just past the Danforth-Kingston interchange.

And finally, I made it to Victoria Park where it’s protected bike lanes all the way home!

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Durham Waterfront and Highland Creek Trails make for a good long distance ride. However, Oshawa could use improved GO station connectivity while Pickering needs to rebuild that boardwalk. The trail will also become more accessible once the Danforth-Kingston bikeway can get built; hopefully next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment