Posted by: Silver | March 17, 2012

Toronto to St Catharines

Toronto to Burlington:
Distance: 73 km
Ascent: 471 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 13 minutes

Burlington to St Catharines:
Distance: 75 km
Ascent: 441 m
Cycling time: 4 hours, 55 minutes

‘Busy’ would be a good executive summary of my first few days back on the road for SOS. ‘Manic’ would also be a fairly accurate description. Toronto being the largest city in Canada, there are a fair few service clubs active within its borders, and this means that, if you’re prepared to put in the legwork, you can speak to a different club, morning, noon and night, pretty much every day. Which is what I did. Five presentations in the space of 30 hours, from High Park in the west to Agincourt in the east, I cycled over 50 km on the first day just getting to the meetings and back.

Yes, I cycled through the centre of Toronto. And survived.

I thought I had it all cunningly planned out – I would sneak through the back roads and onto the bike trails – but after the seemingly inescapable construction work had thrown me off course, several local people had given me completely erroneous directions, and one policeman had admitted that he honestly didn’t have a clue where I should go, I found myself running very late and pedalling very fast along exactly the major thoroughfares that I’d been so desperately trying to avoid in the first place. I was a full 40 minutes late for that particular meeting, but fortunately hadn’t missed my slot all together, so, still somewhat sweaty and shaken, I launched straight into my presentation, without the aid of a safety net (my Powerpoint slides), and simply hoped for the best! Whether I’m actually more persuasive after a few near-death experiences, or whether my audience just felt very sorry for me, I’m not quite sure, but the members of that particular Rotary club donated more to SOS Children’s Villages than any other club so far!

Fortunately, the second day’s meetings were all reached by public transport.

The next day, however, it was back on the trike for the ride down to Burlington. This time I did manage to keep to the back streets as I made my way out of Toronto… which only left the snowstorm to deal with…

Did I mention that the start of the new season had been a bit crazy?

The bike paths in Toronto are actually very nice - if you can find them...

This was just before the snow got too bad to take photos in... but look at how quiet the roads were!

Fortunately, it didn't snow all the way to Burlington - in fact, much of the journey was actually very pleasant: a large part of it was on the waterfront trail (helpfully easy to find), and I was very impressed by how much 'natural scenery' there was in the heart of such a built-up area

And it just kept getting better: the ride from Burlington to St Catharines was not only largely on the waterfront trail again, but the weather was beautiful!

The Merritt trail in St Catharines wasn't quite as lovely as the waterfront trail - largely unpaved and with some punishing grades - but it was still nicer than playing with the traffic. I did hope that the water wasn't going to get much higher though...



  1. Hi Silver, You do have your times don’t you !! But No one or No thing Stops you !! You may get slowed down but you get there….:)
    You are one determined woman..and I know your passion for SOS Children’s Villages has no Boundaries.

    I Pray you have good host’s as you go….and get some much needed rest and bath time to warm your bones…Hugs to you and always thinking of you and Path you have chosen…<3

    With Love , Graham….good old Hope BC

  2. Hello!!!!! Been reading your blogs and I can’t get over how well you seem to be doing!!!! Are you still enjoying it??

    • Hello back to you!!! Yes, I’m still enjoying it, snowstorms and craziness and everything, because it *is* making a difference for SOS! 🙂

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