Artwork by rafasimon/flickr

Heritage Rides

Family-friendly guided bicycle tours of city neighbourhoods led by local historians, highlighting the built and natural environment.
Established 2012 in Toronto, Canada.

March 6th, 2015 - Heritage Rides: Call for Sponsors & Volunteers

Thomas Hasan, initiator of the series of Heritage Rides in 2012 and a founding and past director of Canada Bikes, calls for sponsors and volunteers to make the Heritage Rides series of historical bike tours available in cities and towns across Canada.

Heritage Rides, initiated as a pilot project in 2012 to demonstrate the value of historical bicycle tours in Toronto, achieved its original objective with Heritage Toronto presenting Heritage Bike Tours in cooperation with Community Bicycle Network since 2013.

Now Heritage Rides wants to partner with historians, cycling advocates, cyclists, community activists, and those across the country interested in telling the stories of their neighbourhood to further the develop the series of historical bike tours. Heritage Rides will continue to directly develop rides in the Greater Toronto (GTA) while working with partner organizations and volunteers to develop rides in other parts of Ontario and across Canada.

Help support and grow the Heritage Rides series by sponsoring the series or a local ride. See the Sponsor page.

To get involved in the development of a Heritage Ride in your community, see the Volunteer page.

For questions or comments, email .

April 7th, 2014 - Heritage Toronto and Community Bicycle Network continue Heritage Bike Tours partnership for 2014 season.

Heritage Toronto and Community Bicycle Network, a partnership initiated by Thomas Hasan of Heritage Rides, are excited to offer guided bike tours of the Toronto Islands and Don Valley in 2014.

Historians Sally Gibson and Jennifer Bonnell will educate and inform tour participants about some of Toronto's hidden historical secrets.

See Heritage Toronto's printed brochure of 2014 tours or the Community Bicycle Network website for details and register online to participate.

April 25th, 2013 - Thomas Hasan brings together Heritage Toronto and Community Bicycle Network for New Bike Tours during Bike Month

Thomas Hasan, initiator of the series of Heritage Rides in 2012, is pleased to have brought together Heritage Toronto and Community Bicycle Network to jointly deliver two new Heritage Toronto Bike Tours during Bike Month 2013 in June.

The tours include the Toronto Island Bike Tour on June 9 with author and historian Sally Gibson and the Huron-Wendat Trail Bike Tour on June 15 with archaeologist and author Ron Williamson with the unveiling of several First Nations heritage plaques.

See Heritage Toronto's printed brochure of 2013 tours or the Community Bicycle Network website for details and register online to participate.

February 16th, 2013 - Heritage Rides at the YIMBY Festival

YIMBY FestivalOur friends at Art Spin generously invited Heritage Rides to share their allocated presentation time at the YIMBY Festival, held at the Toronto Reference Library.

Photos of the joint presentation, "The Bicycle as a Vehicle to Connect to Communities" to come.

October 27th, 2012 - Mimico Heritage Ride Sponsored by Sierra Club Canada

Thunderbird Bridge aka Humber River Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge (Photo by Tania Liu/flickr) Mimico is one of the original towns on the former Lake Shore Road along with New Toronto and Long Branch in the west-end of the amalgamated City of Toronto. Mimico was recently dubbed Toronto's top "next neighbourhood" by Toronto Life magazine when it comes to great real estate finds and writes that Mimico's overall feel is small town in the big city.

On October 27th, meet at 11:00 AM on the Thunderbird Bridge over the Humber River (aka Humber Bridge) to enjoy a great view of the Toronto skyline and then join us as we explore Mimico by bike. Led by South Etobicoke resident David Juliusson who led the Tour de Forts Heritage Ride during Bike Month earlier this year, this tour will follow the Waterfront Trail stopping along the way to highlight changes to the natural environment through urbanization, developments on the former Motel Strip, the threatened Mimico Estates and some of the challenges ahead with planned densification under Mimico 20/20 as well as some of the historic sites in the former Village of Mimico. Along the way you'll learn about the railway history in the area and local restoration efforts and a little-known but significant fact about Canada's first electric car. Pending park opening, Phase 2 of the Mimico Linear Park will be also be toured. The tour will end in the heart of Mimico near Lake Shore Blvd W. and Superior Ave.

Meeting point: Meet on the Thunderbird Bridge (pictured) over the Humber River at 11:00 AM.

Difficulty: Moderate. The ride will be on flat terrain (no hills) including sections of the Waterfront Trail using paved multi-use/shared paths and wide public streets with streetcar tracks and without bike lanes as well as public streets with bike lanes and residential side streets.

Email: info@heritagerides.ca

July 21st, 2012 - Interview with Thomas Hasan of Heritage Rides

MingPao Daily, a Chinese newspaper in Toronto covers the Leaside Heritage Ride in an interview with Thomas Hasan, initiator of the Heritage Rides, its July 21st issue.

An English-translation of the article will be made available here soon.

June 22nd, 2012 - Leaside Heritage Ride

Henry Talbot apartments, Leaside, Toronto, CanadaDiscover Leaside -Ontario's first planned community- with its leafy curved streets and distinctive architectural character. Leaside will be 100 years old in 2013.

On June 23, meet at 1:30PM on Moore Ave east of Bayview Ave at the TD Bank to explore Leaside by bike. This Heritage Ride will be led by Geoff Kettel, Leaside resident and chairperson of the North York Community Preservation Panel, and Cycle 26. It will highlight 19th century Leaside with early settler farmstead homes, the railway company town of the 1900's, Frederick Todd's town plan from 1912, Henry Howard Talbot, Leaside's visionary developer/Mayor, Bayview Ave (Leaside's main street) and the lost (but not forgotten) rivers of the Don. The bike tour ends at Sunnybrook Plaza.

Meeting point: Meet on Moore Ave east of Bayview Ave at the TD Bank at 1:30 PM.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. The ride will be on flat terrain with some large hills. More details forthcoming.

Email: info@heritagerides.ca

June 16th, 2012 - The Beaches Heritage Ride

Ashbridge Estate, The Beaches, Toronto, Canada (Photo by rutty/flickr)Much of the area now known as the Beaches was annexed by the City of Toronto between 1887 and 1905. Despite this longstanding incorporation, the Beaches remains a distinctive enclave, whose residents exude a stronger sense of community than is seen in most City neighbourhoods. In terms of architecture, atmosphere, and attitude, the Beaches resembles a small lakeside resort town.

On June 16, meet at 1:00 PM in front of Ashbridge Estate to explore the Beaches by bike including the neighbourhoods and historic sites of Woodbine Beach, Kew Beach and Balmy Beach with local historian Gene Domagala. This Heritage Ride ends at the historic R.C. Harris water treatment plant with view of the Toronto skyline and the Scarborough Bluffs.

Meeting point: Meet in front of Ashbridge Estate, 1444 Queen St. E near Woodfield Rd. at 1:00 PM.

Difficulty: Moderate. The ride will be on flat terrain with some large hills. The route will include paved on-street surfaces with streetcar tracks and potholes on the heavily travelled Queen St. E. as well as quieter residential streets and laneways in addition to paved and unpaved (gravel) shared multi-use paths on a section of the Martin Goodman Trail.

Email: info@heritagerides.ca

June 9th, 2012 - Tour de forts Heritage Ride

aerial photo Fort York, Toronto, Canada Cycling is a fun, healthy and eco-friendly way to view Toronto's early history. On June 9, David Juliusson, Program Officer at Fort York leads the annual Tour de Forts ride, now part of the new Heritage Rides series of bike tours in and around Toronto.

Meeting at 1:00 PM on the multi-use trail under the Old Mill subway station, we will begin by riding to Teiagon, the site of the 17th century Seneca Village. Following the Humber River trails, we will stop and explore the sites of Toronto's first two forts. Continuing along the Martin Goodman Trail, we will go to the site of Fort Rouille, the last French fort. Participants can come to Fort York for a free tour at the conclusion of the ride.

Meeting point: Meet on the multi-use trail under the Old Mill subway station at 1:00 PM.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. The ride will be on mostly flat terrain with some hills including sections of the Humber River Trail and the Waterfront Trail using paved and unpaved (gravel) shared multi-use paths as well as a couple of on-street stretches.

Email: djulius@toronto.ca
Phone: 416-392-6907 ext. 233

June 2nd, 2012 - Long Branch Heritage Ride

Long Branch is the southwest corner of Toronto and has a history all its own. It was cottage country, a military's rifle range just to the west of it in Mississauga was named after it, it was devastated by Hurricane Hazel, and a major psychiatric hospital was located just east of it in New Toronto. Many of its homes are unique and the area is home to the eastern portion of Marie Curtis Park.

On June 2, Jaan Pill, President of the Long Branch Historical Society, leads this first of many new Heritage Rides across the city. Meet at 1:00 PM at the Power House Recreation Centre in Colonel Sam Smith Park, south of Lake Shore Blvd. W & Kipling Av. (accessible by TTC and with free parking) to explore Long Branch by bike along the Waterfront Trail.

Meeting point: Meet at the Power House Recreation Centre (pictured), 65 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr, at 1:00 PM.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. The ride will be on mostly flat terrain (no large hills) including a section of the Waterfront Trail using paved public streets (mostly residential) as well as on paved and unpaved (gravel) shared multi-use paths through public parks and a couple of optional small stretches over grass with an adjacent paved route.

Email: info@heritagerides.ca

May 28, 2012 - Bike Month 2012: Introducing Heritage Rides!

Thomas Hasan in cooperation with local historians, the Etobicoke South Cycling Committee and other cycling advocacy ward groups is pleased to introduce Heritage Rides bike tours of Toronto.

The first four Heritage Rides taking place during Bike Month 2012 have been organized by the ESCC and other cycling advocacy groups in the city including 32 Spokes and Cycle 26.

Since 1989, the City of Toronto has worked with the cycling community to deliver programming encouraging cycling. Toronto's Bike Month has evolved from a 1998 Bike to Work Day event to become one of the largest event of its kind in Canada.

Disclaimer

By participating in a Heritage Ride you agree that you are responsible for your own personal safety and cycle at your own risk while abiding by the rules of the road. In no way will the organizers and/or volunteers of Heritage Rides will be held liable in the event of injury or death. As required by law in Ontario, children under 18 years of age must wear a helmet to participate in a Heritage Ride.