Canada’s best cycling cities
Where’s the best city to ride your bike in Canada? We take a closer look at some of them.
The cycling scene in Canada is going from strength to strength year upon year. In more recent years, this has also included bolstering the infrastructure around many of Canada’s incredible cities. This is due in part to the fact more Canadians are jumping on two wheels to go about their day. That’s great news for the environment and the health of the nation.
The government of Canada is so serious about increasing cycling participation levels that in March 2021 they revealed a $400 million investment to help build new and improved bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges over the course of the next five years.
The cycle paths in most Canadian cities tend to be suitable for riders of all abilities whether you ride a road bike, mountain bike or hybrid bike. Even better is that some of them are maintained throughout the sometimes harsh winters some cities experience.
Whether you live in Canada or want to visit with your bike, let’s take a look at the country’s most cycle-friendly cities:
As the only North American city to feature in the top 20 on the Copenhagenize Index every year since 2011, Montreal is a city leading by example when it comes to cycling.
Montreal already has around 1000 km of cycle paths and the network is expanding rapidly to include safer routes and protected bike lanes. The REV (Réseau Express Vélo) network is one such bike path which is improving life for Montreal cyclists year round. It’s not uncommon to spot riders on all types of bikes from conventional city bikes and commuter bikes to fixies and cargo bikes.
The current mayor, Valérie Plante, has committed to improving the city’s network including expanding the REV to reach other parts of the city.
Vancouver, British Columbia
British Columbia is already well-known in the mountain biking world for hot spots like Whistler but as the most populous city in British Columbia, Vancouver is rapidly investing in active travel. Cycling is the fastest growing mode of transport in Vancouver and the municipal government is committed to accelerating the number of people on bikes.
The city has around 400 km of bike lanes with many protected from motor traffic. Among other factors, this investment was enough to earn Vancouver the 19th spot on the Copenhagenize Index in 2020, just one place behind its Canadian sister, Montreal.
Whether you’re using the city’s bicycle share scheme or bringing your own bike to explore Vancouver, you are guaranteed to discover the hidden gems of this incredible city.
Victoria, British Columbia
Staying in the province of British Columbia, the capital of Victoria is well worth a visit if you want to enjoy another great Canadian city by bike. Victoria is home to the highest rate of commuters in Canada thanks to its mild year-round climate and relatively flat terrain. The cycling culture is also very strong in Victoria which has helped normalise cycling as a routine activity.
Though the city itself only has 41 km of bike lanes, the wider regional district has over 775 km stretching into the suburbs and beyond. Highlights include the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, Lochside Regional Trail and the E&N Rail Trail.
Multi-modal transport is also possible in Victoria with all regional transit buses having a front rack for two bicycles. You have no excuse not to travel further afield when you’re in Victoria!
Canada’s capital city is actively investing in cycling infrastructure in line with the increasing demand from residents of Ottawa. The City of Ottawa was awarded Gold as a Bicycle Friendly Community in 2013 and has since expanded its cycling network as a result.
The city currently has around 800 km of bike paths which are perfect for exploring the many attractions around Ottawa. The most famous route is the cycle path along the edges of the Rideau Canal. Tip: visit Ottawa in May and feast your eyes on the beautiful Canadian Tulip Festival along the banks of the Canal.
If you arrive in Ottawa without your own bike, it’s easy to rent one or use one of the public rental bikes.
While Saskatoon is the smallest place on our list of Canada’s best cycling cities, it’s really leading the way in terms of increasing cycling popularity and infrastructure. Saskatoon is a great place to venture further afield, especially if you have a touring bike. You won’t be restricted to paved surfaces and you can explore more of Canada’s rugged landscape.
Saskatoon offers something for everyone whether you’re after a relaxing city break or an adrenalin hit on mountain bike trails. The cycle path along the banks of the picturesque Saskatchewan River is a great way to explore the city. Head a little out of town to discover the many trails around St Barbe or nearby Sutherland Beach.
Stuck in Canada? Velofix can help
We partnered with Velofix to help our Canadian customers with their Canyon bikes. Not only can velofix deliver and set up your new Canyon bike, but they’ll also service your current bike with their mobile bike shop service. The service is as convenient as it is high-quality. velofix is our trusted partner who will look after you and your bike.
After investing in your bike, your next concern might be bike insurance. Let’s see if it’s worthwhile.
Nov 29, 2021
Rain doesn’t need to stop you having a great time on the bike. Read our rain wear guide for advice on what to wear.
Nov 17, 2021
Explore Amsterdam by bike: Amstel River, Parnassia Beach, Zaanse Schans, castles and waterlands. It’s better by bike with these route recommendations.
Jul 11, 2022
From city bike paths along sun-dappled coastlines to winding climbs through forests and hills, Spain is a country that has to be explored on two wheels. This guide will talk you through some of Spain’s best trails and spots for cyclists to prepare you for the bike trip of a lifetime.
Jun 18, 2022