With many kilometers of bicycle- and pedestrian-only trails, the Martin Goodman Trail is a great area to walk, run and ride while taking in some of the best city and lake views in Toronto's west end.
The Martin Goodman/Waterfront Trail is the longest urban trail in the greater Toronto area. It stretches for about 56km along a section of Lake Ontario’s north shore from Scarborough’s Rouge Park in the east, all the way to Etobicoke’s Marie Curtis Park in west end Toronto. The trail is part of an even larger trail system called the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail.
The section of the trail I’m most familiar with is from the Tip Top Building at the foot of Bathurst Street then westward out to the pedestrian bridge over the Humber River. This is because I can usually ride from Bathurst to the Humber Bridge and back (stopping every so often to take pictures) on my lunch break at lunch, and I don’t get back to work too sweaty and exhausted.
As its name implies, the trail snakes along the Toronto shoreline. Starting from the beautiful white Art Deco styled Tip Top building, you ride through Coronation Park and pass the Princess Gates at Exhibition Place. Ride westward with the water on your left, past the Exhibition grounds and the now closed Ontario Place. Continue further and you’ll see the Boulevard Club with it’s tennis courts. Next you’ll pass through Budapest Park and come to Sunnyside Pavilion.
Sunnyside is one of my favourite buildings to shoot. Built in the early 1900s, it used to be a very popular warm weather retreat for many Torontonians, but fell into neglect in the 1950s. Luckily, it wasn’t torn down like many other heritage buildings in the city, and was cleaned up recently. It’s a great place to stop for a drink and a bite to eat while people-watching on the boardwalk.
Heading west again, you’ll pass through Sir Casimir Gzowski Park. There is a nice sandy beach there too that’s not as busy as the one at Sunnyside Pavilion. Finally, you’ll reach the pedestrian bridge over the mouth of the Humber River where the old city of Toronto used to end before amalgamation with the cities of Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York and East York.
At this point of the ride, I tend to look at my watch and realize that I’ve spent a bit more time taking pictures then I intended to, so I turn around and pedal with speed and determination back to work, hoping that something else doesn’t catch my eye and thereby requiring me to pull out the camera from my backpack and snap a few more shots. But there usually is . . . so I’m usually late back. I’ll try harder next time.