Welcome to Toronto, Canada’s largest city. Living in a sprawling city can make it a daunting task to find the ideal training area. Luckily, there are many locations in the city and in the GTA where you can get in those swims, tempo runs and bike intervals.
If you are visiting the area or live in the downtown core, and are looking to train in the city, here are a few locations to check out.
Lakeshore (Photo Cam Mitchell)
Tommy Thompson Park (Photo Cam Mitchell)
Skyline (Photo Cam Mitchell)
The only real open water swim location is Cherry Beach. With lifeguard supervision and buoys positioned along the beach, Cherry Beach is a great place to work on your open water swimming skills. Close to the downtown core, Cherry Beach saves time on the commute. This area is very popular with triathletes. Most notably, the Toronto Triathlon Club hosts group swims and open water swim clinics here.
Finding the ideal location to train on the bike can be difficult. Many triathletes living in the city end up doing a majority of their workouts on the trainer. However, with the summer weather and a few great locations in the city, don’t be afraid of going out for a spin. A popular cycling destination is High Park. The park offers a four-kilometre loop, as well as a few good climbs to work on those power efforts. Another place to do some climbing is around Casa Loma. If you go on the Lakeshore paths during certain hours of the day (early), it is an excellent place to do some more extended efforts in the city. Also, the Don Valley pedestrian trail is a great spot to escape the busy roads and do your workouts.
The city of Toronto offers a vast network of trails, making it easy to get in your chill runs, tempo runs and high-intensity intervals. Again, the Lakeshore/Martin Goodman trail is a great place to put in the long miles and tempo runs. If you’re looking for some running variety, try the Don Valley, with pedestrian paths and trails, you can change up the scenery of your long run in the valley. The Beltline is ideal for doing your intervals. With hard packed gravel and lots of shade, you can change up your run terrain and can hide from the wind and sun.
Rides north of the city. Photo Cam Mitchell
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Photo Cam Mitchell
Countryside rides. Photo Cam Mitchell
If you have the time on a weekend, head up north to Markham and jump on your bike and enjoy the country roads north of the city. On a weekend hundreds of triathletes flock to Angus Glen Community Centre and head up north along Kennedy Road. With the grid road system, you can tuck into the aero position and do many long sustained efforts. For those that like to venture to new areas, east into Goodwood and enjoy Annina’s Bakeshop. Head west and you get the hills of Caledon.
Once you get back to your car, throw on your shoes and do a brick session. If you head south down Warden, you can make your way into the little village of Unionville, where there is a network of paths and trails. Head north, and you can do a lap around Angus Glen Golf Club.
Go farther North
Photo Cam Mitchell
Views along Brunel Road. Photo: Cam Mitchell
Gradual climb out of Baysville. Photo Cam Mitchell
Head farther north with your car, and you enter cottage country, home of Ironman 70.3 Muskoka. Here you will find lots of bike rides, runs and open water swim locations. A large number of triathletes from the city drive up on the weekend and train on quiet cottage roads.
The Race Scene
Triathlon Ontario has two main race series for triathletes to get involved in, from the beginner to the veteran. Both Multisport Canada and Subaru Triathlon race series’s offer try-a-tri races for beginners, long course triathlons for those looking to challenge themselves and other multisport events, such as the duathlon and swim/bike. Additionally, there many adult and youth triathlon clubs to get the whole family involved.