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If you’re looking for a city that has trendy restaurants, easy access to the outdoors, and is bursting at the seams with culture, then Toronto is your place. Believe it or not, even though this is the biggest city in Canada, there are still hidden gems to discover along with the iconic sights that bring in travelers from around the world!
In fact, there is such a range of things to do in Toronto, that you’ll truly never get bored. Our last visit was jam-packed with activities and as a true Canadian, I’m always trying to get outside and explore while in a new city. Luckily, Toronto has 1,600 parks and is incredibly bikeable, so taking a bike tour was a no-brainer.
With a bike tour, you can easily explore all the fantastic outdoor areas as well as the trendiest neighborhoods, and historic sights! But knowing which tour to take and where to book could leave you with your wheels spinning.
To help out, we’ve narrowed it down to the 5 best bike tours of Toronto so you can explore the city and enjoy it on two wheels as much as we did!
Our Top Picks for Bike Tours in Toronto
If you’re already in Toronto or looking to secure a spot on a bike tour right now, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick summary of our top two choices for tours you can book immediately and start exploring!
Best city tour: For the highlights of the city, this downtown Toronto bike tour hits all the main sights. You’ll cruise past the CN Tower, Chinatown, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Toronto City Hall. It’s a busy 3.5 hours, so we appreciated the stop at the St. Lawrence Market for a bite to eat! The guide was great at filling us in on the history of Toronto as we pedaled and we scouted out places we returned to later! It’s only $96 CAD when you book online and you’re guaranteed to be in a small group which is a huge plus.
Best tour for beginner riders: Seeing the city is fantastic, but we fell in love with the Toronto Islands on this morning bike tour. The Toronto Islands are completely car-free, so if you’re not super confident riding in traffic, this is the tour for you! After a quick ferry ride to the islands, you’ll spend 3.5 hours visiting spots like the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse and getting a stellar view of the Toronto skyline. It’s $107 CAD to reserve a spot and you finish up by lunchtime with plenty of time for more exploring.
Why Book a Bike Tour in Toronto?
Booking a bike tour is one of the best ways to explore Toronto. The city is filled with excellent bike paths to easily get around so it’s the perfect way to travel and sightsee at the same time.
Within just a few kilometers or miles you can be in sprawling parks that you may forget you’re even in a city – I know we did!
You can actually see more of Toronto than simply walking, as you move faster on two wheels! I also loved that these tours include a local guide so you can learn about the city. Toronto is extremely old and has a significant history, so I was able to learn a lot on our bike tour and it actually made me appreciate my time in the city even more. Your local guide can also show you some of the best attractions, restaurants, breweries, and more, so you’ll know the best places to go after the tour is over.
Plus, riding a bicycle on a sunny day in Toronto is simply hard to beat. You’ll fall in love with this beautiful city, there is really no better way to explore!
What are the Best Bike Tours in Toronto?
1. Toronto Islands Morning Bike Tour
While you may picture cycling through busy city streets when a bike tour comes to mind, this Toronto Islands Morning Bike Tour was a super refreshing way to start one of our days in Toronto. The Toronto Islands are just a quick ferry ride from downtown, but it’s easy to forget you’re even near one of the largest cities in North America!
A HUGE plus is that the Toronto Islands are completely car-free. It was so nice not to be looking over our shoulders or trying to navigate busy traffic. If you haven’t been on a bike in a while or are traveling with kids, this is definitely the more relaxed tour to choose.
We met our guide and the rest of our group at 8:30 am in downtown Toronto close to the front entrance of the Village by the Grange. I really liked that this was a morning tour as it’s great to get some fresh air first thing! From there, we had a quick overview of the city before heading to the ferry dock for the 15-minute ride across to the Toronto Islands.
These 15 islands in Lake Ontario are connected by bridges and walking paths, making it the perfect location for cycling. And again – no cars are allowed here, which was so nice!
Over our 3.5-hour tour, we visited historic landmarks like the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, as well as the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, one of the world’s oldest yacht clubs!
Of course, we wouldn’t have known these tidbits of history if it wasn’t for our amazing local guide, who we felt really added to the experience. It’s one thing to admire the scenery and buildings around you, but it really makes it more meaningful if you know the significance of the area!
This experience is kept small, around 10 people, so you don’t have the hassle of keeping together as a large group. We enjoyed a snack while overlooking the skyline, and found it fun to have a few other people to share this experience with.
This tour includes the bicycle, helmet, water and snacks, ferry ticket, and your guide! It’s $107 CAD per adult, $85 CAD for ages 8-11, $62 CAD for ages 5-7, and $28 CAD for children 1-4 and infant seats are available for the bikes if you need one. This is also over three hours of cycling, so make sure your kids are up for the challenge! You can reserve this beautiful morning of biking online here!
2. Toronto Islands Evening Bike Tour
What’s even better than exploring the Toronto Islands in the morning? Perhaps seeing the sunset while cycling around the islands! This Toronto Islands Evening Bike Tour takes you to the same iconic locations and is probably the prettiest place to see the sunset in the entire city!
This tour leaves at 4:30 pm from the downtown meeting point and is the perfect way to make sure you have a fun evening planned. You’ll see landmarks like Gibraltar Point Lighthouse and get to marvel as Toronto’s skyline lights up at night. Also, there’s a stop for dessert at a local Toronto Island cafe – epic sunset views and sweet treats … count me in!
The advantage of this evening tour is again you won’t have to compete with cars while you’re exploring the Toronto Islands. It’s actually the largest car-free community in North America and for cycling, this is music to my ears. Nothing is worse than trying to enjoy a bike ride but being worried about traffic and distracted drivers. The islands have seemingly endless pristine bike paths surrounded by Lake Ontario and dense forest – it’s a sight you won’t forget!
The local guides on this tour are top-notch and really get into explaining the history of these places for you. If you’re wondering how they do that, just know that there are plenty of stops and time to take photos – this isn’t a bike race! Our guides were even nice enough to take photos of both of us together, which can be hard to come by when you travel as a couple!
This 3.5-hour tour is good for beginners or experienced cyclists and it’s a pretty easy pace. The tour includes your bike, helmet, a local guide, snacks, and dessert. The price is $107 CAD for adults, $85 CAD for children 8-11, $62 CAD for children 5-7, and $28 CAD for kids 1-4 as long as it isn’t past their bedtime!
For sunset views, dessert, and a fun bike ride, make sure to reserve a spot on this tour in advance as it often sells out!
Related Read: After seeing the Toronto Islands, keep the scenic views going with a Niagara Falls tour from Toronto!
3. Midtown, Brickworks and Distillery District Bike Tour
Toronto has it all and we love that this trendy city has a different vibe in each area you visit. This private guided bike tour takes you to some of Toronto’s most popular areas: Midtown, Evergreen Brickworks, and the Distillery District.
Our guides were waiting at a central meeting point in the Distillery District (but hold off any drinking until the end!) for the start of the tour. Then it was off to explore the University of Toronto’s beautiful campus, ride through the historic Rosedale neighborhood, and by Queen’s Park. You’ll also make a stop at Riverdale Farm, which is a functional farm in the heart of the city, and spend some time with the cute farm animals!
One of our favorite areas was riding through Evergreen Brickworks – a historic and community-focused space. Back in 2010, these heritage buildings were transformed into this amazing area full of public art, parks, and the biggest Farmers’ Market in Toronto – which happens on Saturdays, so make sure to come back for that!
The tour ends by weaving around the Distillery District yet again, so you’ll know the best places to stop at once the tour is over. This area feels like a mix of a European city with a New York kind of vibe. There are tons of one-of-a-kind shops, cafes, and yes, lots of places to grab a well-earned drink after that bike ride!
One of the main advantages of this bike tour is that it’s a private experience. It can be a super fun activity with a group, but a private tour allows you to stop wherever you like, ask questions, and take lots of photos … all without feeling rushed. The local guides are so great at tailoring the tour to what you want to see – rumor has it they can even tell you where to see a famous Bansky street art mural!
Even if this is your first time visiting Toronto or your 100th time, you’ll find some hidden gems of the city. The 3-hour tour includes your bike, helmet, and private guide. It’s available on Mondays and Thursdays to anyone 12 years and older for $105 CAD per person.
It’s a popular tour that can sell out, so reserve this private biking tour in Toronto online here!
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
Check out the Viator website here!
4. Downtown Toronto Bike Tour
This downtown bike tour could be known as “the highlights” tour because it really hits the main attractions of Toronto! Over the course of 3.5 hours, you’ll explore the bustling downtown district, scenic areas of the city, and some hidden gems too. It literally has hundreds of 5-star reviews, so we aren’t alone in loving this tour!
While biking downtown can be intimidating, we felt safe the whole time. There are a couple busy streets to navigate, but Toronto is really bike-friendly and we didn’t feel stressed at all.
Plus, the whole time you have a fantastic local tour guide leading the way and giving you the inside scoop on all the places you pass by. These guides are treasure troves of info – seriously, we got so many ideas from our guide on places we could return and even restaurant recommendations.
This tour has a focus on history and architecture, which is evident as you bike past the CN Tower, the most notable building in Toronto’s skyline, as well as stops in Chinatown and Kensington Market. This tour gets iconically Canadian when you pass by the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Sugar Beach, and Toronto City Hall.
It’s a packed tour, so we really appreciated the stop at the St. Lawrence Market to grab a quick bite to eat. There are 120 different stalls here selling all kinds of goodies, so have some cash with you because if you’re anything like us, you’ll have worked up an appetite!
We love that this tour visits so many notable places, so you really get a good feel for the city. This is one of those tours that we highly recommend you take on your first few days in the city, as you will discover lots of cool spots to return to.
This tour includes your bicycle, helmet, guide, water, and granola bars. It departs from the designated meeting point in downtown Toronto and accommodates up to 12 people, keeping it nice and small. You can reserve this tour for $96 CAD per adult or even cheaper for kids. This tour is also available in French or Spanish, opening it up to even more travelers!
Be sure to book the highlights of Toronto tour in advance, it’s a popular one!
5. Toronto Waterfront, Island and Distillery
Finally, this guided bike ride in Toronto combines the highlights from all the other tours on this list! It is a great way to see more of Toronto in a short amount of time and we think this tour is the best fit for first-time visitors.
During this 3-hour tour, you’ll cover some serious ground and explore the waterfront, downtown, and all the way to Toronto Islands!
You’ll start by meeting in the Distillery District to get your bike, helmet, and meet the group! As you weave through this historic district, your guide has some great tales of its fascinating history. We won’t spoil it for you, but there have even been some movie scenes filmed here for movies like Chicago!
There are a ton of trendy stores and restaurants in the Distillery District, so take some mental notes of where you want to come back to after the tour since you wind up at the same spot you started at. If you happen to be visiting Toronto close to the holiday season (mid-November to the end of December), you might even get a peek at The Distillery Winter Village. It’s the most-visited outdoor holiday market in all of Canada and will get you in the Christmas spirit for sure!
The tour also takes you by the Harbourfront Center to get stunning views of Lake Ontario and Toronto Music Garden. Now, there isn’t always music playing here (like I thought there might be), it gets its name because Yo-Yo Ma helped design the garden inspired by a piece of music by Bach. The curving paths and different gardens should feel like you’re moving through nature’s version of music. It’s also a popular concert venue, so you may be lucky enough to hear live music during your trip!
Your tour will finish up by riding through Toronto Island Park. You’ll have about 45 minutes here as you leisurely make your way from the west side of the island to the east. It’s some of the most scenic and relaxed biking in Toronto!
This tour includes your bike rental and helmet, and only accommodates 10 travelers, so it’s a nice, small group. You must be 18 or older to join this tour. You can reserve your spot online for $105 CAD!
Related Read: If you’re headed to NYC next, don’t miss a New York City Dinner Cruise to take in the best views of the skyline (hello Statue of Liberty!) and eat an amazing meal.
Is a Bike Tour in Toronto Worth it?
Yes, bike tours are a great way to get around and see a lot of the city in a short amount of time. Toronto is so diverse that it can be hard (or impossible!) to explore all of it, so we appreciate that these tours strive to hit the highlights.
The guides are also excellent at explaining the significance of areas while keeping the tour moving. It’s a nice way to stay active on holiday, which isn’t always the easiest task! We would highly recommend a bike tour to anyone visiting Toronto!
Other Things to do While You’re in Toronto
Toronto is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. So before (or after!) your bike tour, take some time to explore some of the other top attractions and activities:
- Check out the view from the CN Tower -The tallest building in the city and all of Canada, heading up the CN Tower is a must! The main observation deck is on the 33rd floor and if you’re feeling brave, there’s a glass floor or the Edgewalk that takes you outside to walk high above Toronto! General admission is $43 CAD.
- Eat great food! – With so many different cultures and restaurants, Toronto is a foodie heaven! Miku Toronto is considered the best sushi restaurant in the city with a big outdoor patio and a happy hour (3-4 pm) with great discounts. We also enjoyed this walking food tour to help us try a variety of tasty dishes from butter tarts to pierogies to maple syrup and the chance to explore the iconic St. Lawrence Market.
- See Niagara Falls – One of the most famous waterfalls in the world is only 1.5 hours away, so it’s easy to visit Niagara Falls from Toronto. We took this full-day tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls and can’t recommend it enough. You get up close on the water with an iconic Hornblower Cruise, go wine tasting, and get a 3-course lunch with a view of the falls. It’s an epic day out!
- Go sailing – For a unique cruise, climb aboard a 1930s schooner with this Toronto tall ship cruise. You’ll help the crew raise the sails for the journey from Toronto Harbor to Lake Ontario. There are panoramic views to take in and kids love it when the crew fires the ship’s canyon! Tickets are available online for only $43 CAD and cheaper for kids.
- Watch a hockey game – Hockey is HUGE all over Canada, so taking in an NHL game while you’re here is sure to be a fun night. While I’m a diehard Oilers fan, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the home team here and the atmosphere is a lot of fun. Tickets range from $150 – $350 CAD and you can buy tickets on Viator. If it isn’t hockey season, pop into the Hockey Hall of Fame instead to see the famous Stanley Cup!
Where to Stay in Toronto
With so much to do and see around Toronto, you’ll need to stay a few nights to take it all in. But let’s face it, Toronto is massive with almost endless hotel options.
You’ll want a hotel with a good location and even better amenities, so with that in mind, I’ve picked out some of the best places to stay in Toronto. All of these hotels have central locations close to the best sights and everything you could want for a comfortable vacation!
Radisson Blu Downtown Toronto (Luxury Stay – $$$)
The Radisson Blue Downtown Toronto is one of the most luxurious hotels in downtown Toronto. This trendy hotel features a rooftop patio complete with a pool that you can enjoy in the summer. You’ll also find a fitness center and top-rated restaurant onsite. The hotel offers a variety of rooms to choose from, including the most luxurious king studio boasting an amazing view of the city. Prices start from $350 CAD per night in the low season, but get much higher in the summer. You can check prices, availability and book the Radisson Blu online here!
The SoHo Hotel (Moderately-priced Boutique Hotel – $$)
The SoHo Hotel is an excellent choice for anybody looking for a centrally located hotel that is just stunning. This hotel is located only a short walk from attractions like the CN Tower, and it also has plenty of nice facilities including a lap pool and fitness center. Oh, and did I mention the rooms have heated bathroom floors?! The SoHo is one of the highest-rated hotels in Toronto, so be sure to book online here well in advance to secure your room.
One King West Hotel and Residences (Moderately-priced Full Apartments – $$)
If you’re looking for a home away from home, then One King West Hotel and Residences might be the best choice for you. Although a hotel, this property features fully self-contained apartments complete with a kitchen. This is perfect if you like to cook some of your own meals. On top of that, the location is ideal and you’ll also find a fitness center and onsite bar and restaurant. You can check availability and book online here.
Town Inn Suites Hotel (Budget Hotel – $)
You don’t have to spend a small fortune to stay in Toronto. If you’re on a tighter budget, Town Inn Suites Hotel is the best choice for you. Starting from only $170 CAD per night (in the low season), this centrally located hotel is tastefully decorated and features plenty of amenities. Rooms also feature a kitchenette, which comes in very handy. You can check prices and secure your room online here.
Samesun Toronto (Budget Hostel – $)
The Samesun Toronto is the perfect choice for backpackers or solo travelers wanting to meet others. The hostel has a great location as well as communal spaces (including a huge kitchen) where you can relax. They offer both dorm beds as well as budget private rooms, but bathrooms are all shared. You can grab a dorm bed for less than $100 CAD per night during peak season. You can book the Samesun Toronto online on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
We really had a lot of fun on our bike tours in Toronto and would definitely hop on one again. It’s a nice way to get a personal experience in a big city. You learn cool little tidbits from the guides and find new places to explore. Even if you travel to Toronto frequently, I think you would enjoy a pedal around to the best sights and a few hidden gems!