Toronto cyclists enjoying new separated bike lane on Bayview Avenue
Route runs from Rosedale Valley Road to Pottery Road and is separated from traffic by a metal guardrail
Toronto cyclists are basking in the late departure of warm summer weather and the early arrival of a cool new bike lane.
The Bayview Avenue lane — technically a multi-use trail on the side the road — is now open.
Separated from vehicular traffic by a recently-installed metal guardrail, it runs for 2.2 kilometres from Rosedale Valley Road to Pottery Road.
While it's not expected to be completed until the end of October, the trail is open to the public. Orange construction pylons still line much of the route. According to the city, a few "finishing touches" are still required.
The Bayview project was implemented with far less attention and controversy than this year's other major cycling infrastructure project, the Bloor bike lanes, and will be an important addition to Toronto's cycling network, advocates say.
"It will add a whole bunch of connectivity," Jared Kolb, executive director of Cycle Toronto, told CBC News in an interview.
"It's another really important piece of building a city-wide minimum grid of protected bike lanes that will enable more people to ride more often."
Early reviews of the upgrade are positive. Jonathan Wensley, 18, and Garrick Paul, 23, used it to get to the Evergreen Brickworks on Wednesday.
"It's cool. I think they did a really nice job paving it," Wensley said, although he thinks there are faster ways to cycle into downtown.
"I like it. I'm from Saskatoon and this is a lot better than biking there," Paul said.
The opening of the Bayview trail coincides with Mayor John Tory's announcement of plans to create a "super park" that is partially funded by private donations in the Don River Valley.
Kolb says connecting the proposed park with a separated piece of cycling infrastructure will be an incentive for more people to cycle.
"People want to be able to get out of cars and bike more often and the number one thing holding them back is on-street safety concerns."