Home Traveling AdventuresCanada Toronto: Pan Am Path West – Humber River Trail

Toronto: Pan Am Path West – Humber River Trail

by bromptoning

Pan Am Path logo on paved trail

In 2015, Toronto hosted the Pan Am Games and unveiled the Pan Am Path! This multi-use trail runs from the most north-easterly point of the city (Claireville Dam where Toronto borders the city of Brampton), south to the lakeshore, and all the way east to Rouge Park where Toronto borders the city of Pickering. That’s 85 kilometres! Sections of this route already existed, but the city connected the separate trails to create one big mega-trail across our huge megacity.

Toronto Pan Am Path MAP

As you can see on the map, the trail still has some blank spots, labelled “on-road connections”, but it’s a big improvement from what it was before.

So in the Fall of 2015, we tackled half of the route, the Pan Am Path West – Humber River Trail. It was an amazing ride and we took a ton of pictures, and three years later I’m finally getting around to sorting through the best of the best and sharing it all here…

TTC to Humber College North Campus

First things first, we decided this was not going to be a round trip, so we needed to get to the Pan Am Path’s starting point all the way up at the north-west border of Toronto. Neither of us take transit very much (why would we when we have bikes?), but Google maps came through for us. The recommended transit route: take the Line 2 subway all the way west to Kipling station, then catch the 927B Highway 27 Express bus to Humber College’s north campus.

Bromptons on transit, Toronto

Once at Humber, we backtracked through the Humber Arboretum…

Pan Am Path, Humberland, Toronto Pan Am Path, Humberland, Toronto Humber Arboretum, Toronto

… to the beginning of the Pan Am Path at the Claireville Dam.

Pan Am Path: Claireville Dam to the 401 Expressway

Claireville Dam, Toronto

Heather and the Claireville Dam.

Humberwood Bird Flyaway, Toronto

Humberwood Bird Flyaway

Pan Am Path, Humber Arboretum, Toronto

Pier and Bromptons on serene Pan Am Path in the Humber Arboretum area.

Bridge over Humber River, Toronto

Pedestrian bridge over the Humber River, Toronto.

Graffiti art, Humber River Trail, Toronto

Underpass Art, Humber River, Toronto.

Fall colours on Toronto's Pan Am Path

Heather cycling through the fall colours.

Pan Am Path cycling selfie

Cycling selfie!

There are plenty of signs marking the trail.

Sign on Pan Am Path, Toronto

Signs, signs, everywhere, signs.

And also workout apparatuses spaced along the trail.

Pan Am Path workout stations

This section also crosses the hydro corridor. Look closely in the bottom left corner and you can see Pier waving before he crosses the bridge.

Toronto Pan Am Path hydro corridor

Pan Am Path bridge in hydro corridor.

And then we arrive at the 401 underpass!

Toronto Pan Am Path under 401 Expressway

Pier under the 401 Expressway, Toronto.

This is probably the most necessary infrastructure when cycling in the north end of Toronto. Up here the streets driving over this behemoth of a highway are also big and fast, so cyclists need their own separated path to safely cross the 401 divide. And to make the under-the-highway area a little more inviting, graffiti art was commissioned here too.

Toronto Pan Am Path graffiti art under 401 expressway

Pan Am Path: St. Phillips Stairs to Scarlett Mills Park (at Eglinton Ave)

Shortly after cycling under the 401, the trail dumps you onto a residential side street (Cardell Ave), which leads to Weston Rd. You need to cycle on Weston Rd for a couple blocks (follow the sharrow bike markings in the right hand lane), and just after you pass under the rail bridge, the road forks—Weston Rd goes left and St Phillips Rd goes right. Go right and you’ll see the trail right there.

Toronto Pan Am Path, St Phillips Rd, Weston

Pan Am Path continues off St Phillips Rd.

We took the left trail to the stairs (the right trail probably avoids the stairs).

Bromptons on St Phillips Stairs

The St Phillips Stairs on the Pan Am Path.

A couple minutes later we were biking under St Phillips Rd with this amazing graffiti art! This was part of the Pan Am Path Art Relay, a games-inspired art project. This particular piece is a collaboration between UrbanArts and artist Dan Bergeron. It explores the legacy of Hurricane Hazel which hit Toronto in 1954.

Graffiti under St Phillips bridge, Toronto Pan Am Path

Graffiti art under St Phillips bridge in Weston.

Graffiti art under St Phillips bridge in Weston, Toronto

Graffiti + Brompton

Shortly after, we rolled into Cruickshank Park.

Cruickshank Park, Toronto Pan Am Path

Cruickshank Park

After Cruickshank Park, the path continues under Lawrence Ave and through Weston Lions Park to an old rail bridge crossing over the Humber River. Here we found a memorial to Hurricane Hazel that flooded the Humber River right over this bank and bridge in 1954.

Hurricane Hazel memorial, Toronto

Hurricane Hazel flood line marking stone and memorial.

Then the trail continues to Eglinton Ave.

Humber River Trail, Eglinton Ave sign, Toronto

Humber River Trail sign – 2km to Eglinton Ave!

At Eglinton, you can take the Pan Am Path right (west) to Centennial Park, or keep going straight (south) into Scarlett Mills Park. We went straight…

Pan Am Path: Scarlett Mills Park to Lakeshore

Toronto Pan Am Path

In case you weren’t sure you were on the Pan Am Path.

There’s a slight uphill into James Gardens, but that’s no problem, especially since it’s been downhill this whole time. And of course, what goes up must come down.

James Gardens, Fall leaves, Toronto

Pretty fall leaves along the James Gardens section of the Pan Am Path.

Then the trail crosses the Humber River again alongside a train bridge…

Bromptons on pedestrian bridge, Toronto Pan Am Path

Bromptons on pedestrian bridge below train bridge just north of Dundas St W.

And we arrive at the Dundas Street West bridge where we find more Pan Am Path Art.

Toronto Pan Am Path Art Relay, Dundas West bridge

More Pan Am Path Art under the Dundas Street West bridge.

And pretty shots of dams on the Humber River.

Humber River dam.

When we started our ride, we saw hardly anyone on the trail. Once we crossed Eglinton Ave we saw more people, but still not crowds. However, the farther south we got, the more crowded the Pan Am Path become, and by the time we got to the Old Mill area, the trail was quite busy.

Humber River dam, Pan Am Path, Toronto

People stopping to watch the birds and fish in the Humber River.

View of Old Mill in Toronto

View of the Humber River and Old Mill Inn from the Old Mill Bridge.

Humber River Trail under Bloor St W

Pan Am Path under Bloor St West bridge.

Finally, we arrive at the iconic Humber Bay Arch Bridge!

Humber Bay Arch Bridge, Toronto

Humber Bay Arch Bridge, Toronto, Canada.

View from Humber Bridge of downtown Toronto

Pier relaxing on the Humber Bridge with downtown Toronto in the background.

By this time we are super hungry, so we book it back along the Martin Goodman Trail section of the Pan Am Path and stop at our favourite Polish restaurant, Cafe Polonez, for some yummy eats.

Martin Goodman Trail, Toronto

Martin Goodman Trail

Hungarian food at Cafe Polonez, Toronto

Dinner is a Hungarian Pancake and Beet Root Soup with Dumplings!

In conclusion, we highly recommend this ride! It’s full of beautiful scenery, fun art, great places to picnic, and best of all, it’s neat to cycle through the different areas of Toronto because the city changes so much from north to south.

Next year, we’ll have to do the east side of the Pan Am Path!

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2 comments

M November 5, 2018 - 6:17 pm

Gonna do this…years since we rode the Humber Trail. Looks much better now. Thanks so much for this!
BTW Cafe Polonez is great Polish food (it’s in the name 🙂 LOL Good Hungarian food at Country Style on Bloor beside Curbside Cycle (we’re Hungarian)

Reply
bromptoning November 5, 2018 - 8:53 pm

Whoops! We always get the Hungarian Pancakes and I was thinking of their deliciousness as I was typing. I’ll go correct the error now; thanks for pointing it out!

And yes, the Humber Trail is much improved. Have fun cycling it again!

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