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Trail to GO Program

trail to go map

SIGNAGE COMING IN 2017!

“Trail to GO” is a new, soon-to-be signed network of low traffic or traffic-free connections between eleven GO stations and 300kms+ of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

Trail to GO Program Sample Wayfinding Sign“Trail to GO” - the easy way to travel from Trail to train (or bus) and back again

  • Tired of traffic on the way to the train station?
  • Want to explore the Great Lakes Region by foot or bike, without driving kilometres to get there?

Use "Trail to GO" routes to connect between the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and GO Transit for your daily commute, and to explore the region!

What Is “Trail To GO”?

“Trail to GO” is a new, signed network of low traffic or traffic-free connections between eleven GO stations and 300kms+ of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the GO Lakeshore service (train/bus) run parallel to each other from Niagara to Durham, offering commuters and recreational users convenient, multi-modal transportation options across the region. The Trail to GO routes feature active transportation-friendly connections between the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and GO stations.

Simply follow the signs to cycle or walk between the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and select GO train or bus stations, and enjoy your journey to work again!

Or use the GO stations as a starting point to explore new parts of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, enjoy the views, have lunch or drinks by the lakeshore, without the need to cycle all the way back home again.

Ready to go? Here’s our guides! 

“Trail to GO” For Commuters

“Trail to GO” is the smart way to commute. Cut your commute time and walk or bike to work the easy way, along connector routes between Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and GO stations. Start your day with lovely views of the lake, not the car fender in front of you! You don’t need to be a keen walker, cyclist or ultra-fit either; the shortest connection from Trail to train is just 15 metres and even the longest is just 7kms.

Save time and money

Using “Trail to GO” can save you time, money and stress on your daily commute. Simply pick up the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail at a point near your home (or a lakeside car park) and cycle along the shore to the nearest “Trail to GO” connector route.

Easy bike storage

Bike storage at GO Transit stations is a breeze. While fellow commuters are still stuck in their cars in line for the car park, you’ll simply cycle in, park your bike in the sheltered bike corral, enclosed bike station or bike locker, and hop on your usual commuter train. No worries over parking spaces or costs, delays due to traffic, and you’ll use less fuel in your car too (if any!).

On your commute home, simply retrace your route back home or to your car, and wave goodbye to your fellow commuters now stuck trying to get out of the station car park!

Commute to Toronto by bike and train

“Trail to GO” routes link the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to eleven GO Transit stations both west and east of Toronto’s Union station, so wherever you work, there’s a route near you to make your Toronto commute easier and more enjoyable.

Bikes on train during rush hours

GO Transit does not allow bikes on rush hour trains (These are trains that arrive at Toronto Union Station between 6:30am and 9:30a.m. or that leave Union Station between 3:30pm and 6:30 p.m.) However, folding bikes are allowed on all trains. You’ll need to cycle to a GO station and leave your non-folding bike there if you commute by train during normal rush hour times.

Benefits of commuting using “Trail to GO” routes

  • Reduces commute time spent in downtown traffic
  • Reduces stress of commuting to a station at peak times
  • Protected bike shelters at all stations
  • Bike lockers at Rouge Hill station
  • Secure, indoor bicycle facility at Union Station
  • Daily healthy exercise in Ontario fresh air
  • Saves on fuel and car costs
  • Safe, low or no-traffic walking and cycling commuting routes
  • Easy to walk and cycle connector routes
  • Fully signed by summer 2017

“Trail to GO” For Exploring

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a recreational cyclist’s dream, a glorious continuous recreation trail of over 2,000 km along the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, Lake Huron and the St Clair, Detroit, Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers.

Walking and cycling daytrips along Lake Ontario

Cycling along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is day tripping at its best. Walk or bike through parks, woods and along lakeside roads and trails. Stop off at bike-friendly businesses en route, including cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops. Over 30% of the Trail along Lake Ontario is off-road, with nearly all the trail paved with short gravel sections, so it’s great for family outings.

Walking or cycle day tripping is so easy with “Trail to GO” routes. Simply walk, ride (or drive) to your local GO station, and hop on a train to one of the connected GO stations. You can access the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail from eleven GO Transit stations via low or no-traffic routes, often along established cycling trails. You can enjoy a day by the lake, perhaps walking or biking along the Waterfront Trail to another Trail to GO connection, and then catch the train back home again.

Taking bikes on GO trains

You can take your bike on any GO train out of rush hour during the week, and on any train on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. A standard GO railcar can accommodate four bicycles, two just inside each set of doors, provided they are not next to a washroom or in wheelchair-accessible cars, as indicated by a no-bike sign. GO Transit buses can carry two bikes each.

Cycle touring with “Trail to GO”

Cycle touring is a great way to enjoy what the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail has to offer. Our interactive Trail map shows you bike-friendly places to eat and stay, so you can explore more. And you don’t need to cycle all the Trail if you don’t want to; simply travel on the train out of peak times to the areas you want to visit most! You’ll find a list of suggested itineraries here.

Walking the Waterfront Trail with Trail to GO

Want to walk the Waterfront Trail? No problem! All Trail to Go routes are pedestrian friendly and most are short too - the link between Union station and the Toronto Harbourfront is just 450metres, for example!

Benefits of cycling the Waterfront Trail

  • Established recreation trail stretching over 2000 kms
  • Superb lake views
  • Rides through parks and areas of natural beauty
  • Lots of interesting places and historic sites just off the Trail
  • Over 30% of Lake Ontario Trail sections off-road
  • Cycle as much or a little as you wish
  • Relaxing journeys home to rest tired legs!
  • Bike lockers at Rouge Hill station
  • Secure, indoor bicycle facility at Union Station
  • Local bike-friendly businesses en route (see interactive map for details)
  • Safe, short low-traffic cycle routes
  • Easy to cycle routes
  • Fully signposted (by Spring 2017)

Looking for bike trails in Toronto and Lake Ontario?

Click here for suggested cycle routes along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.

Who Is Behind “Trail To GO”?

“Trail to GO” is a partnership program between the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Metrolinx/GO Transit, municipal and agency partners across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Where Are “Trail To GO” Routes?

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the GO Lakeshore service (train/bus) run parallel to each other from Niagara to Durham. So, both commuters and recreational users can access the Waterfront Trail via train or bus, and vice versa. The “Trail to GO” routes are easy, safe, low-to no traffic routes between the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and GO stations, often via parks and other established trails. So you spent less time in the car in traffic and more time in the fresh air. It’s better for your health, your wallet and the environment too.

“Trail to GO” Regional Cycling Trip Ideas

Ready to explore? Here are four fabulous fresh-air cycle routes to whet you appetite for cycling in the Great Lakes Region, all accessible from GO stations, of course!

Appleby to Bronte (riding distance 21km):

A lovely bike trail along the western end of Lake Ontario. Highlights include the Centennial Trail, downtown Burlington, Palotta Lakefront Park, Burloak Regional Waterfront Park, Sheldon Creek Park, and Bronte Harbour.

Route: Start at Appleby GO Station, ride 7km southwest on the Centennial Trail to downtown Burlington, 10km east along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to Bronte Harbour, then 3.5km north via Bronte and Spears Roads to Bronte GO Station. Take the GO Train back to the start for a round trip (note rush hour restrictions for bikes on GO trains).

Click for more information on: 

Rouge Hill to Whitby (riding distance 23km)

The shortest route from station to shore on the Trail - just 15 metres at Rouge Hill! Highlights include Rouge National Urban Park, Petticoat Creek Conservation Area, Millennium Square, Veterans Point Gardens, Carruthers Marsh, Lynde Shores Conservation Area, and Port Whitby.

Route: Start at Rouge Hill GO Station, ride 22km along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to Port Whitby, then 700m north to Whitby GO Station. Take the GO train back to the start for a round trip (note rush hour restrictions for bikes on GO trains).

Click for more information on:

Toronto from West to East (riding distance 53km)

A fascinating way to explore Toronto via bike, including the city’s beaches and regenerated waterfront areas. Highlights include Colonial Samuel Smith Park, Mimico Waterfront Park, Humber Bay Arch Bridge, Sunnyside Park and Pool, Toronto Harbourfront, the Eastern Beaches, Guildwood Park, and Rouge National Urban Park.

Route: Start at Long Branch GO Station, ride 700m south on 41st Street to Lake Promenade, then 52km east along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to Rouge Hill GO Station. Take the GO train back to the start for a round trip (note rush hour restrictions for bikes on GO trains).

Click for more information on:

Burlington to Niagara Falls (riding distance 107km):

A classic weekend bike trail along the west shoreline of Lake Ontario. Highlights include Spencer Smith Park, Hamilton Beach, Confederation Park, Grimsby Beach, Niagara wineries, Jordan Harbour, Port Dalhousie, Welland Canal, Niagara-on-the-Lake historic district, Niagara Parks, and Niagara Falls.

Route: Start at Burlington GO Station, ride 2.5km south via Fairview and Brant Streets, then ride 104km east along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail to Niagara Falls GO Station. Take the GO Bus (or seasonal Niagara GO Train) back to the start for a round trip.

Click for more information on:

*All regional cycling trip ideas can be also be done in the reverse direction (check the wind forecast for the day you are heading out!) 

Useful Links:

How to Trail to GO by bike.

 

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Use the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail for commuting or recreation.

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Take the Trail to GO route connection to the station.

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Use a Presto card for quick payment and discounts.

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Locate the GO train cars with bikes allowed symbols.

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Or park your bike at a sheltered bike corral.

 

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