baycrest ride gardiner dvp closed

Thousands of cyclists will shut down two Toronto highways next month

Thousands of bike riders will take over the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway in Toronto in June, shutting down the major highways for the second annual Mattamy Homes Bike for Brain Health in support of Baycrest.

The event will allow cyclists to experience the lush greenscapes of the DVP and elevated views of the dense urban cityscape from the Gardiner, all to raise funding for research and care in the field of aging brain health.

Riders can enjoy the highways entirely car-free on Sunday, June 4 for much of the day, offering plenty of time for a leisurely bike ride along controlled-access arterials where bike traffic is typically restricted.

Recreational and endurance riders are all welcome to take part.  The route can be biked in small stretches at riders' leisure, in 25km, 50km, 75km and a new timed 75km endurance route.

The DVP and Gardiner will be closed to automobiles from 2:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.,  however, the route will only open to cyclists starting at 6:00 a.m. for the timed 75 km option and from 8:00 a.m. for everyone else. The route closes at 2:30 p.m. 

baycrest ride gardiner dvp closed

Josh Cooper, President and CEO of Baycrest Foundation, calls the event an important part of the organization's "continued mission to improve prevention, detection and treatment for dementia - something we're able to do as a result of fundraising events," adding that registration for the ride is still open and urging the public to sign up.

This year's event brings on legendary fitness personalities Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod, of BodyBreak fame (the theme song of which will be stuck in millennial readers' heads for the rest of the day), who will be kicking off the ride and joining cyclists along the route.

Hal Johnson cracked a not-so-subtle joke, saying, "It was a no-brainer for us to sign up to ride in support of the organization."

Johnson noted Baycrest's research into exercise helping delay the onset of dementia, acknowledging that the dynamic fitness duo are "getting older, and knowing a significant portion of the Canadian population is aging along with us, it's critical that we as a society raise awareness and funds for dementia research and care."

The ride will undoubtedly cause some traffic headaches for motorists, but it is providing volunteers with a rare chance to clean up one of the highways that will be closed for the event.

Community organization Don't Mess with the Don is partnering with the City of Toronto for a first-ever public clean-up of the DVP, focusing on sprucing up the green spaces bordering the highway.

Lead photo by

Mattamy Homes Bike for Brain Health

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