A guide to rollerblading in Toronto
Rollerblading in Toronto is one of those semi-retro activities enjoying a distinct resurgence, like vinyl collecting, or pinball machines. If you're into rollerblading, or if you want to get into it, here's what you need to know in order to stay safe, happy, and within the law.
Here's a guide to rollerblading in Toronto.
For rollerblading during the sweltering summer months the Martin Goodman Trail is a top bet. The trail runs from around Park Lawn Ave. nearly to the R.C. Harris Filtration plant near Queen St. E. and Victoria Park. Blading down by the water provides a welcome reprieve from the heat, as it's usually a few degrees cooler down by the lake.
Make your way down to Unwin and Leslie for some of the best views of the city. Tommy Thompson Park extends out into the lake, making the skyline clear to anyone who heads out there. Be warned that it's a windy spot, though, and (technically) only open on weekends.
Sunnybrook Park is comprised of both low-traffic park roads and bike pathways. It makes for an interesting mix of scenery and experience, but know the trails do tend to get pretty packed on the weekends. There are break-off trails here, too, for leisure riders (toward Edwards Gardens) and mountain bikers (on the west side of the river).
West-siders will want to make use of this trail system, which runs from the Junction toward downtown. The rail path provides smooth skating, with the best access points being Cariboo Avenue, just north of Dupont Street and Dundas and Sterling.
The city is fairly open with rollerblading laws, and you can use them most places. However, there are a few places to be wary when whipping out those skates. Per city bylaws, there are a few places where you cannot go rollerblading:
If you stick to the right places and don't go into these forbidden zones, you shouldn't have any problems.
Shop Task carries a wider variety of rollerblades than I even knew existed. This shop in the beaches knows what's up when it comes to rollerblading, and its staff have a rep for finding whatever it is you're on the hunt for. A good first stop, for sure.
Sporting Life sells a selection of rollerblading accessories and tools, like elbow pads and wheels, alongside their collection of blades. They don't necessarily specialize in rollerblades, but you'll find the basics here.
Proskater's Place stocks a huge selection of brands and sizes. Orders are available for those who don't want to visit the storefront, and can be made either online or by phone. These guys are true experts, offering advice and answers to any questions on Facebook, too.
Lenny. With files from Sarah Ratchford
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