Cycle Canada Bicycle Tours

The By-Cycle Ride

Toronto to Ottawa

Canadian Cycling Socks
  • The By-Cycle Ride

    The By-Cycle Ride

    Our ride to celebrate Canada's birthday.

    It's a rolling birthday party!

    We roll into Canada's capital city on Canada's birthday.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    Ride from Toronto to Ottawa

    We'll stay close to Lake Ontario till Kingston

    Then head overland, tracing the Rideau Canal to Ottawa

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    Dress for the Occasion!

    Bring out all your Canadian gear for this trip.

    As part of your package you'll receive a pair of Cycle Canada socks, so you are sure to arrive in Ottawa suitably dressed.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    The By-Cycle Ride

    A week-long bicycle trip organized by Cycle Canada.

    The tour leaves from Toronto and cyclists ride to Ottawa, Canada's capital city.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    The Route

    Our route follows the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and the Rideau Canal water system.

    The terrain is flat to gently rolling.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    Ride Light

    Cycle Canada's support vehicle carries your gear each day.

    Your overnight accommodation is included in the package and our staff delivers your bags each day.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    At Your Own Pace

    Riders can share social time with others or explore restaurants and tourist sites on their own.

    We encourage cyclists on our tours to ride at their own pace.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    Discover Your Routes

    We travel through and stay in attractive smaller historic villages along the route.

    And cycle on quiet country roads or paths as much as possible.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    Time to Celebrate

    Our final day's ride is a short one so we can join in the festivities in Ottawa on July 1.

    We'll arrive in style — by bicycle.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    Don't Get Lost in a Crowd

    Join cyclists from across Canada and from around the world

    Group size is small, generally not greater than 20 riders.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    Our Team

    Cycle Canada's helpful staff and a co-operative group spirit will support you on your journey.

  • The By-Cycle Ride

    Being part of a group provides individuals with the confidence and resources to meet their goals and makes possible a trip that many would not contemplate on their own.

    Bud Jorgensen,
    Founder, Tour du Canada
  • The By-Cycle Ride is an annual bike ride starting in Toronto, Ontario and traveling Canada's capital city, Ottawa.

    Part of Cycle Canada's "Discover Your Routes" series of events, these tours are affordable, one week cycling vacations in Canada.

    Discover Canada at a human scale, by bicycle. You can contact us at: Cycle Canada

  • By-Cycle Route

  • Package

  • Dates & Fees

  • What to Bring

  • Cycle Canada Advantage

Celebrate Canada's Birthday — Go For a Bike Ride!

The By-Cycle Ride starts in Toronto and travels along the shores of Lake Ontario to Kingston, former capital of Upper Canada, and then follows the Rideau Canal to Canada's capital, Ottawa.

We have named our tour in honour of Colonel By

Before it became Canada's capital, Ottawa was a small lumbering village called Bytown. It was named after Lieutenant-Colonel John By, who supervised the construction of the Rideau Canal, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Our Route discovers your Roots

On day one we discover Port Hope, where the Ganaraska River empties into the lake. It's now a quiet village beyond the fringe of Toronto commuter towns and it was a busy Indian gathering place during river salmon runs before European settlement of the continent. Our overnight stay is a bit further on in Cobourg. Cobourg is an historic town settled by United Empire Loyalists and was the birthplace of silent film star Marie Dressler. It is the location of one of the most architecturally striking town halls in the country.

On the way to our next overnight stay we travel on a series of "reaches" — long and narrow waterways — that separate the mainland from the island that is Prince Edward County.

We spend the night in Belleville which is on the mainland. This lakeside town was settled by United Empire Loyalists, those who chose the British side during the American revolution. From Belleville we cross over to Prince Edward County to go through Picton, a bustling community in summer because the island's many beaches are popular vacation destinations.

Our ride into Kingston follows the Loyalist Parkway and we travel along Lake Ontario for much of the way. Kingston was the home town of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister after Confederation in 1867.

The Rideau Canal

Kingston also is the southern terminus of the Rideau Canal system. The canal was built during a huge boom in North American canals during the 19th century. Of the many that were built in that era, the Rideau is the only one that still operates along the same route with much of the same structure that was in place when it opened in 1832. The Rideau Canal was originally conceived as a military route during the tense period of British-American relations that led to the war of 1812. The canal allowed for a protected passage from Montreal along the Ottawa River and then to Lake Ontario.

By the time construction was completed, the war was long over and the Rideau has always been a popular summer tourist route for paddlers and sailors. Like many North American waterways, the Rideau is a combination of rivers, lakes and constructed canals. At Kingston it is the Cataraqui River and entering the Ottawa area it is the Rideau River. In between there are several lakes connected by canal locks.

On to Ottawa

In Ottawa, the river is not navigable and the Rideau Canal with its locks are a prominent feature of the city. Pleasure boats travel along the canal during temperate seasons and the canal becomes a very long ice rink in winter. Bytown was a rough and rowdy lumber centre before Queen Victoria changed its status as a compromise to settle bickering between politicians in Toronto and Montreal. Today it is a sophisticated city with several world-class public attractions, such as the Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery and the National Arts Centre.

It's time for a birthday party

Our ride is complete when we reach Parliament Hill in Canada's capital. After freshening up and dinner we'll head back to the Hill for birthday celebrations on Canada Day.

Included in your By-Cycle Ride Package:

Pre-Trip
  • Trip preparation guide, including training trips, route and routine overview.
  • Trip orientation on the evening before first riding day of event.
Meals and Accommodation
  • Pre-booked accommodation. Indoor accommodation at hotels, motels and historic inns.
  • Double accommodation. Single available as a supplemental cost.
  • Support staff to drive support vehicle, deliver luggage.
  • Breakfasts on riding days in restaurants or where you stay.
  • Fruit and snacks will be available to take with you on riding days.
  • Group dinner one night, included in the package
  • Farewell reception and birthday party in Ottawa at the end of the ride.
Route Support
  • Daily maps and route instructions. Head office toll free telephone and Skype assistance.
  • Luggage service to overnight stays.
  • CycleCanada water bottle.
  • A pair of CycleCanada socks to wear on Canada Day.
  • Support vehicle to carry your gear.
  • Full tool kit and work stand on support vehicle.
  • Optional return service to Toronto, including your bicycle.

If you plan to stay some extra time at the beginning or end of the trip there's lots to see in Toronto and in Ottawa. Where we stay in Toronto is close to regular transit service to the downtown core. Ottawa is very bike-friendly. Most attractions, such as the Parliament Buildings, the lively open-air Byward Market, museums and galleries are close to where we stay in Ottawa.

Accommodation on the By-Cycle Ride is indoors with double occupancy. There is an optional single supplements or we will try to match you up with a rider of the same gender.

Breakfasts are provided by local hosts or in local restaurants. We provide one dinner mid-week, a fun get together with new and old friends. We'll make suggestions for dinnner at other locations near where you stay.

Join us in 2015 for our Ride to Celebrate Canada's Birthday!

Please check availability on our tours before registering.

We are pleased to announce our dates and fees for 2014

  • Toronto to Ottawa, Canada Eh
  • Dates: June 26 to July 1, 2015
  • Fee: $1075.00 (Canadian)
  • Single Supplement: $375.00
  • Optional Return Fare: $125.00
  • Deposit: $300.00

Fees are per person in Canadian funds Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is in addition to above fees.

We recommend that you obtain travel, medical and personal insurance. Please read our policy statement for Cycle Canada events: Policies

You'll find information on other great cycling tours in Canada here: Cycle Canada Events.

What to Bring on The By-Cycle Ride

A Bike and Enthusiasm
  • Your Birthday Party attire and anything with the Canadian flag on it!Celebrate Canada Day with Cycle Canada
  • A bike in good working order, a flexible attitude and enthusiasm!
  • The By-Cycle Ride is planned for paved roads and paths but some unpaved sections are unavoidable, especially through construction projects — we recommend a road (touring) bike.
  • Don't forget an on-the-road tool kit – just in case you have a flat or other minor mechanical problem.
  • A helmet, water bottles, sunscreen and a rain shell in case of inclement weather.
Personal Items
  • Cash for meals and munchie stops (breakfast and snacks are included in package).
  • Personal items such as camera, identification, cycling and aprés cycling clothes
Luggage and Bike Boxes

Travelling light is a good plan

Cycle Canada has no official limit on transporting your daily luggage. Our staff will assist where possible with delivery of luggage to your overnight room. In the mornings we ask that participants bring their bags to the lobby or support vehicle. So, keep in mind that you may need to carry your bag at times and they are loaded into a limited space in our support vehicle, and if you are taking the return option you may need to take and carry your bags to the bus and train station.

One area where we do have constraints is taking hard shell bike cases. Some soft shelled bike cases may not present a problem. We generally can transport Bike Friday Cases. If you need to bring a bike case please let us know, we'll assist with advice so you can make arrangements.

If you have special logistical issues, such as travelling from overseas, please let us know. We'll do what we can to help.

Renting Bikes

Most participants on our rides bring their own bikes and we do recommend this as the best option. We recognize that travelling with bikes can be complicated. Please let us know if you wish to rent a bike and we do our best to assist.

Proudly Canadian

Cycle Canada, The Veloforce Corporation is a Canadian company that organizes cycling activities. It is owned by Bud & Margot Jorgensen. Bud is a long-time recreational cyclist and founder of Tour du Canada. Our operations are located in Alliston, Ontario, just north of Toronto.

We have been organizing affordable supported cycling expeditions and vacations throughout Canada since 1987.

Cycling in Canada

We believe that Canada is the best place in the world to go for a bike ride.

Our primary focus is to offer an enjoyable cycling experience. We encourage participants in our events to ride at their own pace and to join us with the goal of completing their tour by bicycle. We believe they will enjoy a cycling trip more in groups where they get to know other riders and share the pleasure of travelling as cycle tourists.

Read more about the management of Cycle Canada here: About Us.

Our Pledge to You

Participants in our events have a right to expect that Cycle Canada, as organizers, and its staff will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that riders complete their ride and are enriched by the cycling experience. We hope that each rider will find companionship in, and be tolerant of other members of the group and help to make the trip a memorable and positive experience for all riders.

Participants in our events have a right to expect that Cycle Canada, as organizers, and its staff will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that riders complete their ride and are enriched by the cycling experience. We hope that each rider will find companionship in, and be tolerant of other members of the group and help to make the trip a memorable and positive experience for all riders.

It's in Canada and a great day to go for a bike ride!

Tour Quick Facts

The By-Cycle Ride

  • Total days — 6
  • Riding days — 5
  • Total distance by bike
  • 500 km (310 mi)
  • Daily average 100 km ( 62 mi.)
  • Longest day — 120 km (74 mi.)

Accommodation

  • 6 nights indoor accommodation at motels, hotel, historic Inns and Bed and Breakfasts.

Meals

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • Reception at end of the ride
  • Fruit and snacks on riding days .
  • Special Events - we'll head up to Parliament Hill for Canada Day fire works and festivities
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