The By-Cycle Ride
You Are Invited!
Celebrate Canada's Birthday — Go For a Bike Ride.
Canadians and non-Canadians are invited to join us to celebrate Canada's birthday. Our ride starts in Toronto we travel to Ottawa by bicycle. July 1 is Canada's national holiday and we celebrate the founding of Canada on this day each year.
It's a Rolling Birthday Party!
The By-Cycle Ride starts in Toronto and travels along the shores of Lake Ontario to Kingston, former capital of Upper Canada. We then follow the Rideau Canal to Canada's capital city, Ottawa.
We roll into Canada's Capital City on Canada's Birthday
Dress for the Occasion
Bring all your Canadian gear for this trip so you can arrive in style.
To learn more about the level of support on Cycle Canada's tours please visit Frequently Asked QuestionsCalendar Register
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 Indigenous 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 town 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 point-to-point ride is complete when we reach Parliament Hill in Canada's capital. We'll have a full day in Ottawa on July 1. There is a return option on July 2.
Tour Summary Dates and Fees
- Toronto to Ottawa, Canada Eh
- Dates: TBA
- Return Option TBA
- Fees are per person in Canadian funds, double accommodation
- Total amount includes Registration Fee ($150.00) and Deposit ($150.00) which are non-refundable (please refer to our cancellation policy)
- Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
- Single room option may be limited. We are not able guarantee ensuite bathrooms.
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 & Meals
- Nights indoor — 7 nights
- 1 dinner and 6 breakfasts
Distances and Rating
- Total Distance — 500 km (310 mi)
- Daily Average — 100 km (62 mi)
- Longest Day — 113 km (70 mi)
- Riding Days — 5 + 1 optional day
Challenge Level: Two out of four Cogs (medium challenge)