Cycle Cities: Supporting cycling in Canadian cities

New report assesses cycling investment and demand in five Canadian cities

Updated Dec. 16, 2015

TORONTO — Toronto is racing to meet demand for cycling infrastructure, according to a new report from the Pembina Institute.

Cycle Cities: Supporting cycling in Canadian cities reviews the state of cycling infrastructure – which includes cycling lanes, routes and trails – in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. The report finds that commuting by bicycle is growing in popularity across Canada, but not all cities are investing at the same rate to support this change.

Cycling demand is high in Toronto, with around 96,000 cycling trips daily. To match increasing demand, Toronto has added a substantial amount of cycling infrastructure over the last five years, with ambitious plans to invest more in 2016. Meanwhile, Calgary has the fewest daily cycling trips, but the city has recognized a potential growth in cyclists and has invested in more on-street cycling infrastructure since 2011.

The report shows that making the right infrastructure investments pays off. Vancouver has the densest cycling network and the most cyclists of the cities studied. Proving there can be safety in numbers, Vancouver has the lowest crash rate, with less than one crash per 100,000 cycling trips.

Quick facts

  • Montrealers cycle the most with around 115,000 cycling trips made every day, followed by Torontonians with around 96,000 daily trips.
  • Calgary has 578 kilometres of multi-use trails, the most of the five cities studied
  • Montreal has the most separated cycling lanes – 72 kilometres of separated cycling facilities across the island
  • 100% of Ottawa and Vancouver’s rapid transit stations are within 400 metres of cycling paths
  • Vancouver has the highest cycling mode share. Over 4% of all trips in the City of Vancouver are by bicycle


 “Cycling is increasingly popular across Canada as a daily commuting option. By investing in better cycling infrastructure, and making it safer and easier to commute by bicycle, cities can create an affordable solution to congested roads.”

— Nithya Vijayakumar, Senior Advisor, Pembina Institute


This report was prepared with funding support from the Metcalf Foundation.

Visit the Pembina Institute’s website to download a copy of Cycle Cities.


Nithya Vijayakumar

Senior Advisor, Pembina Institute
647-478-9563 ext. 213

Kelly O’Connor
Communications Lead, Pembina Institute



Report: Fast Cities: A comparison of rapid transit in major Canadian cities (2014)

Report: Canada's Coolest Cities (2010)

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