It is not a simple question.
The question of whether Toronto has the best network of cycle paths or whether it has the most is one that many people are trying to answer.
There are a number of factors to consider, and there is no single answer.
“You have to think about what the environment is, what the community wants and wants, how it’s evolving and where people live,” said John Beresford, president of Cycle Toronto.
“There are different issues.”
A report from the Canadian Cycle Network estimates there are roughly 2.5 million active cyclists in Toronto, but that only covers about 20 per cent of all active trips.
That’s far less than the 10 per cent figure for Montreal.
“What Toronto needs to do is look at the other cities and say, ‘Can we build more?'” said Beresfield.
“Can we have a network of bike lanes?”
There are currently around 7,500 kilometres of bike paths on the roads, but those are often narrow and often have limited space to work.
Toronto has two big ones: two on the city’s west side, one on its east, and one on the west side of the island.
Both of those routes were built as part of the $15-million $50-million bikeway system that was built in the 1960s and 1970s, with the intention of making the city more attractive for people who commute to work by bike.
They were later expanded to include the south end of the city, which is now part of a $1.6-billion plan.
Cycle Toronto has advocated for more bike lanes and more space on city streets, but Beresfords report says the city has only one bike lane, which was cut in the early 1990s because it was too narrow.
The network’s own figures show that Toronto has about 5,500 active cyclists on its streets.
“I think we’ve had some success with the cycle lanes, but there are still many more people who do not have a bike lane,” said Beresh.
Toronto city council recently passed a law requiring the city to add three bike lanes a day, with a target of one a day by 2020.
The City of Toronto says that will allow the city of around 500,000 people to double its bike-lane capacity in the next decade, to around 100,000 kilometres.
Bike Toronto estimates the new bike lanes will bring a total of $1 billion in revenue to the city.
It also has a plan to build more bike paths in neighbourhoods that were previously not included in the network.
The city also has bike lanes on its north side, but they have been limited to three lanes a side and are only supposed to be used for cyclists that use them regularly.
Cycle Ontario, which represents the province’s cycling industry, has called on Toronto to build 20 kilometres of cycle lanes.
“It’s not the city that can control what people want to do with their lives, it’s our residents that can,” said Cycle Ontario president Scott Smith.
“So if we can build more, then we can support the cycling infrastructure in Toronto.”
The city’s cycling advocacy group, Bike Toronto, has also called on the government to build 30 kilometres of dedicated bike lanes, saying that could be completed by 2035.
Beresfall says the number of bike routes is too low, but the group is pushing the city towards a more ambitious goal of 20 kilometres.
“We want to see a network that’s really comprehensive,” he said.
“That’s where we’re going to be able to get to.”