Glebe biking network a dream for cyclists in the city
The Glebe is a cyclist’s dream.
Anyone on two wheels knows how great it is to jump on your bike and stroll along the Rideau Canal, with a cool breeze waving through your hair, winding trails on either side and a view of Lansdowne Park’s stunning landmarks as you approach the Glebe.
But there’s much more to see on two wheels than just the canal route in the Glebe. If you head onto the Glebe’s residential streets, you’ll find an entire biking network that can get you where you need to go – downtown, Old Ottawa South, Centertown – and you’ll find a suite of bike-friendly businesses once you get here.
“There are a lot of people in the Glebe who do cycle already or would like to do it more in the Glebe,” says avid cyclist and Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko.
“The residential streets are very bike-friendly in the sense that traffic is calm enough, the streets feel safe enough that most people are just out doing it without giving much thought to special cycling infrastructure.”
But there is infrastructure built along various Glebe streets – on Fifth Avenue, O’Connor, Holmwood Avenue, and Monk Street that can take you all throughout the neighbourhood. Cycling infrastructure in the Glebe will get a major, $20 million boost in the coming years with the Fifth-Clegg Street footbridge that will connect the Glebe to the eastern neighbourhoods like Old Ottawa East and Alta Vista. The path, slated to open in 2019 or earlier, will give people a direct cycling, skateboarding or scootering route to the Glebe. Chernushenko calls the bridge “an eye-opener.”
“That will be an amazing addition to the whole network. That means you can go around the Glebe, you can go right through the Glebe, you can come in from different directions,” he adds.
“People from Alta Vista or Overbrook and Vanier can take the River Path or the new Main Street cycle route and then Clegg and over the bridge and, there I am, at the football game, at my favourite restaurant on Bank Street, getting my bagels, going to work at the Civic Hospital through the Glebe.”
And if you’re looking for a more recreational ride, you can take the Rideau Canal pathway all the way from Lansdowne Park to the National Arts Centre downtown. And it’s a pretty easy ride on the eyes.
“Thousands and thousands of people use those paths and it’s an enormous attribute for the neighbourhood,” adds Chernushenko.
“If the most direct, fastest route isn’t necessarily your thing, you can find your way into the Glebe through all sorts of back door routes and have an uninterrupted beautiful ride.”
Once you’re here, you’ll find that cyclists are more than welcomed on our Glebe streets. There are scores of dedicated bike racks and parking along our traditional main street, service stations, and a suite of shops, restaurants and services that cater to cyclists and their needs.
Need a tune up? No problem. The Glebe has several shops to get your wheels working again with Joe Mamma, Kunstadt Sports and McCrank’s Cycles. You can also pick up brand new wheels at our biking shops, as well as the big outdoor sports megastore, Sporting Life. The Glebe has everything a cyclist needs.
“Just like a driver, you want to be able to park as close as possible to the door, you want to be attached to a rack that is safe, that someone who says ‘hey, can I fill up my water bottle,’ gets a, ‘sure absolutely’ response,” says Chernushenko.
“Those are the little things that make you the go-to pub, café, restaurant for people who want to come by bike.”
Cyclists and shopkeepers alike can work together to support each other through the I Bike I Buy campaign that tracks spending habits of cyclists in the city. Cyclists can register to track their purchases and businesses can register to show their support in the program. Click here for more information.
Even those who don’t have a bike can head to the Glebe and be on two wheels in no time with VeloGO, Ottawa-Gatineau’s official Bike Share program the official Bike Share program for the Ottawa-Gatineau that offers many a healthy, fun and affordable way to get around the capital region. Hop on a bike at Lansdowne Park and cruise past morning traffic; turn lunch hours into thrill rides, and welcome errands as sun-soaked adventures. Rent one for only $5 per 30 minutes, or get a monthly use plan. If you’re not going back to the area, don’t fret; you can lock your bike on any public bike rack when you’re done with it.
The greater biking community of Ottawa is a huge one, and there are tons of resources available for those wanting to get involved. Click here for information on winter maintained cycling routes throughout the city, or check out the frequently updated route conditions across Ottawa. There’s also several biking clubs in the city, including Ottawa Bicycle Club, Cycle Fit Chicks, Citizens for Safe Cycling, and if you’re a student or staff member of Carleton U, check out CU Cycling; all of which are participatory and welcome cyclists of any skill level. The City of Ottawa has an extensive cycling program and a list of resources on its cycling website. You can also check out the city’s entire biking network via map here.
So, pump up those tires and spin your way to the Glebe, you may never want to leave.