This year marks the fifth annual Tour de Greenbelt. Tour de Greenbelt, is a cycling event for riders to experience the beauty and offerings of Ontario’s Greenbelt. This year, the Tour was held at Rouge Park, conveniently located close to downtown Toronto. With 12k, 25k, 50k, 75k, and 100k routes and stops at Bob Hunter Memorial Park, Reesor Family Home, and Whittamore’s Farm riders were set for a fun-filled day.
The day started off bright and early, people flowing into the park around 8:30 am for registration. Families, friends and even furry animals were getting ready to meander through the park. MEC was onsite with their crew to help with tune ups and pump flat tires. And after a couple of warm-up exercises, riders were ready and set to go!
Unfortunately, I do not own a bike and was unable to find one to borrow. I did, however, stay back to chat with Toronto Zoo and Friends of the Rouge Watershed staff. The Rouge River watershed is an extraordinary resource in Ontario – it spans over regions of York and Durham, Cities of Toronto and Pickering, and Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill and Whitchurch Stouffville and is a major source of our drinking water. The Rouge River ecosystem also supports forests, farms, meadows, fields and streams and habitat for diverse flora and fauna. Thousands of people have worked to protect and enhance the Rouge River. For more information visit www.frw.ca.
The Toronto Zoo needs no introduction – set in the Rouge Valley, it offers a dynamic and exciting area for wildlife. The Zoo has over 5,000 animals representing over 500 species and over 10 km of walking trails. For more information visit www.torontozoo.com.
In anticipation of returning hungry riders, a few volunteers also stayed back to help and prepare for lunch, slicing tomatoes and onions and shucking corn. And Enbridge fired up the grill with burgers and hotdogs.
As the first wave of riders returned, live music was playing and freshly prepared Greenbelt food was ready to be enjoyed. Riders mingled and relaxed and kids had their own arts and crafts table full of fun activities.
It is always nice to spend a Saturday in the Greenbelt. Although summer may be coming to an end, there is no need to fear! There are lots of other activities in the Greenbelt during the fall and winter seasons – check out pumpkin patches and sugar bushes, and the many farms that stay open year round.