Things You Can Do By Bike – Go To IKEA!

There’s a long, boring story that leads up this sunny, Saturday morning ride to Etobicoke. It involves hidden inventory and an obsessive search for a very simple piece of organizational furniture. That said, I had an exchange to make at IKEA. The Etobicoke store being just 13 km from my home, my girlfriend and I loaded up our Globe bikes and set off.

Shadows! Even after such a mild winter in Toronto, the first time you really see your shadow again is exciting.

Because traveling like a Toronto cyclist involves more than just roads, we took a detour through High Park.

Seriously, spring shadows are great!

After a quick ride along still icy and tree covered paths in High Park we arrive along the Queensway. Bike lanes here take you into Etobicoke.

Just as things get roomy with space between the bike lane and other traffic…

… our bike lane travels come to an end.

In Etobicoke they want you to know that there is to be no cycling on the sidewalks. Sidewalk cycling is illegal in Toronto too, but these signs at every sidewalk intersection almost appear as though there is simply no cycling allowed at all. Which isn’t the case, of course.

Once the bike lane ends the motorized traffic gets heavier, and closer. The vast majority of drivers did change lanes to pass us and only when we were close to intersections did a few motorists pass a little too close for comfort.

It’s amazing how wide the Queensway is. I didn’t stop to take a photo, but the road quickly widens to seven lanes across. There are new condos and townhouses lining much of the Queensway, but I simply couldn’t imagine living along a highway. The area is rapidly changing and is just a short bike or transit ride into the city, so this area does have many benefits. (Note: The photo below is from the less wide section of the Queensway).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from simply too many IKEA trips it’s that you never use the front entrance. There may be bike parking at the Etobicoke IKEA, but since we had a return, I decided to get a little creative and lock us up near the service doors.

Exchange made, bungees secured and we set our sights on home.

Looking back at our simple trip, it’s amazing just how much we were able to accomplish in the morning while on our bikes. We got to experience one of the sunniest days of 2010 in Toronto so far. We got a little bit of exercise, especially when crossing the bridge just before you get to IKEA. We got the best parking spot. And we smiled the whole way there and back… when’s the last time you did all of that on a visit to IKEA?

About duncan

Duncan rides bicycles in the city of Toronto and contributes to the main blog of BikingToronto as well as writing and taking photos for his blog Duncan's City Ride.

Comments

  1. Parking lot at Ikea is a nightmare on weekends . Bike is the way to go!

  2. Gotta agree with Huy.

    If you’re buying something HUGE that you need to rent a car for, and you have to go on the weekend… time it to get there right when it opens in the morning. It’s about the only sane time to go on the weekend.

  3. I like the look of those Queensway Bikelanes… with that striped buffer zone!

  4. Locals know to use the back entrance to Ikea. You can get it from Evans Avenue and avoid The Queensway.
    Evans is a quieter road than The Queensway, it’s only four lanes wide, and much less travelled. Evans is less hair-raising for most, especially west of Royal York where speeds increase to 60km/h on The Queensway.

    From Evans, take Royal Road to just south of the rail line and then travel through some of the quiet side streets through Mimico and then connect up the Martin-Goodman trail. There are even bike lanes on Lake Shore Blvd W that help get you to the Martin-Goodman trail.

    And soon Phase II of the Mimico Linear Park will start construction. Upon completion it would allow one to completely by-pass Lake Shore Blvd W, should one desire.

  5. Thanks, Anthony. Looking at Google maps, the key to making the connection from Evans Ave (south of the Gardiner) up to IKEA, appears to be Wickman Road. I had assumed the only ways to cross the Gardiner in the area would be by using busy arterials like Islington.

    Locals know better, thanks for this.

  6. did you stop at Toms Dairy Freeze? thats my icecream hangout… the burgers are pretty good too. it’s disapointing where the bike lanes ends on the queensway, as it is one of my east west corridors, there are bike lanes on stephen drive and royal york, however not much east west in that area. evans ave would be a nice bike lane from royal york to Sherway Gardens.. it goes right by Ikea.

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  1. [...] we have to pick up large items from Ikea or Home Depot (small items can be done by bike of course, like Duncan knows), we get a Zipcar for a couple of hours… specifically a Toyota Matrix, as it uses very little [...]

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