In this episode of 'Running In...', Jo-Anne (Jo) takes us on a running tour of Toronto.
Jo is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor who LOVES to run. Jo has been running since high school but took up long distance running 20 years ago. Her favourite distance is 30k - not quite a full but just that bit harder than a half!
Tell us about the running culture in Toronto?
The running community in Toronto is exceptional. We are connected with our love of the outdoors. No matter the weather, Toronto runners lace up and support each other.
COVID has been hard on the run community as groups have been discouraged but we still support each other through social media.
Take us round your favourite 'local' training routes in Toronto...
Martin Goodman Trail – Waterfront
This beautiful flat trail runs 22km along Lake Ontario. There are many areas to enter and exit the trail and plenty of water fountains. It's a great way to see many of Toronto’s run community members, especially on a weekend.
This multi-use 9km trail is built on what used to be a railway line in the 1890s. The route is beautifully shaded with easy access to many neighbourhoods in Toronto’s mid-town.
Humber River Trail
A 13km paved trail running North/South along the Humber River in Toronto’s west end. The trail can be busy at times (especially on the weekend), but the beautiful scenery and views of the lake and the Humber River are worth it.
What is the best place to buy running gear in Toronto?
That would be The Runner’s Shop. It's locally owned and has knowledgeable staff.
Best Toronto race or races?
The Beaches Jazz Run – 10k and Half Marathon – July
A small, community race that is perfectly timed for fall marathon training. The start, finish and much of the race is run along the waterfront. The race gets its name as it coincides with the annual Jazz Festival in the Beaches neighbourhood.
Mississauga Marathon – 10K, Half and Full – May
Mississauga is a suburb of Toronto and this race is large enough to be a Boston qualifier but small enough to feel like a good community run. I PB’d here!
Toronto Women’s Run – 10k and Half – May
A nice run for the ladies. Some men do participate but why? Set in a park in the north of the city, this annual race has excellent swag and a great vibe.
Toronto Waterfront Marathon – 5K, 10K, Half and Full – October
This is Toronto’s biggest marathon and where you’ll see the elite athletes competing. The course is flat and fast and another Boston qualifier.
Do you have a favourite local dish or venue to eat after a big run or race in Toronto?
My favourite post-race meal is a BIG breakfast. Pancakes, waffles, eggs and COFFEE!
Try Easy Restaurant on Queen West. Small diner, with great food.
Thanks to Jo-Anne for sparing the time to take us on a running journey around Toronto.
One last thing...
COVID-19 has resulted in a severely reduced income for freelancers like me. If you've enjoyed the content on this site and would like to support me by buying me a coffee, I would greatly appreciate it.