The eastern section of the Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto offers free running and biking fitness opportunities, along with a scenic view of Lake Ontario. Several other facilities are nestled near this biking trail. Join me on a quick tour on a Monday morning in the summer.
Finding the Eastern End of the Martin Goodman Trail
The Martin Goodman Trail’s eastern tip is at the south end of Fernwood Park Avenue in the eastern Beach neighbourhood of Toronto, off of Fir Avenue, and south of Queen Street East.
The Balmy Beach Club is just east of Fir and Fernwood, and south of Queen St. East, past the curve in the road shown in the above image.
Let’s turn right, instead, to join the Martin Goodman Trail at the south end of Fernwood.
Heading West along the Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto
Heading west along the Martin Goodman Trail from Fernwoood, we immediately see the boardwalk between the trail and Lake Ontario. While runners may use either the trail or the boardwalk, cyclists should stay on the paved trail.
If you turn left (east), you’d find the Balmy Beach Club’s south entrance on the Boardwalk. In the summer, some beach volleyball nets get a workout there. But that’s behind us as we travel west.
The above picture shows the Leuty Lifeguard Station on the beach, as well as a lifeguard’s chair. The flags indicate water quality and whether a lifeguard is on duty.
The boardwalk has benches, obviously, but let’s keep going on our fitness trek.
In fact, this section of the trail has about half a dozen fitness stations. Look for wooden beams where you can do pull-ups, inclined sit-ups, and other exercises. Sorry that I didn’t take photos!
Beyond that fence, the light green grass is part of the Kew Beach Lawn Bowling Club, just north of the Martin Goodman Trail. A couple decades ago, when I was a participant, the sport of fencing was the second-safest in Canada. The safest? Lawn bowling.
I didn’t take a picture, but Kew Gardens also hosts a small ice hockey rink (just west of the lawn bowling club).
Next we find the tennis courts, again north of the trail.
Note that there are any number of micro-trails that join the streets of the Beach neighbourhood to the Martin Goodman Trail. This photo also shows one of the decorative boulders (on the far right) and a functional garbage container. Earlier in my run I passed a garbage truck making its rounds, as well as a couple of other service vehicles. Toronto Parks and Recreation Department keeps this trail, and Toronto’s many parks, in fine form.
The Donald D Summerville Olympic Pool towers above (and just to the north of) the Martin Goodman Trail. It’s just south of the eastern end of Lake Shore Blvd E., where it curves north to become the foot of Woodbine Avenue. I have no idea why someone decided to build an elevated swimming pool, but it is highly regarded among those looking for a place to swim.
It’s worth noting that this whole stretch of the Martin Goodman Trail has sandy beaches. The many lifeguard chairs attest to its reputation as a “swimmer’s beach”; one of several in Toronto.
The upper left of the above photo shows another “bathing station”: a place to change your clothes. Beach volleyball is a big feature of this section of the Martin Goodman Trail, just west of that bathing station.
Just to the north of the bike path, and before reaching the swimming pool, is the first of several children’s playgrounds along this section of the trail.
We’ve gone past another children’s play area, and through a wider park area that hosts a lot of picnics on weekends.
The above photo shows the Martin Goodman Trail meeting the Ashbridges Bay Park Road, which I always call “the driveway south from Coxwell”. Turn left to find a parking lot, as well as a section of trails that the Beaches Running Room calls “the Peanut”. (That’s based on the aerial view of an elongated figure-8 biking trail). That area hosts Canada Day Fireworks in Toronto at Ashbridges Bay, an annual free summer Toronto event that I usually watch from nearby Woodbine Park.
However, we’re turning right (north) towards the intersection of Coxwell and Lake Shore Blvd East.
The Martin Goodman Trail continues left (west), south of Lake Shore Blvd East. I didn’t take a picture of Ashbridges Bay, to the left of the trail. Today the Boy Scouts facility was hosting some children in canoes (or something… I was busy running) in the bay.
Across Lake Shore Blvd, the above photo hints at the skateboard park on the north-west corner of this intersection. I run past there quite often; and it’s rare to see fewer than a dozen youngsters training or just enjoying the free facility.
Looking Back at the Ashbridges Bay Park
The above photo looks back, east, along Lake Shore Blvd East and across the intersection for Coxwell and the park road (to the right). Woodbine Park is to the left; it has become the home of many free annual Toronto events such as AfroFest and the Muhtadi International Drumming Festival.
Are You Going Further West along the Martin Goodman Trail?
If you head west along the Martin Goodman Trail from Coxwell, it turns south onto Leslie Street. You will recognize it as a construction zone for the new TTC streetcars, but it should become a really pleasant “linear park” at that corner.
The south end of Leslie has the gate to Tommy Thompson Park; but the Martin Goodman Trail turns west at that gate, following Unwin Avenue. You will eventually find Clarke Beach, where the trail turns north onto Cherry Street. And that’s all the foreshadowing for this article.
The local Running Room in the Beaches makes good use of the eastern-most section of the Martin Goodman Trail. It’s one of the flatter biking trails in Toronto, but that’s something that runners can really appreciate.
One word of caution: these 2.5 kilometres of parkland attract huge crowds on summer holiday weekends. It’s definitely not a fitness trail at those times, unless you’re training for slow-motion dodge-the-families-with-children.
Looking for More Fitness Trails in Toronto Canada?
I have recently begun to note fitness trails in Toronto, in addition to noting many of the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, free or frugal.
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