Bike commute from The Glebe to Gloucester High School

Chris was wondering what route I would choose to get from Fifth and Bank in the Glebe over to Gloucester High School in the east end of town. It’s a tricky ride. The challenge lies in figuring out safe ways to cross a number of major north-south arteries including the Rideau Canal, the Rideau River, the Vanier Parkway, St Laurent Boulevard and the Aviation Parkway, without the route becoming too erratic. I also wanted to avoid bicycling down busy streets. Here’s what I came up with. Blue line shows how I got there. Red lines are variations I took on the way back.

All set to go!
All set to go!

Headed straight down Fifth Avenue towards the Canal. Crossing Queen Elizabeth Drive to get to the path along the canal can take awhile if traffic is heavy, however this will be alleviated when traffic lights are installed at the intersection this summer. UPDATE – July 2014: Signalled crossing is in!

Rode north along the path and crossed at Pretoria Bridge, which has a bike lane.

Up and over Pretoria Bridge
Up and over Pretoria Bridge

That took me to the intersection of Hawthorne Avenue and Colonel By, on the east side of the bridge. Things get a little tricky at this spot. If traffic is bad I recommend crossing to the opposite corner and walking your bike for a short distance along the sidewalk to where it veers left along Echo Drive, like so.

Making your way over to Echo Drive
Making your way over to Echo Drive

I then turned down the first street on the left which is Graham Avenue. It has a bike lane.

Graham Ave
Graham Ave

Three quarters of the way down Graham Ave, before reaching Main Street, I took a shortcut through the parking lot of the school on the right to avoid Main as much as possible.

Shortcut
Shortcut

Unfortunately I had to ride along Main for a block before turning left onto Springhurst Avenue. When traffic is heavy along Main, as it tends to be at rush hour, I cross at these lights at Evelyn Avenue and walk my bike along the sidewalk to Springhurst. UPDATE – Oct 2014: A section of Lees, joined at the end of Graham, now has a bike lane heading east, as described in this post, providing an alternative to riding along Main. There is no bike lane along Lees heading west so I took Evelyn Ave on the way back, as per the above map, thus avoiding riding along dangerous Main and Lees.

Main St. Turn of to Springhurst is at the red brick building
Main St. Turn off to Springhurst is at the red brick building

I rode to the end of Springhurst to get on this stone dust path and veered left for a short distance along the edge of the Rideau River as far as the Transitway bridge.

Path at the end of Springhurst
Path at the end of Springhurst

I took the path along the transitway bridge over the river, like so.

Bridge over the Rideau River
Bridge over the Rideau River

Once on the other side of the river I turned right, circled under the bridge, and headed east along the Rideau River Eastern Pathway.

The path under the Queensway remains accessible while they continue with construction, however the passageway under the scaffolding is pretty narrow so watch out for oncoming traffic.

Path under Queensway
Path under Queensway

I turned off the path at the sign pointing to River Road.

Exit
Exit

I turned right off River Road onto Presland. There’s a pedestrian cross signal to get across the Vanier Parkway.

Crosswalk signal at Presland and Vanier Parkway
Crosswalk signal at Presland and Vanier Parkway

I continued all the way down Presland which became Hardy Rd.

Presland Road - nice quiet street.
Presland Road – nice quiet street.

At the end of Hardy I wove my way north-east a few blocks and crossed St Laurent Boulevard at Donald St. It’s a 4 lane intersection, but not for too long beyond St Laurent. I then wove my way further north-east along quiet residential streets to Gardenvale Road, off of which there is a short path that takes you to the Aviation Pathway.

Path off Gardenvale....up to Aviation Pathway
Path off Gardenvale….up to Aviation Pathway

I then crossed Aviation Parkway at the entrance to the Cité Collégiale and rode along its narrow but adequate bike lane into the centre of campus.

Road into the centre of La cité collégiale campus
Road into the centre of La cité collégiale campus

I rode through the campus, turned left on Bathgate Drive, then turned right into the National Research Council campus.

Riding on Bathgate just before the turn onto the NRC campus
Riding on Bathgate just before the turn onto the NRC campus

Wove my way through the NRC campus, then turned right on Blair, which is a speedy two lane road, but I only followed it for a short bit and it has a bike lane.

Bike lane on Blair Road
Bike lane on Blair Road

Turned left into the quiet residential area of Cardinal Heights along Mowat St, then right on Crownhill St, and finally left on Appleford St which brought me right to Gloucester High School. Ta-da!

Gloucester High School seen from Appleford St and Ogilvie Road
Gloucester High School seen from Appleford St and Ogilvie Road

Now on first blush one might think it preferable to take the more direct route from the end of Hardy St along Coventry Road and Ogilvie Road beyond St Laurent Blvd. There is a bike lane along Ogilve Road as indicated on Google Maps bike layer, however Ogilvie Road is a 4-6 lane highway wannabe, and the bike lane ends at Blair Road heading east. I took this route heading back. Here’s what it’s like just west of Blair. Lots of trucks too.

Ogilvie Road just west of Blair.
Ogilvie Road just west of Blair.

Coventry Road doesn’t have a bike lane, and this is what St Laurent looks like from Ogilvie looking across to Coventry.

St Laurent looking across to Coventry Road
St Laurent looking across to Coventry Road

Google maps estimated the alternate route I chose through Cite Colégiale and the NRC would take an additional 10 minutes versus heading straight down Coventry and Ogilvie.

So there you have it. It was nice to get back on Presland.

Presland2

Author: ottawavelo

bicycler

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