The City staff in planning has analyzed Census of Canada 2006 commuter information to give an update on the number of people cycling in Toronto.
Cycling is also more common among people who live closer to downtown. For example, the bicycle mode share for the census tract located at College St. and Bathurst St. is 17%, while most suburban areas of the city have a bicycle mode share of less than 1%.
In 2006 1.7% of Torontonians rode their bicycle to work. The average in Canada of 1.3% is higher than Toronto suburbs' and the Golden Horseshoe region's modal share of 0.5%. Why is that? There is the obvious answer that outside of urban centres cycling requires riding long-distances with high-speed traffic. But Hamilton is fairly urban. The other likely factors are that cycling infrastructure in these regions is not adequate and there is a weak cycling culture.
But we still need to have a sense of perspective that 1.7% is not that much higher than 0.5%, especially compared to locations with about 30% of all trips made by bike such as Denmark or The Netherlands. In Toronto the West-end and Toronto Islands are approaching those numbers. The Toronto Islands allow no personal cars so that makes sense. As for Toronto's west-end there's still a lot of work to make cyclists feel as if the City cares.