Google Maps has expanded their bike directions to Canadian cities, following on the heels of Ride the City, which launched their bike directions for Toronto earlier this year. I would have tried it out earlier but was stymied when I navigated to the dot ca domain by mistake instead of maps.google.com.
The bike directions work quite smoothly as we have come to expect from Google. There is a bit of mystery, however, to how they make decisions - presumably they have set their algorithm for the cyclist who will almost always choose the most comfortable route rather than the fastest. The Ride the City map at least provides the option of choosing "safer" or "direct" while creating a route. RTC also displays the bike stores and names the bike paths along the route, which is a nice touch and something that Google could learn to incorporate (this was pointed out by BlogTO which showed how Google just lists the paths as blank names - not particularly user-friendly).
There is also an option to display the bike lanes and bike routes under the More button on the top right. Presumably the green solid lines are bike lanes and bike paths and the dotted green lines are bike routes (with or without sharrows).
The major advantage of these bike direction planners is in planning longer routes through the suburbs where it is often much harder to find direct routes that don't spit the cyclist onto major arterials. BlogTO points out how Google places the cyclist for much too long on Keele - instead of the more comfortable adjacent Caladonia - when creating a route from Christie Pits to York University. In my attempts the exact route can change dramatically given a different starting point of a few blocks. RTC has similar functionality, so it helps to move your points around to test out different options. But no matter what, sooner or later, a cyclist is forced onto a road like Keele - or some other major arterial - in order to cross the 401. This is the nature of our car-obsessed city.