TORONTO, Ont. – Thousands of cyclists will be hitting the road over the June 9 weekend as part of the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, with many dedicated riders making the journey from Toronto to Niagara Falls.
It’s being held to benefit the Campbell Family Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital, which is one of the top five cancer research centres in the world.
The two-day cycling event travels more than 200 kilometres through Toronto, with most routes stopping in Hamilton and eventually Niagara Falls.
Nearly 5,000 cyclists are expected to take part in the event, which Steve Merker, Vice President of Development at Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, says has benefits for everybody involved.
“This event has blown us all away in terms of the power of fundraising, the emotional camaraderie that brings everyone together, the fitness benefits that everyone derives from participating and training for this event,” Merker said.
“We had 4,850 riders start out today, between either the Niagara Falls start line or the Toronto start line, which is a new record and at least 200 more than last year’s record,” Merker said.
The ride also raised $18.1 million this year, also setting a new record.
One thing that makes the event so special is the number of cancer survivors who take part, marking their bicycles with a little, yellow flag.
“Having so many survivors, we want this event to be filled with yellow flags, and the yellow flags signify a survivor,” Merker said.
This year, there will be six routes for riders to choose from, based on the distance and difficulty of the route cyclists want to tackle.
- Classic: 200-kilometre-plus route from Toronto to Niagara Falls
- Niagara: Start in Niagara Falls and finish in Toronto
- Toronto Turnaround: Start and finish in Toronto
- Niagara Turnaround: Start and finish in Niagara Falls
- Classic Challenge (Toronto to Niagara Falls): Cycle 100-plus kilometres on Saturday and 100-plus kilometres on Sunday
- Toronto Turnaround Challenge (Toronto to Toronto): Cycle 100-plus kilometres on Saturday and 100-plus kilometres on Sunday
Over the June 9-10 weekend there will be rolling road closures or lane restrictions along Lakeshore Avenue near Exhibition Place, along with closures along the Queensway to West Mall, where the riders will fan out on several different routes.
The closures will be primarily westbound on Saturday and eastbound on Sunday.