Biking to work in Halifax isn’t perfect and depending on your comfort level, can be quite intimidating at times. But there is hope. These options around the city will help to give you a bit of separation from traffic and connect to your urban destination. If you’re yearning to break away from driving or riding the bus everyday, get more exercise, and save money by powering your own travel, the commuting rides we’ve collected below offer pleasant routes within the current grid that can ease you into making active transport part of your daily routine. We’ve highlighted  some of the best route options to connect the suburban areas of Halifax into the Regional Centre. If you want to get a better look at these and others to best fit your specific needs and location, head over to the Halifax Bike Map for more ride possibilities. 

North End of Halifax

Devonshire Avenue to Barrington Street AT Greenway 

Infrastructure Type: Painted Bike Lane/ Multi-use Pathway/ Suggested Route on Main Road

Running all the way from the start of Devonshire to the beginning of Upper Water Street, this route is great for those in the Agricola Street/Fort Needham Memorial Park area who are looking to become more comfortable accessing the busy business district. The two-way painted bike lane on Devonshire guides you through a nicely paved neighborhood, allowing you to avoid the heavier traveled nearby roads. To access the AT greenway on Barrington, cross the street at the first stoplight after Devonshire and follow along this pathway until you reach the start of the Greenway under McDonald bridge. This wonderfully new-paved ride will guide you safely into downtown. The greenway ends as it transitions onto Upper Water Street. You’ll want to stop here and carefully cross onto Upper Water as this section can be busy with traffic. For now, this part of the ride lacks cycling infrastructure, so you can ride along the sidewalk for now to get through this busy section. Keep a watch out for the new design plan to connect the Barrington Greenway to Lower Water and Hollis Street making this ride fully protected in the future.


Windsor Street

Infrastructure Type: Painted Bike Lane/ Local Street Bikeway/ Suggested Route on Local Road

If you’re looking to get from the North End to the Quinpool and Dalhousie/Kings areas of town, this series of lanes will safely increase your familiarity on how to navigate the routes within this area. 

Traveling from the start of Windsor Street, the painted bike lanes–although not Halifax’s finest pavement– will take you to Cogswell Park, where you can turn onto the multi-use path and connect to Quinpool Road via Quingate Place.. If you want to access the Quinpool District, we suggest you hang a right onto Allan Street, before you reach that multi-use path, and travel along this tree-covered and well-paved local street bikeway to safely avoid the busy Quinpool road. To get over to the Dalhousie/King’s University side of town, you can go through the lights at Quinpool and Quingate PLace to enter the newly constructed local street bikeway along Vernon Street. Here, you’ll find curb extensions on the intersection which slow cars down. Cyclists will need to take primary position on the road which will get you through the intersection safely. This will carry you all the way through to Coburg Road.


South End of Halifax 

Hollis Street

Infrastructure Type: Suggested Route on Main Road/ Protected Bike Lane

Over in the south end of the city, this protected bike lane is perfect if you’ve been searching for a guarded pathway to side-cut the infamous Halifax hills while safely cruising into downtown. Starting at Hollis Street near Cornwallis Park, the lane stretches along the entire length of Hollis until it reaches the transition onto Barrington Street where it ends. This vibrant ride allows for quick access to the downtown and waterfront areas. This is also a relatively flat option for those wanting to gradually increase their riding endurance. This route is quite useful as it provides separation from the many buses and trucks along this frequently traveled road. Unfortunately, the protected status of this ride only lasts the length of Hollis so getting to and from this lane, you’ll have to navigate some main roads and local streets without designated infrastructure. We suggest you ride with caution and are comfortable traveling along some portions of main roads when accessing this route.  In the future, keep an eye out for increased infrastructure connections across nearby areas of the city that will make this wonderful ride easier and safer to access from the surrounding areas. 

South Park Street

Infrastructure Type: Suggested Route on Local Road/ Protected Bike Lane

For those wanting a smooth and protected way that guides you to lively Spring Garden Road, this newly constructed connector route will safely get you there. This is a nice way for you to increase your comfort using cycling infrastructure while getting to work. For those living by Young Avenue, you’ll want to be aware  of the light traffic along this local street as bike lanes have yet to be installed. The protected portion begins at the start of South Park at Young Avenue and drops you off at Spring Garden Road allowing you free-range access to the rest of the downtown area. This route is nice and flat with bicycle barriers that combine to provide you with a peaceful and sheltered ride fit for any ability level. If you live in the general area between Point Pleasant and Gorsebrook Park, this route will be the most direct and readily accessible for your commuting needs. The portion of this route connecting Spring Garden to Sackville is currently within its completion stages and is set to be fully finished by this winter of 2020/2021. 



Dartmouth Multi-Use Trail

Infrastructure Type: Multi-use pathway/ Suggested Route on Main Road

This protected and widely paved pathway is fit for any comfort or ability level if you’re looking to switch up your morning routine. Stretching all the way from Grahams Corner to downtown Dartmouth on Ochterloney Street this route offers a bike roadway that safely travels along Lake Banook and little protected trails through Sullivan’s Pond Park. If you live further or are looking to add some extra mileage to your ride, you can access this route from its start point out at Kiwanis Grahams Grove Park. But, if you want something shorter, this route has multiple access points so you can access it from anywhere along route 7. You can even hop on the trail at Henry Findlay Park off of Hawthorne Street or at Sullivan’s Pond Park off of Crichton Avenue. The ride ends off on Ochterloney Street which has yet to install bike infrastructure, so navigate cautiously along this road if you’re just getting into cycling to work. The bike parking infrastructure is currently being improved although currently there is a great spot to park your bike outside Two If By Sea Cafe on Ochterloney as well as a rack down on the waterfront by the Alderney Ferry Terminal. Connecting options here are improving so keep your eyes peeled for the newly planned Dahlia Street active transportation project linking the multi-use trail in Sullivan’s pond park through the Dartmouth Common. 


Dartmouth Harbour Front AT Greenway

Infrastructure Type: Multi-use pathway

If you have never commuted by bike before, this ride is a really great option with its  peaceful, fully protected and well paved pathways. The greenway is nice and flat throughout which makes it a great option if you’re looking to ease your way into cycling to work. Access it from neighborhoods anywhere between the Woodside Ferry Terminal and Alderney Landing where the end of each adjacent connecting road includes a spot to hop on. As you approach the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship Building, the trail briefly breaks. To get back on, ride through Maplehurst Drive, take a left around the Parker Street apartments along Newcastle Street, then back down on Old Ferry Road where the trail picks up again. This trail accesses a number of destinations, which make it great for commuting or running errands, and pleasant enough to be used as a recreational route if you just want to putt around on a sunny day. . It even connects downtown Dartmouth to Nova Scotia Community College for the students looking for an active way to get to class. 



Burnside Drive Multi-Use Trail

Infrastructure Type: Multi-use pathway

This route is perfect if you’re looking to become more comfortable cycling to work as it’s completely removed from the busy main roads. This newly constructed and well-paved ride begins at the trailhead at John MacNeil Elementary School Park and runs all the way alongside Burnside Drive until the four way intersection with Commodore Drive. If you want to access this ride from further outside of town, you can park at the bus terminal on Highfield Park Drive or hop on to this connecting road from the nearby neighbourhoods. This protected route will quickly and safely zip you to your destination, providing a nice option to ease yourself into the commuting lifestyle. 


Halifax Commute Getting Better Everyday

These rides have their quirks as the HRM is currently working on connecting the existing infrastructure, and further expanding the network amongst the entire Halifax Peninsula. Despite these areas for improvement, we hope to grant you with a bit more background knowledge on how to become familiar with the rides so that when our network is connected, you’ll already know how to make the most of this wonderful AT infrastructure. For those who have always lived in the city but have never commuted, here is a valuable training course on urban cycling that will get you started on navigating the city and boost your confidence when easing your way into commuting as a daily activity. This course can be delivered partly online and provides wonderful guidance for utilizing the city’s infrastructure in its tricky and hectic areas. 


Calvin Cameron

I am a fourth year Environmental Science student at Dalhousie University. My passions are surfing, skiing, skateboarding and of course, cycling! It was been my pleasure to work for BNS this fall writing blog postings in efforts to outline Nova Scotia’s amazing trail infrastructure. I hope that this work will make it that much easier for cyclists of all backgrounds and abilities to find the route that gets them out and enjoying this beautiful province.


Looking for more Nova Scotia cycling tips?

If you want to find more information on these rides and so much more, check out our Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia Guidebook 

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