Cycling the beautiful Toronto Islands


Today was lovely. After a lazy day yesterday enjoying the beach and some nearby restaurants, I got another nice slow start this morning, but also good news shortly after I arose: my COVID test was negative! I don’t know how long this has been the case; I hadn’t re-tested since my positive result on July 6th. Today was my 11th day since the start of my symptoms, so I felt confident I wasn’t contagious… but it felt extra good to see it in “black and white.” I still have a few lingering symptoms (which I always do for a week or two after a cold) but mostly, I’m back, and feeling good.

This afternoon I wanted to see the Toronto Islands, which must be reached by ferry. Several people had suggested that I should see them while I was in town, and I’m glad I went.

But first, I wanted to meet up with someone in person whom I hadn’t spoken to in more than twenty years, and had never met before… but our talks at that time had given me my first inkling that I would like to visit Toronto someday.

Kevin McLaughlin was the founder of AutoShare (1998) a then-independent car sharing company which is now part of Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Back when I worked for CarSharing Portland (also founded in 1998, by my then-boss Dave Brook, and now part of Zipcar) we had a few conference calls with Kevin about the operations of the two companies, which were similarly sized and structured.

Kevin now manages his new startup, Zygg, an e-bike subscription service with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. I stopped by the office for a brief chat to reminisce about car sharing’s nascent days, as well as the present and future of urban mobility. Keep an eye on Zygg: expansion plans are in the works!

After our meeting, I biked down to the ferry dock, where three ferries depart at regular intervals to take foot- and bike passengers over to the islands.

After disembarking, it was cool to sit on a bench at the beach on Ward’s Island, and look over at the city across the water.

I spent the better part of the next hour cycling a beautiful path to another ferry dock at Hanlan’s Point, where I caught a return boat, then bicycled back to my apartment in The Beaches at the end of the evening.

I have one more full day here. Looking forward to whatever unfolds!

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