Founded in 1825 on the edge of Lake Ontario, Oakville, Ont., has evolved from a primarily shipbuilding and timber shipment port to a bustling town that has everything from Ford Motor Company’s Canadian headquarters to high-end shops. Packed with running trails, recreational facilities and a provincial park, Oakville has a lot to offer fitness enthusiasts. The Oakville Half-Marathon, 10K and 2K races are run every September while the Burloak 8 at 8, Mercedes Benz 10K and the Oakville Hospital 5K are run in the spring/early summer.
Start outside The Running Company on the corner of Lakeshore and Navy. Go north on Navy, cross Randall and turn left after the Fire Hall onto Water Street. Follow Water Street until it ends at William. Go up William to Navy and turn right. Head south towards the lake and turn left on Front Street. Continue along Front Street and onto the Lakeside path until it ends at Allen Street. Go north (left) on Allen and run to Lakeshore Road. Turn right and run four blocks to Park Avenue. Turn right again on Park and run to Esplanade Avenue at its bottom. Turn left on Esplanade and follow the short trail to Chartwell Road. Turn Left on Chartwell and follow it back to Lakeshore. Turn left on Lakeshore and run back to The Running Company.
Start outside The Running Company on the corner of Lakeshore and Navy. Go west on Lakeshore. Just across the bridge turn left on Forsythe (at the Subway restaurant). Follow Forsythe to Anderson Street and turn right. Make a quick left on Chisolm Street and go South to Walker Street. Follow Walker to the waterfront trail and keep going west to Kerr Street. Go north (right) on Kerr Street to Burnett. Run three blocks to Brookfield. Turn left and then a quick right onto Lakewood Drive. Lakewood becomes Hollyrood Avenue, which you will follow to Lakeshore Road East. Go west on Lakeshore and follow it all the way to Coronation Park. Run through Coronation Park’s parking lot and meet up again with the waterfront trail. Follow the trail through the park to Belvedere Drive. Go north (right) back to Lakeshore. Turn right on Lakeshore and follow it back to The Running Company.
Park at the Starbucks on Third Line (2501 Third Line), just south of Dundas Street West. Run south on Third Line to Pine Glen Road and turn right. Follow Pine Glen Road to Bronte Road and turn Left. Run to the stop sign and turn left on the small street that takes you to Khalsa Gate. Cross Khalsa Gate and you will meet up with a running trail. Follow the trail east for just over 2.5K to Third Line. Turn Right on Third Line and run to Merchants Gate. Turn left at Merchants Gate and follow the road east to Pilgrams Way. Go right on Pilgrams Gate for 2K to Nottinghill Gate. Then turn left on Nottinghill to Upper Middle Road. Turn Right on Upper Middle Road and run over the large bridge that covers Sixteen Mile Creek. Then turn left on Neyagawa Boulevard. Turn Right on River Oaks Boulevard West and loop back to Upper Middle Road. Turn Right on Upper Middle Road, cross the bridge again and then take a right on Westoak Trails Boulevard. Just after Proudfoot trail you will see a path on your right. Follow it until you come to a four-way intersection on the path and turn left. Run to Oakhaven Drive and turn right. Turn Left on Pine Glen Road and follow it to Third Line. Take a final right on Third Line and return back to Starbucks.
Where to Eat
Oakville is packed with great places to eat. Even though it’s less then 10 years old, Stoney’s Bread Company (325 Kerr St) has become somewhat of an Oakville institution because of its top-notch sandwiches and pizzas. If you’re after a cozy place for a light lunch or a latte try the Green Bean Cafe downtown (210 Lakeshore Road East) or if you want a fancy night out try Cucci (119 Jones Street) for some Italian or Jonathan’s (120 Thomas Street) for a great glass of wine, a soufflé, seafood or a steak.
Where to shop
You’ll find anything you need for your run at The Running Company (114 Lakeshore Road East). Owner Greg McKinnon is a legend in the local running community, involved with everything from local races to the latest gear. The Running Company has free group runs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Running Room (156 Lakeshore Road East) also offers all types of running equipment as well as clinics. The free run club meets Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
Rebecca Gardiner writes the Couch to Kenyan blog on our website runningmagazine.ca. Tweet her @Couch2Kenyan.