Running Safety Tips in Toronto

Edited by Admin
Running Safety Tips in Toronto

Over 900 pedestrians are seriously injured or killed each year in the GTA, so if you’re going to run, be safe! Here are some tips for making your run a happy and safe one...

Article Written By: Glenna M.
Running Safety Tips in Toronto

Running in Toronto can be heavenly – and now that spring is here, your runs can get longer and more enjoyable. There are some amazing routes for runners in the city, so put on your spandex shorts,  lace up your shoes and go for a run along Martin Goodman Trail to Ashbridges Bay, through Edward’s Gardens and Sunnybrook Park, or from the Beltline to the Brickworks. You can run along the Waterfront Trail from High Park to Ontario Place, or take a ferry to the Island and do the Centre Island Loop.


But while Toronto is a beautiful city to run in, it’s important to remember that it’s a big city with a lot of traffic and activity. Over 900 pedestrians are seriously injured or killed each year in the GTA, so if you’re going to run, be safe! Here are some tips for making your run a happy and safe one:

  • Keep your ears open. Many people like to run with earbuds, listening to music that gets the energy flowing. While this is a great strategy for treadmill runs or indoor tracks, it’s unsafe for the roads. You may not hear a vehicle approaching; you may not hear people shouting warnings at you. Plugging into music means decreasing your awareness of the world around you, a no-no when you are running in the city. If you absolutely must have tunes, wear only one earbud, and keep the volume low enough for you to hear all of the ambient sound.


  • Stay visible. Some of us like to run at unusual times of day – an early morning run is a great way to start your day, and you can get out before it gets too hot in the summer months. However, very early mornings can be a time when visibility is reduced. If you run in the very early morning, or in the late afternoon/evening, be sure that you can be seen! Wear lights, flashing lights, and reflectors, brightly-coloured clothing or safety vests. Running at sunrise or sunset can also be dangerous, since the sun’s rays can be blinding for drivers. Whenever possible, daylight is best.


  • Avoid heavy traffic. Face traffic when you run. Make sure that drivers know you’re there. And of course, try not to run on major routes where you’ll be dealing with a lot of traffic (not to mention carbon monoxide.)


  • Be connected. If you can, find a regular running partner. You will help to keep one another safe, and you’ll urge one another on to greater heights! If you plan to run alone, tell someone when you’re leaving and when you expect to be home; let them know what area you’ll be running in. Carry a runner’s GPS system that lets you share your location with others.


  • Use common sense. Don’t take chances: don’t run in sparsely populated areas late at night, or in high-traffic areas such as entrances to parking lots, bars, and restaurants. Don’t try to run a route that’s full of potholes, or in areas that seem sketchy or unsafe. If you are harassed by anyone on your route, or if you feel that you’re being stalked or targeted, report the incident to the police and alter your route. You may also opt to carry runner’s mace.


  • Take ID. Take your well-charged cell phone with emergency contacts taped to the back.


  • Change it up. Don’t do the same routes all the time. When you get over-familiar with your route, you tend to zone out. Find new vistas, and stay alert!


  • Sunscreen. Remember to apply sunscreen. During spring and summer you can get burned even in early morning.


  • Hydrate. Toronto can get very hot in the summer. Don’t try to run without water; it can cause severe dehydration. There are various types of hydration belts to carry water bottles, hydration backpacks with convenient hoses to drink from, and even hydration vests.


  • Weather. Speaking of heat…don’t try to run in extreme weather such as snowstorms or lightning storms, extreme heat/humidity, or extreme cold. It’s not worth it, and it’s not good for you. If you must run during an extreme weather event, find a treadmill.


Injured While Running

If you have been involved in an accident while running, seek medical attention immediately, and report the accident to the police. Once you’ve received medical help for your injuries, you may want to explore your legal options. A law firm that has experience with personal injury cases can help you to sort through the facts of the incident, and present you with a course of action.


Don’t hesitate before contacting a lawyer, however. In personal injury law, there are many deadlines that must be met in order to pursue a claim, and the sooner you get started, the better. As a general rule, document everything you can with photos, journal entries, and witness accounts. The more information you can give to a personal injury lawyer, the better able he or she will be able to assess your case.