Cycle Toronto maintains a number of campaigns with the goal of building long-term support for cycling infrastructure.
How long does a campaign last?
Building support can often take years, not months or weeks, so each campaign is carefully-selected to fill a gap in the cycling network. Historically, Cycle Toronto's major campaigns have focused on the core, where support for cycling is higher among both councillors and residents. However, as the culture of cycling grows, residents across the city have begun to call on elected officials to make it safe and easy to ride their bikes no matter where they live. Additionally, Cycle Toronto's most well-known campaigns have been focused on road redesign, but work will need to be done in the suburbs to make cycling affordable and accessible, which means thinking about more than just bike lanes and cycling infrastructure.
Building a culture of cycling
Demand for cycling has always existed in Toronto, but it was not always a priority. Making it possible for residents to share their stories is one way Cycle Toronto has been working to highlight the demand for improvements to cycling infrastructure in Toronto and a stronger understanding of cyclists' rights and the rules of the road. Building a culture of cycling requires two major efforts:
- Bicycle access: being able to own and afford a bicycle; having a bicycle to ride to get around, feeling confident enough to ride a bicycle, and
- Having safe places to ride
Step 1: Bicycle Access
The first objective involves having access to a bicycle, whether it means owning your own bicycle or using a BikeShare bike. For many residents, the cost of a bicycle may be a barrier, as it can be a much higher upfront cost compared to a transit pass, for example. Once someone has a bicycle, feeling comfortable and confident is the next step. Cycle Toronto runs workshops and webinars to teach new cyclists the rules of the road. Many of this information is available on our Resources page. We also announce upcoming webinars on our Events page.
Step 2: Having a safe place to ride
Once someone has a bicycle and has decided that they want to get around by bike, they need a safe place to ride. Depending on where you live in the city, this isn't always easy. Advocating for safe cycling infrastructure for all residents, regardless of where they live, is incredibly important. Toronto has seen major progress building bike lanes primarily in the core and we have a long way to go before we achieve a city-wide network of safe cycling routes.
Click through to read more about Cycle Toronto's current major campaigns
Bloor Loves Bikes!
Danforth Loves Bikes!
Yonge Loves Bikes!
Protected Bike Lanes on Eglinton!
How Cycle Toronto picks campaigns
Campaign direction is determined in conjunction with staff and the Board of Directors. Campaigns are developed after much consideration and may take many years to achieve success. As well, the campaign's focus may shift over time; for instance, Bloor Loves Bikes first campaigned to get a bike lane on Bloor St. When a pilot was installed, this shifted to building support for the pilot and advocating for it to become permanent. Once the bike lane was made permanent, a western extension to High Park was the next target for advocacy efforts. The bike lane has since been built as far as Runnymede Road.