In late 2020, we committed to broadening our work outside of the downtown core, and introduced Move365 as our approach toward integrating our encouragement and education programs with our advocacy work. We know that building a culture of cycling requires many supports beyond infrastructure, whether it’s helping people access bicycles, providing education on how to ride safely, or tackling secure bike parking and access to Bike Share Toronto.
But beyond that, it’s also about supporting the great work already happening in communities across Toronto and ensuring these communities are at the decision making table when transportation projects are proposed for their neighbourhoods. We are aiming to accelerate the transformation of the entire city into a safe, healthy, and vibrant place; to grow the culture of cycling and push for infrastructure in parallel.
Our focus is to expand our reach across Toronto; as such, we have identified four geographical areas where we’ve already been working with community partners to deliver programming for safe cycling education, advocacy campaigns, and cycling encouragement programs. These four neighbourhoods are: Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, York-Weston, Northwest Toronto, and Scarborough West.
Thorncliffe Park & Flemingdon Park
We have formed valuable partnerships and engaged with the greater community in a meaningful, collaborative manner. We began collaborating with students, teachers, and community partners in the area back in 2017 through the Bike to School Project, where students asked for our help to start a petition for safe infrastructure on Overlea Boulevard.
In 2020, when the Thorncliffe-Flemingdon area was left out of the ActiveTO projects slated for the year, students again called on safe, equitable active transportation options for their neighbourhood, which we supported. Some of the results of this work include:
- Regular working group meetings which have increased community engagement for safe streets by building meaningful relationships with parents, teachers, and students from schools in the area
We continue to work with community partners such as Flemingdon Health Centre, The Neighbourhood organization (TNO), Gateway Bike Hub, and the Women's Cycling Network to create a bold mobility vision connecting Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park with the rest of the city.
Cycle Toronto has been working with Walk and Cycle York South-Weston since 2018 when we collaborated on Moving Forward: and action plan to improve safety in Ward 11, that laid out the mission of building infrastructure, and later with projects such as:
- Supporting engagement efforts for the upcoming ActiveTO major road opening on Black Creek Drive which is set to come to life in Summer of 2021
- Engaging the local councillor on filling the gap in the Humber river recreational trail — a City study commenced in March
- Ensuring that high quality active transportation options arrive with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to serve local Neighbourhood Improvement Areas
- Providing cycling education, bike safety stations, and collaboration opportunities with the local Community Place Hub to build out cycling supports
Cycle Toronto was one of the collaborating partners that developed the Scarborough Cycles program in 2015. Initially led by The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) and supported by CultureLink Settlement Services, the Toronto Cycling Think & Do Tank, and Access Alliance (now the host organization of Scarborough Cycles), we have worked to support and sustain this program through offering group rides, workshops, and advocacy summits in Southwest Scarborough. We have collaborated with Scarborough Cycles and Toronto East Cyclists ever since to develop programs to expand our advocacy and encouragement efforts. Some of these include:
- Advocating for an extension of ActiveTO complete street style road transformations east into Scarborough
- Co-founding a transportation coalition in Scarborough with the goals of improving non-motorized mobility options for Scarborough residents
- Collaborating with local businesses to make a strong case for cycling infrastructure
- Calling for safety improvements along Huntingwood ActiveTO alongside advocates and neighbourhood organizations
- Hosting outreach events such as bike safety stations and celebration events
- Working with Scarborough Cycles and the Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) on a community storytelling project, and mapping a complete street network in Scarborough with University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) students
Our long-term vision is to build a broad network of organizations in Scarborough working to transform transportation in the east end, including a safe and connected cycling network.
We've been working with Africa Climate Action Initiative (ACAI), the CultureLink Tobermory Bike Hub, and the United Way + City of Toronto community cluster to deliver safe cycling workshops at no cost to members of the Rexdale neighbourhood. Our ongoing work includes:
- Introducing a brand new route planning workshop and delivering it to our Northwest Toronto partners
- Hosting a free Advocacy 101 workshop to increase knowledge of how to engage with City transportation processes
- Delivering free cycling education workshops and upcoming bike safety stations
- Promoting the community bike match program
- Regular participation in the United Way Community Cluster, which keeps stakeholders connected and listens to the needs of the community
Move365 aims to build a bold mobility network in parallel with the development of key transportation infrastructure in the city. Our long-term vision is to empower individuals and communities with the tools and supports to ride a bike for transportation, health, and convenience, and to share our knowledge of how to advocate for crucial infrastructure changes with key stakeholders at the decision making table.
Part of this program also includes providing cycling support to communities as the city reopens, which includes launching bike safety stations in every ward of Toronto. These stations are designed to help people get their bikes checked for safety and rideability, particularly where access to bike shops may be limited.
The next stage of Cycle Toronto’s work at every level has Move365 at its centre. We will be working toward safe streets for people while building community partners all across Toronto.
Move365’s work is supported by our generous members and donors who believe in the power of community mobilization and shared knowledge as tools for change.