Announcing Cycle Toronto’s new Executive Director

Cycle Toronto New Executive Director

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Keagan Gartz is Cycle Toronto’s newest Executive Director. Keagan has worked for the organization for seven years, most recently as Director of Programs & Engagement and Interim Executive Director, and has been instrumental in shaping what Cycle Toronto is today.

Keagan has created and expanded the profile of some of Cycle Toronto’s most innovative programming, including our guided bike tours, Bike Month, and our Road Rules workshop and video series. She’s been a key driver in sustaining engagement through collaboration with  community partners like Friends & Families for Safe Streets, the #BuildTheVisionTO coalition, and our numerous supporters, staff, committees, and volunteers. 

Keagan has worked on all of our current campaigns, written everything from blog posts to HR policies to city council submissions and position statements, spearheaded many of our major events and rides, and holds the record for most job titles on staff. She’s been a key strategist on our advocacy work and believes in the power of collective action to inspire change. She’s passionate about equity, accessibility, climate justice, anti-oppression and governance. There is no aspect of our work she’s not willing to take on to further our mission for safe, healthy and vibrant streets.

A message from Keagan

Cycling has impacted the way I think about sustainability, equity, mobility, and connection to community in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. When I first joined the Cycle Toronto staff team, I assumed my preference for dresses over spandex and the quietest route over the fastest might preclude me from representing the cyclists I imagined. As time went on, it became clear that we  needed to represent not just cyclists who already rode bikes in all conditions, but people who, like me, might ride a bike to do their shopping, or to get to work, if the conditions were convenient and safe enough to do so.

While mobility is only one facet of what a welcoming, connected, and safe neighbourhood means, everyone should have the opportunity to access it. I’m passionate about sharing the joy and connectedness that cycling gives me. I want people to know the feeling of being free from sitting in traffic in a carbon-intensive vehicle that cuts them off from experiencing the human scale of their surroundings.

But until Vision Zero in Toronto is more than a concept and our elected officials consider all communities deserving of a safe and connected network of streets to walk, roll, and bike, I know that many people will justifiably be unable to see themselves cycling for transportation. Transforming highway-like conditions into beautiful, community spaces that prioritize moving people instead of cars is no small feat, but it is the only sustainable path in a city that will double in population in the next 50 years. We need to think transformatively about mobility, and I consider myself fortunate to represent our membership at Cycle Toronto in leading that change.

Announcing Michael Longfield as Interim Executive Director

Keagan is currently expecting her first child and will be taking parental leave from mid-February until the end of the year. The Board is pleased to welcome Michael Longfield as our Interim Executive Director during Keagan’s absence. Michael will be joining the staff team for one year, beginning in mid-January. 

An active supporter and member of Cycle Toronto, Michael is inspired by our vision that streets are for people and our mission to transform Toronto into a world class cycling city.  He is passionate about bicycles as machines for recreation and transportation. Professionally, he has focused on operations, fundraising, and business analysis for some of Toronto’s leading non-profits, including the Toronto International Film Festival, TO2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, and the Aga Khan Museum. Michael fell in love with bike racing despite little natural talent and is returning to commuting by bike after being the recent victim of a hit and run. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Cycling Association, and is the president of Midweek Cycling Club. In these roles, Michael has promoted governance, partnerships, and making cycling safe and inclusive. 

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We’re looking forward to a big year for Cycle Toronto, with everything from the implementation of bike lanes on Bloor St West, a pilot bike lane on Danforth Ave, furthering our work on Eglinton Ave and Yonge St, to the expansion of our educational and ward advocacy work. We have a dedicated staff team, and a lot more rides ahead. We’re excited for the future of cycling in Toronto. 

Sincerely,

Francesca Allodi-Ross
President of the Board of Directors
 

By Ryan Shissler on Jan 09, 2020

  Staff announcements, Executive Director