Ring & Post November 2022
- Cycle Toronto Leadership Update
- 2022 Toronto Municipal Election Recap
- Save the Date: Advocacy Forum
- Shout out to our top fundraisers for the Big Toronto Bike Ride, presented by Bike Law Canada
- Community Stories: Making a Mode Change & Advocating for Safe Streets
- Biking in Cold Weather
- Upcoming Events
- Biking in All Weather Conditions Webinar
- Road Safety Day
- Advocacy Forum
- Infrastructure updates
- College Street Updates
- Adelaide Street Construction
- Cycling and Road Safety in the News
- Volunteer Opportunities
- The Bike Brigade
Thanking Keagan for 10 Years of Cycling Success & Organizational Update
After almost 10 years of dedicated service in various roles to Cycle Toronto, Keagan Gartz has stepped down as Executive Director for a role at the University of Toronto. When she took the helm of Cycle Toronto she began by reflecting on the need to think beyond the bicycle and what safe cycling for all means. Her reflections continue to guide our work as we seek to represent people who bike across the city. Under her leadership she built an amazing small and mighty staff team who will ensure that the momentum she created will continue as Cycle Toronto looks to a bright future.
During this period of transition Alison Stewart and Michael Longfield will be Acting Co-Executive Directors and will lead the organization until a permanent Executive Director is hired. Alison will continue to oversee the advocacy and public policy portfolio and Michael will continue to oversee partnerships and engagement. They will be supported by Sonam Vashisth as our Engagement Lead, Taneisha Lawrence as our Community Outreach Coordinator, and Maggie Crawford as our Communications Lead.
Toronto Municipal Election 2022: Recap
On October 24th, just 29% of eligible voters went to the polls and elected the 2022-2026 City Council. We worked alongside our coalition partners to make road safety an election issue, and now it is time for councillors to back up their election promises with action. Toronto will not be a safe cycling city for all until the communities of Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough can enjoy a connected bike network in their neighbourhoods.
Toronto’s newly elected City Council largely supports our 10 priority actions calling for Safe and Active Streets for All. With 8 newcomers on Council, paired with the Mayor’s newly granted power to set the budget, we are optimistic that the next 4 years will bring positive change to the streets of Toronto. Our focus over the next four years will be to ensure that City Council is unequivocal about funding and implementing our priorities which prioritize road safety and active transportation.
Election promises are important. Actions matter more. Your Cycle Toronto membership ensures active transportation stays a priority on the city’s agenda for the next four years. Thank you for your support!
The Past, Present, and Future: Effective Advocacy with Guest Speaker Mike Layton
The 2022 Advocacy Forum Series is made possible by the generous support of the Zita and Mark Bernstein Family Foundation.
Photo: Former Ward 11 Councillor Mike Layton speaks at the Shaw St Celebration on April 22 2022. Without his leadership, this very popular bi-directional bike lane would not have happened.
Save the date! We will be closing 2022 with our last Advocacy Forum Speaker Series of the year. Mark your calendar for December 8th at City Hall (or online if you are unable to join us in person) from 6:30-9pm. We will be providing a summary overview of the past 4 years, looking ahead to the next 4 years, and we are thrilled to announce that former Ward 11 - University-Rosedale Councillor, environmental and bike champion Mike Layton will be our guest speaker. There will also be a post-forum social!
Shout out to our top fundraisers for the Big Toronto Bike Ride, presented by Bike Law Canada!
The Big Toronto Bike Ride, presented by Bike Law Canada, took place over two beautiful fall days in four parts of the city. Riders like you helped raise $30,000 to fund Cycle Toronto’s advocacy work, educational programming, and engagement opportunities. Your support keeps our wheels turning!
Photo: Al Rezoski, our top fundraiser and a Manager at the City of Toronto
Photo: Holly Reid, one of our top 3 fundraisers and cycling advocate extraordinaire (she is the lead organizer behind Cycle Toronto Don Valley Midtown and a dedicated member of Yonge4All).
Huge thanks to our title sponsor Bike Law Canada as well as for the tireless work of Bike Law Canada founder and road safety advocate, Pat Brown. We would also like to thank our other event day partners NRBI e-cargo bike logistics and City Seltzer refreshments.
We also want to thank and celebrate our top 10 fundraisers:
And thank you to our prize partners Urbane Cyclist, Velocolour, On the Road Bags, and Fix Coffee + Bikes.
Did you know Cycle Toronto is a registered charity? One-time and cumulative contributions of $20 or more will receive a single tax receipt, issued in February of the following year.
Making a Mode Change & Advocating for Safe Streets: Introducing Ruth Watkins
We know that the biggest deterrent to people biking is a lack of safe infrastructure, and getting people to change their mode of travel requires a life changing event. 63 year old Ruth Watkins of Etobicoke discovered the joy and practicality of biking during the pandemic and quickly became an avid cyclist. This past October, however, Ruth was biking through an underpass on Royal York Road when a driver merged directly into the painted bike lane which blocked her path, squeezed her against the side of the tunnel, and forced her off her bike. Ruth came away from this incident unharmed, but determined to make sure this would not happen again.
- November 16, 8-9PM, Online: Biking in All Weather Conditions Webinar presented by The Pocket Change Project. Register today to prepare you for tomorrow.
- November 16: Road Safety Day at Queens Park - please email your MPP asking for their support for improving the law to protect vulnerable road users. Sign the petition launched by Justice for People Hurt on Ontario Roads.
- December 8th, 6:30-9PM, Toronto City Hall: Advocacy Forum
Photo: Volunteer Hanna and Cycling Educator Jorge at one of our popular Get Lit Stations.
The days are getting shorter and colder, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your bike away for the winter. Challenge yourself this year and give winter cycling a go - here are some of our top tips to stay safe and warm when cycling on colder days.
- Protect your toes, fingers, and ears
- Get the right bicycle and right accessories:
- We recommend riding with front and rear fenders which keeps slush from flying up your back, and wiping down your bike regularly to prevent it from rusting.
- Now is also a good time to try Bike Share! You can hop on a bike anytime without worrying about where to store it, and you won’t have to deal with any maintenance, or worry about our over salted roads gumming up your gears.
Adelaide Street Construction
Adelaide Street is currently down to one Eastbound lane from Duncan Street to Bay Street to allow for construction that will eventually include relocating the existing cycle track to the north side of the street. Adelaide will be under construction until Spring 2023 and the streetscape will change weekly and daily. If you must travel along this corridor consider signing up for city updates to keep you up to date with the evolving construction.
While it’s exciting that the future of Adelaide will include improvements to pedestrian and cycling road infrastructure, the construction zone is dangerous for those walking, biking, and rolling at this time. Alison spoke to Metro Morning’s Ismaila Alfa about some of our concerns around the safety for people outside of cars, the importance of Adelaide, and questions the need to accommodate single car use on every road. Check out this resource from the Biking Lawyer to learn more about navigating dangerous construction areas on a bike:
College Street: Updates
Yesterday, 2 sections of College Street were fully opened back up: St. George Street to McCaul Street, and Spadina Avenue to Major Street. Construction continues, with progress being made on different sections of the major street:
West of Spadina Avenue
- Track work between Borden St and Bathurst street – there is no track work west of Bathurst Street.
- Work is also being done between McCaul Street and the west side (southbound lanes area) of University Avenue.
East of Spadina Avenue
- In early November, work is expected to begin between on College Street in the middle section of University Avenue.
Cycling and Road Safety in the News
- Toronto council’s need to focus on expanding cycling networks and safety - Global News
- Road safety action plan gets strong support from Toronto municipal election candidates - Toronto.com
- Forget Halloween: Cyclist says biking on Adelaide street is a terrifying enough - CBC
- The Deadly Inequality of Toronto’s Vision Zero Rollout - The Local
- To get more people on bikes, we need to change our cultural and political deference to cars - Toronto Star
- Toronto’s cycling community hopeful Toronto’s next leaders will prioritize safety, expansion - Global News
- Good for you, better for the planet: U of T cyclists pedal toward a more sustainable future - University of Toronto News
- Every city needs a bike mayor - Tree Hugger
- Climate Action Champion forms Agincourt Loves Bikes tin Scarborough - Global News
- ‘Vote like it was your loved one whose life was stolen’: City council has the power to prevent all of Toronto’s road tragedies - Toronto Star
The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder, but the Bike Brigade is still riding to deliver food and essentials to those in need. The Bike Brigade partners with local non-profits and mutual aid groups to support vulnerable communities in Toronto.
If you have a bike, please consider riding with the Brigade. Bike Brigade delivers 7 days a week, 365 days a year! Delivery shifts are flexible with opportunities across the city and you can deliver with anything from a backpack to a trailer! No previous experience necessary. No minimum commitment.
Interested in joining the Brigade?
Cycle Toronto Bikewatch
Are you looking to meet like-minded folks championing life on two wheels? Join the Bikewatch volunteer team! Bikewatch volunteers help with outreach at Bike Month & Get Lit! stations, assisting with special events, supporting member recognition, and more! We will make sure you get the most out of the experience with dedicated training, social events, and a coveted Bikewatch T-shirt.
If this sounds like you, fill out the form below to get updates on our next orientation session.
Since the implementation of the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot in 2021, the section of Yonge St within the pilot area has become safer for everyone.
In January 2023, City Council will be voting to determine the future of the Midtown Yonge Complete Street Pilot. Consider signing up to volunteer with Yonge4All to help them advocate for making Yonge St a safer, more accessible and vibrant corridor for everyone by making this complete street pilot project permanent. Help spread the word by signing their petition (which has 3,495 signatures) and by following them on social: @Yonge4All.