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January’s edition of the Ring & Post features an invitation to a frigid but fun ride across town, a busy schedule of community consultations, several trips to City Hall (plus one to the Scarborough Civic Centre), and an introduction to a series that will go in depth on how a bike lane comes to be. Enjoy!
- Message from the Executive Director
- Coldest Day of the Year Ride - Feb. 10
- Construction Zone Town Hall - Jan. 30
- 2024 Major Campaigns: Eglinton & Danforth-Kingston
- 2025-2027 Cycling Network Plan
- City Hall Updates
- New Bikeways Coming to Council
Upcoming Community Consultations
- Construction Work Zone Town Hall
- Silverthorn Cycling Connections
- High Park Recreational Cycling Pilot
- Parkside Drive
- Bloor Complete Street Info Session
- Alex Amaro Award
- Business Partnership Profile: Shields O’Donnell MacKillop LLP
- Just for Fun: How a Bike Lane is Born
- In the Media
- Social Media Spotlight
- Coldest Day of the Year Ride
- Biking in All Conditions Webinar
This week Cycle Toronto deputed at the CIty Budget Subcommittee meeting at the Scarborough Civic Centre urging the city to fully fund the final year 2022-2024 Cycling Network Plan and ensure there are sufficient resources to implement key projects like Eglinton in midtown and Danforth-Kingston in Scarborough.
As Toronto’s cycling network expands outside the downtown and into our inner suburbs, it’s crucial we understand these new bikeways aren’t just for the people currently riding today. They’re for the residents and families that will be using them tomorrow.
Time after time, and in study after study, it is shown that the top reason people choose not to ride a bike is the lack of safe, connected infrastructure. Having the option to ride a bike, especially for so many of our local neighbourhood trips, should be convenient, accessible, and fun. That only happens when people feel safe.
Dollar for dollar, bikeways are one of the best investments a city can make for tackling climate change, easing traffic congestion, and improving the physical and mental health of our communities. Change is hard, and consultation is crucial so folks feel they have a stake in the transformations happening in their communities. It’s essential that our public leaders feel supported to make the bold changes we need to make Toronto a more liveable city for everyone.
The next couple of weeks feature lots of community consultations and committee meetings. Even more are coming in the coming months. Be sure to have your say and speak up for the city you want to see.
-Michael Longfield, Executive Director
Presented by Smart Commute, Bike Share Toronto, and Meridian
Cycle Toronto, in partnership with Smart Commute, Bike Share Toronto, and Meridian, is holding its annual Coldest Day of the Year Ride on February 10th to celebrate winter cycling and the recently completed Bloor West bikeway extension. The 8 km group ride’s relaxed pace makes it accessible to anyone who rides a bike, including families with young children, first-time winter cyclists and veterans of year-round riding.
When: Saturday, February 10
Arrival location: Tom Riley Park (Bloor St. W and Aberfoyle Cres.)
Arrival time: 11:30 am
Ride departs: 12:00 pm
Post-ride social location: Pauper’s Pub, Second Floor (Bloor St W and Bathurst)
Post-ride social time: 1:30 pm onwards
We also have a limited number of Bike Share bike access that we’re giving out for the ride – if you are interested in reserving a bike, please fill out the form attached here.
The event is supported by our friends at Smart Commute, Bike Share Toronto, and Meridian.
Construction is inevitable in a growing city like Toronto. Without it, new housing could not be built, roads could not be repaired, and transit could not be expanded. More housing and transit upgrades are essential to the growth and vibrancy of our city. But none of this should come at the expense of safety and mobility. Through Cycle Toronto’s work and growing public concern, the City of Toronto is hosting a Construction Work Zone Safety Town Hall virtually on Tuesday, January 30th at 6:00 pm.
(Cycle Toronto and partners hold a press conference at City Hall about construction zone safety.)
Last summer, we saw construction chaos along Adelaide St. Last month, bikeways on Yonge were under threat as construction hoarding would have closed a section in midtown for over a year. And earlier this week we worked with the city to find solutions to prevent the total closure of the Bloor W bikeways near Dufferin St. Help us call on the city for immediate short term and long term solutions that will make our streets and sidewalks safe throughout construction zones, and help keep our city moving.
As part of the Council approved 2022-2024 Cycling Network plan, Torontonians are still waiting for two transformational projects to break ground:
- Danforth-Kingston Complete Street Extension in Scarborough
- eglintonTOday Complete Street project in midtown
These projects both reflect years of advocacy from Cycle Toronto, our partners, and folks who want more safer, accessible transportation options in their neighbourhoods. “Complete Streets” aren’t just about cycling: they’re better pedestrian infrastructure, additional traffic calming, improved transit access, and general streetscape improvements. Both projects represent key additions to a more equitable active transportation network extending outside the downtown.
The clock is ticking for Mayor Chow and City Council. The city was due to report on Eglinton in fall 2023, but no report came to committee. Public consultations for Danforth-Kingston were due to start in early 2024, but as of today no date is set. It’s crucial the Mayor and your councillor know they have your support.
Add your name to the grassroots campaign for Danforth-Kingston 4 All:
Add your name to show your support for an Eglinton for everybody:
(An illustration of a complete street in the Toronto context. Image: City of Toronto)
After rounds of public feedback, Toronto is planning where to build its next bikeways between 2025 and 2027. Under Mayor Tory, the city committed to building 100 km of new bikeways between 2022-2024. But there are still too many parts of the city where a short bike trip can feel unsafe or impossible. With traffic violence and the climate crisis at a tipping point, Torontonians need an even more ambitious 2025-2027 Cycling Network Plan to meet our climate action goals of making three quarters of local neighbourhood trips walkable and bikeable by 2030–just seven years away.
We're calling on Mayor Chow to commit to over 150 km of new bikeways over 3 years and finally make Construct Complete Streets by default by bundling cycling infrastructure with all road rehabilitation projects for the safety of all road users.
(Screenshot of the city’s interactive map of candidate bikeways that received thousands of comments and points of feedback.)
The new year saw 2024's first Infrastructure and Environment Committee IEC) meeting take place at City Hall on Tuesday, January 9th. On the packed agenda was Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) and Red Light Cameras, the first quarter cycling network updates, Vision Zero, bike lane snow clearing, and an update on a more equitable Bike Share Toronto fee structure.
(Cycle Toronto Executive Director Michael Longfield answers councillor questions after deputing at the IEC.)
Jan. 30 - Construction Work Zone Town Hall
A virtual town hall focused on construction zone safety on Tuesday, January 30th.
Jan. 30 - Silverthorn Cycling Connections
An in-person community consultation on the Silverthorn cycling connections on Tuesday, January 30th.
(A rendering for the Silverthorn cycling connections project. Image: City of Toronto)
Jan. 31 - High Park Recreational Cycling Pilot
A virtual consultation for folks who regularly ride their bikes and train in High Park on Wednesday, January 30th.
Feb. 1 - Parkside Drive
An in-person public consultation on Thursday, February 1st to hear community input on what kind of changes should be made to Parkside Drive.
Feb. 5 - Bloor Complete Street Info Session
A virtual info session on Monday, February 5th and a Town Hall on April 9th about the Bloor West extension in Etobicoke.
Several proposed cycling infrastructure projects from the 2022 - 2024 Cycling Network Plan were discussed at January 9th’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) meeting.
These projects are not major changes to the city’s cycling network, but they create some key connections and connect to destinations that will allow more people to rely on a bike to get to work and school.
The projects all carried and will be discussed at City Council in early February 2024. If they pass through City Council, we will see them installed in 2024.
(A map of 2024 Cycling Network Plan projects. Image: City of Toronto)
Do you know a young person making a positive difference in the cycling community? Nominate them for the Alex Amaro Cycling Kindness Award.
The Alex Amaro Cycling Kindness Award was created to recognize an individual or group whose efforts exemplify a positive approach to making the city cycling friendlier, safer, more accessible, inclusive and environmentally healthier and sustainable for everyone.
Alexandra Mary Orme Amaro was 23 years old when she was killed in front of Dufferin Mall while riding her bike. A journalism student in her final year, a talented florist, and passionate cyclist, Alex embodied kindness, generosity, positivity and humbleness throughout her young life.
Thank you to Alex’s family and Mcleish Orlando for your support.
We are proud to announce our newest business partner, Shields O’Donnell MacKillop LLP. SOM LLP is an independent, boutique management-side law firm specialising in labour and employment law. The law firm is Lexpert Ranked and has been recognized by The Globe & Mail’s Best Law Firms list.
Brandin O’Connor is a Partner at Shields O’Donnell MacKillop LLP and is the former president of Cycle Toronto’s Board of Directors. Brandin provides legal advice and representation to provincial and federal employers in labour (union) and employment (non-union) matters. A large part of his practice is advising small businesses, progressive employers and organisations with a social purpose, including charities, not for profits and associations. Brandin helps employers comply with workplace laws, implement policies and contracts of employment, and resolve employment disputes and litigation.
Brandin cycles to SOM LLP’s offices at 65 Queen St W and can be reached at [email protected]. If your business or any organisations you know need human resources legal advice, consider Brandin and his team at SOM LLP.
There is nothing quite like that first ride on the fresh asphalt of a new bike lane. But have you ever wondered how that bike lane came to be? Of course you have - you’re a Ring & Post reader!
In this investigative series, we will try to understand, and then explain, how a bike lane is born. From the earliest line on a map to the final flexipost, no stone will be left unturned.
Our first edition aims to establish our main character by understanding its past.
Read the first edition of How a Bike Lane is Born on our website.
(A past use of the land our bike lane will soon call home. Images: Getty Images)
Can’t get enough Cycle Toronto content? As we near the end of this month’s Ring & Post, you may find yourself already yearning for more. Although our newsletter is monthly, we post on our social media channels daily. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter / X, or TikTok to stay up-to-date on Cycle Toronto news and events. Here are some highlights from this month:
(A discussion on controversial opinions on cycling and cycling infrastructure on Twitter / X.)
(A new Tik Tok clip focusing on online comments regarding Toronto’s climate and its suitability for biking.)
Note: Click on the above screenshots to access the posts.
Coldest Day of the Year Ride
On Saturday, February 10th, join us on our annual Coldest Day of the Year Ride.
Arrival location: Tom Riley Park (Bloor St. W and Aberfoyle Crescent)
Arrival time: 11:30 am
Ride departure time: 12:00 pm
Christie Pits estimated Arrival time: 12:45 pm
Post-ride social location: Paupers Pub, Second Floor (Bloor St. W and Bathurst)
Post-ride social event time: 1:30 pm onwards
Biking in All Weather Conditions Webinar
Join Smart Commute and Cycle Toronto for a Biking in all Weather Conditions webinar online to learn more about winter cycling and how to get prepared for it. Winter biking isn’t hard, it just needs a little preparation beforehand. The webinar, headed by our highly experienced cycling educators, will teach you the do’s and don'ts of winter biking. To register, click the link below!
When: February 6, 2024
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Where: Online, using Webex
Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Ring & Post. Feel free to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and stay updated by checking our website.
And as always, every donation counts to help us continue the work you've read about in this newsletter.