Ring & Post: July 2023

(Cycle Toronto members, Mayor Chow, and council members in front of City Hall.)

June and July have seen a lot of change in our city - and at Cycle Toronto. Luckily, a new edition of the Ring & Post is here to help you make sense of it all.


  1. Message from Executive Director
  2. 2023 Mayoral By-Election
    1. Cycle Toronto Rides With Mayor Chow
  3. City Hall Updates
    1. June and July Council and IEC
  4. Big Toronto Bike Ride 2023: Save the Date
  5. Pedal Power Learn-to-Ride
  6. Annual General Meeting 2023
  7. Bike Month
  8. Construction Zones
  9. Legal Spin with Pat Brown
  10. Public Consultations
    1. Danforth and Kingston 4 All
    2. Eglinton For Everybody
  11. Events
    1. Trail Trek: Bridging the Gap from Earl Bales Park to York Mills Station
    2. Steeles loves cycling has two upcoming rides planned
    3. No More Noise Toronto
    4. Learn to ride program: Bikes for Climate Hub
    5. Learn to ride program: Women’s Cycling Network 
  12. In the News
  13. Volunteer Opportunities


A Message from Michael Longfield, Executive Director

Since 2008, Cycle Toronto (then the Toronto Cyclists Union) members and supporters have been leading the change to help build a safer cycling city for all. What began out of frustration with the city’s failure to implement its bike plan under Mayor Miller quickly grew in urgency under Mayor Ford, as existing bikeways in the already meagre network (including Jarvis Street downtown, and Birchmount Road and Pharmacy Avenue in Scarborough) were ripped out. New bikeway pilot projects including Adelaide Street, Richmond Street, and most crucially Bloor Street through the Annex installed under Mayor Tory were triumphs for advocates and definitively proved that bikes mean business. The rapid expansion of the cycling network network since the pandemic bike boom, including nearly 40 km in 2020 and 100 km more planned between 2022-24, are transforming our streets and enabling more people to choose to ride a bike.

Now in our fifteenth year (and fourth mayor), making that vision a reality feels closer than ever. The Bloor West bikeway extension into Etobicoke was approved 21-1. The anti-cycling rhetoric was overwhelmingly rejected this past by-election. We rode our bikes to work with the new Mayor on her first day on the job. We know biking can play a crucial role in addressing sustainability, equity, and mobility issues facing our city.

Around the office we catch ourselves daydreaming of a day when it’s Toronto that’s heralded as North America’s cycling and active transportation leader–catching and then surpassing Montreal and beyond. The reverie quickly dissipates waking up to the stark fact there are too many parts of Toronto where even a short bike ride feels unsafe or impossible. Now is not the time to take anything for granted. Cycle Toronto members and supporters have helped transform our city over the past decade. Together we will continue to lead that change. I’m energized to be part of a team that includes Alison Stewart (Director of Advocacy & Public Policy), Sonam Vashisth (Partnerships & Events Manager), Taylor Berce (Communications Manager), and Caitlin Chan (Outreach & Administrative Assistant) along with our Board of Directors, committee members, cycling educators, bikewatch volunteers, and supporters like you. Thanks for being a part of the journey.


-Michael Longfield, Executive Director

(Michael Longfield poses with a bike.)


Mayoral By-Election 2023: Toronto Votes For Change

After John Tory’s surprising resignation in February, a long list of candidates began campaigning to become the new mayor of Toronto. Leading up to the election Cycle Toronto surveyed candidates on their commitment to several road safety policies. Our survey results were shared widely and gave voters a better sense of which candidates would prioritise making our streets safer. On June 26th, Torontonians had their say and voted for change, electing Mayor Olivia Chow. Over 85% of voters rejected the divisive rhetoric of certain candidates who tried to use bike lanes as a wedge issue. Plus, the city elected its first mayor who rides a bike to work since the 1980s.

(Former Mayor John Sewell and current Mayor Olivia Chow on bikes.)


Cycle Toronto Rides With Mayor Chow

On Mayor Chow’s first day in office, Cycle Toronto invited hundreds of supporters to welcome our new Mayor on a bike ride to City Hall. As we slowly rode together down Bay Street, the sense of optimism and excitement was inescapable. After all, many on the ride have never felt represented by a Mayor who champions active transportation and who gets around by bike herself. It felt like an incredible milestone.

Read more about the 2023 by-election here.

(Mayor-elect Olivia Chow at Nathan Phillips Square with a peloton of supporters on bicycles on Wednesday morning before her swearing in as mayor of Toronto. Steve Russell / Toronto Star)


June & July 2023 City Council Updates

With two Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) meetings, a Toronto and East York Community Council, and the last council meeting before the Mayoral By-Election, June and July have been  particularly busy months for our advocacy and public policy work.

IE4.3 - Cycling Network Plan - 2023 Cycling Infrastructure Installation - Third Quarter Updates Council voted 21-1 in favour of implementation of almost 8 new kilometres of bike lanes, including extending the Bloor Street West cycle tracks from Runnymede Road to Resurrection Road, implementing cycle tracks on Sheppard Avenue E from Clairtrell Road to Leslie Avenue, Superior Avenue from Lake Shore Boulevard W and Stanley Avenue, improved neighbourhood connections with the Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone contraflows bikeways, new Cabbagetown connections, and protected upgrades to stretches of the Dundas Avenue E bikeways. Read our letter of support.

(City of Toronto map of the Bloor West cycle track extension.)

TE5.40 - 40 kilometres per hour Speed Limit on Major Arterial Roads Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of reducing the speed limit on all major arterials to 40 kilometres per hour within the city’s core (Wards 4, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14). Arterial roadways represent about 20% of Toronto’s roadway network and are the sites of over 80% of collisions that kill or seriously injure people. This is a step in the right direction, but a lot of work remains to improve road design and build infrastructure that makes our streets safer for vulnerable road users.

TE6.54 - Kensington Market Safe Streets Implementation: Prioritizing Pedestrians in Kensington Market On Thursday, June 22nd, the Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYC) discussed the future plans for Kensington Market. The size and central location make Kensington Market ideally suited to be pedestrianized in some form. In addition to being well served by public transit, it is also connected to one of Toronto’s busiest cycling routes. It was thus very disappointing that, despite overwhelming support (94% of survey respondents) for permanent car-free streets in Kensington Market, the staff recommendations for the Kensington Market Safe Streets project do not include dedicated pedestrian only spaces. Instead, the staff report proposes a pedestrian pilot that will include more consultations in 2024. 

IE5.4 - Parkside Drive Study Update For those eager to see Parkside Dr redesigned to be safer for the people who live and visit the area, city staff provided an update on the different options they are considering, including the preferred option which, if chosen, will see a dangerous road reconfigured as a complete street. Read the city report to learn about the project. Consultations will take place this fall.

IE5.5 - Planning for an E-Scooter Pilot Despite broaching this same issue at IEC meeting just weeks earlier, on June 5, a new e-scooter motion was brought forward by Councillor Saxe. Cycle Toronto again supported the staff recommendation to report back on a comprehensive micro-mobility strategy, and stressed the need to resolve any safety concerns identified by the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee and other community stakeholders before proceeding with an e-scooter pilot.

Read more June council updates here.


May 2023 City Council Update

With three councillors running in the mayoral by-election, May’s meeting unfolded over three full days. There were several items addressed that impact the safety and comfort for people who bike in the city.

(A bike in High Park. Credit: Jun Nogami)

IE3.7 High Park Movement Strategy - Our advocacy efforts paid off. Car-free weekends and holidays are here to stay in High Park! Cars will also be removed on southbound West Road. Additionally, the city will be piloting special times for sport cyclists in 2024. The city also committed to a long-term strategy of making the park permanently car-free. We're committed to accelerating their timelines.

IE3.8 Cycling Network Plan: 2023 Cycling Infrastructure Installation Update - In great news for residents of Scarborough, City Council approved the installation of the Road Safety Improvements Project on Scarborough Golf Club Road. As for residents of Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park neighbourhoods, the Millwood Road Safety Improvements Project was approved. The proposed second northbound cycle track on the west side of the Leaside Bridge unfortunately won’t be implemented until the Overlea Boulevard cycle tracks are completed by Metrolinx, which aren’t currently planned until 2028. Read our letter of support.

Read more May council updates here.


Save the Date - Big Toronto Bike Ride Presented by Bike Law

THE BIG TORONTO BIKE RIDE PRESENTED BY BIKE LAW CANADA IS BACK. But this time, it’s one mass ride with a big social afterwards. There will also be loads of prizes for our top fundraisers. 

We’re hosting it during the weekend of September 23and we’d love nothing more than to see you there. It’s going to be a celebration of everything Cycle Toronto stands for, and all the funds raised will go towards maintaining and expanding our education programs,, and building capacity to keep advocating city-wide. . We want to build a cycling city that you all can be proud of, and this fundraiser will help us move closer to that goal. More information is coming soon, but book your calendars now! 

(Cycle Toronto members at a Big Toronto Bike Ride.)


Annual General Meeting 2023

On June 7th, the 2023 Cycle Toronto Annual General Meeting was held online. 64 members attended. As part of the members-only event, the 2022 minutes were approved, the 2022 Annual Report was presented, and the 2022 financial statements were approved.

We also held a Dutch Auction that raised over $7,000 to fund our work like our Learn to Ride program and our Advocacy Workshops, and equipment for our Bike Safety Stations. While we came up a short of our target during the meeting, you can still make a tax receiptable gift today.

The membership also elected 6 new persons to Cycle Toronto’s Board of Directors:

  • Nicole Visschedyk
  • Graeme Deans
  • Sarah Lamb
  • Simon Minelli
  • Lianne Black
  • Monish Gandhi

Dana Snell was also reelected.

Our new board members come from a wide range of backgrounds and each has a distinct connection to the Toronto cycling community. We look forward to working with our new members to gain their unique perspectives on the work that we do.

Two board members were at the end of their terms and so we unfortunately had to bid farewell to our outgoing Directors Adrian Currie and Francesca Allodi-Ross. Cycle Toronto has been very lucky to have worked with Adrian and Francesca for several years and we wish them the best in their future endeavours.


Pedal Power Learn-to-Ride

We launched our learn to ride workshops this year in response to a growing demand for the classes across Toronto. Between May and June 2023, we offered free classes to people of all ages who wanted to learn how to ride their bikes with their peers. We had 60+ people sign up to learn how to ride a bike, and this is just the start of a growing program. Our partners at Access Alliance in Scarborough were pivotal in getting this program off the ground. We're partnering with bike hubs and grassroots organizations in the coming weeks to offer the same workshop series across the City – they'll be popping up in Rexdale, Humber River-Black Creek, Weston-Mount Dennis, and Thorncliffe Park between July and September 2023. 

Keep track of our social media and events page for updates and feel free to share the information with friends and family you think would be interested in this program.

(Learn-to-Ride participants.)


Bike Month 2023

As many of you may know, June was Bike Month. Highlights included Bike to Work Day and Bike to School Week. For Bike to Work Day, over 250 participants from four separate rides congregated at Nathan Phillips Square to start the month off with a bang. Over 150+ schools across the GTA participated in Bike to School Week, where children and teachers alike were encouraged to cycle as their primary mode of commuting. 

In addition to our marquee events, we hosted Bike Safety Stations across the city at independent stations, as well as supported different events across the city such as the 2nd AVCA Celebration Havendale Park celebration, the Shaw Street Redemption Cycle +55 ride, and multiple webinars and workshops on navigating safe cycling in the GTA.


Construction Zone Safety

They say there are two seasons in Toronto: winter and construction. Sometimes it feels like every time you turn a corner, you encounter another row of pylons and big orange signs. Construction sites are often inconvenient and frustrating for people driving; they are scary and dangerous for people walking, rolling, and biking. The chaos and confusion on Adelaide Street earlier this month underscored the urgent need for change. In a meeting with Cycle Toronto regarding these concerns, Councillor Ausma Malik committed to working with the City to minimize disruptions during construction, improve safety and signage on Adelaide, and communicate with residents better on what to expect.

Cycle Toronto is calling on the City of Toronto to make construction zones safer for anyone who walks, rides, or rolls. Read our recommendations for making construction zones safer and your name to our list to help us call for change.


(Cycle Toronto meets with Councillor Malik on Adelaide Street.)


Legal Spin 

Riding a bike is one of the most convenient ways to get around, especially in a busy city bustling with other kinds of traffic sharing the road. However, it can sometimes be difficult to remember your rights as a cyclist, and how those rights relate to other road users.

(Pat Brown in his office.)

Fortunately, you can find all kinds of information and advice on your rights as a cyclist at our Legal Spin page thanks to lawyer, cyclist, and Cycle Toronto friend, Pat Brown. Pat is a Senior Partner at McLeish Orlando Critical Injury Law Firm and head of Bike Law Canada. The Legal Spin page features an FAQ on cycling and the law, informative YouTube videos, and a breakdown of what you can do if you are involved in a collision.

(A Legal Spin rider card.)


Danforth and Kingston For All

The city of Toronto plans to extend the Danforth “complete street” east from Danforth and Victoria Park to Kingston Road, and along Kingston from Danforth to Scarborough Golf Club Road. Community consultations will take place in Fall 2023 followed by a full installation in 2024.

Danforth-Kingston 4 All are a group working with the community and city staff to ensure the extension of the Danforth Ave complete street east from Victoria Park Ave to Kingston Rd to Scarborough Golf Club Rd meets the needs of local residents and becomes permanent.Read more by visiting their website and sign their petition here.

(A row of businesses on Kingston Road.)


Eglinton Complete Street 

Years of construction of the Eglinton Avenue Crosstown LRT has hindered the growth of communities along Eglinton and the businesses that sit on it. There are already plans for protected bike lanes, better pedestrian infrastructure, and other streetscape improvements, but much of this is unfunded. Completing protected bike lanes now, instead of after the LRT opens, will allow for recovery to begin sooner and proceed faster. It would allow the street to become a place for people of all ages and abilities to choose how they want to move — to ride bikes, to walk, to use mobility devices, to take transit, and to drive. These plans will be discussed at an upcoming Infrastructure and Environment Committee meeting in Fall 2023.

Add your name to our list to show that you support an Eglinton For Everybody: 



Every month, Cycle Toronto and our partners host a wide array of events. Here are some taking place over the next few weeks.

(Trail Trek poster.)

Trail Trek: Bridging the Gap from Earl Bales Park to York Mills Station

Ravines serve as vital ecological corridors and green spaces that communities enjoy to enhance well-being in our urban environment.

Join community advocates from Cycle Toronto, The Centre for Active Transportation,  Foodshare, Park People, Toronto Field Naturalists, WalkTO, The Bicycle Mayor of Toronto, as well city staff to discuss possibilities for a trail connection between the park and the subway station.


Sunday July 30, 4:00 to 6:00 PM

For more details and to register 


Steeles loves cycling has two upcoming rides planned

(Steeles Loves Cycling poster.)

For more information and to register



July 23: Visiting Tommy Thompson Park (Leslie Street Spit)

Length: 10k return

Route: Tommy Thompson Park



July 30: Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

Length: 9k return

Route: from East Point Park Bird Sanctuary to Rouge Beach

Meeting location: Beechgrove Dr & Copperfield Rd parking lot (4 Beechgrove Dr #18, Scarborough, ON)


Cycle Toronto’s Learn-to-Ride Program

We’re hosting our Rexdale and East York learn to ride classes this month, with more classes coming up in August. They’re free classes for all age groups. See the posters below for details and spread the word! 

(Rexdale poster.)

(East York poster.)


In the News

Olivia Chow bikes to city hall ahead of declaration of office | CP24.com

Speakers Corner: Cyclists, drivers sound alarm over Adelaide Street overhaul | citynews.ca

Should Ontario cyclists be allowed to cross on walk signals? Advocates speak out amid fines | CBC News

Are Bike Lanes Making Traffic Worse? | TVO Today

Correcting the myths and misinformation regarding Toronto’s bike lanes | Streets of Toronto

Cyclists Join Mayor Olivia Chow En Masse | CBC Here and Now


Volunteer Opportunities

The Bike Brigade

The Bike Brigade is a group of 1000+ volunteer cyclists delivering food and other essentials by bike across Tkaronto (Toronto). While the Bike Brigade emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it continues to ride and support its partner organizations to reach communities across the city.

With the longer days and warmer weather, now is the perfect time to help. You don't need a special bike or fancy equipment.

Sign Up to Volunteer

As always, you can follow us on TwitterInstagram, and stay updated by checking our website. See you next time!

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Hope you enjoyed this edition of The Ring & Post. Feel free to follow us on TwitterInstagram, and stay updated by checking our website.

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