Bike Spotting: John Street at Urbane Cyclist

John Street (at Urbane Cyclist – now carrying MORE complimentary copies of our new issue!)

We asked: What’s it like biking on John street and how could it be better?

Photos by Heather Reid /Interviews by Tammy Thorne

Christine Hwang and her Brompton folding bike. (NB: She has four bikes and a Bixi membership.)

The problem with John street is actually connecting to it, because when you try to turn left there (north towards Grange Park) you would be going the wrong way (westward) so it would make sense just to have a separate bike lane going west (a contraflow lane) that is separated from traffic. I now know I can take this alley way to the south, to go west. I do take John all the way down to Front, and it’s better than some of the other routes going north/south, but past queen it is harder to feel safe.

I think the best idea would be to put a two-way (Montreal-style) separated bike lane on Simcoe because they do not need four lanes of cars going south on that street. That would be fabulous, so would a pedestrian friendly street, but if you have a pedestrian friendly space you are sometimes expected to get off and walk your bike and we are using our bikes for a mode of transportation, not for fun; to get to work or whatever so we need safe routes. I also had a hip problem a few years ago so I got a lot more into biking, it’s lower impact on my hip than walking.

Jake Parsonson

I think they need a ramp right here so I can roll in and out of the park more easily. Get rid of the curb.

South of Queen has been under construction for over a decade it seems so I’d like them to finish that off soon. That will give us more room.

A pedestrian area here would be cool – add some cobblestones, have some street festivals – that sounds all right.

Bike ipod.

Anna and Michael

M: John street is congested. There’s a lot of people out because it’s a nice day.

A: A lot of the drivers don’t pay attention – when you use bike signals it seems the car drivers don’t comprehend what you are doing. They are often parked in the bike lane too.

M: With all this construction there is a lot of detouring, which adds to congestion. Fewer parking spaces and better regulation of the way they are used might help.

A: They should make the cycling infrastructure more noticeable too – more visible.

M: They should expand the existing bike lanes further out in the city and connect them better… if they make the in between streets more bike friendly then we can connect and get around and avoid some of the streets where there are more cars.

Jesse Rosensweet

I’m test riding a Yuba from Urbane. (Jesse took Heather for a ‘test’ ride through the Grange park to see how it handled with human cargo.)

Well…a juice bar would make John street better for cyclists.

A pedestrian area sounds interesting I heard about the counting project – cars and bikes – with Dave Meslin a couple of years back.

This little stub of John feels very urbane and bike-friendly but south of Queen the lack of pedestrian/cyclist-friendly design and poor condition of the street surface don’t make those blocks as appealing for cruising/shopping/dining.”


Stop by Urbane to pick up the Youth & Employment Issue, our latest of dandyhorse!

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Bike Spotting at HandleBar: What’s it like biking in Kensington Market?

With the addition of the new bicycle themed bar, Handlebar, in Kensington Market, the dandyhorse Bike Spotting crew thought we would ask people:

Why did you choose to ride your bike today? And, What is it like biking in Kensington Market?

Photos by Heather Reid and Tammy Thorne /Interviews by Tammy Thorne and Elah Feder

Rachel Conduit (co-owner HandleBar)

Biking is the best way to get around the city because you actually get to interact with your city. In Kensington I love the excitement of dodging other traffic; people, bikes, cars, shopping carts, skateboarders .. it’s kind of like Frogger. One of the ideas behind naming our new bar HandleBar is because there is such a strong cycling community and it’s about embracing that community of people who love to interact with their city.

Bruce Dawson (co-owner HandleBar)

Cycling is the best and most efficient way to get around in an urban environment.

What I like about Kensington is the flow of bikes and people; people going the wrong way down one-ways, but everyone still managing to take it easy and go with the flow. It’s very Zen riding a bicycle. (Bruce’s bike was a sweet Craigslist find for $100: a Carlton Grand Prix, a vintage 10-speed British racer.)


I’m biking up to Ideal coffee. Why by bike? It’s just what I do. Biking in Kensington, you get to go at a pace that allows you to take in everything that is around you, but you can still get around… it’s a good pace.


I’m just biking home from work. I live here. I don’t have time to bike around Kensington – I just bike to work and back.

Alex Davey

I’m going to Bikes on Wheels because someone broke off my pedal on Queen West when I left my bike outside last night. I kind of feel like it was my fault, since I left it out overnight. It’s my first time going to Bikes on Wheels, so we’ll see how it goes.

I actually find it quite hectic biking in Kensington Market because there are so many people and the road is so narrow, so I usually avoid riding here, but in generaI love biking in Toronto; it’s great to bike in this city.


Diana Zepf

Today, I’m biking home to Bloor and Bathurst. I bike because it is faster and cheaper than any other  way of getting around.

For me, Kensington is a bit too busy for biking.  I left my bike here because I was drinking at HandleBar and I’m just picking it up now.

dandyhorse would like to remind you to walk it or lock it  if you’ve had too much to drink (as Diana above did). Check out our dandy video: Super Spin, here.

You can purchase copies of dandyhorse at HandleBar ~ our newest dandy retailer!

HandleBar is at 159 Augusta Avenue, just north of Dundas on the east side.


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Bikespotting: Dupont Street

Interviews and photos by Kaitlyn Kochany 

We biked up to where Dupont Street, Dundas Street West and Annette Street meet and asked cyclists what it’s like to bike on Dupont Street. There have been rumblings that City Hall is considering phasing out the Dupont bike lane, so we wanted to hit the streets and find out what the bike lane means to cyclists.

Kristin W.: It would not be good  if they removed the bike lane. I definitely appreciate the fact that there are bike lanes on Dupont. It’s such a busy street. There’s a lot of industrial traffic so it’s really important that they keep the Dupont bike lane. It’s the only way to safe it’s safe to bike on Dupont.

Theo T.: I bike along Dupont three or four times a week. It’s a pretty busy road. It’s very bumpy and torn up.

Duncan W.:  I’m pretty disgusted, honestly. I think the more bike lanes the better. It encourages people to bike. It’s a sensible, forward thinking policy that the rest of the world has already caught on to. But our administration is somewhat different.

Rebecca B.: I use the Dupont bike lanes every day. I never feel safe under the bridge (on Dupont Street, just west of Olster Street).  I think they should improve the bike lane and it make safer rather than phasing it out. 


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Bike Spotting: Is there strength in numbers?

This Bike Spotting originally appeared in Volume 3, Issue 1. 

dandyARCHIVE: Is there strength in numbers?

Photos by  Frank Theriault    

Ted Ingram: For commuting it’s good to have numbers on the street. But we have to be careful when riding together as a group, of the mob mentality.

Susan Reid: More visibility means greater safety – I like to see bikes all year round. That way cars are more aware and don’t forget to share the road.


Vanessa Marion-Merrit: Yes – it’s essential! The more bikes on the road, the more people have to recognize cyclists’ safety.

Baolinh Dang: Yes, especially in winter when there’s not as many cyclists on the street. With more and more cyclists, maybe we’ll have more right of way.

Petar Messic: Seeing more cyclists educates drivers and raises their awareness. Drivers need to take precautions.

Toby Spunt: Yes – the more people biking, the better it is! Less cars, less pollution, more awareness on the part of drivers.

 Subscribe to dandy today to get our upcoming youth and employment issue delivered to your door. 

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Bike Spotting: Jarvis ~ Ride for Jarvis June 13

Interviews and photos by Tammy Thorne and Samantha Edwards

Bike Spotting: Did you know that the Jarvis Street Bike Lane is going to be removed?

Oops we did it again! We rolled on down to Jarvis to ask cyclists: “Did you know the mayor is planning to remove this bike lane?” It’s stupid and costly to remove bike lanes. In dandyhorse’s upcoming youth-and-employment issue we’ve got quotes from municipal leaders all over the world saying, “We want more bike lanes!” Meanwhile, our mayor is wasting money and creating dangerous streets.

Cycle Toronto is hosting a ride to Save Jarvis on Wednesday June 13 at 6 p.m.. Check it out on Facebook …

Clemence Lhoyer and Aurelier Lemaire

We like to bike here, especially on the Toronto Islands. (Clemence is from Montreal and Aurelier from Belgium.) We are doing an architectural tour of Toronto, mapped carefully, using BIXI. It is very nice. There are not very many bike lanes on our routes though. This one is in a good place, as it leads to others, like this one up there [College] and also that way [Gerrard]. You also have the Gardens here and the ballet school up there, and this BIXI station, so it makes sense to have it here.

Nathan Gyeteai

Well, they put it in one day and remove it the next it seems. We have a right to be on the roads, anyway. I mean a bike lane is nice, but if it’s not there we will still ride. What I do find scary though is how agressive some drivers are towards cyclists. Most people are nice and give you space, but some will speed right at you. It’s unsettling. It doesn’t make sense to remove a bike lane though, because people will still keep biking here. In any urban setting, anywhere, people are going to bike whether you [or the mayor] like it or not.

Lucas Meilech-Boston

It’s fun going down Jarvis, but it would be more fun if you had shocks on your bike because it’s pretty bumpy. But it’s a nice shot downtown. It’s pretty crappy that they are taking out the bike lane. I guess they are supposedly putting in a separated lane on Sherbourne, but removing this is costing the city a ridiculous amount of money and I don’t see any reason to ever remove a bike lane. P.S. I just got this new wheel at Urbane!

Liz Brockest

I think that’s bullshit. I think it sucks to remove a bike lane. It’s making the city more dangerous and more inaccessible. I bike to work every day. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for my health, and removing bike lanes just creates unsafe conditions because we are all going to bike anyway.

Related on the dandyBLOG: Q&A with Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam about Jarvis and Sherbourne. Bike Spotting on Jarvis (take one).

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