Forging Concessions for Jane and Finch

jane and finch2
Toronto’s inner suburbs are infamous for lack of active transportation.
From dandyhorse issue 13 we have a profile on Darnel Harris and the work he's done in northwest Toronto to help secure the community better cycling infrastructure. Get dandy at your door or at better bike and book shops in Toronto.Forging Concessions for Jane and FinchBy Amelia Brown

When studying for his master’s degree at York University, Darnel Harris was struck by the lack of mobility around the campus and in the neighbourhood. He had done his undergrad at Glendon College, a small, enclosed, tree-lined haven. But Harris felt isolated trudging between the grey buildings through the ever-growing sprawl that is York University’s main campus.“I used to play intramural sports – soccer usually. But you can’t play if you don’t have your student card. Because the playing field is on the other side of campus, if you forget your card, you’re never going to have time to go back and get it.”Besides missed soccer games, Harris vividly remembers the lack of transportation options on campus.


Harris has graduated, but remains committed to improving the North York campus and adjacent neighbourhood. He remains active in plans for a community bike centre on campus, as well as a project to improve the design of bike lanes slated for installation on Finch Avenue by 2021. At the corner of Pond and Sentinel, a building is being constructed that will mostly serve as a student residence. Part of the building – currently an empty gravel pit – will house a bike centre. The purpose of the centre will be to offer bike repair, education and programming. Once complete, Harris hopes the centre will become a community hub for cycling, allowing both students and the wider community to explore different mobility options.

While at Glendon, Harris won funding through the TD Go Green challenge to restore the forested area around the university, making the case that the forest was the campus’s greatest sustainability asset – and challenge.

But the mobility problems students experience at York University are not limited to campus. York lies on the east border of ward 8, bordering the Black Creek community to the west. The Black Creek community is better known by its defining intersection: Jane and Finch.
Darnel HarrisDarnel Harris talks transport in dandyhorse issue 13. Photo by Vic Gedris

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Canada’s Environment Minister Rides a Bike

Minister McKenna


In our new print issue - on newsstands now - we spoke to the minister of the environment about the importance of cycling to combat climate change.

Canada's Minister of the Environment Rides a Bike

Biking to work is one of the most enjoyable ways people can act locally to be mindful of the environment, she says.

By Tammy Thorne

Photos courtesy of Catherine McKenna's office.

Canada’s minister of the environment and climate change, Catherine McKenna, rides a bike to work. The new Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre is a long-time local cycling advocate who has fought for enhancements to Ottawa’s cycling network.
McKenna can do even more to support cycling in cities now that she’s pedalling up the Hill. A proud cyclist, the minister started tweeting photos of herself riding to work shortly after being sworn in as an MP. “The last time I tweeted a picture of myself riding to work, it just happened to be the coldest day of the year, – 40 with the wind chill...” She admits it wasn’t the most pleasant commute she’s ever had (yet she still has a huge smile on her face in the photo.)

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Bike Spotting on the West Toronto Railpath

Bike Spotting on the West Toronto RailpathWe have our bike spotting from dandyhorse issue 13 from the West Toronto Railpath.

Interviews and photos by Sonya Allin and Robin SutherlandWe asked: what’re your thoughts on the plan to extend the railpath?

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Bikes, Beards and Bandshells Tour



This summer from Gananoque to Coburg Toronto-based musicians will be travelling 300 km by bicycle to play free concerts at all their various stops. All the concerts will be powered by bicycles along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. The tour will feature JUNO Award winner Quique Escamilla.

The tour will run from August 27 - September 4, visit the Bikes and Bandshells website for tour dates.

Our new issue of dandyhorse has arrived! dandyhorse is available for FREE at Urbane Cyclist, Bikes on Wheels, Cycle Couture, Sweet Pete's, Hoopdriver, Batemans, Velofix, and Steamwhistle.Our new issue of dandyhorse includes cover art by Kent Monkman, interviews with Catherine McKenna and the women behind Toronto's first feminist bike zine, lots of news and views on Bloor, Under Gardiner and the West Toronto Railpath and much, much more! Get dandy at your door or at better bike and book shops in Toronto.


Related on dandyBLOG:
Top 30 Biggest Bikes in the World
Bloor Bike Lanes Officially Open
Brompton Urban Challenge Toronto August 27


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dandyARCHIVE: Kevin Cyr paints and constructs RV-bike hybrids


This article first appeared in our Spring 2010 issue. You can order back issues here.

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