2014 Toronto Bike Awards

Cycle Toronto's executive director, Jared Kolb (left) and Toronto Centre for Active Transportation's director, Nancy Smith Lea (far right) presents MPP Eleanor McMahon the TCAT Champion of the Year Award (middle).

2014 Toronto Bike Awards

Story and photos by Joey Schwartz

The City and Cycle Toronto presented five Toronto Bicycle Friendly Business awards last night at the 13th annual Toronto Bike Awards. The winners included: Featherstone Two Wheels Green Delivery, Timbuk2 Toronto Designs, Bike Sauce, Steam Whistle Brewing and St. Michael's Hospital.

Energy@Work Inc.'s Ben Nolan presents Steam Whistle Brewing Communications Director, Sybil Taylor, a Bicycle Friendly Business Award. 

The event took place at 918 Bathurst, an arts and culture centre in Toronto’s Annex. Cycle Toronto’s executive director, Jared Kolb and the City of Toronto’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmat hosted, the event. Despite the evening’s snowfall, many biked to the centre and utilized the provided “bike valet.”

Here's a video of Jennifer Keesmaat's keynote speech in which she talks about the biking habits of her  Dutch grandmother and other cool stuff.

The crowd was a mix of Cycle Toronto members, cycling businesses and several city councilors including: Mary Fragedakis, Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth; Mike Layton, Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina and Joe Cressy, Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina.

Award winner Laurie Featherstone, owner Featherstone Two Wheels Green Delivery, said cargo bikes and trailer development is at the tipping point of becoming the new sustainable vehicle in urban centres.

“I want to say thanks to all the curious, imaginative people who recognize their awesome potential! The Toronto Bike Awards is a very big honour for Featherstone 2 Wheels Green Delivery, I haven’t stopped smillng.” she said.

Afterwards, several Community Awards were announced including the TCAT Champion of the Year award, which was given to Eleanor McMahon by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation.

The award honours an individual or organization that has worked to raise the profile of cycling or walking and its relationship to a high quality of urban life. McMahon is a newly elected Member of Provincial Parliament for the Burlington electoral district. She is the founder of the Share the Road campaign, which has managed to change the rhetoric on the car versus bike, as most car drivers are cyclists as well. As CEO of the Share the Road campaign, she brought the Bicycle Friendly Community Awards program to Ontario.

Here's Eleanor's acceptance speech:

Hosts Kolb and Keesmat touched upon recent cycling successes in Toronto including the Richmond and Adelaide pilot project, Eglinton Connects, the rising number of city councillors supporting the Minimum Grid (now 27) among many others.

“Creating infrastructure to allow cyclists to move in a linear way between two points, using cycling as a critical part of our infrastructure, ought to be our vision and our hope for this city. This is really about being hopeful for the future,” Keesmat said.

“Lastly, a cycling city, we know is a thriving city.”

Kolb's opening remarks

Related on the dandyBLOG:

Biking to work: the good, the bad and the ugly

9 reasons urban cycling makes you an overall hardcore person

Top 5 bike plans in other cities

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