The Women and Bicycles Picnic in Trinity Bellwoods Park August 18, 2011

HerstoriesCafe Toronto

In this current era of bike lane closures and cycling marginalization, the history of cycling, and its revolutionary potential, has never been more relevant. Please join HerstoriesCafe, Toronto’s only women’s history salon, for a free event about women and the history of cycling. These free monthly events are designed to generate dialogue about local women’s stories and provide a forum for community members, historians, teachers, curators, artists, archivists and activists to share their knowledge and deepen our historical understanding of our urban landscape.

What: The Women and Bicycles Picnic

When: Thursday, August 18, 2011 starting at 6pm.

Where: Trinity Bellwoods Park, beside the Trinity Bellwoods Recreation Center (155 Crawford St. MAP) The event will take place in the grove of trees just behind Fresh, off the Crawford St. entrance. Bring snacks, blankets and your bike if you feel like it. Light refreshments will be provided. Weather permitting.

Speakers and Topics: “Women and Cycling in Toronto: Fighting for Inclusion since 1869”

Cycling advocate and historian Steve Brearton will discuss women and cycling in Toronto from the early days of the bicycle when females fought cultural norms just to ride a bicycle to the present day where City planning and policy decision have had the effect of limiting women’s participation. Among other topics, listeners will hear of the city’s first clandestine women riders, how the bicycle offered Victorian females greater freedom and independence and a visible means of challenging restrictive social standards and how one woman determined to offer her children a safe place to ride almost single-handedly created the Martin Goodman Trail.

Steve is a Toronto writer and cyclist who has long been involved in helping build a bike culture in the city. He is Spacing magazine’s cycling columnist and in 2004, he wrote and curated an exhibition entitled "From Scorchers to Alley Cat Scrambles: A History of the Bicycle in Toronto" at the City of Toronto’s Market Gallery.

Through a series of songs excerpted from her hit theatrical show SPIN, Evalyn Parry brings to life the adventures and impact of several nineteenth century cycling heroines: from Annie Londonderry, first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle in 1895, to women’s rights activist Frances Willard, author of “A Wheel within a Wheel: How I learned to Ride a Bicycle” (1895), to Amelia Bloomer, name-sake of the forerunner of pants.

Evalyn Parry is an innovative, award-winning songwriter, playwright, poet and educator living in Parkdale. She has produced four critically acclaimed CD’s of music and spoken word, toured all over North America, and her work has been widely commissioned, broadcast and anthologized. SPIN premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and will tour widely in Canada over the coming year.

Poster image courtesy of the CNE.

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2011 Bicycle Film Festival Toronto Preview – Fabric Bike

Canada 2011 | HD 8 min.
Dir. Laura Mensinga & Kirsten White

Canadian all-girl midnight bike gang, The Deadly Nightshades, comes together to create a bicycle that combines their love of fashion, art, and cycling. These women document this 3-month process step by step.

Fabric Bike will be shown as part of BFF Program 5 - Urban Bike Shorts starting at 9:00 pm on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at The Royal.

Get tickets here.

More Bicycle Film Festival 2011 info here.

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2011 Bicycle Film Festival Toronto Preview – The Backwards Rider

Canada 2010 | HD 8 min.
Dir. Ben Lenzner

"Riding is a freedom. It’s like tapping into a world that has never been tapped into," states Leslie Slowely. Known throughout the Queen West neighborhood of Toronto as The Backwards Rider, this film explores his life and riding style.

The Backwards Rider will be shown as part of BFF Program 4 starting at 7:00 pm on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at The Royal.

Get tickets here.

More Bicycle Film Festival 2011 info here.

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Bicycle Film Festival Toronto – August 10-13, 2011

Follow the College Street bike lane (or sharrows from the west) to The Royal for the 2011 Bicycle Film Festival running from August 10-13.

Four days of events include the Back Breaks Art Show at the Gladstone Hotel, the panel discussion Building Bridges: How to tell good stories and win over non-cyclists at a dinner party, nightly parties and, of course, the films.

A Festival Pass will run you just $30.00 or tickets for individual programs (5 in total) are $10.00 each.

For film trailers, program information and to purchase advance tickets visit Bicycle Film Festival.

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Toronto’s Bike Corral Pilot Expands to Kensington Market

Story by Duncan Hurd
Photo by Hyedie Hashimoto

At the corner of Augusta Avenue and Nassau Street in Kensington Market a short stretch of on-street parking has been transformed into a space for 16 securely locked bicycles.

The second addition to Toronto's bike corral pilot project (the first on Spadina Avenue) has arrived in an area notorious for its lack of bicycle parking. dandyhorse spoke to Jesse Demb of Cycling Infrastructure & Programs at City of Toronto Transportation Services to learn more about bicycle parking in Kensington Market and the future of bike corrals in Toronto.

dandyhorse: What is the current bicycle parking capacity in Kensington Market?

Jesse Demb: Counting all bike parking currently in place on Augusta, St. Andrew, Baldwin, Kensington and Nassau streets, parking capacity is around 200+ bicycles at one time. The challenge is the surging demand in-season and due to special events. Augusta Avenue is a dense cultural corridor, with many competing demands on the streetscape's space and intense pedestrian volumes on weekends. The same can be said for the rest of the Market as well.

There have been consistent requests for more bike parking in the Market. Last year we added more post-and-rings on Augusta Av south of Oxford and the year before that a few near Denison on the west side, and [there is] the giant 'Kensington' sign/art bike rack at College but spatial limitations and surging bike parking demand required further innovation so we've adopted the in-street bike corral as well.

d: In what way is the City of Toronto involved in setting up a bike corral?

JD: City staff design, install and maintain the bike corral. A bike corral will get approval if it is supported by the local councillor and businesses and there is sufficient demand for bike parking at that location. We look at parking demand and location feasibility (e.g curb-side parking that becomes a traffic lane during rush hours can't be converted to a bike corral). If Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) spaces are involved, our proposal requires their consent and design consultation.

d: Replacing an on-street parking spot with a bike corral that is free to use means some lost income from paid parking, is there a specific value that can be attached to a single on-street paid parking spot in Kensington Market?

JD: The value of an on-street parking space can be calculated directly from the charge for car parking times the hours available and varies in different parts of the city. For example, car parking spaces in Kensington Market can generate upwards of $8000/month if used at maximum capacity.

d: What are the costs associated with installing a bicycle corral?

JD: The cost for two bicycle racks (capacity: 16 bicycles) and the 8 bollards is approximately $1032. The installation of the bike racks, bollards and signs is done by Transportation Services staff. If necessary, TPA staff will also relocate the pay-and-display machines. The "staff time cost" for design and installation is approximately $1000.

d: Are there any on-going costs once the corral is installed?

JD: Transportation Services staff will remove the bike corral in November and, if all goes well, reinstall the next spring. Parking regulatory signs have to be changed each time as well, so there is some "staff-time" cost for this work.

d: What more can you share about the future of bike corrals in other parts of the city?

JD: BIA's or the public can make requests [for bike corrals] to Cycling Infrastructure & Programs or through BIA liasons (City staff) in Economic Development. Bike corrals are still in a pilot phase in Toronto, so we don't have plans yet to roll out a lot of them. The results of the Augusta Av. and Spadina Av. bike corrals will be reviewed at the end of the season with a view to developing a policy and process for future bike corrals.

In the Spring 2011 issue of dandyhorse magazine Fred Sztabinski explores the many reasons why businesses love bike corrals and the additional benefits of installing on-street bike parking. Read the article, "Corralling Business Support for Bike Facilities" by getting dandyhorse here or becoming a subscriber today.

Our Bike Spotting team recently stopped by the bike corral in Kensington and asked: What's Bike Parking in Kensington Market Like?

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