A Community Connected by Bicycles in Christie Pits Park

Councillor Mike Laytown handing out bells

The sun came out over Christie Pits park were we met with the participants of the Bike With Mike scavenger hunt on June 12. Families and friends returned from exploring Ward 19 (Trinity-Spadina) with Councillor Mike Layton, greeted by The Friends of Christie Pits and a fired up pizza oven with nearby bicycle cleaning and repairs by The Bicycle Commons, BikeSauce and Bike Pirates. BIXI Toronto delivered a few bicycles out of the service area for participants to try, CAN-BIKE was on hand to demonstrate cycling skills and Clay & Paper's CYCLOPS put on a show for the crowd.

Photos by Tammy Thorne

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Bikes Are Good For Business

by dandyhorse staff
images courtesy of Catia da Silva, &Co Architects

Bloor Street defines the heart of Toronto. Literally. Bloor is a major east-west route that separates the business, cultural and historic core of the city from its edges. It remains more neighbourhood high street than highway; more community hub than expressway. Yet thoroughfare is how planners and politicians have often envisioned Bloor. In Volume 4, Issue 1, we reimagine Bloor through the eyes of cyclists, pedestrians, children, the differently abled, politicians and business owners as well as drivers.

We visualize what it would look like if the street served all of our community instead of largely serving the car. Our task has been made easier by groups such as Take The Tooker, which for six years has advocated for a bike lane the length of Bloor, and the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT), which has encouraged others to examine the impact of street design on all road users. And a lot is at stake. Dan Leeming, founding partner at The Planning Partnership, noted during the 2010 Complete Streets Forum, “Streets are 20-30% of an urban area – they’re publicly owned and should therefore behave in the public interest.”

In our Spring 2011 issue, we ride tandem with visually impaired riders, hitch our bicycles up to bike corrals in Bloor West Village and get an early look at the cinematic reincarnation of the “world’s most prolific bike thief.” We slow down to take a look at a car-free Annex, stopping to shop along the way. We welcome BIXI to Toronto, talk politics with Adam Vaughan and Denzil Minnan-Wong and investigate what really happened with Yorkville’s road redevelopment. A new mom tells us how to go carless with kids and we illustrate what a safer ride on the Danforth would look like. We realize the importance of riding your bike to work – whether you’re the CEO of a major bank or a cashier at The Big Carrot. We also learn a pretty lesson about reading and riding and imagine the West Toronto Railpath as a hub for velo-city – an elevated, pollution-free, rapid mobility system to take cyclists and skaters downtown and to the lake. We’ve got all this and more in one long, continuous, pothole-ridden, bike lane-hungry stretch of road.

We are asking: What would it be like if we made people the priority on Bloor-Danforth?

Ambitious? We hope so. “Successful cities didn’t nibble at the edge of change,” sustainable transportation consultant Geoff Noxon advised Toronto planners, policy makers and activists at the Complete Streets Forum. “They bit off more than they could chew and then came back for more.” So digest this and then think about how to remake your community.

dandyhorse magazine Volume 4, Issue 1 is available FREE at these sponsor shops.

Purchase our Spring 2011 issue at these fine retailers.

Show your support and subscribe to dandyhorse magazine today. Subscribers get dandy delivered right to their door and free online access to all of our back issues.

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Call for dandy Volunteers 2011

dandyhorse magazine is Canada’s only arts and culture magazine for people who ride bikes. We publish twice per year (April/May and August/September) and will now publish an online winter edition, staring this year!

We're looking for fellow bike lovers with outgoing personalities and the desire to be a part of our wonderful team:

(1) EVENTS Volunteers

By joining the dandyhorse team as an events volunteer you’ll bring your positive and outgoing personality and passion for all things bike to bicycle and art events across Toronto. Event volunteers are expected to attend 2 to 10 events starting immediately until the end of the year and assist in selling magazines and subscriptions while promoting the dandy brand. In addition to attending events, volunteers will liaise with retail shops fulfilling orders, maintaining stock and securing new retail opportunities.

Events volunteers are expected to be available 5-8 hours per week including weekends. This position has room for promotion to the circulation department.

Email Tammy tammy @ dandyhorsemagazine.com or Duncan Duncan @ dandyhorsemagazine.com with your resume and statement of intent.

(2) dandyWEB CONTRIBUTORS needed!

We’re having a hard time keeping up with our exciting new web presence dandyhorsemagazine.com and need new contributors to profile shops, photograph and interview people riding in the streets for our Bike Spotting section of the dandyBLOG and attend events.

We are looking for people who like to write, take photos and ride bikes! Candidates who can both write articles and take photographs will receive priority although we welcome applications from those interested in just writing or photography.

Successful candidates will be featured contributors to our first online winter issue.

Email Tammy tammy @ dandyhorsemagazine.com or Duncan Duncan @ dandyhorsemagazine.com with your resume and statement of intent.

dandyhorse magazine is 100% volunteer driven. Ongoing opportunities for magazine contributions exist.

Our September 2011 issue will be guest edited by Bob Blumer from the Food Network.

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Bike with Mike Layton Sunday, June 12, 2011

On Sunday, June 12, 2011 Ward 19 (Trinity-Spadina) Councillor Mike Layton and team are hosting a family-friendly scavenger hunt on bicycles. The event, Bike With Mike, starts and concludes at Christie Pits Park on Bloor Street West.

In anticipation of the event, dandyhorse had the opportunity to ask Councillor Mike Layton why two wheels are better than four.

dandyhorse: What is your commute?

Councillor Mike Layton: From Clinton, I travel east on College to Beverley, south to Dundas then east to Chestnut. My commute to work is about 2 km or 13 minutes. Easy.

dandyhorse: What change could improve your commute the most?

Councillor Mike Layton: My biggest pet peeve is parking in bike lanes. Especially delivery trucks during rush hour. If we could keep bike lanes sacrosanct, even just for rush hour, the ride would be much safer. Uneven road conditions is a problem along bike routes. What is the use of the bike lane if you need to weave into traffic because the bike lane is not passable? Snow piling up on the south side of the street in winter is also a problem.

dandyhorse: Your Bike with Mike event this Sunday in Christie Pits encourages participants to explore Ward 19 by bicycle. Why did you choose to use bicycles instead of walking or transit?

Councillor Mike Layton: We are trying to encourage cycling as a transportation option. I think most people already accept walking and transit as acceptable forms of transportation. We want them to think of cycling in the same way.

dandyhorse: Where did you learn to ride a bicycle?

Councillor Mike Layton: I learned to ride on the quiet streets of the Annex in the early 80s and in the parks around Bloor and Bathurst where I grew up. I really learned to road ride, growing up, on numerous cycling camping trips with my parents across Ontario. This is when my love of cycling really began. When you are cycling, you are able to take your surroundings in. But riding on those highways was dangerous, as riding on roads can be. So I'm not surprised many people are scared to go toe-to-toe with cars when there is no barrier.

dandyhorse: Of all the separated bike lane proposals, which one do you think would work best or, be most needed?

Councillor Mike Layton: As an east-west route, I like Richmond, but there are many driveways to consider and we need to find ways to accommodate everyone. I look forward to seeing a concept, and how it addresses these limitations. North-south, I still think University is viable and because of it's great size and lack of driveways.


dandyhorse staff will be attending the event and we'll have our latest issue, Volume 4, Issue 1, for sale. (We'll also be selling back issues for just $5 and dandy Ts for $20 an $25.) Be sure to stop by the dandy table!

Trinity-Spadina Bike Scavenger Hunt

Sunday, June 12, 11 AM–4 PM Meet at Christie Pits Park, Bloor/Crawford entrance

Grab your bike and helmet and join Councillor Mike Layton and his team for a two-wheeled scavenger hunt around our community.

Teams of two or more are recommended, so be sure to bring your friends and family to this fun, green and free event.

Please bring:
- Bike helmet and bell or whistle
- Camera or camera phone
- Water and snacks to keep you fuelled
- Weather-appropriate gear

After the Scavenger Hunt, join Mike at the park for pizza and refreshments, prize announcements and other cycling-related activities & information.

Need more info? Email councillor_layton@toronto.ca or visit mikelayton.ca.

Illustration of Christie Pits Park and surrounding area by Marlena Zuber, from dandyhorse magazine Volume 4, Issue 1

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dandyhorse Spring 2011 Issue Launch Party at the Gladstone Hotel Photos and Thank You


A great big thank you to everyone who helped make dandyhorse magazine Volume 4, Issue 1 and our launch party such a success. Pictured above is Elizabeth (on the left with dandies Tammy and Amanda), winner of the Opus Cervin bicycle raffle. Infinite thank you to Outdoor Gear Canada for donating the raffle bike and to the tireless volunteers whose sweat and tears resulted in every lovely printed page of our new issue. Without our team of dedicated volunteers and our fantastic advertisers dandyhorse would still just be a dream.

Missed our launch party? You can still get dandyhorse here or subscribe today.

All photos by Yvonne Bambrick

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