The Make Den Maven: Irene Stickney on how fashion changed her life

~This story originally appeared in summer 2011, issue 9 of dandyhorse. We are reposting this article in memory of Karl Lagerfeld, long-time artistic director at Chanel, who has died today at age 85 near Paris. ~

Irene is pictured in both her gang colours (seafoam) and as alter ego, unicorn Karl Lagerfeld. Photos by Kristen White. Interview by Rebecca Matus.

The Make Den Maven

Irene Stickney thought she wanted to be a doctor. Then she learned to sew, and there’s been no stopping the fashion designer/bike gang member since.

dandyhorse caught up with the owner of The Make Den to find out how fashion has changed her life.

Who are you?

The daughter of a mathematician and the granddaughter of a Dandy.

How appropriate for this article!

Favourite designer?

There are so many designers! Right now I love digital prints so I’m into Mary Katrantzou but it changes every 5 minutes. I love that I have a love/hate relationship with Karl Lagerfeld. The Alexander McQueen exhibit made me cry. And I wear a lot of vintage, and things I’ve made so that’s outside the whole fashion bubble.

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Bike Lane Dig Out Saturday February 16

Dundas St E looking west at Curzon St February 15, 2019. Photo credit: Michael Holloway, Ward 14 Bikes
You're Invited to the East End Bike Lane Dig Out
Meet this Saturday, February 16 at 1 p.m. at the SW corner of Dundas and Jones
Do you want the city of Toronto to do a better job clearing snow out the bike lane?
Come join other community members in front of the Jones Branch of the Toronto Public Library at 1 p.m. this Saturday, February 16, 2019 - that's tomorrow! - for a "dig out" of one of the city's most popular east end bike lanes.

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dandyhorse newsletter is here with a look ahead in the bike lane

The dandyhorse newsletter has arrived.

Our dandy newsletter recaps what we've been up to at dandyhorse for the last little while. This new year edition recaps our 2019 look ahead and our 2018 tally of bike lane installations. (Spoiler alert: There wasn't much to report on... unless you consider "more delays" as new news out of city hall.)

Please note that the dandy newsletter is now more of a quarterly publication instead of monthly. You can sign up here to get dandy news delivered right to your inbox.

To see past dandyhorse newsletters you can go to:

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A look at snow clearance in Toronto’s bike lanes

Snow clearance in the bike lane

End of January 2019 report

Words and pictures by Jun Nogami

This past Monday and Tuesday, Toronto was hit with the biggest single snowfall of the 2018-2019 winter season so far. The city's stated policy was to prioritize snow clearance on several bike routes in the downtown area. Given that it has been two days since the storm, we decided to take a look at how the city has been doing in keeping a few of their designated bike routes clear and safe.

First up, the Bloor bike lane.

Here, below you can see that although the bike lane has clearly been plowed, there is some snow present, and the car traffic lane is totally clear and looks more inviting.

A little further east, the bike lane starts looking impassable in sections. Continue reading

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More planning planned for 2019 in bike lanes

2019 looks like another dismal year for bike lane installations in Toronto

More planning planned for 2019

Bloor-Danforth expansion not included in planned installs

By Tammy Thorne

Almost three years ago the City of Calgary decided to install a grid of cycle tracks and bike lanes in its downtown core. Since then the number of people cycling has increased by about 40% and more women and children are using bikes to get around. That inspired Edmonton to install its own minimum grid of bike lanes. Meanwhile, New York City last year recorded the fewest traffic deaths in more than a century. This was thanks in large part to implementing a Vision Zero plan, which included lowering speed limits on most streets to 25 mph (40 km/h).


Here in Toronto we had more cycling deaths last year than in any year since 1998. Speed kills. Bike lanes make streets safer. These things we know. Yet, in 2018 only (literally) a few new bike lanes around York University and some in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park neighbourhoods were installed and in all cases, the lanes don’t have connections on arterial routes, or to other bike lanes, or, well, destinations. No new bike lanes were installed downtown last year except for a short, well-constructed two-way bike lane on Harbour and Lake Shore (pictured above).

And, it doesn’t look like we will fare much better in 2019.

The only new bike lane installs planned so far for 2019 are:

  • a bike lane on Bay from Front to Lakeshore;
  • a bike lane and cycle track on Christie from Bloor to Dupont;
  • a bike lane and sharrow combo on Peter / Blue Jays Way / Navy Wharf;
  • a cycle track on Scarlett Road from Bernice Crescent to Humber River;
  • and a bike lane on Willowdale Avenue from Empress to Finch Avenue.

That’s about 9 total kilometres for these new bike lanes projects. (Please note, we are not including the majority of contra-flow lane 'connectors' in our new bike lane counts.)

And, of course, we must discuss the elephant in the room.


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