Bloor Bikes WEST! Let’s talk about extending the Bloor bike lane westward on Sept. 18

Story by Robert Zaichkowski. Image by Hyedie Hashimoto.

Back in January 2016, Cycle Toronto’s Ward 18 group hosted their successful "Bike Lanes Mean Business" event, which presented the economic benefits of cycling to a packed house at Ciro’s near Bloor and Lansdowne. It even prompted the Danforth Loves Bikes campaign to copy-and-paste the event in April 2016 for an east-end perspective. With the fate of the Bloor bike lanes to be decided at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) and City Council this fall, the Ward 18 and Ward 14 groups have teamed up for a follow-up act called Bloor Bikes WEST! Continue reading

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West Toronto Rail Path Update

 

A cyclist looms large along the rail path. Photo by Vic Gedris

West Toronto Rail Path Update

Next public meeting to review design for expansion will likely be in the Fall of 2018

Story by Sonya Allin

Like many residents on the west side I’ve been eagerly awaiting news related to the extension of the West Toronto Rail Path. This is a paved, quiet, green off-road bike and pedestrian path that currently runs alongside the railway from north of Dupont to Dundas at Sterling.  By 2019 (assuming all goes according to plan) this path will run further south to Dufferin and Queen. And ultimately, the hope is to see it extend all the way to the waterfront.

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Books and Bikes along the Don River

Story and photos by Jun Nogami

This past Saturday was the fourth annual reading line event, where people gathered to enjoy hearing from authors reading from their works, as well as riding from venue to venue by bicycle. The setting and theme for this year's ride was the Don River.

The first venue was the Childrens' Peace Theatre amplitheatre in Taylor Creek Park. The co founders of the Reading Line are Janet Joy Wilson and Amanda Lewis.

Funding came from the Toronto Arts Council, ECW Press, as well as the Trans Canada Trail.

Also introduced at the beginning was Daniel, who was going to record peoples' impressions of the day as an "Analog Street View", to be contrasted with the automated view of the world provided by Google.

Marvin Macaraig, the bike hub coordinator for Scarborough Cycles welcomed us to his part of the city, and talked about how their programmes help introduce new, often underprivileged people to the benefits of cycling. Favourite quote: " cycling binds people together".

Adwoe Badoe is an author from Ghana via Guelph. Rather than reading from her recent novel, Aluta, she chose to read us a children's story from an earlier book.

Catherine Hernandez read from her novel, Scarborough, that captures different views in a series of vignettes narrated by different characters. She also told us about the time she made a fireman cry.

Then it was time to cycle down the Taylor Creek ravine towards our next venue, the Evergreen Brick works.

Amanda on the move.

Janet Joy takes the low road.

Riding along the trail.

At the Brick Works, we had an indoor venue where the first author, Robert Burley gave a slide show peek into his recent book  (Enduring Wilderness) documented the many green spaces that thread throughout the city. He showed some before and after pictures of the Don Valley in the area of the brick works that were particularly striking.

The second author, Alissa York, read from her novel, the Naturalist. While the story is set in the Amazon, she said that the germ of the idea came from her glimpses of the wild Don River that see would see suddenly flash by while riding the subway across the Prince Edward Viaduct.

The final presentation was by Nadha Hassen, who talked about her studies of the relationship between mental well being, and the availability and accessibility of open space for everyone.

Then it was time to move on once again.

Toronto's finest escorting us down Bayview.

The final stop was at Corktown Commons.

Janet Joy thanks the police.

Toronto Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin reminds us of the importance to tell our MP's about cycling as a component of transit in the city.

Then Ayalet Tsabari read from her book The Best Place on Earth, which was set in Israel. She felt a need to write as she couldn't find any work that was relevant to her experience as a Jew of Yemeni origin.

Next up, Jane Farrow, who put together a book called Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer. She reminded us of how Toronto was not always so welcoming to the LGBTQ community, and how in turn that community helped make the city the wonderful and diverse place that it is today.

Her colleague Jake Tobin Garrett read from his contribution to the same book.

Finally Councillor Kristin Wong-Tam reminded us that Corktown Commons was just a small part of the legacy of Councillor Pam McConnell, who passed away a few weeks ago.

Our organizers take a final bow.

Thanks to Janet Joy and Amanda, all the authors, and the volunteers for a great day of riding and reading.

The Reading Line also acknowledges support from Evergreen Canada, Park People, Gravity Inc., Curbside Cycle, and Fuel+.  Bookstore partners included Book City Danforth, Queen Books, A Different Booklist, and Another Story.

For more information on any of the speakers or books, consult the Reading Line website.

 

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Bike Spotting Peterborough: What’s your favourite bike lane?

Diane Therrien is a bike-friendly city councillor in Peterborough. She is riding in the bike lane on the city's main street, George, which she hopes will be extended all the way to the south end one day.

Favourite bike lane: I have lots. I’m really happy with the ones on Water now because I go up to Trent quite frequently. I like the bike lane across the Hunter Street Bridge. I like Monaghan too, but I sometimes avoid it because of heavy traffic. There’s a lot more going on, on George, so I use this bike lane more (than Monaghan.)

Favourite bike lane-to-be (aka future bike lane):  Charlotte. Charlotte is a hub for economic activity and it’s a central gateway to downtown. Why not make it safe and enjoyable. Hunter too, it’s wider than Charlotte so I sometimes feel more comfortable on it compared to Charlotte right now.

 

Shivaan Burke inherited her vintage Bianchi from her uncle. She is riding on George Street at Hunter (even though she would prefer Aylmer if it had a bike lane.)

Favourite bike lane:  I really like the bike lanes along George Street, especially in front of City Hall because they have the protected planter boxes there, which, 1) make me feel safe and 2) look really pretty.

Favourite bike lane-to-be: My favourite future bike lane is along Aylmer Street because that is the route I take every Saturday morning to the farmers market. It goes north to south right across the city and it’s also plenty wide to accommodate bike lanes. Aylmer is a two-way street and one-way streets are hard to turn left off of if you aren’t confident.

Megan Boyles is an avid utilitarian cyclist and entrepreneur who recently co-founded two social enterprises: Locavorest, an online Farmers Market, and Three Sisters Natural Landscapes. She is riding in the George Street bike lane above in the demonstration section where there are planters and bollards, just north of McDonnel.

Favourite bike lane: My favourite bike lane is one that is uninterrupted and respected by vehicles. Unfortunately, these are very hard to come by in Peterborough, especially downtown. Despite its unevenness, the bike lane on Monaghan Road might have to be my favourite, as it makes it a bit safer for me to ride, and is continuous from Parkhill to the south end.
Favourite bike-lane-to-be: I'm not sure our city can be truly bike-able without introducing continuous (and enforced) bike lanes on George and Water streets. My favourite bike-lane-to-be would stretch, uninterrupted, from Parkhill to Landsdowne on George St. Is there a better way to encourage active transportation and bring more of our community (safely) downtown with continuous bike lanes?

Tegan Moss is the Executive Director at B!KE, the Peterborough Community Cycling Hub. Above, she's riding on Charlotte just west of George.

Favourite bike lane:  My favourite bike lane right now is coming down George Street just by City Hall with the protected section. I also like the turn boxes with green paint.

Favourite bike lane-to-be: My dream bike lane-to-be is a bike lane down Charlotte street. I’d love to see a separated safe space for bikes in this busy commercial corridor. I think the barrier to getting this bike lane...it's a political issue. I still hold out hope to get these bike lanes even though the City voted against them. I think a future council might see things differently than the current council.

This poster was spotted in the front window of B!KE.

Thank you to SteamWhistle for supporting bike lanes and independent media.

Related on dandyhorsemagazine.com:

Pedalling the Electric City

Cycling in the Greater Horseshoe

Spotted: Raccoon Riding a Bike

Building Community through Bike-Friendly Planning

Too pretty to ride? Go cluck yourself!

 

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From Legs to Lungs the Benefits of Cycling are Many

From Legs to Lungs: The benefits of cycling are many

Although biking is often associated with better mental health, freedom and fun we sometimes forget the great physical benefits that biking provides and I'm not just talking tight glutes...I'm thinking about lungs.
Breathing is, well, kind of REALLY important so when we found out that pollution in bike lanes on major arteries is bad, but not nearly as bad as it is on the TTC we thought we'd take a moment to celebrate Lung Month.

Blue skies and a car-free bike path = heaven on earth. (And good lung-healthy, low impact exercise.)

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