New secure bike parking facilities at CBC celebrated

Ribbon cutting at CBC's new bike parking facility on Jan. 26 with (from left) event co-organizer and BUG co-ordinator Paddi-Anne Crossin, MP Olivia Chow, EVP English Services Kirstine Stewart, City Councillor Adam Vaughan and event MC, radio host Jeff Douglas.

CBC’s new bike parking gets good ratings

Photos and story by Tammy Thorne


There’s a big BUG hanging out in the basement at CBC these days.

CBC cyclists - many of them members of the corp.'s 350-strong Bicycle User Group - now have 150 secure, indoor bike parking spots.

Thanks to the hard work of a few members of the CBC’s decade-old Bicycle User Group (aka BUG) and some dedicated staff, a whole lot of CBC employees finally have a safe, dry place to store their nice rides.

The BUG Network helps encourage cyclists who wish to improve conditions for cycling in their workplace, community, or school. Some BUGs form in order to further specific goals such as acquiring secure bike parking, while others simply get together for casual group rides. The CBC BUG is the largest in Toronto.

After a six month pilot project, there are 165 cyclists signed up to use the service and since all 150 spots are never being used at the same time, it's working beautifully. CBC celebs like Sook-Yin Lee (featured in dandyhorse Vol. 2 Issue 2), Matt Galloway and Jeff Douglas, co-host of As it Happens and MC for the celebration, use the facility. The underground space has become an instant success and many politicians and local cycling supporters were there to congratulate the CBC employees who made it happen.

City Councillor Adam Vaughan talked about his years at CBC when leaving his bike outside while working the night shift as a chase producer could mean walking home in the morning.

He said, "CBC has been a strong part of the cycling community in the city; whether it was Kevin Sylvester giving cycling reports as part of his traffic and weather reports, or whether it was just reporting on cycling related issues and giving them the coverage they deserve, the CBC has always been a strong supporter of cycling infrastructure in this city -- and this parking facility is one great example of that."

"And our response to that at the city is to get you bike lanes to the CBC."

After applause died down, he listed possible lanes off: Wellington extended...Simcoe up to Dundas and beyond back down to the waterfront, across the new pedestrian bridge down to the waterfront at Portland... Peter St. connecting down to the waterfront, to Bremner Blvd. where other lanes will be built north up Soho to connect to the St. George infrastructure.

"Essentially a basket weave of bike lanes to get you to and from the great facility."

He added, "Your voices of advocacy, as citizens, is greatly appreciated moving forward."

Well known cycling advocate, MP Olivia Chow, was also there to congratulate the CBC crew for making it safer and easier for people to use pedal power at Canada’s national broadcaster. She noted that more people all across Canada are getting on bikes and that the CBC has always been a strong supporter of cycling infrastructure right across the country. She reminisced about awarding the CBC with a Bicycle Friendly Business Award in 2006 during her tenure as chair of the city's cycling committee, in recognition of the corp. having 180 bike lock ups installed around the building to help address the high demand for bike parking.

David Giddens, co-chair of BUG Bike Parking Committee, was one of the people instrumental in making the secure parking facility a reality. "Bike thefts have gone from lots to none," he said, tongue firmly planted in cheek. (Bike theft is still a serious problem in the city.)

Founding BUG members Timothy Neesam and Daniel Schwartz said they came together to share a love of cycling but also stolen bike stories, when the group first formed. More recently, the BUG parking committee did a count showing the bike racks around the building were consistently full, which helped make the business case for the new facility. And Zissis Liolios, Manager, Operations and Security Management, English Regions was given big props for (literally) securing the location.

Schwartz has been riding his bike to the CBC since he was a student in 1977 and said "cycling in the city has improved a little" since then and that the key to safer streets for cyclists is to get more people riding.

A secure - and free! - parking facility for employees is one surefire way to help make that happen.

dandyhorse congratulates the CBC, and especially the many cyclists and staff at the CBC who made this fantastic facility a reality. We hope more corporations in the core will follow suit.

Want to start a BUG? Get more info here.

Here’s an interview from the very first issue of dandyhorse with Kevin Sylvester where he talks about biking and working at the CBC.

More photos below from the celebratory event on January 26, 2012 at the CBC indoor bike parking facility.

Big crowd for the CBC bike parking facility celebration including Reba Plummer (front, right) from local supporter shop Urbane Cyclist and cycling consultant Yvonne Bambrick middle, with CBC executives Kirstine Stewart and Fred Mattocks, and MP Olivia Chow.

BUG parking committee co-chair David Giddens (left) with David Robinson and David Tipton from local sponsor shop MEC. (Psst! dandyhorse offers a discount subscription to MEC members.)

Founding BUG member, and one of the people who started the push for secure bike parking at CBC, Daniel Schwartz, above.

Mike Prokopec, BUG parking committee co-chair, was also instrumental in pushing the parking facility forward and he drew the tickets for prizes from MEC.

Nice big safe space for 150 bikes +  gear - and although cookies and hot chocolate are not normally available, they do have a pump that was donated by one of the BUG members.

dandy on display

BUG member, Fran Steacy shows us the way down the ramp to the safe haven for bikes.

Related stories:

Kevin Sylvester in dandyhorse issue one.

Bike corrals and Adam Vaughan in our spring 2011 issue.

...and on the dandyBLOG:

The creation of the ring-and-post bike rack in Toronto.

Parking demand up; bike parking spots down.

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