August 06, 2020

Biking (and Hiking) Around Sudbury

With COVID-19 making international travel impractical for the foreseeable future, it was time to look closer to home for vacation. Helen and I spent this past week near Sudbury. A place with great hiking, lots of blueberries, and even a few pleasant surprises when biking around.

July 06, 2020

Mixed Reviews for Quiet Streets

The City of Toronto has launched a survey collecting feedback about the over 50 kilometres of quiet streets which were created as part of ActiveTO. While I encourage people who used these quiet streets to fill out the survey and share, here are some thoughts that are street specific.

Brock Avenue

The quiet street on Brock slows down traffic but barrels are prone to being knocked over or moved
While I can’t vouch for Emerson, Brock is one route I use regularly to get to Shaw, Bloor, or Richmond-Adelaide. The quiet street implementation involves placing construction barrels on alternating sides to force drivers to slow down. While it is moderately effective, there is a tendency of the barrels getting knocked over or moved which negates this "quiet street" benefit. Even for a temporary set up, more durable barriers are needed to prevent them from being moved.

June 27, 2020

June 2020 ActiveTO Update

Earlier in June, I saw the first ActiveTO installations set up along Dundas East one week after being approved by City Council. The City has continued to roll out new bike lanes with University Avenue from Adelaide to Bloor and Bloor Street from Avenue to Sherbourne being the latest additions. Yesterday, I biked a loop consisting of Shaw, Bloor, Sherbourne, and Richmond Streets to check out the progress.

June 09, 2020

Toronto Needs an ActiveTO Phase 2

Toronto City Council approved 25 km of new bike lanes at their May 28 virtual meeting as part of ActiveTO, including the completion of a 15 km continuous bikeway across Bloor-Danforth from Runnymede to Dawes. It was a victory more than 40 years in the making with groups such as Take The Tooker, Bells on Bloor, Bells on Danforth, Cycle Toronto, and the David Suzuki Foundation all contributing to this moment. The aim is to install these bike lanes within weeks with some projects such as Dundas East from Broadview to Sackville already being recently completed. However, there are several reasons why Toronto needs an ActiveTO Phase 2 as soon as possible.
The recently installed Dundas East cycle tracks are part of the 25 km approved under ActiveTO

May 25, 2020

Increasing Cycling in Toronto's Inner Suburbs

There has been a lot of public attention in Toronto over the years in getting protected bike lanes on Bloor, Danforth, and Yonge; including a recent open letter and petition supported by over 100 groups and 5000 people. However, there is an urgent need to expand cycling infrastructure in the inner suburbs of Scarborough, Etobicoke, and North York – as well as engage local stakeholders – to help frame the idea cycling is not just for Downtown Toronto. Let’s take a look at some of the existing campaigns such as Our Greenway and the Eglinton East LRT, as well as what else is needed for a city-wide cycling grid.
Proposed spine (dark blue) and suburban (cyan) bike routes with existing infrastructure highlighted in red

May 17, 2020

A First Look at ActiveTO

A week following the announcement of CurbTO to address pedestrian hotspots and a City Council meeting that approved measures to look into providing space for people, Toronto finally announced a plan to do so under the ActiveTO banner. ActiveTO aims to create over 50 kilometres of quiet streets, close major roads on weekends, and accelerate the bike plan. The details of the quiet streets and road closures were announced on Thursday, May 14, but nothing was announced for bike lanes yet. Yesterday, Helen and I biked along Lake Shore Boulevard, which closed all eastbound traffic lanes from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road for the long weekend.

May 04, 2020

What's Next for #streets4peopleTO?

The month of April saw Torontonians ramp up their calls for Mayor John Tory, Toronto City Council, and Toronto Public Health to create #streets4peopleTO as cities across Canada and the world have done. While the City had consistently resisted this move and became a national outlier, there has been a gradual shift in attitude while some other improvements have been made. Let’s review what has happened and celebrate the 4th anniversary of the Bloor bike lanes being approved by city council.