January 23, 2022

RANT – Toronto’s Winter Biking Gong Show

Last Monday saw 36 centimetres of snow fall in Toronto. While it may not be as much as the 48 centimetres fallen in December 1944 or the over one metre over two weeks in January 1999 which prompted then Mayor Mel Lastman to call the army leading to national ridicule, the aftermath still merits a rant. Especially from a cycling perspective after what I found while biking to do some errands yesterday.

January 15, 2022

Your 2022 Toronto Budget Check Up

Get out your calculators, folks! It’s budget time again at Toronto city hall after having released their 2022 tax supported budgets on Thursday, January 13. One budget item which captured considerable media attention is the $25 million increase in the Toronto Police budget to $1.1 billion despite numerous groups and advocates calling to #DefundThePolice during the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement. While I’m sure Torontonians have lots of competing interest for this budget such as housing, transit, childcare, or long-term care, I will focus on the cycling perspective and refer to the Transportation Services budget notes.

January 12, 2022

Missed Opportunity for Bloor?

Last month, Toronto City Council approved extending the Bloor bike lanes from Runnymede to Six Points by 2024 as part of the 2022-24 Cycling Implementation Plan. Upon rereading the plan earlier this week, I came across a section called “Secondary Priority for Consideration” which listed several projects that didn’t make the cut; but could be considered should other projects get deferred or staff capacity is increased. One of these projects is Bloor Street from Etobicoke Creek to the bridge crossing Highway 427 with a note saying it has near-term road work planned which couldn’t be deferred.

January 05, 2022

January 2022 Consultation Round Up

Happy New Year!

After some much needed rest over the Christmas holidays, it’s back to the advocacy grind. Especially considering there are several public engagement opportunities relevant to Toronto’s cycling community. Two projects – Sheppard Avenue East and Douro-Wellington – have comments due soon, while two BRT projects will have next steps planned and the City of Toronto’s 2022 budget launches on January 13.

All images used (except for the BRT illustration) are from the City of Toronto

December 24, 2021

2021 Gone to the Dogs

This past year ended as it began with COVID-19 cases surging thanks to the Omicron variant. Before then, it appeared the pandemic was being brought under control in Canada with millions rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated. Speaking of which, we got our booster shots last weekend. 2021 saw the threat of climate change brought to our doorstep with British Columbia experiencing record heat, wildfires, and floods, while democracy south of the border was under threat with the January 6 Capitol Hill insurrection. As I mark my 35th orbit around the sun tomorrow, it’s time to reflect of some significant personal changes that happened over the past year.

Mozzie when we first picked him up in Ottawa

December 16, 2021

Cycling Good Cheer Along Yonge

About 30 to 40 people took part in Sunday’s 2nd Annual Cycling Good Cheer ride which started at Hendon Park in North York (a.k.a. the North Pole 😉) and ended at City Hall using Yonge Street, Bloor Street, and University Avenue. Janet Joy Wilson – a fellow founding member of the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition – put together the ride while Albert Koehl was Santa. Many of us had antlers attached to our helmets while some opted to decorate our bikes. It was great having lots of people honk and wave at us with approval.

For a proper recap, I encourage you to read Jun N’s blog post and watch this video from Heather’s and Pier’s Bromptoning blog. I will instead focus on three cycling mishaps which deserve lumps of coal, as well as some hope as 2022 nears.

December 04, 2021

Previewing The Queensway Reconstruction

The Infrastructure and Environment Committee approved the 2022 to 2024 cycling implementation plan and making last year’s ActiveTO bike lanes permanent on Thursday. (read my analysis here) These motions will go to City Council on December 15. One of the proposed projects is the reconstruction of The Queensway from the Humber River bridge to Burma Drive which will be subject to a virtual public meeting on December 7, 2021. I had the chance to view the materials during a stakeholder meeting earlier this week and with the slides now publicly available, here is a recap of what can be expected.

All images used in this post are found in the City of Toronto's presentation deck