July 11, 2021

Cargo Bike Rentals with Happy Fiets

During the May long weekend, Helen and I picked up our puppy Mozzie; a miniature poodle. While we have been carrying him around with a Basil bike carrier which got lots of positive comments, we were concerned that Mozzie would eventually outgrow the carrier. With this in mind and the need to transport other goods, Helen was looking at whether to get a bike trailer or a cargo bike. To get a feel for what a real world cargo bike experience would be like – had only done brief test rides before this – I rented a Larry vs Harry Bullitt e-assist from Robin Richardson who launched Happy Fiets back in May.

Robin (centre) showing Helen (right) and I the bike and being affectionately greeted by Mozzie

June 19, 2021

June 2021 Bloor Update

Last summer was a game changer for Bloor-Danforth with the Bloor bike lanes permanently extended west from Shaw to Runnymede, as well as the temporary installation of ActiveTO corridors along Danforth (from Broadview to Dawes) and the Sherbourne to Avenue gap. However, a small gap remains under the West Toronto Railpath while Toronto City Council is expected to decide the fate of the temporary parts of Bloor-Danforth this fall. With this in mind, the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition is already pushing for a further western extension from Runnymede to Six Points and along Dundas to The East Mall.

Martin Reis (left) and volunteers from the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition preparing to deliver postcards calling for the extension of the Bloor bike lanes to Six Points

May 19, 2021

May 2021 Cycling Projects

Right after the Victoria Day long weekend, the City of Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee will be debating several cycling projects which total six centreline kilometres (or 9.47 lane kilometres) of new infrastructure. These include Chesswood Drive in North York, Winona Drive in Midtown, Woodfield Road in the east end, The Esplanade and Mill Street in downtown, and Martin Grove Road in Etobicoke. The Rathburn Road bike lanes from Martin Grove to The East Mall will also be upgraded to cycle tracks. To help encourage people write submissions to the committee, here is a recap of each project.

Rendering of raised cycle tracks on Chesswood Drive (via City of Toronto)

May 17, 2021

It’s Time for a Safer Parkside

Since the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition was formed last May, one of their primary asks has been to put in a bikeway along Weston Road and Keele Street from Cardell Avenue to Bloor Street. However, Keele continues onto Parkside Drive from Bloor to Lake Shore Boulevard which is a fast moving arterial and unpleaseant for those who walk or bike. Earlier this month, the Sunnyside Community Association held a Zoom meeting in which many of the more than 40 people in attendance were supportive of safety improvements on Parkside including bike lanes. A separate Facebook group called “Safe Parkside” was also organized around this issue.

A pedestrian crossover is needed at Parkside for this trail immediately north of The Queensway

May 11, 2021

Overhauling Toronto’s Urban Highway Interchanges

Last year, the City of Toronto substantially completed the reconfiguration of Six Points; one of the City’s worst intersections for people walking or cycling. The spaghetti junction was replaced with three at-grade crossings for Bloor, Dundas, and Kipling including protected bike lanes, proper sidewalks, and streetscaping improvements. However, there are several other overbuilt urban highway interchanges which could use similarly radical interventions.

Dundas at Royal York

April 25, 2021

Biking to Brampton - April 2021

The last time I biked to Brampton three years ago, the underpass at Highway 401 was closed and there were no off road trails linking the Mississauga and Brampton parts of the Etobicoke Creek Trail. A fair bit has changed since then with the Mississauga – Brampton trail gap having been filled in, while the Highway 401 underpass was recently reopened per a post from Wayne Noble in the Cycling in Toronto Facebook group. With Saturday being 18’C outside, it was a good time for Helen and I to do our first long ride of the year, so we rode to Brampton and back for a 63 kilometre ride.

March 25, 2021

(Finally) Filling the Winona Gap

For the past few years, one of my biggest complaints about biking in Toronto is the lack of north-south routes north of Davenport. Especially considering my office is at Dufferin and Lawrence which meant riding on steep hills on Caledonia or going the wrong way at times between St. Clair and Eglinton. Finally, the City of Toronto hosted a public consultation on Monday, March 22 for a contraflow bike lane on Winona which could be installed as early as this June or July.