June 28, 2024

June 2024 Bloor Site Check (+ Danforth-Kingston Consultation)

The last time I visited Bloor Street in Etobicoke was during a bike count with Community Bikeways (TCBC) which also happened to be the first day of bike lane construction from Aberfoyle to Resurrection. Construction has largely wrapped up since then including the installation of barriers, so I thought I would use my day off work to join TCBC’s “Koffee on the Kingsway” at Café de Flore and check out the newly installed bike lanes.

June 16, 2024

Uxbridge to Lindsay Rail Trail

One rail trail I wanted to do for a while is the Uxbridge to Lindsay Rail Trail. Back in 2020, I did a short portion of the Omemee Rail Trail from Peterborough to the Doube’s Trestle Bridge, though the trail continued all the way to Lindsay. Both are part of the Trans Canada Trail. Yesterday with the weather finally co-operating, I took GO Transit to Uxbridge to cross that trail off my bucket list.

June 11, 2024

Reviewing Albert Koehl’s “Wheeling Through Toronto”

While Toronto has had a magazine dedicated to cycling called Dandyhorse as well as books such as Yvonne Bambrick’s “The Urban Cycling Survival Guide” and Shawn Smith’s “Happy Trails”, there hadn’t been a book that gave an appreciation of Toronto’s cycling history. Albert Koehl’s book “Wheeling Through Toronto” was published last month and explores cycling in Toronto over the past 130 years starting with the bicycle craze of the 1890’s. Having finished reading the book this past weekend, let’s review it to see what parallels can be drawn to cycling in the present day.

June 07, 2024

Get Involved During Bike Month 2024!

Happy Bike Month to all who celebrate!

While I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s Bike to Work Day group commute – you can read Jun’s blog post about it here – there are a few things for Toronto’s cycling community to get involved with this month. These include the Oakridge Neighbourhood Streets Plan, the Avenue Road Study, complete street consultations for Trethewey and Danforth-Kingston, and the overall bike plan. Let’s take a quick look at these projects to see what they have to offer.

A throwback to the 2018 Bike to Work Day group commute from High Park

June 03, 2024

June 2024 Trail Connection Follow Up

Last June, I wrote about the need to connect various trails in southern Ontario. Since then, I have identified a fair number of developments which warrant a follow up. These include the Orangeville Brampton Railway trail conversion, the Simcoe County Trails Strategy, and the Humber Trail in Vaughan. Let’s go through these developments to see how they will address these trail gaps.

May 26, 2024

May 2024 Danforth-Kingston 4 All Ride

This morning, about 100 people made it out for today’s Danforth-Kingston 4 All ride in support of a safer Danforth Avenue and Kingston Road in Scarborough. It was a short four-kilometre slow roll from East Lynn Park to Scotia Parkette east of Warden Avenue. It was the first ride held in support of bike lanes on Danforth since COVID-19 pandemic and was made more urgent given the Danforth-Kingston project – originally proposed for the 2022-24 Bike Plan – was recycled into the one for 2025-27.

Here’s a photo of the ride when I first got to East Lynn Park.

May 24, 2024

May 2024 Bloor Bike Lane Construction

Yesterday after work, I took my scooter – which city council unfortunately voted to continue banning that day – to Bloor Street in Etobicoke to check the progress of bike lane construction west of Aberfoyle Crescent which officially started. Here are a few photos I took from this latest site check.

May 22, 2024

Toronto's Bike Plan Recycling Act

Yesterday, the City of Toronto released their 2025-27 Bike Plan which will go to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee next Tuesday. Despite extensive consultation and the fact four cyclists were killed in 2024 so far, this plan is one that road safety advocates need to slam as a big disappointment. Let’s go through the bike plan documents to see what it has and what’s missing.

Map of 2025-27 Bike Plan (via City of Toronto)

May 17, 2024

Kingsway Koffee & Finch West LRT Spotting

While I was originally going to do a longer ride today for my day off work, the rain in this afternoon’s forecast prompted a change in plans. Even so, I got an almost 42-kilometre ride in this morning by The Kingsway and the Finch West LRT line which led to some unexpected surprises.

May 09, 2024

April 25 Cycling Research Meetup

On Thursday, April 25, University of Manchester PhD candidate Thomas Van Laake hosted a cycling research meetup at the University of Toronto to showcase not only his findings while studying cycling in Manchester, Toronto, and Mexico City, but also presentations from three other researchers. These were done by Sarah Giacomantonio, Alec Khacatryan, and Madeleine Bonsma-Fisher. Let’s dive into this research and see how the findings are relevant to Toronto’s cycling community.

May 07, 2024

Memorial Ride for Ali Sezgin Armagan

Tonight, Toronto’s cycling community took part in their fourth memorial ride in as many months; this time for 39-year-old Ali Sezgin Armagan who was killed at Avenue & Elgin on Tuesday, April 30. With eight months to go, this year has already become one of the deadliest for those who bike in this city per Toronto's Vision Zero dashboard, though it hasn’t been updated for the most recent fatal crash.

April 30, 2024

Another Avenue Road Tragedy

This afternoon, an e-bike rider was killed at Avenue Road and Elgin Avenue; making it the fourth cyclist killed in Toronto this year. To add insult to injury, this isn’t the first time a cyclist was killed in an area where bike lanes were proposed but never acted upon. The same thing happened to Miguel Joshua Escanan in August 2021 at Avenue and Bloor. Let’s recap where things stand with Avenue Road, as well as demand action to get these safety improvements done urgently.

April 25, 2024

eglintonTOday & Micromobility Strategy Headed to IEC

Next Thursday's Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) meeting will feature two items that will affect cycling and micromobility. The first item is Phase 1 of the eglintonTOday Complete Street project from Bicknell Avenue to Mount Pleasant Road and the second is a Micromobility Strategy for Toronto. While it’s unfortunate the Avenue Road Study didn’t make the cut, let’s review what these two items have to offer and some suggestions on what to advocate for with your written submission or live deputation.

Existing conditions on Eglinton east of Winona during Sunday's Earth Day Ride

April 21, 2024

Earth Day Ride to Eglinton + Beltline Riding

Earlier today, Cycle Toronto’s Midtown ward group hosted their Earth Day ride which about 20 people attended. The ride started at Davisville station and rolled along Yonge, Davenport, and Winona before arriving at Ben Nobleman Par where Cycle Toronto had an engagement tent to promote the eglintonTOday project ahead of the May 2 IEC meeting.

April 15, 2024

Memorial Ride for Vlad Zotov

Last Monday, 59-year-old Vlad Zotov with the Morning Glory Cycling Club was killed on Bayview Avenue just south of Evergreen Brickworks. This latest tragedy marks the third cyclist killed in Toronto within the past three months with the other two happened in Scarborough at Brimley & McNicoll and near Warden & St. Clair. By the time Helen and I arrived at Bloor & Spadina, Matt Cohen Park was packed unlike any of the other memorial rides I could remember. During the ride, someone mentioned over 400 cyclists turned out tonight, while there was a lot of media present.

April 07, 2024

East Don Trail Part 2 & The Meadoway

On March 16, I visited the southern half of the East Don Trail from the Forks of the Don to a dead end where a tunnel will be installed under the Richmond Hill GO line. Being curious to find out what the other side is like – as well as how it will connect with The Meadoway – I did a 56-kilometre ride yesterday to check the northern half of the East Don Trail, as well as newest segment of The Meadoway that opened last fall.

March 26, 2024

March 2024 Public Consultation Overload

This year has been a crazy one when it comes to catching up on all the cycling related public consultations happening in Toronto. For this update, there are six consultations to review and a seventh we need to demand for. These six are the Wallace Emerson Neighbourhood Streets Plan, the Peanut Streets Plan, Steeles Avenue Eat Complete Streets, Steeprock-Bathurst Manor Cycling Connections, Beltline Gap Connections, and the Centennial Park Cycling Connections. Let’s dive in to see what they are all about!

March 20, 2024

Eglinton Catch-Up for March 2024

On Sunday, I wrote about the East Don Trail and had mentioned the eglintonTOday Complete Street project was expected to go to the Infrastructure & Environment Committee next Wednesday. Upon reviewing the agenda released this morning, it turned out the item will not be debated and will instead be dealt with in May. However, Motion IE12.4 covers several cycling projects such as Ferrand Drive, Galloway Road, Portland-Dan Leckie, Silverthorn, Weston Cycling Connections, and the Jones Street upgrades. Advocates are encouraged to e-mail iec@toronto.ca by Tuesday, March 26 at 4:30 PM to show their support for any items that are relevant to them. Now, let’s get back to discussing last weekend’s site check along Eglinton.

March 17, 2024

March 2024 East Don Trail Visit

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody!

Yesterday, I did a ride along the Lower Don Trail, checked out the East Don Trail, and checked the progress along Eglinton Avenue. Since the eglintonTOday Complete Street project is expected to go to the Infrastructure & Environment Committee on Wednesday, March 27, I will focus this post on the East Don Trail and discuss Eglinton separately when the final report comes out on Wednesday, March 20.

March 15, 2024

An Engineering Perspective with Matt Pinder

While Jun Nogami may be the only other Toronto based bike blogger today, there is another blog that started in Toronto ten years ago called “Beyond the Automobile”. The blog’s author – Matt Pinder – is a transportation engineer in Ottawa who has been exposed to cycling in the Netherlands, started the BIKE MINDS storytelling series in Toronto and Ottawa, and has been calling for improvements to a suburban development in Ottawa called South Keys. I spoke with Matt on February 9, 2024 to reflect on his advocacy and professional journey over the past decade.

March 07, 2024

Leaside-Danforth Consultation (+ Other Upcoming Events)

Tonight marked the second cycling consultation I attended this week after the West Parkdale bikeway one on Tuesday which was also well attended. There was some security present at this consultation; probably because of last week’s event in Etobicoke. Even so, I didn’t see any protest signs tonight and there wasn’t a petition against this project as far as I know of, while there were still some concerns to be had. I already discussed the project in an earlier blog post, but wanted to take this opportunity to provide some additional information, as well as highlight some other projects coming down the pipe.

March 05, 2024

West Parkdale Cycling Connections Consultation

Earlier this evening, the City of Toronto hosted the West Parkdale Cycling Connections public consultation which I covered in an earlier blog post. Sometime before this meeting, I found out from the Parkdale Community Updates Facebook group that a petition was being circulated to pause this project (which was closed off this evening due to the heated debate). Given that opposition was brewing for this project, I attended to show my support and encouraged others to do the same. However, I will also discuss some legitimate concerns that were raised.

March 02, 2024

Calling Out Etobicoke Opponents on Bloor

When we advocate for safe streets, there will always be some people who will oppose them for a wide range of reasons whether it be loss of parking, perceived increased traffic congestion, and a bunch of frivolous arguments such as “violating charter rights”. Some public consultations and committee meetings have gotten a bit spicy, but never in the eleven years I have advocated for safe streets that I have seen things gone as bad as the campaign from the opponents of the Bloor West Complete Street Extension; the first phase of which was installed last fall to Aberfoyle Crescent. They even used a ridiculous name called “Balance on Bloor” when we know it’s the complete street extension that has brought balance to the street away from the dominance of private automobiles. Given the hostile February 28 meeting hosted by Councillor Stephen Holyday – one of the last consistent bike lane opponents in this city – we need to call out Cody MacRae – who started that petition – for his responsibility in promoting this and other events which have put city staff in undue danger.

You can watch the 30 second video shared by Dave Shellnutt here

Per several sources including Jun’s blog, a YouTube video by rootbrian, and discussions on Reddit and Facebook, the February 28 meeting – which was supposed to be focused on the 2025-27 Bike Plan – had quickly turned into chaos with city staff being constantly interrupted and cycling supporters being heavily outnumbered by opponents. Some supporters felt unsafe and left early, while one opponent openly said “Personally, I’d like to run them over to get them out of my way”. This incitement of violence should never be tolerated and only serves to discredit their cause, while Councillor Holyday bears some responsibility for refusing to condemn the violent behaviour as Dave Shellnutt's letter highlighted. It was also picked up on BlogTO.

Below is a letter I addressed to Cody MacRae (cody@rinomato.com) and copied Councillor Stephen Holyday (councillor_holyday@toronto.ca) which I encourage you to do the same to condemn this violent behaviour.

February 29, 2024

A Call to Action for Scarborough

All right, folks! We need to talk about Scarborough’s dangerous streets.

On Sunday, February 11, a memorial ride was held for a 66-year-old female cyclist killed at Brimley & McNicoll. If that wasn’t bad enough, another crash in Scarborough this month killed a 47-year-old male cyclist on Monday near Birchmount & St. Clair. While it didn’t happen right on Birchmount – which had bike lanes removed in 2011 – the consequences of refusing to build safe streets still apply across Scarborough. Finally, despite the Danforth-Kingston complete street being part of the 2022-24 Bike Plan, there still has not been a public consultation held which had been delayed due in part to last year’s by-elections for Mayor and for Council in Scarborough Southwest.

Memorial ride held at Brimley & McNicoll on Sunday, February 11

February 24, 2024

Finally … A Much-Needed Parkdale Connection

Having used to live in Parkdale and Roncesvalles for more than a decade, I can vouch for how common wrong way riding on Seaforth Avenue is given there isn’t a safe (and legal) way to bike west of Brock Street in Parkdale without using Queen. Members of the former Cycle Toronto Ward 14 group (and the Parkdale High Park Bikes group that replaced it) have called to have this situation fixed for years. Finally, the City of Toronto plans to host a public consultation about the West Parkdale Cycling Connections on Tuesday, March 5 (5-8 PM) at The Parkdale Hall (1605 Queen Street West) to address this gap in the cycling network. Let’s go through the project by dividing it into three segments.

Map of West Parkdale Cycling Connections (via City of Toronto)

February 22, 2024

Fixing the Bloor and Castle Frank Intersection

On Sunday, February 18, a 19-year-old woman was biking eastbound on the Bayview – Bloor ramp where she was hit by drivers of two motor vehicles. While it is technically illegal to bike on this ramp, the sign saying no pedestrians or cyclists allowed is not apparent as soon as you turn right. You have to complete a U-turn in order to see it given drivers could use this turn-off to turn left to get onto to Castle Frank Road. Let’s take a look at how this intersection can be improved to make it safer for everyone.

A Google Maps view of the existing conditions at Bloor and Castle Frank

February 17, 2024

Revisiting the East End Grid

Last year, the City of Toronto announced plans to upgrade existing bikeways on the Leaside Bridge to cycle tracks which were approved by City Council. However, there was still a big question mark on providing an additional north-south connection from there to Danforth Avenue. The City recently announced a public consultation scheduled for Thursday, March 7 (6 – 8 PM) at 816 Logan Avenue to address just that.

The City of Toronto's proposed bikeway connecting the Leaside Bridge to Danforth Avenue

February 14, 2024

Addressing Food Courier Train Crowding Concerns

Recently, there have been photos circulating on social media about food courier bikes crowding GO trains along the Kitchener GO line, including on dedicated bike cars used on the Niagara trains during the summer months. This has unfortunately been the latest round of criticism towards food couriers with last year seeing accusations of them hogging Bike Share Toronto’s e-bikes prior to the pricing changes and Councillor Dianne Saxe’s motion calling for e-bikes and e-scooters used by couriers to have “unique identifiers”. These incidents of blaming food couriers are unacceptable and must be called out. Instead, we road safety advocates need to work with the couriers and groups like Gig Workers United to come up with some solutions to remedy the situation. Especially since we should be encouraging deliveries by bike over those done by motor vehicles in order to pursue meaningful climate action.

A crowded GO train bike car on February 2, 2024 (via Janice Jim)

February 11, 2024

Memorial Ride at Brimley & McNicoll

Unfortunately, it seems Toronto can’t get by a single year without a cyclist getting killed. On Monday, January 30, a woman in her 60’s was struck by a driver at Brimley & McNicoll and died of her injuries on Saturday, February 3. Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists hosted a memorial ride for the fallen cyclist earlier today which started at Kennedy Station.

February 10, 2024

2024 Coldest Day of the Year Ride

One of my favourite things to do during the winter months is to take part in Cycle Toronto’s “Coldest Day of the Year” Ride; an event aimed to promote winter cycling. However, this year’s event was unusually mild with temperatures around 10’C which can be very worrying from a climate change perspective. About 150 to 200 people joined us at Tom Riley Park to ride the recently extend Bloor bike lanes east to Christie Pits Park, which was almost as many as last November’s Bloor bike lane rally.

February 02, 2024

Know Your Rights with Dave Shellnutt

Over the past five years, Dave Shellnutt has become the new legal voice for Toronto’s cycling community. During this time, he has held numerous “Know Your Rights” workshops across Ontario, started the Bike Brigade early during the COVID-19 pandemic, and expanded his advocacy to cover anti-racism matters. I spoke with Dave on January 23, 2024 to learn more about his bike-focused legal career.

January 31, 2024

Conflicting Approaches for Ellesmere

On Monday, February 12, the City of Toronto will be hosting a public consultation regarding the Ellesmere Complete Street project which is planned to start construction in 2026 from Orton Park to Kingston Roads. While I normally support complete streets which are badly needed in Scarborough, this project has left me with some concerns. Especially since Metrolinx had already prepared designs for the Durham-Scarborough BRT along the same corridor. Let’s look at how the two projects compare.

Overview of the Ellesmere Complete Street project (via City of Toronto)

January 25, 2024

New Port Lands Bridges Site Check

Yesterday, Waterfront Toronto announced the opening of two new bridges along New Cherry and Commissioners Streets. Some members of the cycling community such as Jun and Brian (video at end of post) have already documented the new bridges, while there has been a lively discussion in the “Cycling in Toronto” Facebook group. Since I had the day off work today, I decided to check out the new bridges as well.

January 22, 2024

Yonge4All & Cargo Bikes with Robin Richardson

Almost a year ago to this day, Toronto’s cycling community celebrated the successful outcome of making the Midtown Yonge Complete Street permanent. The Yonge4All campaign played a big role in making this happen, as well as inspired a Scarborough offshoot called Danforth-Kingston 4 All. I spoke with Yonge4All’s spokesperson Robin Richardson on January 2, 2024 to discuss the campaign and her Happy Fiets cargo bike business.

January 17, 2024

A Road Safety Take on Toronto’s 2024 Budget

Last year’s budget tabled by Mayor John Tory was irresponsible with his refusal to raise property taxes beyond inflation, relied on provincial and federal government funding (which didn’t materialize), and recklessly increased the police budget despite a $1.4 billion shortfall at the time. The budget shortfall situation has worsened for 2024 with the number now pegged at $1.8 billion. However, Mayor Olivia Chow and her budget chief Shelley Carroll have finally shown they are willing to take the challenge seriously.

2024 Budget Shortfall Breakdown (via City of Toronto)

January 11, 2024

Early Days of Cycle Toronto with Yvonne Bambrick

Last month’s interview with Alison Stewart took a more recent look at Cycle Toronto including a reflection of last year’s accomplishments. However, I wasn’t that familiar with their early days as the Toronto Cyclist Union (a.k.a. Bike Union) given I first got a membership in September 2012 and joined the local ward group in Parkdale (then Ward 14) in early 2013. I spoke with their founding Executive Director – Yvonne Bambrick – on November 13, 2023 to learn more, as well as discuss the role of BIA’s, Vélo Canada Bikes, and "The Urban Cycling Survival Guide".

January 10, 2024

January 2024 Public Consultation Roundup

While the City of Toronto still has a lot of catching up to do with the 2022-24 Bike Plan per last Saturday’s blog post, there are a few public consultations coming up which will affect those who bike. These include the Ferrand Drive Area Safety Improvements, the Jones Avenue Road Resurfacing, and the second phase of the Parkside Drive Study. Let’s look at what these projects have in store so you can provide your input.

A not-so-ideal option for Ferrand Drive (via City of Toronto)

January 06, 2024

Looking Back at the 2022-24 Bike Plan

When the 2022-24 Near-Term Cycling Implementation Plan was approved in December 2021, there was a call for 100 kilometres of new bike lanes during this time. Since then, about 13 kilometres was installed in 2022 and another 20 kilometres in 2023; the latter of which includes most of the Finch West LRT route. However, this still leaves the City 67 kilometres short with only one year left for this plan, while they have already started work on a replacement plan for 2025-27. Let’s look at what the key accomplishments were and what work remains on the table.

Map of bike lane installations from 2016 to 2023 with 2023's marked in blue

January 04, 2024

Reflecting on Cycle Toronto with Alison Stewart

Since 2008, Cycle Toronto has become Toronto’s main active transportation advocacy group. You may have seen them speaking at a recent press conference about Yonge Street, handing out lights during the October “Get Lit” campaign, hosting “Bike Valet” parking at special events, or organizing group rides such as the “Coldest Day of the Year” Ride happening on Saturday, February 10. I spoke with Alison Stewart – their Director of Advocacy and Public Policy – on Sunday, December 17 to learn more about what the group accomplished over the past year and her perspective on cycling in this city.

Alison at a 2025-27 Bike Plan consultation in November 2023

January 01, 2024

New Year's Day 2024 Group Ride

Happy New Year, fellow cyclists! Last year, Jun wrote about a New Year’s Day group ride that Alex put together which involves riding from Queen & Logan to the Tommy Thompson Park lighthouse for a group shot. Since I wanted to step up my bike riding game for 2024, I decided to join this year’s group ride – the 12th time Alex organized this – and check some infrastructure in the Port Lands thanks to Brian Tao.