November 07, 2018

North York's Cycling Black Hole

When looking at Toronto’s cycling map, there appears to be a large black hole in North York bounded by the Don trail system, the Finch hydro corridor, the Humber River Trail, and the Beltline Trail (or Eglinton). It is a reality I face whenever I bike to work near Dufferin and Lawrence via the West Toronto Railpath and Caledonia. Bike lanes do exist on Marlee – which I used often when heading to certain downtown destinations after work – but they don’t connect to anything north of the Beltline. It is a shame, given the large amount of employment lands along Caledonia and near Downsview Park. Last month, I checked out the proposed York University and Downsview connections while doing some municipal election volunteering with Progress Toronto to better understand how to fill this hole.
Toronto's cycling map - note the large gap in North York

October 24, 2018

An Undeniably Important Female Cycling Pioneer

For many people within the cycling community, the name Nora Young (1917 – 2016) may not sound familiar. Five decades before female cyclists were allowed to compete in the Olympics in the 1980’s, Nora was one of Toronto’s original female cycling pioneers who also excelled in multiple sports. Director Julia Morgan is currently working on a film called “Undeniably Young: Nora Young and the Six-Day Race” to raise awareness about Nora and the importance of women’s cycling history in general. She is raising funds to finish the film through an IndieGoGo campaign which runs until November 6. I spoke with Julia to get a better understanding of the film and Nora’s impact on women’s cycling.

October 12, 2018

Completing the East End Grid

Last month, the City of Toronto installed new bike lanes in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. When I had a chance to briefly check them out recently, I found them to be a promising start. However, there are several key gaps which need to be filled in order to truly give a boost to cycling in those neighbourhoods and Toronto’s east end as a whole.
Recently installed bike lanes on Thorncliffe Park Drive

October 01, 2018

Trail Gaps Along the Don

While Toronto’s bikeway network has lots of gaps to fill, east-west connectivity is arguably much better than north-south. Especially north of St. Clair where continuous routes are limited to the Don River and Humber River trails, as well as the bike lanes on Royal York which go to Dixon Road. Back in August, I biked the Don River trail system to Sheppard Avenue to identify trail gaps and better understand how the trail system fits with the Lake to Lake Route.
Wayfinding signage used on the Lower Don Trail

July 26, 2018

Your 2018 Bloor Street Check-up

Bloor bike lanes at St. George where Dalia Chako was killed
Earlier this month, I posted about the Bloor bike lanes from Sherbourne to Church being delayed yet again. With the municipal election only three months away and the need to build support for extending the Bloor bike lanes east and west, I rode along Bloor from Renforth Road (1.7 kilometres east of the Mississauga border) to Parliament Street to document the conditions along the way; similar to what I did on Yonge. Consider this your 2018 Bloor Street check-up.

July 11, 2018

Forwards (and Backwards) on Bloor-Danforth

Last week, the Toronto and East York Community Council approved the recommendations of a planning study done for Danforth Avenue from Coxwell to Victoria Park Avenues, as well as supported expanding the study to cover the section from Broadview to Coxwell Avenues. The Danforth planning study was widely consulted which saw strong support for 7-8 storey mid-rise buildings, heritage conservation, and complete streets including wider sidewalks and protected bike lanes. All four speakers present expressed support for improved cycling facilities and the motion will go to City Council on July 23; the last meeting before October’s election. If approved, we will be one step closer to getting bike lanes on “The Danny”.
2018 Bells on Danforth

July 04, 2018

Cycling Connections at St. Clair and Old Weston

A lot of the Toronto cycling community’s attention on Monday, June 25 was focused on the public meeting debating whether to move the Adelaide protected bike lanes to the left (north) side. However, there was another meeting the same day which has significant potential outside of downtown; that being the St. Clair West Transportation Master Plan (TMP). I had a chance to stop by that meeting on my way home from work to learn more about the transportation issues in that area.