With the weather finally beginning to warm and the recent launch of Toronto’s 1,000-bike BIXI program, cycling was on the minds of Torontonians on Monday.
Smart Commute – North Toronto, Vaughan (NTV), recently named the “Bicycle-Friendliest Suburban Business” by the City of Toronto, held its annual Bike to Work Day event at York University’s Keele campus. Faculty, staff and students received free bike safety checks and signed up to the 600-member-strong York University – Smart Commute Bicycle User Group (BUG).
Left: A bike mechanic performs a bicycle safety check. The service was offered free to York community members as part of Bike to Work Day.
The last Monday each May is recognized as Bike to Work Day in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. The theme this year was “Come Ride with Me”, and it encouraged new cyclists to try cycling to work or school. Smart Commute NTV had its best-ever event attendance this year with nearly 300 cyclists participating.
“It is wonderful to see so many members of our community cycling to York. As a University that is committed to sustainability, earning the distinction as a ‘campus sustainability leader’ and more recently, adopting a new sustainability policy, I would like to encourage more members of our community to try alternate modes of transit that are both healthy and environmentally friendly,” said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.
“We’re excited about the opening of the multi-use bike path along the Finch Hydro Corridor and the City of Toronto’s plans to install curbed bike lanes downtown. These initiatives to implement safe cycling infrastructure are a welcome addition to Toronto’s bike network,” said Brian Shifman, executive director of Smart Commute NTV. “With the ever-rising price we pay for fuel at the pump, I would expect more people to take advantage of the warming weather and this new bike infrastructure.”
Those who pledged to bike to York University for the event at BikeToWorkDay.ca were entered to win a Via Rail Bike Train weekend getaway for two to Northumberland County. The results of this competition will be announced shortly on smartcommute.ca.