Our goal for the ride was to raise awareness of the redesigned intersection and complete streets approach at Six Points, as well as the need for bike lanes along the length of Bloor Street. Our hope was to connect the west part of Toronto with the heart of the city, along an obvious east-west corridor that is ideal for cycling.
Officially on the table for more than 40 years, bike lanes on Bloor are a necessary means of encouraging cyclists to ride this east–west route for commuting, shopping and recreation. We were proud to have been just one of the actions in the long-running Bike Lanes on Bloor campaign, including Cycle Toronto’s Bloor Loves Bikes campaign. Now we have pilot bike lanes between Avenue and Shaw—hopefully just the start of physically protected bike lanes along all of Bloor and Danforth!
We saw the city from two wheels and heard the city from local authors as we travelled east together with a total of 8 stop & read locations along Bloor. We supported local businesses by highlighting bookstores and retailers along the route.
Why do we need urban planning? Our politicians & authors shared their thoughts: Bernard Trottier, MP Etobicoke/Lakeshore; Peter Z. Milczyn, MPP Etobicoke/Lakeshore; Pamela Gough, TDSB Trustee, W3 Etobicoke/Lakeshore; Peggy Nash, MP Parkdale/High Park; Cheri DiNovo, Parkdale/High Park; Doug Saunders author of Arrival City; Ken Greenberg author of Walking Home; and Jared Kolb, Executive Director of Cycle Toronto
In a family-friendly setting we received advice on urban cycling from Yvonne Bambrick author of The Urban Cycling Survival Guide, and were transported to Moose Factory by Christine Fischer Guy, author of The Umbrella Mender.
Award-winning author Vincent Lam (Bloodletting & Miaraculous Cures & The Headmaster's Wager) read to the audience. We were joined by a group of young riders from [Charlie’s Freewheels](http://www.charliesfreewheels.ca/). Charlie’s is a non profit organization that helps kids build up their own bikes from donated parts, and they learn skills in addition to being able to keep their bikes at the end of the program.
Gary Barwin was our super-saturated author/poet because just prior to arrival the skies released a torrent of rain! He performed a poem about nature, with gusto!
Post storm, Natale Ghent read from her Young Adult novel Dark Company.
Christine Pountney read from her novel Sweet Jesus from the steps of the church. Then Alissa York read from her novel Fauna.
Our plan to travel to the Prince Edward Viaduct Parkette for a kids' reading was curtailed due to ongoing rain. Our valiant children's writer/illustrators Matt James, The Pirate’s Bed; Julie Kraulis, An Armadillo in Paris and Frank Viva, Outstanding in the Rain entertained the remaining crowd! Because we are all children at heart.
Books by the authors and illustrators were available for pre-sales at Type Books on Queen Street West. Laurie pulled books for sale along the route as well.