Bells on Bloor advocates for bike lanes on Bloor St. in Toronto, Canada.
The first step of our goal was realized in August 2016 when a pilot bike lane was installed between Avenue Rd. and Shaw St through the Annex and Koreatown neighbourhoods. We are now pushing to make this pilot permanent. The vote reaches the city’s public works committee this fall.
The second step is the installation of bike lanes along Bloor St. and Danforth Ave. stretching from city limit to city limit — about 22 kilometres. This stretch has long been identified as an ideal spine of a bicycle network in Toronto. We believe that once a Bloor-Danforth bike lane is in place, the other pieces of a real bike network in Toronto will quickly fall into place.
Our earliest initiative was a bike parade in September 2007, which drew 500 cyclists and quickly grew to 2,000 cyclists by 2009 — to our knowledge the largest-ever cycling advocacy ride in our city’s history. In 2011, with the formation of Bells on Danforth and Bells on Yonge our rides became collaborative events, culminating in BIKESTOCK in 2014 — a mass cycling ride ending at City Hall with various musicians. These events have also promoted pedestrian safety, given our view that far more needs to be done to protect all vulnerable road users in the city.
The initiatives we have pursued since our original ‘pedal-powered parade’ ten years ago include data collection, opinion pieces in newspapers, safety initiatives (like the 2012 Coroner’s review), petitions, lobbying councillors, deputations at city hall, letter-writing, collaboration with residents’ groups, culture organizations & businesses, public meetings and public speaking, the current Tour de Bloor passport initiative we share with Cycle Toronto, and the pilot, which we first proposed in 2013.
We are volunteers who love working with other groups that share our vision of a city that is safe and welcoming for cyclists and other environmentally-friendly means of transport like walking and transit.