Appreciating Toronto’s Street Scene

Artist Jerry Waese for Spacing Toronto

Artist Jerry Waese for Spacing Toronto

Everywhere you look in Toronto you’ll find bicycles. A cyclist keeps pace with a streetcar on Queen. A young woman walks her bicycle along Yonge, looking for an empty post and ring. In the dark corner of a towering steel and glass building you’ll find a bicycle rack and more often than not it will be full.

Artist Jerry Waese has been contributing colourful sketches of Toronto scenes to Spacing Magazine. Many feature bicycles and cyclists. Whether you’re looking for them or not it is hard to miss the sheer numbers of bicycles filling the visual landscape of Toronto streets.

More of Jerry Waese’s work can be found on Spacing.

Updating a Bike Theft Success Story in Toronto

well locked bike

Having your bicycle stolen is an emotional roller-coaster.
Anger, disbelief, regret, denial… you’re going to experience it all. The only sure things in life are death, taxes and bike theft; although many people strive to avoid all three.
In July, Spacing Toronto told us the amazing story of a stolen bicycle recovery.
Heather McKibbon’s story involved undercover police, disguised friends and the use of social media sites Facebook and Kijiji to rescue her stolen ride.
The Wall Street Journal has picked up on Heather’s story and they look at the growing trend in bicycle theft:

San Diego saw a 45% increase in reported bike thefts in the first half of this year from a year earlier. The police station covering the central part of downtown Los Angeles has seen a 72% increase in stolen-bike reports so far this year, the city’s police department says. Austin and Philadelphia have seen increases for the past two years. The incidence of theft is likely even higher, cycling advocates say, because many victims don’t bother reporting bike thefts.

The reasons for the theft boom are complex, including population growth in some locales, but generally, more people are biking these days—and they are riding pricier bicycles. Also, the economic downturn is contributing to the increase.

“Harder times mean more thefts,” says Bryan Hance, founder of StolenBicycleRegistry.com, where people can list their stolen bikes free. Last month, the site received 335 listings, about twice as many as a year ago. “Bikes are a lot more expensive than they were five or 10 years ago,” he adds. “The fact that they are worth more makes them more of a target.”

And, unfortunately, Heather’s story doesn’t have a happy ending:

Ms. McKibbon, who recovered her bike in Toronto, also faced new problems. Last weekend, her bike’s rims, gears and other components were stolen on a busy street in Toronto.

But she has a message for bike thieves: Watch your back. “The world isn’t as big as it once was,” she says. “You never know who’s watching.”

Have you recently had your bicycle stolen? Post your details in the Biking Toronto Stolen Bike Listing

Photo by random dude on Flickr