These Are the People In Your Neighbourhood; Frank de Jong’s Ward 18 Bicycle Tour

Ward 18 Map via Toronto.caOn a very rainy Saturday, I joined Toronto City Council Ward 18 candidate Frank de Jong and several others on a bike tour through a few neighbourhoods.

Ward 18 is a diverse and growing collection of neighbourhoods. Bloorcourt, “Blansdowne,” the Junction Triangle and even part of West Queen West make a ward where people live and work and many ride bicycles.

Our tour started at The Common on College Street and from there we headed north to Dufferin Grove park.

Jutta Mason at Dufferin Grove park

Here we met with Jutta Mason, who gave us a quick rundown her involvement with the many initiatives that have created the fantastic community space that is Dufferin Grove Park.

Wayne Scott

Wayne Scott, an exceptional green transportation activist, spoke to us about his involvement in getting the government to recognize that food is fuel for bicycle couriers.

Bruce Ward on the West Toronto Railpath

Dougal Bichan at West Toronto Railpath Park

As the rain started to fall a little harder we met with Bruce Ward (in jeans) and Dougal Bichan (second photo in shorts) who spoke of the land classifications, ones that mean developments must offer employment. They also told us about the upcoming New Bloor Street Festival.

Sally Hewson in Ward 18

Further down the railpath we stopped in for shelter on Sally Hewson‘s front porch. A graphic designer who works from her home, she spoke of the efforts to preserve indigenous vegetation along the railpath and future plans for abandoned factories in the area, including a potential game design campus.

Industrial past and open future of Ward 18

As the clouds continued to empty upon us we made our way south to West Queen West and sought refuge in the welcoming space of The Gladstone Hotel. Here we listened to Steve Heuchert of Active 18 whose stories of dealing with developers, and ensuring that designs include the community they are built in, left us inspired in the ability to become involved in the ward you live in.

Over a few hours we were able to see, meet and speak with the people who are helping shape where residents live and work in Ward 18. Have you explored your ward lately?