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?

About duncan

Duncan rides bicycles in the city of Toronto and contributes to the main blog of BikingToronto as well as writing and taking photos for his blog Duncan's City Ride.

Comments

  1. Nice. Frank was very impressive as Green Leader in the last provincial election.

  2. Cool! I had intended to go but I chickened out because of the weather. Thanks for showing me what I missed :-)

  3. What is that steel and wood thing arching over your heads? Is that a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the railway lands? (It’s been a couple of years since I was over that way.)

  4. Michael – I’m not super-familiar with that part of town, but I think that is the Wallace Ave. pedestrian bridge that spans the railway tracks (and the railpath).

  5. Correct, that’s the pedestrian bridge linking Wallace Avenue to Dundas Street just north of Bloor.

  6. That’s funny, when making one of my east west safe route maps that avoid scary spots, I proposed a pedestrian/cyclists bridge from wallace to Dundas!

    “To make this route great the following changes would draw cyclists off the main roads.

    1. The biggy: Can we build a bridge from Wallace Ave. across the railway lands to Dundas West above Bloor that would connect via Glenlake Ave. to Keele and beyond? A nice sloping beautiful modern suspension bridge that one can cycle up – big enough for two lanes of bicycle traffic?”

    (“Another East West Corridor that needs some signage changes to make it really work for cyclists” http://bit.ly/amHcPm )

    I wonder why someone didn’t write in comments, “Hey dummy there’s already one there!”

    We have such nice readers here. :)

    How long has it been there Duncan?

  7. The bridge has been there for years, as far as I know. I do believe it has wheel troughs like the bridge leading up to Queen Street from the Lower Don Trail, but if you’ve got loaded panniers it may be a hassle walking your bike both up and then down this bridge.

    Using Wallace as part of a bike route may work for some, but since you have to constantly weave north or south at major cross streets, this route will have you feeling dizzy in no time on this irregular grid.

  8. It was great to meet you all. I think you have me and Bruce switched in the photos. See you all at the festival July 24.

    Dougal

  9. I did have it backwards, fixed now. Great to meet you as well, looking forward to The New Bloor Festival on July 24.

  10. The New Bloor Street Festival – on July 24?

    http://www.newbloorfestival.com/

    :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] These Are the People In Your Neighbourhood; Frank de Jong’s Ward 18 Bicycle Tour […]

Speak Your Mind

*