New bicycles help build great neighbourhood
August 14, 2009
Children in Swansea Mews will benefit from donation of bicycles and helmets
Thirty-three children living in the West-end community of Swansea Mews received new bicycles and helmets today, thanks to an ongoing green- and healthy living partnership between the Dutch Consulate General and Toronto Community Housing.
The presentation, held in the outdoor recreation area of the townhouse complex, marked the culmination of the third annual Go Green, Go Dutch, Go Bike!, an environmental awareness and fund-raising bike ride. Over the first two years of the partnership, 20 children in Lawrence Heights and 25 children in Chester Le received new bicycles and helmets.
This year's ride, from Old Mill/Bloor Street (Etienne Brulé Park) to Nathan Phillips Square back in May, raised $4,000 toward the purchase of the bicycles, helmets and locks.
With the majority of the 154 households in the community having children eligible to receive a bicycle (between 6 to 16 years), those interested were asked to submit a brief essay on what community safety means to them and how Toronto Community Housing and tenants can work together to make Swansea Mews a better community.
"This is a great partnership in that it promotes physical fitness and a green way of life, both of which are central to Dutch culture," said Johan Kramer, Dutch Consul General. "It also extends a hand to those in need letting them know that there are people here to help."
"These bikes will provide many hours of enjoyment, which is important because that's what childhood is all about," said Steve Floros, Acting Chief Operating Officer of Toronto Community Housing. "More importantly, this is another example of how creating safe and healthy communities goes beyond bricks and mortar. It's about improving quality of life and engaging tenants in their community."
"Community safety means having a place where everybody could play and enjoy themselves," wrote 10-year-old bike recipient, Jayson Frimpong. "Getting a bike would really make me happy. Every day I would wake-up and be grateful it's there."
"Owning a bike will allow me to explore my neighbourhood and learn more about my community," wrote 10-year-old Tatyana Buntin. "Bicycling is good physical activity and it also allows me to do my part in taking care of my planet."
This event was started in 2007 and has spread to other cities including Ottawa.