Building bikes and community in Flemingdon Park
Introducing the new Gateway Bicycle Hub!
Published on August 07, 2019
Active mobility is more than just a way to get around. For many, it’s a point of connection – connection between you and your body, your neighbours, and the city you call home. We and our partners believe that in one of Toronto’s densest and most diverse communities, accessible mobility is key to connecting residents to the fabric of the city.
In partnership with the City of Toronto, The Neighbourhood Organization and Flemingdon Health Centre, we opened Gateway Bicycle Hub in the spring of 2019. The Hub was inspired by our previous work through Bike Works programs, and the great community efforts happening in Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Park.
Bike Works operated for eight years at Evergreen Brick Works, providing thousands of local cyclists the opportunity to learn to maintain their bike and to gain new cycling abilities through group rides for all ages. Our Bike Works repair program enabled us to divert over 3500kg from landfills, all while providing Toronto access to healthy, affordable, and accessible mobility options. In recognizing the value Bike Works provided our community, we also realized that in order to serve the larger community we needed to go to them, rather than expect them to come to us.
From that sprang the idea for Gateway Bicycle Hub. Located at 10 Gateway Blvd in the heart of Flemingdon Park, the Hub offers DIY hours, maintenance help and other programs available and free for everyone. This programming not only encourages neighbourhood residents to cycle more, but it also teaches them how to repair and maintain their own bikes instead of paying shops for costly repairs.
One of the aspects we’re most excited about is our earn-a-bike program.
Participants spend time at the Hub fixing up bikes donated by the City of Toronto. After a certain number of hard-earned hours making them road-ready, those bikes then become their own!
For every bike repaired and ridden by a participant in the program, one less bike ends up in a landfill, and one new Toronto resident learns skills to maintain their bike.
The first earn-a-bike participants joined us through the Afghan Women’s Association. After participating in a learn-to-ride workshop hosted by Evergreen’s Heather Wilson, they spent hours at the Hub learning how to fix and maintain the bikes, eventually riding home with their new wheels.
Although as of now most of the Hub’s visitors are of high school age, the space is for everyone. We hope to grow our programming for the community, offering more learn-to-ride sessions in addition to our repair workshops, DIY hours and pop-up maintenance.
We like to believe that Evergreen Brick Works and the Don River Valley Park is the backyard to many Toronto residents. We’re excited this new program will give more people an accessible way to experience and explore their backyard — and city.
The Gateway Bicycle Hub is funded by the City of Toronto’s Community Reduce and Reuse Fund. Their goal is to reduce the waste created by city residents by teaching the public how to fix things rather than throwing broken items away.
Contact Gateway Bicycle Hub:
Phone: (416) 551-2011