Community Bicycle Network

Established non-profit DIY bike shop CBN looking for a new home

Community Bicycle Network (CBN), the non-profit organization dedicated to improving communities through cycling and recycling is need of a new place to spin its wheels. The church on Queen Street West where Community Bicycle Network has been tucked away for the last number of years has been purchased by a developer and all tenants are required to leave as of December 31, 2012.

So far, the group has a few potential locations on the table but, with the clock ticking, CBN is now calling on the people it has served for almost 20 years, and its supporters, to help it find just the right place to set up shop. CBN needs about 1000 sq ft with a store front, preferably in an underserved community / priority neighbourhood in Toronto, accessible by walking, cycling, public transit and driving.

Board member Eric Tchao noted that a free, subsidized or below market rent would be a valuable asset to the organization.

Since 1993, both CBN staff mechanics and DIYers have repaired thousands of bicycles and diverted salvageable frames and parts from the landfill for reuse or recycling. As a social enterprise CBN has played an important role over two decades in making cycling accessible to Torontonians and a new location will enable us to continue serving the community.

The organization is asking anyone who knows of an available space that could suit CBN’s needs to contact Board Chair Adrian Currie by phone on 416-504-2918 or email via

You can drop by the shop currently located at 761 Queen Street West, lower level.

Annual members meeting for CBN do-it-yourself bike shop Feb 13

For those out there who are interested in learning and working on their bike in a community environment, you might consider attending CBN's annual membership meeting coming up next week Monday. It's not too late!

The Community Bicycle Network would like to announce our Annual General Meeting. It will
be held on Monday February 13th, 2012 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be held in the CBN shop at 761 Queen St. W. All CBN members are invited to attend and vote on the next board of directors. CBN will be open from 4:30-6:30 pm on February 13th for anyone interested in joining to purchase a membership. The suggested donation is $5.

CBN has a lot of important planning to do in 2012. Our lease is up in December and we'll be
looking for a new space. We continue to expand our workshop programs (teaching bike mechanic skills as well as safe cycling) and divert hundreds of bikes and bike parts from landfill. There will be spaces on the board opening up, and lots of other volunteer opportunities such as outreach at community events, updating the website and other media, designing a t-shirt, stripping bike donations and much, much more.

We are requesting that you share this press release with your community contacts including
posting it on your website, calendar, list serve, bulletin board etc. Please consider attending yourself or recommending it to someone you know. If there are any questions please contact

Thank you,

Bikesharing coming soon

I was just about to call the City to find out what happened, when I found out that bikesharing is coming to Toronto, again. Toronto is looking for a partner to offer a bikesharing system by next year. The Request for Expressions Of Interest (REOI) was put out late last week to find companies interested in creating a system of 3000 public bikes.

I'm quite impressed with the thought that's gone into the requirements. They seem to have carefully studied other systems such as Paris' Velib and Montreal's Bixi. There will be "secure, automated self-serve parking stations" that can be easily moved. Members will use smart cards to get bikes, which they can take out for free for the first half hour. After that members pay. The bikes will be sturdy, with racks, at least three gears, and locked up at the stations located every 200 to 300m in the urban area bounded by Parkside, Broadview, Dupont and Lake Ontario. There will not be any advertising in the "public right of way". After the first year the system may be expanded to other parts of the city.

It appears that Astral Media has rejected the first offer to provide a public bike system supported through advertising. Astral Media was supposedly offered a first right of refusal because the understanding was that the public bikes were street furniture which required advertising.

Sci-fi bike film

Brian of Frontline Films has let me know that there's a teaser up of his sci-fi film The Cycles that was shot in Toronto - partly at CBN.

A description:

A lowly bike courier named Karen is given a package from the future, confronting her with the dilemma of what drives the universe: free will, predestination, or random chance.

The Cycles is the new short film from Toronto-based Frontline Films, directed by Brian Clement, produced by Jeff McCormack, starring Tam Best, Kelly-Marie Murtha, Robert Nolan, with Derek Chadbourne and Allan Turner.

Delivering Bikes to Africa

CBN Volunteer Mark hauls a huge load of bicycles over to MEC for Bikes Without Borders.

Bixi to visit Toronto

Bixi the Montreal bikesharing system which will be launching Spring 2009, will be coming to Toronto to convince us all that Montreal knows what they are doing. Can Toronto imitate Montreal which is imitating Paris? I'm sure we can swallow our pride and do it. We did it with Nuit Blanche after all!

They are coming just after their own demonstrations around Montreal. Citizens there get a chance to try out the bikes and see how they will operate as you can see in the photo above with their bike squad (not sure if they're coming too).

They will be in Toronto on Friday, October 24, 10h00 (that's 10:00 am in French) on the south east corner of Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue (note the location change!).

Bikes as a Public Good: What is the future of public bike sharing in Toronto?

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT), The Clean Air Partnership & The Community Bicycle Network are proud to present:

Bikes as a public good:
What is the future of public bikes in Toronto?

There's a funny story behind this. Back in February, I was approached by the ad company JCDecaux with an offer of money if we (CBN) hosted a bikesharing forum. I accepted with eyes open - I knew that JCDecaux was just looking for angles to convince the City of Toronto to buy into their bikesharing system (a la Velib fame). But I figured that couldn't be such a bad thing and even better at least it would offer some kind of public forum where people could debate what kind of bikesharing we want in this city. The funny part is that JCDecaux gave up and took back their offer, but we (CBN and TCAT) are still going ahead with the forum, but with a Transport Canada grant.

Move by Bike

Once in a while I take my obsession too far. Last month I decided to move all my worldly goods by bike. It started off as a fun idea, after all others have talked about doing it and still others have actually done it (even with pumpkins on their heads).

I knew it was going to be a lot of work - it was - and that it would take me a lot longer than moving by van - it did, but the decision in the end was made when the rental company insisted they wanted to charge me for two days even though I only needed it for one and they don't have a key drop-off on Sundays (are there companies like that?). So in the end it was about money, and I had a lot of time on my hands.

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