Bike Host matches up newcomers who are open to cycling with mentors who ride regularly. In large and small group activities, Bike Host participants practice their communication skills and learn about civic engagement, all while exploring Toronto by bike. It is a great opportunity for the newcomers to gain some Canadian Experience while enjoying fun and healthy outdoor activities.
WHO ARE THE MENTORS?
Mentors are interesting and outgoing Toronto residents from all walks of life. They have strong communication skills and a genuine desire to create a more welcoming community. They must ride regularly and be reasonably confident on city streets. Mentors are required to be at least 18 years of age.
Mentor training for 2014 is now complete and registration is closed. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please check back in spring 2015!
WHO ARE THE NEWCOMER PARTICIPANTS?
Bike Host “mentees” are from around the world, who have typically lived in Canada anywhere from a few months to 3 years. They know how to ride a bicycle, and they are able to borrow a Bike Host bike for the summer if they don’t have a bicycle of their own. Many are parents of students in Toronto elementary and secondary schools. Bike Host is affiliated with the Bike to School Project, and we engage with parents to build support for active and safe routes to school.
Registration for mentees is closed and the program will soon be wrapping up. If you are interested please check back in spring 2015.
HIGHLIGHTS AND MEDIA COVERAGE
June 3, 2014, Canadian Immigrant: A Toronto program uses two wheels to connect newcomers to the city
October 23, 2013, Spacing Magazine: Cycling Think & Do Tank: Bikes and Barriers — Is it only the physical ones that matter to New Canadians?
Spring 2012, Rogers TV: Introducing Toronto
April 23, 2012, Toronto Star and Metro: Newcomers to Toronto connect to the city on two wheels
April 20, 2012, CBC’s “Here and Now”: Discovering the city – with a little help from some friends
April 17, 2012, Sing Tao (biggest Chinese newspaper in Canada)
Bike Host is affiliated both with CultureLink’s Community Connections Mentorship Program and the Bike to School Project offered by CultureLink in collaboration with Cycle Toronto, the Toronto Cycling Think and Do Tank, and Evergreen. It is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and (in 2014) the Metcalf Foundation.