Bike Host

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 STILL OPEN for 2014, but there are only a few days left! SPEEDMATCHING between mentors and mentees is happening THIS WEEK!

* THURSDAY JUNE 5, 6:30-8:30pm – Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne Street.

* SATURDAY JUNE 7, 10am to 1pm – Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College Street (lower level).

Advance registration is strongly encouraged. Contact Victor Gomes at vgomes@culturelink.ca or 416-588-6288 x208.

 
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)


You can also read stories of Bike Host experiences from 2012 in this issue of the Welcoming Community News”, or view the video produced by Fei Tang and Lynda Young.

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.