Bike Host

 

Credit: Bishan Pandey

The CultureLink Bike Host program matches up newcomers who are open to cycling with mentors who ride regularly. Bike Host participants practice their communication skills and learn about civic engagement, all while exploring Toronto by bike. These participants tell us how Bike Host helped them feel great and get to know Toronto.

What’s new in 2020 

There couldn’t be a better time to start cycling in Toronto. This summer, from our main office at Dundas West and Bloor, CultureLink will connect newcomers with bicycles and mentorship. Email bikehost@culturelink.ca to express your interest and we will get back to you as details are confirmed. The CultureLink Bike Host program is supported by MEC.

Residents of Mississauga can register for the Community Cycling Program offered by CultureLink in collaboration with Peel Multicultural Council. With this program, participants will get all the benefits of cycling mentorship. Email Rahul Mehta at rmehta@culturelink.ca for more information.

Bike Host Program Benefits

In spring 2020, Bike Host was profiled as a “promising practice” in settlement by Pathways to Prosperity, a research partnership supported by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Their video gives a comprehensive overview of how the program works and its benefits.

With the Toronto Cycling Think and Do Tank at the University of Toronto, we have evaluated the program on an annual basis. As reported by participants in the 2016 program, for example, the top three benefits of participating in Bike Host are fun, health and exercise, and getting to know new people. 86% of participants agreed that the program improved their cycling skills and knowledge; by the end of the program participants reported that 31% of their daily trips were made by bike, on average! Not surprisingly, 75% of participants reported saving money on transit fares. 92% would recommend the program to friends or family. View the details in this Report, prepared by Trudy Ledsham and Emma Heffernan. For photography and stories by 2016 participants, check out our annual publication, Bike Host 2016.

In 2019 the program we offered with Peel Muliticultural Council was similarly successful, as can be seen in the video below. Check it out!