Spacing: Bikes and Belonging: helping Toronto feel like home

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-12-57-48-pmHow can a bike change one’s experience of a city? This summer, I explored this question with participants in Bike Host program. This unique initiative loans bicycles to newcomers (immigrants and refugees), and matches them with a cycling mentor. I asked the cyclists to reflect on their experience riding a bicycle through the lens of their smartphones.

The results were startling. Participants were able to explore their diverse neighbourhoods, including Crescent Town, Riverdale, and Scarborough Town Centre. Newcomer cyclists spoke powerfully about the photographs they took.  In particular, they highlighted how their bicycles allowed them to go where they wanted, when they wanted, with minimal effort.

This is an excerpt from a post in Spacing written by Yvonne Verlinden as part of Spacing’s partnership with the Toronto Cycling Think & Do Tank at the University of Toronto. Yvonne’s research project was funded through the RBC Partnership for Change: Immigrant, Diversity, and Inclusion Project at Ryerson University.

Read the full article here.