Thursday, October 29, 2015

Parking your bike when you bike to the park

Riverdale Park East
Recently, we found out that there may be some money in the City of Toronto Parks department budget for cycling infrastructure, including bike parking. As a result, we started to bike around Ward 30 to see what the state of bike parking was in our parkland.

What we found was a bit of a surprise: most of our local parks have no bike parking at all. This is particularly true in smaller parks. Meanwhile, even our larger parks often have very limited bike parking stands, and the parking that does exist is often located far from the areas of highest use, such as playgrounds, pools, recreation centres, community gardens, or skating rinks. 

We would like to see bike parking provided in all of our local parks, even smaller parkettes and playgrounds. All of Ward 30 parks could use additional bike parking stands, with placement prioritized near major destinations. Bike parking should also be prioritized in parks that are near bike routes or local shops or other destinations. Opportunities should also be sought to install bike parking that is protected from the elements, either via covered bike parking, or more secure bicycle parking and storage.

Our parks are major destinations for local residents, allowing them opportunities for recreation, exercise and, relaxation; to connect with nature; and for meeting neighbours and friends. In keeping with City policy, cycling should be encouraged for local transportation, and providing more safe and convenient places for people to lock their bikes while using park facilities can help do this.

Below is a preliminary audit of the state of bike parking in the parks of Ward 30. It is by no means a final statement about the how much, where, and what type of bike parking we should have. And it's quite possible we missed some bike parking stands. So please, let us know what you think. Which parks do you frequently ride your bike to? Where would you like to see new bike parking? Please get in touch and let us know!

We'll also be doing a push for bike parking elsewhere in Ward 30 as well - stay tuned!

Ward 30 Parks – Preliminary Audit of Bike Parking, October 2015

Greenwood Park
Current bike parking stands: 0
Comments: There is no dedicated bike parking to be found anywhere in this large park, despite it being a major destination with a swimming pool, skating pad, community garden, dog park, and playing fields.
Recommendations: Add at least 10 bike parking stands throughout the park, particularly near major destinations such as pool/skating pad (northwest corner), near dog park (southwest corner), and along Greenwood Avenue and Dundas Street East.

Jimmie Simpson Park
Current bike parking stands: 1 rack with 6 spots
Comments: Current parking consists of one large rack with space for approximately six bicycles near the entrance to the Recreation Centre. This rack is old & poor quality. There are also additional spots on Queen Street East, near, but not within, the park.
Recommendations: Add 5-10 new bike parking stands, mostly at the southeast corner of the park.

Joel Weeks Park
One of the bike parking options at Joel Weeks park
Current bike parking stands: 10
Comments: Current parking is a good mix of ring & post stands, and more interesting (though not recommended) “corkscrew” bike racks. However, they are poorly located. On our visit, only a few bikes were in the current racks, but 6 bikes were locked to poles at the north end of the park, where there is not currently any dedicated parking.
Recommendations: Add bike parking stands at the north end of the park. Also consider relocating current racks so they are used more effectively.

Leslie Grove Park
Current bike parking stands: 0
Comments: Although there is parking along Queen Street East near the park, there is none directly adjacent to or within the park itself (bike parking starts where the retail frontage begins, in front of Tango Palace Coffee Shop).
Recommendations: Add 4-8 bike parking stands, split between south and northeast ends of the park.

South entrance to Monarch Park
Monarch Park
Current bike parking stands: 7
Comments: Current ring & post parking is all near pool, at the centre of the park.
Recommendations: Add new bike parking stands around the edges of the park, where cyclists are likely to enter, near bike/walking paths, as well as near key destinations other than the pool within the park.

Riverdale Park East
Current bike parking stands: 14
Comments: Current ring & post stands are distributed throughout the park, spread out along Broadview (5), in front and behind St. Matthew's clubhouse (4), and at the entrance to the pool & rink in the north end (5).
Recommendations: Add 5-10 bike parking spots. More could be used along Broadview, especially towards the north, so that they are evenly spread out for those who congregate at the top of and on the hill. A few more bike stands could also be used at the south end of the park. Additional bike parking should be included as part of upcoming renovations to the north end of the park near the pool, rink, tennis courts, and playground.

Tommy Thompson Park / Leslie Spit
Comments: Although we did not do a complete audit of the park, there is very limited parking at this major cycling destination. Signs prohibiting cycling are found at the entrance to walking trails throughout the park, but there is nowhere safe to leave your bike at these locations.
Recommendations: Add at least 20-30 bike parking stands throughout the park, just as a start. Priority locations include the entrance of the park, wherever walking trails split off from the main paved trail, as well as key destinations within the park, such as the visitor centre, viewing points, and the lighthouse.

Withrow Park
Current bike parking stands: 5
Comments: All current ring & post bike parking is at southwest corner. Added recently.
Recommendations: Add additional bike parking stands near major destinations within the park, such as the Farmers’ Market site, clubhouse, tennis courts, playgrounds, ice rink, sports fields and ball diamonds.

Thompson Street Parkette has no bike parking, but is located
very close to the busy Queen East & Broadview intersection
Small parkettes & playgrounds (e.g., John Chang Parkette, Matty Eckler Playground, McCleary Playground, Thompson Street Parkette)
Comments: We could not find any parkette or playground with bike parking, although many are located in good locations near stores or other destinations.
Recommendations: Add at least 2 ring & post stands or equivalent bike parking to each smaller park, more in well-located or busier small parks.


  1. Thank you for reviewing our parks and finding out where the needs are. I'm surprised how little bike parking there is at our major parks especially. Have you also shared with Paula Fletcher?

  2. Thanks for the question Amy,

    The Councillor gave us the heads up that this funding was coming available - Ward 30 Bikes co-chair, Brandon Quigley took on the challenge and this report (along with a letter to the Councillor's Office) is the result.

    The funding is coming before Parks and Environment Committee this Wednesday (October 19, 2016):

    PE14.1 - Allocation Criteria and Implementation Strategy for Bicycle Parking at Parks and Community Centres |

    Link to the staff report:

    Michael Holloway
    member, Ward 30 Bikes