How many of you have seen bikers flying through the air on your way into the city by the QEW and Lakeshore bike park? And how many of you have thought, “Man that looks so much better than being stuck in traffic?” We at Red Tent have thought that many times. Last weekend we finally had a chance to check it out for ourselves. What we found was a welcoming group of riders ranging from all ages and skill levels.

Toronto Sunnyside Bike Park Kicker

In 2012, the City of Toronto commissioned Jay Hoots – a B.C native and experienced bike park designer to design a new bike park in the west end of Toronto known as Sunnyside Bike Park. Through the help of many volunteers and partner organizations the dream was realized. In an interview with the CBC, Hoots mentioned that, “drivers are meant to see what’s going on in the park, so that they’ll see how fun it is to be on a bike”, later on he mentions that, “The overall design intent … is actually to try to have people embrace nature, come back to nature, to have a park built out of dirt, rock and wood”. Most of the wood used for the construction of the park came from damaged trees from a 2012 ice storm, while the soil was repurposed from a nearby condo development. We say, it was a job well done! Points to the bikers of Toronto as our interest was definitely peaked.

Toronto Sunnyside Bike Park Crew

Phase two of the project is expected to be finished this year (2015) to include improvements to the entrance to the park with pick-up and drop off areas, family meeting areas, trails, boardwalks and more. Most of the work is volunteer based. If you are interested in getting involved don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of partner organizations listed below. The bike park is decked out with serpentine pump tracks, bermed corners, ramps, log “skinnies,” a wall ride and plenty of tabletop and gap jumps. Essentially there is something for everyone, no matter the type of bike you ride or what you are able to do with it. If you’re looking for something new to do this weekend, why not try riding into the park this time, rather than by it.

Resources & further reading:

City of Toronto, Bikes and Parks: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=1571dada600f0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=5c98dada600f0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

Plans for Phase II: http://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/Parks%20Forestry%20&%20Recreation/02Parks%20and%20Trails/Leisure%20Spaces/Files/images/sunnyside_phase2.jpg

Riding Feels Good: http://www.ridingfeelsgood.com/the-sunnyside-bike-park-community-build-day-was-huge-success/

CBC News:http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/bike-park-to-open-between-gardiner-and-lakeshore-1.2695796

Hoots Inc: http://www.hoots.ca/

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