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Toronto Cycle Chic 4

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Toronto saw some amazing weather this past long weekend, and Han and I didn’t waste any time in getting out on our bikes. We took our dog Mojo out to Cherry beach using our bike chariot on Friday, and we rode to Chinatown on Sunday for ...

Bike Lanes Become Election Issue 3

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  It’s refreshing to see the amount of media attention bike lanes have been receiving in this year’s mayoral race in Toronto. Less refreshing however is the deplorable use of the “war on the car” rhetoric. There is no such thing as a war on the car. ...

Flowers on a One-Way Street 6

The summer of 1967 sealed the fate for the future of Toronto. The city was on the verge of a revolution that would see the community reclaim the urban landscape to create a Mecca for the bohemians to hang out and relax – free from the toxic exhaust fumes that had smothered the city. It ...

Toronto Set to Axe Bike Sharing? 7

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country In November, The Urban Country broke news that Toronto’s upcoming bike share system would run year-round when it arrives in 2010. In that article, we asked whether Toronto was ready for BIXI, Montreal’s bike sharing system that has since signed contracts with Boston, London, Minneapolis and ...

The Bike Path That Almost Was 8

Video by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country – Music by danosongs.com Yesterday I ventured out to the suburbs of Toronto to video record one of my favourite bike paths on Eglinton Ave West in suburban Etobicoke. The 5km+ unobstructed bi-directional bike lanes is a rarity in a city where most unobstructed bike lanes ...

Bicycle Friendly Workplaces 12

Bicycle-friendly workplaces can help overcome a major barrier to commuter cycling. Although I didn’t list “bicycle unfriendly workplaces” as one of the major barriers to cycling in a recent article, it can be extremely discouraging if a place of business doesn’t provide at minimum, a safe place to lock up your bicycle. Businesses have begun ...

Winter Cycling in Toronto 4

This morning I set out for a pleasant bike ride along Lake Ontario in Toronto. I originally brought my dog with me, but her paws didn’t fare well with the salt that was plastered on the sidewalks here to melt the ice. It also didn’t help that it was –15C (5F) (or –26C (-14.8F) with ...

2009 Urban Country Mash-up Video 4

2009 Urban Country Mash-up by James Schwartz on Vimeo. A tradition that began in 2005 on The Urban Country is an annual mash-up of video clips that I took with my digital camera throughout the year. The central theme of the video is to promote living a healthy, active, lifestyle and to cherish the outdoors. ...

Toronto Yearns for Bicycle Superhighway 8

Photo and video by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country On October 30 2009, the first section of the West Toronto Rail Path officially opened. A 2.1KM stretch from Cariboo Ave. in the north to Dundas St. West in the south, the rail path provides cyclists an automobile and traffic light-free route. Although a ...

Ignoring the Real Problem On Our Streets 6

Photo courtesy of dpurdy Sitting in a car at a busy intersection in downtown Toronto, another car approaches the intersection, barely slowing down before making a right turn on a red light – tires screeching as he proceeds through the turn. Ten seconds earlier and he may have been the latest driver to run down ...