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My Ideal World…

Photo courtesy of YouTube video by James Schwartz / The Urban Country In this short film, James Schwartz of The Urban Country discusses urban design, parenthood, car culture, bicycles and asks, “What is your ideal world?”. James D. Schwartz is a Transportation Pragmatist and the Editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at ...

Saved By The Wheel Lock 37

Batavus Fryslan Dutch bicycle – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country I returned to Toronto on Tuesday after spending my long weekend in New York City only to discover that somebody had tried to steal my Batavus Fryslan bicycle from my front patio. I live in a ground-level loft on a busy arterial ...

Bicycle Infrastructure Continuity 12

Artist’s rendition of the proposed revitalization of Queens Quay in Toronto – from Waterfront Toronto This past Sunday my family congregated at my place to join me for our annual bike trip & picnic. There were a total of 8 people pedaling, plus my daughter and my dog. We pedaled a total distance of 40 ...

Streetcar Tracks & Bicycles 33

Bicycles in Amsterdam – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country (March 2012) On Monday 47-year-old Toronto resident Joseph “Maverick” Mavec died after his bicycle tire jammed in a streetcar track and he fell on his head. This tragic and unfortunate incident has prompted a discussion about navigating a city full of streetcar tracks ...

Bicycling in Toronto: Interview with Carla Wintersgill 22

Photo of Carla Wintersgill courtesy of Yvonne Bambrick for The Urban Country While pedaling to a client’s office one morning in May I witnessed a driver hurriedly squeeze past a cyclist ahead of me, missing the cyclist by mere centimetres. The woman on the bicycle shook her head but kept riding on. I pulled up ...

Lawyer On a Bike: Interview with Ian Flett 52

Photo of Ian Flett courtesy of Yvonne Bambrick for The Urban Country Half a world away lies a land where troves of business men and ladies gracefully pedal their way to and fro their places of business. In business attire, they dress for the destination, not for the ride. But this isn’t Amsterdam or Copenhagen. ...

Mandatory Driving Helmets A “No-Brainer” 25

Driving helmet photo by Jeffrey Beall The Toronto Sun recently posted an entertaining editorial calling for mandatory bicycle helmets, labelling cyclists who oppose mandatory helmets “stupid, arrogant, self-entitled jerks”. We thought it would be appropriate to swap the word “bicyclist” for “driver” to make the case for mandatory driving helmets: OPINION EDITORIAL Driving helmet law ...

Stupid, Arrogant, Self-Entitled Jerk 23

Screenshot from an absurd Toronto Sun editorial The title of this post may aptly describe whomever was in charge of the editorial desk for the Toronto Sun newspaper on Tuesday evening. The Toronto Sun posted an “opinion editorial” entitled “Bike helmet law a no-brainer”, which appears to be more of a childish diatribe than anything ...

Bikes & Kayaks 6

Bob with his home-made kayak – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Despite the fact that Canada’s economy is largely built on debt, Canada is still no doubt a rich country. In rich countries where most people don’t need to worry about feeding themselves or putting  a roof over their heads, they look ...

Preventable Deaths – Asking All The Wrong Questions 82

Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country (via Instagram) Yesterday morning a 30-year-old woman who was walking downtown was hit by a truck, pinned under the wheels and later died from her wounds. The woman’s death is eerily similar to the death of Jenna Morrison last November. Jenna was also run over by the ...