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B2: How do we get more newcomers cycling and involved in cycling advocacy

Page history last edited by Milan Davidovic 11 years ago
“Newcomers” defined as those new to Canada.
Two broad goals (among others) have to be addressed:
  • Newcomers have to be made aware of cycling and cycling advocacy.
  • “Hosts” (i.e. those already here) have to be made aware of the needs of newcomers.


  • Newcomer interest in cycling may be influenced by the role played by cycling in their home culture.
  • Advocates should seek those in the local community who already have a high profile and could therefore be helpful in getting the word out to the rest of the community.
  • Newcomers are already users of some services such as ESL instruction; could cycling-related content be incorporated into the content of those services?
  • Newcomer youth in the school system; could cycling-related content be incorporated into educational materials already being used with them?
  • Newcomers may perceive social barriers in host behaviours where none are intended (e.g. going into a shop and not being approached by someone working there); can they be helped to re-interpret these behaviours?


  • Those seeking to involve newcomers should be aware of issues relevant to newcomers, and more broadly to non-English communities.
  • Those seeking to communicate with newcomers and those in non-English communities should learn about their media (TV, radio, print, online).
  • With non-English communities making up a growing percentage of Toronto’s population, organizations should think more deeply about such communities as clients and participants This is true not only for cycling-related groups.
  • Host behaviours can be seen by newcomers as social barriers even when not intended as such; can hosts be made aware of these behaviours and helped (if they wish) to modify them to be more welcoming?

Additional points

  • Advocacy is like selling in that to do it well involves conversation and getting personal; disseminating information is necessary but not sufficient.
  • When people can’t afford good bikes, finding bikes for them is not the issue – there are plenty of bikes around; rather, it’s the logistics of collection, storage, refurbishment, and distribution that present obstacles.
  • Bike rodeos and similar events have been successful; city police have shown an interest in taking part.
  • Aligning with groups who have complementary interests can be useful. 

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