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

Page history last edited by Milan Davidovic 10 years, 9 months 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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