Wow, what a busy fall in the T-dot! I would not have suspected that 2011 would yield such great projects in the big city but it’s been awesome! Here is a breakdown of all the work that we’ve been involved in with the City of Toronto this fall:

Crothers’ Woods Workshops

IMBA Canada Trail Solutions was given the task of facilitating four workshops with various user groups in order to maintain or upgrade the current trails which IMBA designed back in 2009 and Sustainable Trails Ltd subsequently built. Jason Murray tackled the first workshop with the Lap Dogs as I was off chasing moose in Gros Morne National Park.

The second workshop was a corporate team building exercise / volunteer day for the Davies legal firm here in Toronto. Only a couple of the group were actually mountain bikers but the crew took to the trails with amazing enthusiasm. Within a few short hours they had managed to accomplish every task that we had set out for them, so we expanded our scope and accomplished even more than we’d hoped!

The third workshop was the general public workshop so anyone and everyone was welcome to attend and lend a helping hand. With unknown numbers to show I rallied Igor Hoogendorn, GORBA rep, to assist me on the day. Despite being a somewhat grey day we got a solid group of keeners. The name of the game for the day was tread work and rock armouring and while we were schedule to wrap things up at four in the afternoon, our group soldiered on until six in order to complete the rather ambitious ‘extra credit’ project that we created later in the afternoon.

Our final workshop was with the renowned “Wild Bettys” women’s bike club based out of Toronto. I have to go on record to state that while none of the other groups slacked off, these ladies were incredible. They raked half the trail system of all leaves on the tread and then tackled two rock armouring projects with successful results at both. I look forward to the next opportunity to work alongside these ladies as it was a blast!

Bayview BMX Park Revitalization

A last minute coordinated effort from Scott Laver at the City of Toronto got me the opportunity to work with an absolutely inspiring and hilarious community group up at the Bayview BMX Park on a rainy Sunday in October. The group’s hope was to retool the track so that they could begin to use it for youth activities.

Despite the rather miserable conditions, a horde of kids, parents, and socially minding mountain bikers grabbed rakes and shovels and set about restoring the track under my supervision. By day’s end we had managed to make the track line completely grass free, reshaped the lips and landings of all the jumps and reshaped the berms. There is talk of more development for this site in the future, so stay tuned and we will keep you posted as things are confirmed.

Hoots Bike Park Design Charrette

Brought in to assist Canadian bike park guru Jay Hoots, this first step in the design of bike park of a suitable scale for downtown Toronto is so exciting. Click HERE to read more on the events of the evening.

Once again, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who donated their time, ideas, sweat and smiles to help make the trails here in Toronto all the better. The City of Toronto has high hopes and big plans for making this vibrant city a model for trail infrastructure and IMBA is dedicated to assisting in making that a reality for mountain bikers and trail users alike. We look forward to working with you all again and please enjoy the fruits of your labour whenever the weather allows it!