Monday, September 10, 2012

Trailbuild this Saturday September 15th

Hey Everyone,

Calling all volunteers to come help out our beloved Don Saturday September 15th.

We'll be focusing our efforts on the trailhead climb up from Pottery Road, which as I'm sure you've noticed could use a little love.

Here are a few key details about the day:

  • Start time is 10am sharp at the Trailhead off Pottery Road
  • The good folks of the CoT and IMBA will be providing tools and some great expertise
  • We will have water on-hand, but pack a lunch, sunscreen, a hat, and anything else you’ll need for a potentially hot day working on the trail.

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you all out!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Toronto MTB Fest is a GO! June 16th!

Saturday, June 16th, 11am, TORBA and friends are proud to bring back the Toronto MTB Fest for a second year. Our first year’s Fest was a great one, and this year we have something even better. So come on out and celebrate our sport, our city – and getting dirty! Festivities include:

Once again we will have expert-led group rides sending out packs of riders,
partnered with the Wild Betty’s and Lapdogs Cycling Club. The trails are fresh off a recent trail day and ready to ride!

Last year we had a simple BBQ. This year, we are stepping it up to partner with the Redway Loblaws Customer Appreciation Day for an extra special Fest offering. You get an awesome BBQ along with a whole whack of fun events for the whole family! Expect great food, lots of fun kid’s activities, kids Cannondale bike raffle, and a great atmosphere – all to benefit a local charity!

That’s right, we are running a hill climb event straight up Redway Road from the far end base of the water plant to the top of the hill! The event will be run ‘eliminator’ style with a bracket system... you’ll be lined up elbow to elbow with a group of your rivals, with only the top half of your heat moving on. Any bike is allowed, but we will vary your starting line to equalize the playing field. Want to be top seed? Get out there with your GPS device and the top times recorded on this STRAVAtm segment will be given a seed value. Entry will cost you $5 WILL BE FREE (with optional donation), and you are encouraged to wear your best gender-bending drag outfit for free entry no reason at all, but keep it PG-13! Etch your name on the inaugural Donnie Drag trophy for eternal glory… or at least until next year.

We are bringing in a variety of technical wood features to the parking lot. Kid-
friendly and adult-petrifying options will be available. There will be prizing doled out for displays of awesome.

Lots of sponsor prizing and swag will be available! We have goods from event sponsors such as Cycle Solutions and the Carrot Common to pass out and draw in raffles! Come out and show your spirit, tell us a story about your ride, or wow us with feats of cycling… and you shall be

By popular demand, we will be selling our ‘The DON’ T-shirts in a limited supply. Come early while supplies last!

The Fest is held at the Redway Loblaws right at the heart of the Don trails – 11 Redway Road

INFORMATION AND UPDATES is your go-to resource for event information, updates and all the details (hint: it links directly to our Facebook event page).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Upcoming dates for work days in the Don

Coming right up on April 14th is our Spring Clean-Up. We're going to tackle the Ridge trail and haul out as much garbage as we can.
When: 10AM-12:30PM. We'll meet at E.T. Seton carpark (the "cricket pitch" end of the Ridge). Click here for a Google map. Gloves and garbage bags will be provided.

Next is our first Build Day on May 26th. Details to come, but please add it to you calendar - and we want to know, what area should we focus on? Send us an email or post up on our Facebook page.

Can't make these? There are a few other dates for which we're putting out the call for TORBA volunteers. These are public events and we want to lend a hand. 

Saturday May 5th - We're working with Youth Unlimited on the Bayview Bike Park Park revitalization like we did last year. Here's the event page on Facebook.
Saturday June 9th - Trail Maintenance in Crothers open to the general public - buff the trails for the MTB Fest the next weekend!

We're not done for the year! We'll take a break after the MTB Fest on June 16th, and we have more dates lined up for events in the fall.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

AGM: Upgraded TORBA Board!

TORBA's AGM provided an opportunity to discuss our strategy for the upcoming year, plans for the MTB Fest and other opportunities.

Alastair Patterson has stepped down as President, pending his move to Calgary. Stepping up to the President role is Graham Seaman, and returning as Directors are Jesse Edwards, Jean Michaud, Aaron Kempf and Richmond Sedcole. Joining the Board as newly-elected Directors are Andy McKean, Chris Svirklys, Greg Paszkowski and Wayne Felder.

This makes for a 9 member board, with a lot of energy, enthusiasm and good ideas for 2012… thanks to all who came out to lend support and share in the planning.

It's going to be a great year for biking in Toronto! We hope to see you at one or all of our upcoming events, or drop us a line to find out how you can get involved.

Monday, March 19, 2012

TORBA AGM - March 28 7pm

Hi All,

Reminder: coming up is our AGM, to be held on Wednesday, March 28, at 7pm. This will be at the same spot as last year, Sarah's Café andBar, 1462 Danforth Ave (in the back room). If you're not riding your bike to the meeting, Sarah's is close to Greenwood Station, or there is usually street parking nearby.

We hope you'll join us to hear about our plans for 2012. We have a bunch of dates for trail build days and other events across the city, and we're busy planning the second Toronto MTB Festival.  Plus if you can spare either a little time or a lot to help out with various initiatives - we'd love to hear from you.

TORBA (Toronto Off-Road Bicycling Association)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2011 Year in Review

Hey everyone!

It’s time for a TORBA update – 2011 was another busy year! The Directors are pleased with the progress we’ve made and momentum we’re building in getting the voice of off-road cyclists heard, and positive changes made, in the GTA.

Here are some of our key achievements in 2011:
·         At our April AGM we acquired 3 new board members: Jean, Jesse, and Aaron. We also saw two of our board step down – thanks again to Tim and Jim for your efforts in building TORBA over recent years
·         Effective involvement in consultations for: replacing the dirt jumps in High Park, the City’s five year plan for parks, and gaining mountain bike access to the Rouge Valley (in partnership with DMBA and IMBA)
·         Beginning in June we held the first of three build days that we organised in partnership with the City of Toronto; we were also involved in helping rebuild the BMX dirtjumps at the Bayview Arena (Finch & Bayview)
·         In June we successfully launched Toronto’s first ever festival for mountain bikers, the TO MTB Fest. We jointly organized with the Lapdogs, and had assistance from the Wild Bettys and Sacred Rides
·         Positive media exposure: over winter regarding sabotage of bridges Don Valley trails; and in October coverage in the Globe and Mail, including the cover of the Globe TO section on biking in the Don, and a second article on the City meeting for a replacement of the High Park dirt jumps

The more complete list is available here… and includes some of the things where we didn't achieve as much as we'd hoped.

In addition, in late November TORBA’s Directors begin the process of updating our Vision, Mission, and Strategy statements. These can be found here.

We will be building on our accomplishments over the next 12 months, with our plans including:
·         Continuing pressure on the City to build a new skills park to replace the dirt jumps in High Park. We hope that success there will make it easier to get a skills park built in the Don Valley
·         Planning for the TO MTB Fest is already underway. We’re looking for a marketing and promotional manager to join our group, so let us know if you (or someone you know) is interested
·         We will hold our Don Valley clean-up day in spring, as well as 4+ trail maintenance/build days
·         Increase our focus on the Humber river valley to enhance off-road riding opportunities
·         Continue our involvement in the redevelopment of the Bayview Arena dirt jumps
·         Establish relationships with more cycling-related groups

Our AGM is set for Wednesday March 28, 7:30-9:00, location TBD. So mark your calendar and come along to give us your thoughts, hear the latest news, and get involved. We’re always looking for more volunteers, particularly given the success we’re having in making positive changes for mountain bikers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

High Park Skills Park Meeting with Jay Hoots Wednesday Oct. 19

TORBA has been working with Toronto BMX and City of Toronto to get a skills park to replace the loss of the old High Park BMX area this past summer.

City staff have now proposed a site (an existing parking lot in the south-east corner of the park) and have engaged well-known bike park designer, Jay Hoots, to develop a new park that will include off-road features, skills areas and landscape amenities.

We now need as many riders as possible to come to the design consultation meeting. It is important to show our support for a replacement skills park, and to have input into the design process. The park is not yet approved and needs strong backing from the cycling community to proceed. Even if you don't normally ride in this area, please attend the meeting to show your support - the success of this project will lead to more City-sanctioned skills parks and trails across Toronto. The City is currently working on its city-wide Trail Strategy, and it's important for riders to be included in the process. This skills park is one step along the way.

When: Wednesday October 19th, 6PM - 8:30PM
Where: Rousseau Room, Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue (near Bloor and Runnymede).

Whether you can attend the meeting or not, please send an email to the local councillor, Sarah Doucette, who so far has been very favourable to this project. If you can't type, even a quick phone call to Councillor Doucette's office will help - they'll be pleased to hear from you, as they're supporting the proposal. And while you're at it, please let your local councillor know of your support as well.

Please note that there is opposition to this skills park. A small group of people are strongly against the initiative, arguing that there should not be a skills park anywhere in High Park, and that the car park is too close to the former site (which may be an ancient Native burial mound). TORBA's position is that we are very supportive of a new skills park somewhere in High Park; and that as the City has proposed this site and asked us to attend a design consultation, we will attend the meeting and participate. There is likely to be some vocal opposition at the meeting, and we ask you not to be drawn into argumentative debate. Similarly, if you visit the Facebook event page for the meeting, you may see argumentative or insulting comments posted from opponents. We're moderating the page and deleting any comments (for or against the skills park) that are inflammatory or off-topic, but you may read them before we get to them. We apologize, but we want to keep the Facebook event page public. From time to time we've had to take it private to shut down comments; if you can't access the event page, please email us for an invite.

We hope to see you next Wednesday evening.

Below is the invite from the City's Natural Trails Program:

Hello mountain bikers and BMXers,

This is to inform you that City of Toronto staff have recently closed an informal BMX freestyle area (skills park) in High Park to restore an ecologically significant area. The site has been replanted, fenced off and is currently being monitored for any further cycling activity.

A new skills park, offering technically challenging riding in an accessible and controlled environment, will be built on the site of the existing parking lot in the south east corner of High Park. City staff are currently working with accomplished skills park designer, Jay Hoots, to develop the new site that will include appropriate off-road cycling features, skills areas and landscape amenities.

Please join Jay Hoots and City of Toronto staff on Wednesday, October 19 from 6:00-8:30pm, at the Rousseau Room, Swansea Town Hall, to participate in the design consultation for the new skills park in High Park. Jay wants to hear from you.

Natural Environment Trails Program

For more details please visit the Trails Program website at .

To register for the event please contact Scott at or call 416 338 5053.