$51,100 OTF grant extends reach of safe cycling education online

Kingston, ON – On Monday, December 12 th , local MPP Ted Hsu joined representatives of
Cycle Kingston to hear how the $51,100 Resilient Communities Fund grant they received from
the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) was used to broaden the services of Cycle Kingston to
encourage safe cycling in Kingston and beyond. The grant was primarily used to design and
create online safe cycling courses, so that anyone can access basic cycling skills and
knowledge, to encourage them to consider cycling as a means of personal transportation. This
allows Cycle Kingston to expand its reach and will be a resource for anyone to use.

“By encouraging and promoting cycling and cycling safety in our community through public
outreach programs, Cycle Kingston helps to make our community safer and greener,” said Ted
Hsu, MPP for Kingston and the Islands. “I am pleased that the Ontario Trillium Fund has
recognized the value of Cycle Kingston and its programs in our community through the Resilient
Communities Fund.” 
“The online courses allow us to offer cycling education for individuals who are not comfortable
with or unable to attend in-person courses during the pandemic,” said Neal Scott, President of
Cycle Kingston. “It also creates an entry-point to direct people to in-person courses, thus
increasing future enrollment in in–person courses, increasing revenue, and resulting in more
people choosing to cycle and giving them the skills to do so safely. This will reduce GHG
emissions, traffic congestion, and contribute to increased health of the individual and the
community.”
The two self-paced courses include videos demonstrating important safety skills, as well as
basic knowledge about safe cycling and how to handle different on-road cycling situations.
In addition to the online cycling courses, the OTF grant provided support for the post-pandemic
recovery of Gear Up Recycled Bike, a social enterprise operated by Cycle Kingston to provide
youth employment and access to affordable bicycles rebuilt from donated bikes.
“During the pandemic, the interest in cycling spiked, but we did not have the resources to
operate at capacity under pandemic restrictions,” said Mr. Scott. “The OTF grant provided
funding to improve our facilities so we could operate safely, re-open our shop to the public, and
help meet the demand for refurbished bicycles in Kingston.”
As a result, Gear Up employed a full slate of youth “bike fixers” in 2022, most of whom
experienced their first workplace environment and learned important technical and employment
skills. Some of the revenue from Gear Up supports the work of safe cycling education programs
that are offered in schools, at summer camps, and at community events, so the expansion of
Gear Up contributed to the overall financial heath of Cycle Kingston.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of
Canada’s leading granting foundations, celebrates 40 years of grantmaking in Ontario and
making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042
community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s
Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.