The Best Bike Repair Shops in Toronto
The best bike repair shops in Toronto are safe harbours for true believers - the people who take their lives into their hands by sharing city streets with a river of automobiles. It's no surprise then that they're owned and run by people who seem more motivated by love than money, and that the top two entries on the list are co-ops, staffed by volunteers and committed to evangelizing urban biking.
Anyone who bikes in the city knows that you'll see the inside of a bike repair shop at least once in your ride's lifetime - hopefully before it gets ripped off outside a movie theatre; serious city cyclists know that regular maintenance makes your life a lot easier. Many of these shops also have sales floors, full of shiny new rides; some have a handful of reconditioned two-wheeled Frankenstein monster bikes, while some are simply in the business of providing you with the space, and the expertise, to get yourself back on the road.
Vintage punk plays in the background in this Bloordale bike co-op, where volunteers fill the workstations servicing rides. This 4 ½-year old non-profit collective has ambitions beyond bike repair, with a garden and kitchen to help feed their community, and workshops offsite for outreach. The co-op is always looking for volunteers with administratvie and office skills, just in case you’re doubtful about your skills with a spanner. More »
On the far side of the Don Valley, this Riverside co-op began in the back of a former funeral home, before moving to Broadview and Dundas just recently. The east end is starved for bike shops compared to the west end, so Bike Sauce does valuable work, with its social space for bicyclists and advocacy programs, not to mention its stock of new and used parts, for sale at retail and affordable prices. More »
Derek Chadbourne’s nearly 10-year-old shop specializes in tune-ups and quick repairs, perfect for the serious city cyclists who use Harbord as their path into the city. The owner’s wry, relaxed attitude is perfect for this quiet but lively stretch of the street, where student meets downtown. More »
On the far end of the Bloor West bike shop strip, Sweet Pete’s has just opened a new space on the eastern fringe, in the Annex. A full-service store with a bike repair service, Pete’s specializes in commuter bikes – sturdy, streetworthy rides that will feel a repairman’s wrench more than once in their lifespans. More »
This long, bike-filled space on Bloor West’s busy bike shop stretch isn’t for dilettantes – the owner would like you to know what your bike is worth, and what part you need, in the interest of making city biking more pleasant all around. The ceiling is drippingwith wheels, and the walls covered with reconditioned used bikes priced, it’s to be assumed, at what they’re worth. More »
Mike Wilson’s affably grungy little shop is the essence of Kensington old school – not much interested in impressing you as much as getting the job done. A former courier, Mike moved into the market and fell in love with the place eight years ago, and spends his time keeping locals’ beater bikes in good repair.
Owner Vinnie Mastrocola moved up to Bloor West from Harbord a year ago, into a much bigger shop, where he handles what he describes as an overwhelmingly commuter bike crowd. He boasts what’s probably the tidiest work bench in the city, and wins extra points for sheer amiability, filling tires on strollers with chivalric modesty. More »
The eponymous Dave has been fixing bikes for 20 years, but has been operating out of his tidy Christie St. shop for just seven. He catches the commuter bike crowd here, on their way up or down the hill above Davenport, with a store full of bike antiques and an ever-welcome “Free Air” sign outside. More »
As much cafe as bike shop, Sonic offers space and tools for cyclists to take care of their bike issues on the fly. It’s not the place for a tune-up or a rebuild, but offers a social space for cyclists to recharge and network. More »
This city cycling specialist is located as close to the downtown core as real estate prices allow, and sells everything daily riders need, from fixed-gears to kid carriers. They also see every sort of biking malady in their service shop, and offer a comprehensive tune-up for fifty bucks. More »
The paterfamilias of bike shops, Duke’s evolved from an all-round family bike shop and radio store to a high-performance specialist by the time its Queen West store burned down in the great fire of 2008. Opened in 1914, it’ll be moving back to Queen from its temporary quarters on Richmond in April, selling sleek performance bikes and mountain bikes while fixing all the flats, bent wheels and frozen brakes that ail commuters. More »