toronto naked bike ride

Hundreds of naked people rode bikes through downtown Toronto this weekend

If you were out and about in downtown Toronto on Saturday afternoon, you may at one point have noticed a brief flash of waaay more nudity than usual as the 2021 World Naked Bike Ride snaked its way through the streets.

I'm talking a whole convoy of cyclists riding around completely (or at least partially) naked, baring it all for anyone who cared to look — even those who had no idea what was going on and were left a bit confused.

Some people wondered aloud online if the clothing-free stunt was an anti-masker march gone wild or some sort of unofficial Pride event, but those in the know were keen to point out that it was actually a protest in support of body positivity and a greener world.

Described by organizers as "a global protest against oil dependency
and urban pollution
," the annual ride usually takes place in more than 80 cities globally, but saw less activity than usual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Toronto, which hosted a pared-down naked bike ride last year, participants have their cheeky slogan which can often be seen scrawled across flags, signs and bodies: "Less Gas, More Ass."

This year's World Naked Bike Ride Toronto was well-attended by activists, supporters and photographers who wanted to capture the spectacle.

Participants, who were not required to be naked and could also take part using skateboards or rollerblades, started gathering at Coronation Park around noon on Saturday for the ride.

They departed from the Lake Shore and Fort York area at 1 p.m., proceeding to travel through the downtown core, going by such landmarks as Kensington Market, U of T, Ryerson, Yonge-Dundas Square, Trinity Bellwoods Park and the Toronto Island ferry docks.

Not everyone was expecting to see a bunch of naked cyclists on the street this weekend, and some were perplexed over why anyone would do such a thing by choice.

But many of those who did got a kick out of the unusual protest format.

No word yet on when next year's ride is scheduled for Toronto, but all will no doubt once again be welcome to join.

Lead photo by

Karen Longwell

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