Bicycle-Friendly Business Awards

Many of us who commute to and from work by bicycle have to get pretty creative on occasion about figuring out the logistics of the undertaking, such as where to park the trusty steed and how to clean up after the ride. All too often we have to resort to using lamp posts and baby wipes. However, some lucky bike commuters have access to secure bike parking, showers, and many cycling resources. To recognize businesses that make it easy for their employees to ride to work, and who contribute to Toronto's cycling culture in other ways, the City gives out annual Bicycle-Friendly Business Awards. Yesterday at 6 p.m. the 2007 awards have been presented at the City Hall. So if you're looking for a new job, and want to ride your bike to it, after the jump are some places you might want to send a resume to:

North American Findings
(Best Bike Parking Award)

This headhunting company provides its employees with monitored indoor bike parking and as well as other facilities for commuting cyclists.

Scarborough Campus Student Union
(Bicycle-Friendlies Suburban Business Award)

Despite being located in the thick of suburbia, Scarborough Campus Student Union encourages and actively promotes cycling to, from and around school by starting up a bike sharing program for students, and providing access to cycling resources and tools. Way to go, SCSU.

Quadrangle Architects Ltd
(Bicycle Commute Award)

Quardrangle Architects Ltd. provides its employees with secure indoor bike parking and changeroom facilities, and has a bicycle-friendly dress code in place (no, I don't think that includes lycra shorts). The company uses bicycle messengers for downtown deliveries and participates in the Bike Week and many weekend group rides.

ChocoSol Traders
(Best Small Business Award)

Mmmmm.... chocolate... This inter-community partnership between cocoa growers in Oaxaca, Mexico and Toronto traders is as green as it gets. From using solar-powered roasters and bicycle-based grinders to hauling things locally by bicycle, the company is committed to be environmentally friendly (as well as socially conscious). Look for their organic hot chocolate at local farmers' markets .

Urban Space Property Group/Center for Social Innovation
(Best Large Business Award)

Center for Social Innovation is a fantastic organization that, among a multitude of other projects, is trying to ressurect BikeShare. Urban Space Property Group (the company that runs the Gladstone Hotel and two other heritage buildings) works in partnership with the Center, providing them with workspace in downtown Toronto.

Ontario Cycling Association
(Best Skills Development)

Ontario Cycling Association was recognized at the ceremony for its contribution to cycling education. As one of the sponsors of Kids CAN-BIKE camp, they helped bring a fun five-day cycling safety camp and a free bicycle to about 70 disadvantaged kids this summer. For some of the kids, it was the first bicycle they ever owned!

Butterfield & Robinson
(Best Overall)

Butterfield & Robinson is a travel company that offers many dozens of cycling and walking vacations all over the world. They also encourage their own staff to cycle to work by providing showers, secure bike parking, and whatever else a bike commuter might need. Unfortunately, one thing they cannot do is make Toronto roads cycle-friendly, so they urge the City to work on making the Bike Plan the Bike Reality.

The results of the July's public consultation were posted on site and revealed that a similar sentiment is prevalent among the general cycling population. The top three recommendations from the cycling public were all infrastructure-related: "Implement a Bikeway Network", "Improve Bikeway Maintenance to Ensure Safe Operation", and "Provide Bicycle-Friendly Features for Bridges/Underpasses".

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