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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ontario Trail News - Toronto Hikes, Bikes and Helmets and more from Ontario Trails!

Home News High Park walking tours get city
The walks are volunteer-led with support of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. 
July 21: Exploring Spring Creek Ravine with Stephen Smith Aug.
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Hike through Taylor Creek Park shows off Don
Detailed instructions and maps for pre-planned hikes along the Don River are 
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Home  Opinion  Editorial  EDITORIAL: Discover your own trail adventure here...
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Jul 24, 2013  |   
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EDITORIAL: Discover your own trail adventure here in the city

Beach Mirror
Our city is a bustling place where the day-to-day grind can take a toll. For those looking for a little back-to-nature respite, we’ve got the perfect adventure waiting for you, just steps away from your front door.
In this edition’s special feature, we highlight local hiking trails and others across the city where people can go to spot wildlife, keep active, socialize and re-energize.
Other stories we’ve collected online will take you butterfly watching along the Leslie Street Spit, jogging through the ravines of the Don River and exploring the ecosystems of the 250-acre Humber Arboretum in north Etobicoke.
There’s a surprising number of hiking and walking trails in our city. There are so many, we couldn’t list them all within our feature.
When you walk some of them it’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of a bustling urban centre - like when you’re following the winding trails through the tall, dense forests of High Park. Others have landmark reminders, like the condo tower that looms over the meadowland of the Humber Arboretum.
But all, some would suggest, have the power to refresh the spirit. The federal non-profit group Turtlefeather True Nature uses outings along these trails to help women who have experienced abuse gain confidence and reduce stress. It’s also a welcome outlet for groups like the Metro Toronto Fitness Club, who has been taking to the trails for years (nearly 50 in this case), seeking not only outdoor activity but new friendships. The group meets weekly for social walks and organizes social activities on a regular basis.
Though one wouldn’t normally associate hiking and city life, these protected green spaces prove the two can complement one another and we hope our feature will prove to our readers that hiking is accessible here in our communities.
So pack a lunch, grab the sunscreen (and bug spray) and head out on your own trail adventure. These green spaces provide a natural oasis that can’t be fully appreciated until you’re there.
Take time for yourself, or bring the whole family and discover the great outdoors right in your backyard.

Frustrated by B.C. safety laws, Vancouver prepares to roll out helmet vending machines at bike-share stations

 |  | Last Updated: 13/07/25 8:04 PM ET
More from Tristin Hopper | @TristinHopper
In 2010, the city of Melbourne, Australia, introduced helmet vending machines for its bike-sharers.
Premier of Victoria / YouTubeIn 2010, the city of Melbourne, Australia, introduced helmet vending machines for its bike-sharers.
Despite its near-rabid commitment to bike lanes, this week Vancouver became the last of Canada’s three most populous cities to inaugurate a municipal bike-share system. Throughout, proponents have laid the blame for this laggard-status squarely on B.C.’s 17-year-old helmet law. Unlike in Toronto or Montreal, any lidless Vancouverite caught atop two wheels faces a $100 fine. But now, with city hall having given the go-ahead for shared bike stations to hit Vancouver streets by 2014, the city has a convenient workaround: Helmet vending machines. The Post‘s Tristin Hopper asks the relevant questions.
Q Really? A machine that dispenses helmets? HelmetHub machine, completed and revealed at MIT, is capable of stocking and collecting up to 36 helmets at a time.
A Yes, and it’s not even Vancouver’s idea. In 2011, the geniuses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the HelmetHub, a refrigerator-sized machine that cranks out 36 helmets. The year before, the city of Melbourne, Australia, introduced helmet vending machines for its bike-sharers. Even Canadian companies have entered the helmet-vending game. Two years ago, the City of Vancouver contracted a local company, SandVault Group Global Solutions Corp., to build a prototype in only 41 days. But now that Vancouver has signed with Alta Bicycle Share, the company that built the Melbourne system, the SandVault machine remains hidden from public view. “It’s an eight-foot tall ornament in my warehouse,” said SandVault president Rick Murray.
Q So, Melbourne already has this system. How did that go?
A Not so well. Even with heavily subsidized helmet-dispensers, “the bike scheme has been crippled by Melbourne’s compulsory helmet laws,” wrote the Melbourne daily newspaper The Age. One problem was that the city only had two helmet vending machines, and everybody else had to pick theirs up at a local 7-Eleven. Now, as a stop-gap solution, the city’s bike-share operators have simply begun handing out free helmets and asking users to attach them to the bikes when they were done. Last month, Alta Bicycle Share CEO Michael Jones told a Vancouver Metro reporter that they intended to learn from their mistake in Vancouver. “It’s going to be a seamless rental process … you can rent the bike and the helmet at the same time,” he said.
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