After reading an incorrect, frustrating article about our GOOD BIKES and absorbing some nasty emails from critics, Vanessa and I found this recording in our email inbox. We gave it a listen and were so touched that we just about cried. The recording is by Sam (age 7), Maeve (age 5) and their mom Alison, who have recently joined The Public Art Project, a collaborative project by iEARN-Pangea, to learn more about public art and share their thoughts and findings on the subject with people from around the world. 

Our project has received lots of media coverage over the last few months; however, most of them focus on the negative rather than the positive, and few journalists have taken the time to learn about the colour code before report on the project. Thank you so much to Sam, Maeve and Alison, for taking the time to learn about our project and sharing your thoughts and ideas with us! You have summed it up perfectly!

We are thrilled to announce that Sam, Maeve and Alison will be the owners of our very last GOOD BIKE. It’s a blue bike for community builders. How fitting!


279 Augusta Avenue ————-Model Citizen has been promoting and supporting local fashion designers and artists long before it was trendy. Not only does the clothing store sell the work of local designers, but the store’s collection of clothes and accessories are carefully chosen, uber stylish and always pushing the boundaries of current fashion trends. Although Model Citizen exudes hip, the store feels old fashioned as it is run by a local artist Julian Fickle and his lovely partner Georgia. They are often in the store together with their beautiful babies, welcoming visitors and giving out great fashion advice. Julian teaches silk-screening workshops in the basement of the store and his own designs can be found on the stores collection of T-shirts.


Hi Caroline and Vanessa,

My kids (Sam, 7 and Maeve, 5) and I happily play and learn together at home and out and about in the city. One of the initiatives we’ve recently joined is the Public Art Project, a collaborative project by iEARN-Pangea ( When I asked the kids if they had any ideas about which piece of public art they’d like to learn more about and share with others, their immediate response was ‘the art bikes!’

As you’ve so deservedly been covered widely in the media, we were able to learn a great deal about The Good Bike project. We also plan to take photos of our favourite ones, make a sound recording of their locales and then an audio recording of all we’ve learned and post it to the site. The kids had a few remaining questions though and have asked that I email them to you. (They’re shy, but if you did want to meet up to answer their questions in person, I’m pretty sure they’d be thrilled - though they may not utter a world :) ) If you’ve time to send us your responses, that would be fantastic.

1) Do you remember your first bike?
2) Why do you paint them just with solid colours and not use stripes or polka dots or other designs?
3) Did you think about putting baskets on all of the bikes and instead of just flowers, also plant vegetables so they could be mini community gardens? We could help.
4) What is your favourite piece of public art - in Toronto or anywhere?
5) Why can’t more art be free (inside art too) so everyone can see it?
6) Do you ride your bike in Toronto? What colour is it? Do you think Rob Ford will learn how important biking and bike lanes are?

Thanks so much for this - and for bringing thoughtful colour to our streets.

Alison (and Sam and Maeve)


C80 BPNICHOL LANE ——— Coach House Books was a hub of art activity in the late 60s and early 70s as conceptualism began to take hold and artists’ books and multiples became important pieces of the visual art puzzle. But it also served a completely practical purpose, as a generous provider of discounted flyers and posters for art shows for such budding Canadian art giants as Greg Curnoe and General Idea. Inevitably, it became a sort of clubhouse for a community of artists steeped in the pre-Mink mile Yorkville scene, gathering around a now-storied, battered wooden table to share coffee, ideas — and, as the tell-tale burns might suggest a few other things — in a feelgood moment of collective creativity. ——- Written by Murray Whyte


401 RICHMOND ST W ——- In another life, 401 Richmond isn’t there, cratered, like so many other sturdy industrial buildings near the Queen and Spadina hub, to make way for newer, shinier, more commercially viable projects (and yes, I mean condos.) Such would have been its fate had the Zeidler family not stepped in in 1994 with a vision: Keep the building, and keep the arts in the central downtown core. As anyone can see by its immediate surroundings, the threat was real: The Gap, H&M, Club Monaco, HMV — you can hardly tell this was the centre of the city’s vibrant art scene in the 1980s. 401 RIchmond both preserves that legacy and allows it to grow anew, providing below-market rents for seminal artist-run centres like YYZ, A Space, Gallery 44 and Prefix Photo, as well as venerable commercial galleries like Wyntick Tuck. ——- Written by Murray Whyte


I have spent more time than I would like to admit YouTubing TED Talks, so naturally I was thrilled to be accepted as a delegate for this year’s TEDX Toronto event.

Redefinition was the theme of the day. The event’s speakers ranged from tech wizards to doctors to activists and teachers. Nicholas Shiefer, a grade twelve student, discussed his frustration with current search engines. For his high school science fair he developed a new kind of search engine that uses networks to represent words.  Ariel Garten talked about a mind-controlled computing system she has designed that could be used to help people with ADHD. Rob Spence (aka Eyeborg) spoke about the positive advancements technology has had on prosthetic limbs using his own personal story as an example. Spence lost an eye as a child and has since then replaced it with a camera which he considers essential to his career as a documentary film maker. Joshna Maharaj is trying to revolutionize hospital food; and Dr. Brian Goldman spoke honestly about the mistakes he has made as a doctor in order to expose the misconception that doctors are infallible. Goldman believes that doctors should not have to deny mistakes out of fear and shame, but should be encouraged to be open about them in order to prevent the same mistakes from being made by others. Adam Garone, founder of Movember, spoke candidly about how he has redefined the moustache for men; and Carlyle Jansen, the founder of Good For Her, spoke about redefining relationships through adventure and honesty. 

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Last week, I attended a figurative drawing class at City Hall. The class took place before the ten o’clock Council meeting in which Ford’s proposed cuts to the Arts were to be debated. All onlookers were invited to draw the Counselors as they debated the fate of the Arts. Those who submitted their drawings at the end of the meeting will be included in an art show called “Drawing Lines: Figurative Studies of Toronto City Council.” The date and location of the show is still to be announced.

As I approached City Hall, sleepy and hungry, I was pleased to find a number of picnic benches in the centre of the square. On them, dozens of people sat squished together, sketching in their notebooks. I sat beside David, a five year old boy, who had brought with him crayons, markers and a few pads of paper. He announced proudly as I sat down that he was “the best drawer in his family.”  

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