Patrick Brown

In addition to commuting to his Toronto office, Patrick Brown enjoys recreational rides throughout Ontario, Europe and the United States.  At home, he is active in representing injured cyclists and their families across the province and has been an involved cycling activist seeking to enhance the rights of cyclists through his organization, Bike Law Canada.

Patrick Brown, Bike Law Canada

Due to the alarming number of cycling deaths in Ontario, Patrick and fellow lawyer Albert Koehl initiated and were pro bono counsel in the 2010 Ontario Coroners’ Year Review into Cycling Deaths from 2006 to 2010.   He and Albert were awarded the prestigious Champion of the Year Award by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation for their representation of the cycling community.  The Review led to a comprehensive list of recommendations to reduce death and provide safe passage to cyclists.

Patrick is one of the founding members of the Toronto Bike Union (now CycleToronto), and is a former director.  He is a proud contributor to Advocacy Respect for Cyclists [ARC] who have defended cyclist rights since 1996. In 2013, his firm, McLeish Orlando LLP was awarded the Bicycle Friendly Business Award by the City for promoting cycling in and outside the office.

Patrick is the past President of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and is one of the few lawyers in the province who have been certified as a Specialist in Civil Litigation and also voted into BestLawyers Canada and LEXPERT by his peers.

Jean François Pronovost

Jean-Francois Pronovost, Vélo Quebec

Jean François Pronovost is Vice President, Development and Public Affairs for Vélo Québec.

He works on the focus, strategy and development of new projects and partnerships at Vélo Québec. Jean-François Pronovost has been instrumental in building the famous 5 000 Km Route verte. Since 1995, he has been involved with the development of this bike route across Québec. Recently, he has been a key person in the organization of the international Winter Cycling Congress in Montréal. In 1992, he acted as Chief Organizer of the first world-wide conference on bicycling, the Conférence Vélo Mondiale Pro Bike•Velo City, in Montreal.

Trained as a biologist, Jean François Pronovost has worked as a nature guide, journalist and television commentator.

Anna Sierra Heffernan-Wilker

Anna Sierra Heffernan-Wilker, Youth Cycling Advocate

Anna Sierra is in grade 9 at Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa and trains with the Ottawa Bicycle Club. A few years ago she travelled around Europe, Latin America, the United States and Canada by bike with her family. She is a passionate cycling advocate and looks forward to a day when kids across Canada can ride to safely to school.

Graham Larkin

Graham Larkin, Vision Zero Canada

Graham Larkin is Executive Director of Vision Zero Canada and Love 30 Canada, campaigning for the elimination of road violence and the promotion of active mobility on Canada’s roads.

Darnel Harris

Darnel Harris

Darnel is a community advocate who enjoys animating spaces and sustainability mobility projects. His Master’s Major Project, Breaking Down the Barriers to Biking in the Black Creek Area, created a community action plan for practical suburban biking, and led to Toronto City Council approving a Community Bike Center near York University. Darnel’s  sustainability efforts to create a Mobility Greenway in Toronto’s northwest, including a wide mobility pathway and flood barrier, was honoured with the 2016 Green Talents Award from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

March 2018 Newsletter

Become a Member
Don’t miss this unique chance to meet, share and learn from others from across Canada that are passionate about how cycling can transform our communities and country!

March 2018 Newsletter

lo Canada Bikes Summit and Bike Day on the Hill 

Following the success of the First National Bike Summit held in Ottawa on June 1st, 2017, Vèlo Canada Bikes is pleased to announce we will be hosting a two day event this year onMay 28th and 29th     

See our exciting line-up hereRegistration is now open.

BONUS: Participants who register before April 15th will be included in a morning of meetings with Members of Parliament, Senators and other national representatives to move the bike-friendly agenda forward. Add your voice to the pan-Canadian call for safe, convenient, accessible cycling for all ages and abilities!

Made possible with the generous support of our sponsors.

Interested in becoming a sponsor?

Vélo Canada Bikes invites you to submit an abstract to present at the 2nd National Bike Summit. Vélo Canada Bikes is a pan-Canadian non-profit organization that advocates for increased federal support for everyday cycling in Canada. Our vision is a Canada where people of all ages and abilities can cycle safely and conveniently, in any community, for work, school, everyday errands, or leisure.

During the summit we will gather with politicians, researchers, private and public sector cycling supporters to discuss how to create a bike friendly Canada.  As part of the event we want to demonstrate that Canada is ready for a federally led National Cycling Strategy, and will be showcasing cycling research from across the country and beyond.

The format for presentations will be posters, and the deadline for submitting an abstract is11:59pm ET on March 15th, 2018. Research may have been previously presented at other conferences and/or workshops, and may be presented in French or English. The word limit for the abstracts is 250 words (not including title, references, author information, and city/province). Abstracts should clearly state (1) the purpose of the research, (2) the methods used, (3) results or expected finds, and (4) conclusions and next steps. Please include at the top the abstract: the study title, the author names, the affiliated institution/organization, the city/province, and the authors’ email addresses.  Please submit your abstract using this google form. For more information, please see full details here.

House of Commons E-Petition

The E-Petition for a National Cycling Strategy closed on March 6, 2018. Nearly 4500 people signed in favour of a federal plan to support safe, convenient, accessible cycling for all ages and abilities, all over Canada.  See the text below:



  • Cycling as active transportation, as a commercial interest, as a sport and as an inclusive, healthy and sustainable activity for all ages and abilities, is gaining in popularity and should be encouraged;
  • Current rules, regulations, education and infrastructure are inadequate to promote and securely accommodate this growth;
  • Canada faces critical challenges in the next few years, including soaring health care and infrastructure costs, criteria air contaminants (CACs), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, traffic congestion and reaching our emission reduction targets;
  • Research has shown that increasing the percentage of people cycling creates significant savings and positive returns unmatched by any other type of government spending, leading organizations such as Canada Bikes to recommend the creation of a Canadian national cycling strategy, in line with global best practices; and
  • The 2016 ParticipAction Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth shows that we are failing Canadian children in sedentary lifestyles (F), overall physical activity (D-) and active transportation (D).

We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to support Bill C-312 tabled by Gord Johns on October 4th, 2016, and enact a National Cycling Strategy Act.

Thank you to all that signed, shared, posted, tweeted! Stay tuned for next steps…

Ride Your Riding

Not going to be in Ottawa for Bike Day on the Hill? Canada Bikes invites all Canadians to organise a Ride Your Riding event in your community. Please invite your local federal, provincial and municipal elected officials to join your community for a bike ride over the summer to continue the conversation.

Ride Your Riding will help you

  • Show off the great active transportation projects and programs happening in your community

  • Encourage broader community interest and investment in cycling infrastructure

  • Meet with the people that currently make active transportation decisions

  • Provide an opportunity to highlight your favourite bike experiences, as well as provide insight into what could be improved

  • Meet your local representatives face to face

  • Meet members of your community

Ride Your Riding events are encouraged to be all-inclusive and should be planned with consideration of all ages and abilities for cycling. Need some help planning? Let us know! Email [email protected]

Federal Budget Notes

When the Liberals hinted that a “Gender Equality Budget” was going to be announced on February 27th, Vèlo Canada Bikes started speculating what that would mean for cycling infrastructure, especially with news reports that Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson had been consulted by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. We know through studies, women are less likely to choose to bike without separated infrastructures. We see these numbers reflected in Canadian census data, as well as municipal transportation reports across the country. In fact, Statistics Canada reports that males were more likely to have ridden a bike within the last year (46% compared to 34%).

When the “gender equality budget” was announced and did not address active transportation in any way, one has to wonder how this was missed.  This becomes an even harder pill to swallow when you see the statistics of women cycling in countries that have addressed the gender gap with a national cycling strategy, including Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Germany.

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. Please take a moment between now and then to contact your local MP and let them know that a study done by Sustrans in the UK found that:

  • 67% of women said cycle lanes separated from traffic was the number one thing that will get more women cycling over other options which included:
  • 33% wanted clearly defined cycle lanes shared with buses
  • 21% wanted enforced 30 kmph speed limits or less
  • 16% wanted bike training to be available where they live

Across Canada
We love to highlight exciting events, projects, news and ways you can ACT from across Canada.

A steering committee, co-chaired by Alberta Transport and Transport Canada is conducting public consultations  on a summary report that discusses countermeasures, or safety measures, designed to help keep pedestrians and cyclists safe when they interact with heavy vehicles.

The link provided will give you access to an interactive website where you can read the report, participate in a discussion forum and/or complete a survey.

The site will be available from March 2nd until April 2nd

In Halifax, there were 2 recent wins! Snow clearing will be getting a closer look after a motion to improve quality standards and timelines for all active modes passed in the Transportation Standing Committee. They also made some headway on the South Park Bike Lanes.

Our friends Sustainable Calgary, Montrèal Urban Ecology Centre and Toronto Centre for Active Transportation have collaborated on a new project Co-Designing The Active City including a valuable community tool box.

Winter Cycling Congress announces it will return to Canada for 2019. Plan a winter get-away to Calgary, Alberta for next year.

Upcoming events : 

On April 17-18th, attend the 10th Annual Ontario Bike Summit

UNSM hosts the Atlantic Canada Active Transportation Summit May 23-24th.

Do you have a story of interest or an event you would like to share? Email[email protected] to have it included.

January 2018 Newsletter


Support Us Today

January 2018

National Bike Summit 2018 – Save the dates!

 May 28th & 29th, 2018 Ottawa, ON.

Our first National Bike Summit in 2017 was a tremendous success and Vélo Canada Bikes has been building on that momentum ever since. Check out the video we produced to share some of the key messages delivered by our stellar group of 2017 speakers.


More details will be released soon, but in the meantime check out the event page for a sneak peak of our plans for this year’s two-day summit, and add this important event to your calendar.  Registrations will open in early 2018. Email us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

 If you share our vision of a Canada where Canadians of all ages and abilities can cycle safely, conveniently and enjoyably for work, school or pleasure, please join us as a sponsor. Together we are stronger! More information is available in our National Bike Summit Sponsorship package.

 We are honoured and delighted to welcome our first sponsors and thank them for supporting a bike-friendly Canada by investing in our vision.


 See you in Ottawa this spring!


Call For Abstracts Coming Soon!


Call for Abstracts for the 2nd National Bike Summit opens February 5th, 2018!

The 2nd National Bike Summit will be held in Ottawa on May 28th and 29th and we hope that you will consider submitting an abstract for a poster presentation. Presenters will receive a discount on their Summit registration fee.

 Stay tuned to the Vélo Canada Bikes website for more details! We look forward to seeing you at the Summit!

International Winter Bike To Work Day

Winter Bike to Work Day is less than two weeks away, and Canadians love winter! Let’s fill the map with rides, parties, events and people riding their bike. Don’t forget to pledge your ride and consider participating in the gift exchange!

Are you hosting an event during Winter Bike To Work Week? Want to help create a bike friendly Canada for all seasons? We suggest a paper copy of the National Cycling Strategy petition to pass around at events. If people have already signed the online House of Commons E-Petition they should not sign twice.

From Your Board Members

Vélo Canada Bikes board member Sara Kirk, who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was recently awarded the Halifax Cycling Coalition 2017 Active Transportation Advocate of the Year award. This award recognized Sara’s contributions to advocating for safer infrastructure for walking and cycling locally, as well as her dedication to pushing the pedal for everyday cycling through her actions as well as her words. The award was one of several given out in December 2017 as part of HCC’s 10th birthday celebrations.Congratulations HCC and Sara!

The Ontario Bike Summit Celebrates Its 10th Year

Whether you are in Ontario or not, this is a great opportunity to learn more about cycling policies and best practices in a Canadian jurisdiction and mingle with elected officials, municipal staff, advocates and professionals. The Share the Road Cycling Coalition welcomes everyone to join them in Toronto April 17th & 18th.

Advocacy Avenue

Lately, we have seen a number of poorly written op-eds being circulated against bike infrastructure. We choose not to post them here, but instead to highlight some of the incredible articles that have recently been published. These are just a few of our favourites, but there are plenty of positive articles out there.

A Look Back At 2017

See what we have been up to in 2017 with our Year In Review. Other actions you can take to help us make a Bike Friendly Canada:

  • Visit your federal Member of Parliament and ask them to come to the Summit or join the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Caucus. Be sure to let them know about all your cycling-related events.

  • Consider planning a 2018 Ride Your Riding event with your local politicians.

  • Sign the petition for a National Cycling Strategy

Join Vélo Canada Bikes Today!

Add your voice to the call for a more bike-friendly Canada where we, our children and our elders can cycle safely, conveniently and enjoyably within and between communities. Not only will your financial support contribute to our effort to convince our federal leaders to support rovincial/territorial/municipal efforts, but your voice will strengthen the message in the eyes of our elected officials. It’s  more affordable than you think!



INTERACT completes recruitment in Victoria!

By Meridith Sones and Karen Laberee

Our postal code is a powerful predictor of our health. The design of our cities and neighbourhoods can either help or hinder our physical activity and social interactions, influencing our chances of experiencing poor health outcomes like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Canada will spend over $180 billion on infrastructure over the next 12 years. How will these investments impact our health and wellbeing? Who stands to benefit, and how?


These are the big questions motivating all of us at INTERACT (Interventions, Research and Action in Cities Team), a new national research collaboration of scientists, urban planners, and engaged citizens uncovering how major changes and investments in city infrastructure are shaping the health and wellbeing of Canadians from coast to coast. Seeing the city as a living laboratory, we use innovative tools that harness the power of smartphones and GPS to measure changes in how people move and feel in their environments. Our research will enable cities to understand the impact of their investments and make informed decisions to design cities that are healthier for everyone.


Launching in four cities across Canada – Victoria, Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Montreal – INTERACT will be evaluating the health impact of real world urban form interventions that represent an investment of more than $225M. We’re focused on three key outcomes linked to the design of our urban environments: physical activity, social participation, and wellbeing. We’re also measuring whether these outcomes are impacted equally across different socioeconomic groups to help cities invest in infrastructure that leaves no one behind. Our research aspires to have an impact beyond the borders of individual cities or interventions by generating knowledge and tools to unlock what makes urban form interventions effective, for whom, and under what context.


Our first stop was Victoria in 2017. The city’s planned network of All Ages and Abilities bike infrastructure isn’t just an important milestone in an ambitious journey to becoming a world-class cycling city, it’s also an investment that could leave a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of Victoria residents for generations to come. As part of a five-year longitudinal study, we recruited over 300 participants who ride a bike at least once a month in Victoria to fill out two surveys and collect locational and activity data through a mobile phone app or an accelerometer device. We will follow up with participants twice more over the next five years to understand how their health and wellbeing changes over time.


In 2018, we will turn our sights on recruiting participants in Saskatoon, Vancouver, and Montreal to measure population health impacts from changes in other forms of urban infrastructure. Saskatoon is investing $66M on a Bus Rapid Transit system and Vancouver has purchased the Arbutus Greenway as a walking and cycling corridor. Montreal is undergoing a $100M comprehensive sustainability plan, and we have ambitious plans to recruit several thousand participants to evaluate the impact of traffic calming measures, transportation infrastructure changes, and greening programs.


To learn more about the study and our national team of investigators, research staff, collaborators, and partners, we invite you to visit


Funding for the Interventions, Research and Action in Cities Team (INTERACT) is provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Tips from The Co-operators: Event Liability

Hosting an event can be an important part of any non-profit’s activities; whether it’s to build awareness about your organization or to fundraise for a specific cause. Making sure you have the right insurance coverage for your event is important to protect you and your organization. But what kind of insurance do you need? Does your Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy cover your event?

Depending on the nature of your event, there are a couple options available. For single or multi-day events, it may be best to purchase a Party Alcohol Liability (PAL). This coverage is available with or without the service of alcohol. Any claims from this event would be made against the PAL policy; therefore, protecting the claims experience of your organization’s CGL policy. This policy needs to be in place ahead of your event and there is an additional cost for the policy.

If you host events more frequently, insuring your events as a part of your CGL policy may be a better fit; provided that your insurer is aware. By doing so, you are not required to submit a new application for every event that you host, but in some cases it could increase the cost of your policy.

No matter the event, your insurance advisor is there to help make sure you have the right coverage – it’s always best to discuss the details of your event with them ahead of time.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about insurance for non-profits, please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website.