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Street Style


Street Style: 27 looks at the city on bikes (and other self-propelled vehicles)

There’s no question that Toronto is a city of cyclists (no matter what Rob Ford has to say about it). Still, thoroughfares without dedicated bike lanes can be dangerous, and many on two wheels use side streets to avoid the perils of cab doors opening or streetcar-track slide-outs. That’s why we took to the parks, bike lanes and side streets of Toronto to check out the style of people on two to four small wheels. These are havens where you can find a mom walking alongside an adorable tot in a summer sundress on her fast, fast, fast Razor scooter, and where a casually dressed family spends the day together riding their bikes. And that’s just the beginning: we saw scores of different takes on self-propelled fashion, from the speedy commuter in a form-fitting T-shirt to the slow-going weekend coaster in a flouncy summer skirt. It seems the free-wheeling life has never been more stylish.

Check out 27 looks at the city on bikes (and more) »

For men, the practical—but scruffy—bike courier aesthetic wasn’t the norm (of course, these folksincluding one busy architect/industrial designer—were riding at a much more leisurely pace than your average courier). While some guys felt comfortable having a messenger bag snugly strapped cross-body, others opted for a loose button-up shirt topped by a weekends-at-the-Cape straw hat. Skateboarders and long boarders were more casual yet, opting to go shirtless or wearing skimpy tanks. (Landing tricks is a sweaty activity, so we don’t blame them for trying to keep cool.) Even babies were out in the sunshine, wearing sweet brimmed hats for protection, while the ladies let the sun kiss their bare arms and allowed cute skirts to fly in the wind. The most shocking part was that almost all of the people we saw weren’t dripping in sweat, and we’d like to know how they do that.

  • Alex

    More dudes, less babies, please.

  • Christine

    where are the helmets!?

  • Alanna

    I see a whole lotta white people up there. Where is the reflection of Toronto’s diversity?

  • mel

    apparently wearing helmets is not stylish :(

  • Allan

    Woof on the first guy!! Yowza!

  • James

    Wearing helmets is not cool. I wear one and I look ridiculous.

  • really ??

    well james you look a lot worse with you brains splattered all over the road

  • Beth

    Uhm, Alanna, everyone knows that 89% of ALL cyclists are white. Duh.

  • Kim

    #4 makes me melt. Here’s hoping he’s straight.

  • common_sense

    Really?? You’re confirming the misguided concept that you’re only fashionable WITHOUT a helmet. After falling and the only thing saving me was my helmet, get with it Toronto Life. You’re perpetuating a very, very dangerous myth that is costing the lives of cyclists.

  • PJ Foster

    Nice to see a token helmet in the shots, and not so many ear buds. Yes, promote an alternative, green approach to transportation, but with the proper equipment. But if people don’t think it’s cool to wear a helmey, perhaps it’s time for someone to design a cool must have helmet so the fashionistas will wear it and we can save their lives.

  • donna

    You are forgetting that helmets are not mandatory by law and these pictures reflect that. I use my bike to get around this city – and I choose to wear a helmet when I’m riding on busy, downtown streets but not say, the lakeshore path. What gets me is that nobody gives skateboarders or rollerbladers a hard time about them not wearing helmets and they should probably be wearing them too.

  • i heart my silver bike

    Looking cool just isn’t worth the risk. In case anyone is unsure what brain injury does to a person (assuming you survive the initial trauma), check out

  • strawberry snow

    Uhm, Alanna, everyone knows that 89% of ALL Toronto Life readers are white. Duh.

  • Dimple

    I think 58% is pretty actruace. Just think about it. They asked 1000 Americans about risky behavior not 1000 cyclist. Most Americans do not ride a bike on a regular basis but many Americans own a bike that stays in the garage and if they dig it out to ride around the block one time a summer. Most Americans would also not consider bike helmets very cool and would not admit to wearing one even if it is safer.

  • Alex Rascanu

    Great shots. Biking is becoming more and more popular in Toronto. Can’t wait to see it become as common as it is in Japan and Northern Europe.