Charlie’s FreeWheels is a non-profit that has been working with youth from Regent Park and surrounding neighbourhoods since 2009. Charlie’s FreeWheels teaches basic bicycle mechanics to youth. The program is free for participants, and gives youth the opportunity to create their own bike by refurbishing a used one. At the end of the program, youth get a free new bike, as well as the necessary tools and skills to safely ride and maintain their bikes.
In 2012, Charlie’s FreeWheels initiated the Mobilized FreeWheelers program in response to the feeling among youth that they have been left out of Toronto’s mainstream cycling conversation.
The project documents youth perspectives on cycling in Toronto—both how they have benefited from having access to bikes, as well as the physical and social barriers that continue to prevent them from having equal access to the city.
The collective knowledge represented in this exhibition lays the foundations for youth and youth advocates to take voice, and take part in ongoing debates over accessibility and mobility in Toronto.