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The Incredible Dr. Doolittle and Toronto's (first) Bicycle Craze

Albert Koehl

Join us in learning about the incredible Dr. Doolittle and Toronto's first Bicycle Craze!

You might be thinking of a different Dr. Doolittle, but no, we're talking about our own cycling champion and the 1896 president of The Toronto Cyclists' Association. Watch here:

In the early days of the bicycle in Toronto, Dr. Doolittle was at the forefront of the fight for better cycling conditions during a period when the bicyle was transitioning from a luxury for the rich to a vehicle of everyday convenience.

The issues that preoccupied cyclists in the 1890s— and that we will discuss in the context of current debates—were very much the issues of today: better cycling conditions (including the first proposal for a Bloor bike lane); bicycle parking; the bicycle license; and road dangers (including dogs, streetcar tracks, and potholes).

Experience the rich history of Toronto's cycling landscape and its impact on the present.

Start point: Moss Park, SW corner of Shuter and Sherbourne Streets. We will end near the Castle Frank Subway station.

Sat. May 4, 10am - by bicycle (riding along bike lanes)

Sun. May 5, 11am - on foot

Albert Koehl is the author of the upcoming Wheeling Through Toronto, A History of the Bicycle and Its Riders. (University of Toronto Press, mid-May 2024) Start point - Moss Park (across from Dr. Doolittle's house); end at Castle Frank Station near Bloor Viaduct.

Walk Start:

Shuter and Sherbourne, SW corner.

Shuter and Sherbourne. Nearest subway is Queen St.

Walk End:

Albert Koehl

Date: May 4

10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.




Advocacy and Politics, Environment and Sustainability, History and Places.


The cycling event will be on bike lanes.

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