Now I know for a fact that people use the libraries in Toronto. My interviewee this week requested I meet him at the Parliament Street branch.

On Saturday I spoke with a proud graduate of the Charlie’s Freewheels program, and he confirmed for me what I had been led to believe when I spoke with the people at Charlie’s Bike Shop. Youths in Regent Park are invited to select a discarded bike from their herd, disassemble it, paint and repair the bike and reassemble the finished product. The bike goes home with the participant. They get a bike and the skils to build and repair it.

I attended the graduation ceremony a couple of weeks ago, and the best part was when Derek hoisted each participant’s bike over his head and the Critical Mass cyclists in attendance all cheered exhuberantly.

My new young friend chose the library as our venue for the interview because he says he spends a lot of time there getting himself through high school. His work ethic will serve him well in his intended career, but of course I can’t give everything away here!

What I will say though is that the city should rethink this library closure idea. I watched the bike lockups on Saturday afternoon during that downpour. There were constant arrivals and departures throughout the inclement weather. People (on bikes) use the library, even in soggy weather on a long weekend.

 

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