That Train in My Canadian Cycling Horizon

Every few weeks when I’m cycling, a major train pops up on the horizon with dinging bell, 1 or 2  red locomotive engines, pulling a serpentine string of cargo train loads and tanks.  The train is either the Canadian National Railway or the Canadian Pacific Railway. Like any cyclist, I just hope the frickin’ train is…

Canadian Contrasts or Ignorance: 3 Cities, 3 Solitudes

It’s harder than it appears:  distillating facts and personal musings on the major cities where I’ve lived, worked and cycled so far.  Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are big and jostle for world stage, as Canada’s world-class city. Several sword points to note: Vancouver in my infographic, refers to  City of Vancouver.  Not 20 other suburban cities around which…

More than Just Dragons- Art on Chinese-Canadian Experience

Don’t get me wrong: I love dragons. A dragon pops up often enough:  whenever there is a celebration or poster flogging a Canadian Chinatown event or something involving Chinese-Canadian history or culture. I love the dragon for its aesthetic drawing power –in parades, dance, paintings, textiles, rugs, sculpture and jewellery. Dragons in Canada- Convenient Icon? However, I…

Rising with Community Gardens: Three Cities

Vancouver’s Sole Foods: Bringing Back Dignity and Purpose to Emptiness  Last year, a large dreary parking lot in downtown Vancouver was transformed with rows of bright green vegetables under the shadow of B.C. Stadium, elevated light rail viaduct and condo towers.  It didn’t take long for rich green leaves to unfurl and cover part of the…

What Shapes Me: Neighbourhoods That Are Walkable, Cycleable

It isn’t just my genes or my lifelong, whole food cooking tendencies (thanks mom), that shapes me: I have always lived in walkable, cycleable neighbourhoods. That’s a long time. Over 55 years in 9 different neighbourhoods across 7 Canadian cities. I’ve  previously trumpeted this fact in this blog, as a cyclist living in Toronto, Vancouver…

Bike to Work Day, Month: Affirmation in 3 Canadian Cities

Cycling  to work, shopping or to school, is still a minority transportation choice in North American cities. For me, as a long-time  bike commuter for the last 22 years, Bike to Work Day or Month (depending on the city),  is not only a public event to encourage bike commuting love. This Bike to Work event, also affirms…

Are You a Couch Foodie, Garden Foodie or Stove-Top Foodie?

Recently in a cycling forum, a question floated over the Internet: “Do you have a discerning palate?” That got me thinking about foodies, people who pride themselves as food connoisseurs, worldly arbitrators of food dishes from a dizzying array of cuisines. Just a Stove-Top Foodie: Homespun Knowledge I fancy myself as a foodie. Not a…

Cycling For Favourite Foods To Devour at Farmers’ Markets

I tend to be a goal-oriented cyclist –I have a destination in mind. Sometimes that turnaround point involves food. Now any diet-conscious cyclist would admonish my attitude:  to maintain a healthy weight, do not reward yourself by eating calorie laden food.  True.  The reality is at least a snack at the market, is a fabulous carrot…

Outdoor Art Work as a Thread of National History Across Canada: Monuments to Chinese-Canadian Railway Workers

In Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, where I have visited and lived, there is outdoor public art which commemorates the historic work by the Chinese Canadian railway workers on Canada’s transcontinental railroad. The Chinese labourers helped build the national Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) from 1858 – 1885.  Each of the profiled city monuments were independently conceived, designed…