1000 bikes: the need

Last year over 30 million refugees worldwide were forced to flee their homes and more than 30,000 arrived in Canada with little or nothing.

Although basic needs such as housing, food, and employment are critical, mobility is often overlooked. New refugees typically do not have access to their own vehicles, and often even lack the funds to use public transit.

Our Great Bike Recycle program collects used bicycles, repairs them, and provides these refurbished bicycles to refugees via community partners to help them access basic services such as employment, education, and healthcare.

In 2020 we would like to scale our programs by delivering 1,000 bikes to newcomers.

Our cost is approximately $100 CAD to provide a refurbished bike to a newcomer in need, along with a new helmet, lock and bell (these are provided at low or no cost via our sponsors).

We keep our overhead costs extremely low by:

  • Only having two part-time staff (a part-time executive director and a part-time bike mechanic)

  • Using volunteers to pick-up/deliver bikes and repair bikes

  • Leveraging our effectiveness and impact through partner collaborations with:

    • A Toronto school (free classroom, mechanic and storage space)

    • CultureLink (refugee/newcomer programs)

    • World Vision (sending bikes to other countries). 

Your tax-deductible donation will help Bikes Without Borders provide 1,000 refurbished bicycles to Toronto refugees, enabling them to access education, jobs, explore their neighbourhood, enjoy an outdoor activity, and ultimately help them have a successful new beginning in Canada.

Your donation will:

  • Divert 1000 bikes from landfills

  • Provide 1000 bikes to newcomers, including new helmet, lock and bell

  • Create 1 full-time & 1 part-time job (Maggie plus another mechanic)

  • Allow us to provide more rewarding volunteer opportunities

1000 Bikes: THE CHAIN

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Meet The rosto fAMILY.

Andreh, Gems, Ritta, Salwa, and Mary arrived in Toronto in 2018 from Syria. Via our community partners, they all received refurbished bikes from BWB.

The children use their bikes to go to school, after school jobs, and to explore and enjoy the neighbourhood. Gems, their father, used his bike to go to language classes and the job search centre, and now has a full time job.

Their bikes were lovingly and carefully refurbished by a team of volunteers, including a fellow by the name of Ryan…

Meet RYAN.

Ryan is a coop student and volunteer mechanic with Bikes Without Borders. Once a week, Ryan comes to our bike depot at Central Technical Academy on Shaw St. and helps to refurbish donated bikes.

Ryan received his volunteer training from our head mechanic, Maggie…



Meet Maggie.

Maggie is Bikes Without Borders’ head mechanic. Maggie lives in downtown Toronto with her partner Joy and their two young children. In addition to refurbishing bikes, Maggie trains and oversees a group of dedicated volunteers. Maggie loves her work and would love to dedicate more of her time to it with full-time hours.

The bikes Maggie and her volunteers refurbish come from people like Janice…

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Meet Eva.

Eva donated a bike… that was picked up by volunteer Greg, that was refurbished by Ryan, who was trained by Maggie… that was then given to the Rosto family.

Instead of finding its way to a scrapyard or landfill, Eva’s bike is now being used regularly and lovingly by a newcomer to Toronto.

And thus the chain is complete.

please Help us reach our 1000-bike goal

In 2020, we want to get 1,000 bikes into the hands of people who really need them. To do that we need $100,000 in funding.

Your donation to our 1000 Bikes campaign will allow us to significantly scale up our programs. We are currently deluged with offers of used bikes and program partners and refugee organizations who are looking for bikes for their clients... but we are unable to meet the demand with our current resources.

Your donation to our campaign will allow us to hire Maggie full-time and bring on another part-time mechanic. This will allow us to train more volunteer mechanics, which allows us to accept and refurbish more bikes.

It costs BWB about $100 per bike - including collection, refurbishing, and distribution - to get a used bike (along with new helmet, lock and bell) into the hands of someone who desperately needs help with transportation, in order to access educational, jobseeking, employment, and recreational opportunities.

Your donation will:

  • Divert 1000 bikes from landfills

  • Provide 1000 bikes to newcomers, including new helmet, lock and bell

  • Allow our head mechanic Maggie to work full-time

  • Allow us to provide more rewarding volunteer opportunities

Each $100 you donate will get a bike into the hands of someone who really needs it, and will have ripple effects extending far down the chain.