Episode 23: How the Bicycle Mayor of Toronto is Making Toronto's Streets Safer for All with Lanrick Bennett Jr. (Co-Hosts: Joycelyn & Erin)

December 21, 2023

Join me, along with my co-hosts Joycelyn and Erin, as we dive into an insightful conversation with Lanrick Bennett Jr., Toronto's first Bicycle Mayor, and the Executive Director of Charlie's FreeWheels. We explore his tenure as a bike mayor and the expansive network of BYCS-appointed mayors, stretching from India to Uganda and beyond.

In this episode, we discuss crucial topics such as Vision Zero and efforts to reduce vehicular-related fatalities in Toronto. We delve into designing inclusive cycling infrastructure and offer advice for those looking to cycle in the city and who want to get involved in making their streets safer for all.

Key insights from the episode include:
  • Understanding the significance of inclusive cycling infrastructure
  • Exploring how Shaw St has evolved into Toronto's cycling haven
  • The importance of political will in creating safer streets
  • Ways to actively contribute to advocating for safer streets in your community
  • Insights from international transit advocates on Toronto's cycling infrastructure
  • What it takes to ensure safer streets for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers alike
  • The global network of Bicycle Mayors and their impact on urban development

Powered by RedCircle

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS | Apple Podcasts 

Guest: Lanrick Bennett Jr., Bicycle Mayor of Toronto + Charlie's Freewheels

Lanrick Bennett Jr is currently the Executive Director of Charlie's FreeWheels. His previous work has kept him within the active transportation, urban design, and placemaking sphere. His city advocacy work started with his son traveling to all 100 libraries by public transit. He volunteers with the Bike Brigade and HousingNowTO and has been Toronto’s first Bicycle Mayor since 2021.

Co-Host: Joycelyn Guan, Urban Planner

Joycelyn is an urban planner passionate about collaborating with others to develop equitable, accessible and inclusive neighbourhoods and cities. They are interested in connecting people through community economic development, parks and recreation, and sports and sports infrastructure.

Co-Host: Erin Asaba, Aspiring Urban Planner


  • 01:55 | Introduction to Joycelyn  
  • 04:47 | Introduction to Lanrick and how he was selected as Toronto’s first Bicycle Mayor 
  • 08:31 | What is BYCS?
  • 14:49 | Why do you cycle?
  • 22:57 | How do we design inclusive cycling infrastructure so that it benefits our cities and communities (and integrated into the broader mobility/transportation network)?
  • 29:18 | Alexandra's cycling story
  • 33:17 | Paint a picture for us of what the cycling landscape is like in Toronto? How does Toronto’s cycling infrastructure compare to other cities around the world, and what can we learn from these comparisons?
  • 45:24 | About Charlie's FreeWheels: The origins, their build-a-bike program, and the impact they have on youth
  • 51:45 | Advice for those who want to cycle in Toronto?
  • 54:38 | How to advocate for better cycling safety in the city
  • 57:38 | What's next for Lanrick now that his term is over?
  • 59:04 | His work leading Kidical Mass Rides and East End for All
  • 1:04:46 | Key takeaways from Joycelyn and Alexandra

Show Notes



This episode is co-sponsored by the University of Toronto School of Cities and the Department of Geography and Planning. 

The School of Cities "convenes urban-focused researchers, educators, students, practitioners and the general public to explore and address complex urban challenges, with the aim of making cities and urban regions more sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and just". To learn more about the School of Cities visit www.schoolofcities.utoronto.ca

To learn more about the Department of Geography and Planning and the different undergraduate and graduate programs available please visit www.geography.utoronto.ca.

  • Music Producer: Imany Lambropoulos
  • Podcast Host and Graphic Designer: Alexandra Lambropoulos

Stay in the loop!

If you would like to be interviewed, have an interesting idea to share for an episode, or have any feedback on the podcast, please send me an email at hello[at]urbanlimitrophe.com.

If you enjoy the show, please share it with your family, friends, teacher, telemarketer, tree planter... and leave a review on Apple Podcasts! 

Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter and follow the podcast on Instagram to stay in the loop

Urban Limitrophe Featured in STEPS Public Art's Fieldnotes

December 07, 2023

I'm excited to share that Urban Limitrophe has been highlighted in STEPS Public Art's Fieldnotes blog series 5 Public Art Podcasts to Keep You Inspired

Here's an excerpt: 

"We put together a list of podcast episodes from across Canada that will change the way you think about public art. Dive into the lost history of a plaza in Toronto, join a bike tour through Winnipeg’s growing Indigenous public art collection, or tune into a question-and-answer period to get behind-the-scenes in a professional public art installation process. Hear from artists, thought leaders, and public art experts in these specially selected podcasts to spark your creativity."

The excerpt shared here is just a glimpse of what's to come! To uncover the full story and explore other recommended podcasts, please click here.

Urban Limitrophe Featured in Coquitlam Heritage Exhibition

November 26, 2023

Thrilled to have Urban Limitrophe featured in Coquitlam Heritage's Intersectionality and Urban Spaces exhibition available up until November 30th at Coquitlam Public Library (City Centre Branch)!

"The exhibit encourages the viewer to consider the ways in which the city can shape and be shaped by us, how people experience it, and the history of how it all came to be."

Visitors will "Learn about the history of segregation in North American cities, and how it has affected different racial groups’ ability to access appropriate housing, learn about ‘hostile architecture’ and how it can be disguised into the mundane environment, learn about the history of public transit in Coquitlam and the Lower Mainland and more"

To learn more about the exhibit please click here.

A sneak peek of exhibition content!

Thanks to Markus Fahrner and the team at Coquitlam Heritage for providing an opportunity to showcase Urban Limitrophe and expose the work of so many of the podcast's guests to new audiences!
Make sure to check it out while it's still available and follow Coquitlam Heritage for upcoming exhibitions: www.coquitlamheritage.ca/

Episode Map


Urban Limitrophe is a podcast exploring the various initiatives happening in cities across the African continent to creatively solve problems, support their communities, create vibrant urban spaces, and build better cities overall. Tune in to catch interviews with various guests!

More Info