The following video presents BMX Kids Series 7:
“This BMX Bike park was built by Michael Heaton, a Toronto area BMX enthusiast keen on providing kids with an opportunity to become a gold medalist for Canada in the Olympic BMX Sport.
The BMX park was featured at the 2007 Toronto Bike Show in March.
A city of Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation ‘recreationsist’, Al Crawford, assisted Michael Heaton with the storage of the ramps, and transportation of the ramps to the Direct Energy Centre in the CNE grounds. Al had bigger ideas for the BMX park than sitting in storage.
Arragements were made to transport the park to the Wallace Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin St, Toronto for the summer months of 2007.
Mr. Crawford is a community builder. He engaged Constable Scott Mills, the Toronto Crime Stoppers school police officer working out of Toronto Police Headquarters. Scott was keen on having youth he was working with doing legal graffiti paint the ramps with positive messaging. Scott was also working closeley with the Argos Foundation, Stop the Violence charity, a group dedicated to getting guns of the streets of Toronto, improving the relations between youth, their community, and the police.
The Argos Foundation were looking for a youth engagement project to be featured at the 2007 Grey Cup 4 day festival November 21-21, at the Rogers Centre, Toronto.
Several meetings occurred, and a partnership between Michael Heaton, the City of Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation Department, Toronto Crime Stoppers and the Argos Foundation Stop the Violence was formed.
Over the summer, the Parks and Rec Dept hired the two top BMX youth riders in Toronto to teach BMX camps to younger kids at the park. Jamie Burke and Chris Silva were a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. The quickly became local heroes to the youth in the area.
Over the summer, many of the BMX ramps were painted by the graffiti artitsts at such events as www.StyleInProgress.ca, the Rogers Picnic, the 2007 Bicycle Film Festival, The Bloor BIA Event, and several home games of the Toronto Argonaut Football team at the Rogers Centre.
Michael Heaton continued to build ramps and add to the park over the summer in between his catering job, and trips to Cleveland and Baltimore for BMX bike events.
Chris Silva and Jamie Burke are employed by Parks and Rec until the end of September 2007, when Chris will leave for Georgia USA to teach BMX riding for a month.
October 5th and October 13th are special upcoming days where the kids will have a chance to showcase their talents both on the BMX park and through their art.. more details to follow…
The Argos Foundation are working on getting a donor of a tractor trailer and a lift truck to load the park up to take it to Grey Cup.. Then the BMX park will be stored at the Molson Amphitheatre for the winter… to be brought out again for the March 2008 Toronto Bike Show…
In this video.. a 12yr old youth rides one of ten of the BMX bikes/helmets purchased by the City of Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation Dept for the summer bike camps.
After a ramp painting event at the Argos home game against the Blue Bombers, this kid begged the Toronto Crime Stoppers school officer, along with his 5 friends.. to bring out the bikes and helmets to take their videos to post them on their YouTube account !!.. His friends followed… so we created a BMX Kids Series .. and will film any kids that want ride their bike on the ramps and post it here!
So here you have it… the real people who matter saying that they really hope that the BMX bike park will come back to Wallace Emerson Community centre after the outdoor ice rink melts in the spring !!
Thank you to Tino Dicastro, Michael Heaton, Al Crawford, Jamie Burke, Chris Silva, and Scott Mills for all the support, hard work, and collaboration this summer.. Thank you to Heidi, Michelle and Danielle for hanging in there with us.. and taking this BMX bike park to a higher level…
There is no explaining the lives that have been made brighter this summer with this bike park…”
“Ready for Enjoyment, Ready for Employment”
City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department invites you to apply for employment opportunities of Summer 2016:
- Recreation Jobs at http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=7ac14aced070a410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD.
- Summer 2016 deadline: February 3, 2016