Bike Pirates is an autonomous organization whose mission is to empower cyclists and make bicycles more accessible. Volunteer-run and volunteer-organized, Bike Pirates provides a Do-It-Yourself workspace to the members of the community and supports the concepts of bicycle re-use, collective decision making, and social justice.
Here are some of the ways we realize our goals.
- We provide low cost bikes and parts to the community
All of our bikes and the majority of our parts are donated. Our volunteers fix them up and return them to the public at affordable prices or by donation. Selling affordable, refurbished bikes not only diverts old bicycles from the garbage stream, but also makes bicycles more financially accessible, helping put more cyclists on the streets of Toronto.
- We provide mechanical instruction to cyclists on a drop-in basis
We work with the principle of Do-It-Yourself but that doesn’t mean we expect you to know how to fix your bike. We are here to teach and we heartily welcome users with little or no previous knowledge about bike mechanics. You can stop by and learn whatever you want or need to know during any of our regular hours. We provide Trans & Women Only Hours on Sundays to help create an accessible learning environment for everyone.
- We provide a depot for bikes and bike part donations
Far too many bikes and bike parts in excellent condition end up in the dump, and we consider ourselves part of the solution. Still, some parts are difficult or impossible to repair, but we do our best to recycle everything we can.
- We gift bicycles to local charitable organizations
When local charities need a bike, we can usually help them out.
- We support local cycling and other like-minded organizations
Many of our volunteers are involved with other cool organizations (bike-related and otherwise) throughout the city. This allows us to participate in a wide variety of projects, from helping to provide ghost bikes after a cyclist’s death, to providing shop space for organizations like Charlie’s Freewheels, to organizing bike tours of local urban community gardens. We encourage a sense of community, solidarity and fun through our monthly “Third Friday” social events.
- We provide hot meals to volunteers and guests with our kitchen program
For the past two years Pirates has been striving to provide hot, healthy, food for the folks in the shop. We currently have an active food program on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and we serve meals other days as we can. With the right volunteer power, we would like to serve food each day we are open. Eating a meal helps to keep volunteers and participants running, keeps the participants focused and creates an awesome feeling of community. One of our priorities when we first moved to our new location was to ensure we could build a kitchen and continue cooking!