Located on Queen Street East, Switchback Cyclery offers a chance to purchase a wide range of bicycles, including Brompton products, and cycling accessories like helmets and locks. The shop also offers free estimates for repairs and collaborative builds.
Building Bikes and Communities
“The number one poverty in the world is lack of relationships,” says manager Steve Hunter, explaining that the bicycle repair shop in Riverside cares much more about building relationships than turning a profit. All employees are permanent, earn above minimum wage, learn valuable life lessons and have the opportunity to become pro-mechanics and professional wheel-builders in a booming industry. Also open early for morning commuters, Switchback Cyclery tries to accommodate emergency tune-ups and repairs on the fly for optimum convenience.
Designed with Equality in Mind
Funded in part through Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto and in partnership with the Toronto Enterprise Fund, Switchback Cyclery provides what Steve describes as real-world jobs for people who deserve a second chance. In 2013, the huge Queen Street East space was completely gutted and redesigned to visually incite a sense of equality and trust between customers and employees and build confidence in everyone, says Steve. The walls in the sitting area are warm and welcoming, while the workshop toward the back is cool and calming. Even the floor behind the checkout counter has been raised to give the employees a feeling of empowerment and duty.
Switchback Cyclery is providing jobs and skills to men and women in their neighborhood who face significant barriers to employment. So when you fix your bike at Switchback Cyclery, you’re also fixing the community.
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