Bloor Street businesses launch 'passport' to encourage residents and cyclists to shop locally

More than 70 businesses along Bloor Street are using a new "passport program" to forge community relations and encourage residents and cyclists to shop locally.

Residents who shop at 20 or more businesses are entered into a draw where they can win prizes

City councillors, local residents and residents' association members launched a new program on Bloor Street on Wednesday to encourage local shopping. (Nicole Martin/CBC)

More than 70 businesses and cyclists along Bloor Street are partnering up for a new program, called Bike and Buy: Tour de Bloor Passport, to forge community relations and encourage residents and cyclists to shop locally. 

As part of the program, which has been developed by local residents' associations and Cycle Toronto, shoppers pick up a "passport" and get a stamp when they shop at participating businesses.

"The pilot bike lane on Bloor has brought thousands more Torontonians into our neighbourhood by bicycle," said David Harrison, Chair of the Annex Residents' Association, in a news release.

"We want to see more of those cyclists in our local shops. We believe the passport will help achieve this goal. When local businesses thrive, that's great for our community." 

Those who shop at 20 or more businesses are entered into a draw where they can win prizes.

"Bike lanes have already made Bloor safer for everybody. Now, we want to make sure they make the street better for businesses as well," said Ward 20 Coun. Joe Cressy in a news release.

The passport is available Wednesday evening at Cycle Toronto's bike month commuter station at Bloor and Christie streets or at Sweet Pete's bike shop in the Annex. It is also available online.