Mission And About Us

Written by Scott Mills

Michael Heaton | Contact: TorontoBMX@Hotmail.com

Mike Heaton, a retired alternative school teacher with a passion for
BMX is the leader of what has become informally known as "Team Michael
Heaton".  A team of community volunteers has rallied around Mike
Heaton's vision of building more BMX bike parks to engage our youth
with life skills surrounding the BMX sport, with the goals of success
and safety for our youth.  The list of contributors is endless.  This
group of people are honoured to work with Mike Heaton on a regular
basis, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make TorontoBMX a
success.

We are very proud to be  involved in a number of projects that will
help to benefit the BMX community.  Our projects include spearheading
the creation of new parks in the downtown Toronto area and elsewhere,
as well as organizing the TORONTO BMX JAM that is part of the Toronto
International Bicycle Show held at Exhibition Place in Toronto
annually in March.

Many of the ramps used at the torontoBMXjam have become part of a
FREESTYLE BMX PARK at Wallace Emerson Park (Dufferin and Dupont area
of Toronto). Ramps were located on the outdoor rink just south of the
Community Centre. There is also a 500 foot clay/dirt track at the west
end of the Wallace Emerson park.  The ramps are on loan by Mike to the
riders of Toronto for the summer riding months, as plans call for them
becoming a part of future show courses.

Over time, TorontoBMX, in collaboration with the Young President's
Association, the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Crime Stoppers
Youth Program, was behind getting some BMX ramps at the Toronto
Community Housing building parking lot located at 75 Tandridge Cr in
Toronto.  This project has resulted in the BMX sport helping youth
succeed, and focus on positive programs, in stead of a life of guns,
gangs and drugs. This project continues to search for sustainable
funding and programming.

Many of the stories of the history of Mike Heaton and TorontoBMX are
chronicled on a number of Youtube (http://Youtube.com/TorontoBMX )
videos that have been mostly filmed by Toronto Police Service officer
Constable Scott Mills, who is also the Social Media Advisor for Crime
Stoppers International.  You can find a number of these videos by a
simple search on the Internet of "Toronto BMX". Scott has also engaged
youth in the city in a project to paint graffiti images on all of our
ramps. Not only does this painting help to extend the life of the
ramps, the images look great. The entire painting-the-ramps project
became a part of the 2007 Grey Cup BMX Youth Engagement event. Many of
the story of this graffiti art community building project can be seen
on youtube here:  http://Youtube.com/LegalGraffitiArt

Social media for success and safety is an underlying theme of the
continued work of BMX.  Free and open access to BMX riding facilities
is a long term goal of TorontoBMX

Toronto Parks, Recreation and Forestry, under the leadership of
Recreationist Al Crawford organizes summer programmes for BMX riders
at  Wallace Emerson Park each summer, and we are currently searching
for funding for the Tandridge location, and other indoor year round
facilities both inside and outside of Toronto.

We are very open to discussing any possibilities, and are very excited
to have a new website in time for the Toronto BMX Jam 2012 designed by
Rob Cairns that will allow us to celebrate our past and hopefully
provide some education for the world about who we are and what we do,
to make the BMX sport bigger and better in Toronto.