Safe, two-wheeled pedal power
Hundreds of migrant farm workers and newcomers to Canada have safe, reliable transportation, thanks to a
bicycle repair program operated by St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Beamsville.
Rev. Father Javier Arias, who speaks Spanish, became aware that as many as 1,500 “invisibles” – migrant
Latino farm workers who speak little or no English – are living in Niagara each year. Many of them are living in
crowded and isolated conditions on rural farms. Having access to bicycles – with lights, helmets and safety vests
– can provide these workers with safe and reliable transportation.
Refugees and other newcomers to Canada also benefit from the church’s bicycle donation program. Many of them
can’t drive, can’t afford a vehicle, or encounter language barriers when accessing public transit. Safe, two-wheeled
transportation gives them the ability to attend language classes, shop, or connect with other newcomer supports.
With the help of dozens of volunteers and the support of two local bicycle shops, the church’s bicycle program
acquires, repairs and donates hundreds of bicycles. A $4,100 grant from the Niagara Community Foundation
helped the program acquire specialty tools and equipment that enable them to efficiently repair even more
bikes. The grant also helped the church add a new bicycle rack out front, signalling to all that it’s truly a bikefriendly