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The Green Life: Toronto Turns Abandoned Bikes Into Public Art

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December 02, 2011

Toronto Turns Abandoned Bikes Into Public Art

We've seen old bikes transformed into furniture, jewelry, even Christmas reindeers. In Toronto, Caroline Macfarlane and Vanessa Nicholas are turning abandoned bicycles into public art. As part of the Good Bike Project, the artists spray-paint the cast-offs vibrant colors and plant flowers in their baskets. The first brightly painted bike got a parking ticket, but an outpouring of support helped convince the local government to allow the project. Toronto's mayor has even expressed excitement about the project's growth.

Each bike's color is significant: Yellow bikes "signify hotspots in the city where community gathers," while green bikes honor urban-planning activist Jane Jacobs by "marking sites where urban-planning efforts have both succeeded and failed." Blue bikes "celebrate community builders." The Good Bike Project's blog lists the locations and meanings for orange, magenta, rose, and aqua.

--Della Watson

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