Toronto cyclists come together for Ride for Heart
About 12,000 cyclists and in-line skaters put their heart into pumping $3 million into medical research, social change advocacy programs and health information initiatives during yesterday’s Heart and Stroke Foundation Ride for Heart.
The Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway were closed off for the event as participants cycled up to 75 kilometres for pledges in the 21st annual ride.
The ride funds will help the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario support research on stroke drugs and surgical techniques, as well as 100 scientific studies and science grants, said the foundation’s director of research Dr. Marco Di Buono.
City Councillor Rob Ford said he has received complaints from people who are disgruntled about the traffic congestion such road closures cause. He said they suggested alternatives: Exhibition Place or Downsview Park.
"I think ride for heart is a fantastic cause," he said. "I haven't received any calls yet, so I have to wait to see what people are saying."
Rocco Rossi, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said Torontonians have shown their support by coming out in thousands to help fight the number one killer of Canadians.
"We are blocking two major arteries for one day so we can help to unblock the arteries of thousands of people affected by this problem," he said.