Our Story

The Women's Cycling Network works to promote cycling as wheels of empowerment for women of all backgrounds, and especially for those whose culture prohibited them from learning to ride a bike.

We bring together women who are new to biking and experienced cyclists, serving both newcomers to Canada as well as long-term residents, with the goal of helping those who identify as female feel safer getting around by bike.

Our story began in 2017 through the Afghan Women's Organization’s Wellness Cafe (now an independent group - Women’s Wellness Cafe). We partnered with the Bike Host program operated by CultureLink to help women bike around Toronto. Initially, a group of 15, we now number several hundred women who bike for health benefits, transportation, freedom and empowerment. We support our members through advocacy, education, events, empowerment and connecting people who have a bike to give with women and others in need of a bike to ride through BikeMatchWCN.

By encouraging all women to ride a bike, we hope to change the concept of what it means to be a cyclist and normalize cycling within our community.

Learn more about Najia Zewari, founder of the Women’s Cycling Network.

Our Mission

WCN mission
a diverse group of women standing side by side and smiling at the camera


We know that the benefits of cycling require more than having a bike. Women require cycling infrastructure that ensures their safety and comfort when riding a bike – with proper lighting, protection from vehicle traffic and Vision Zero intersections.

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People seating in circle and having discussion


Whether you are new to cycling or an experienced rider, we partner with organizations across the city to offer education to enhance your cycling experience, including learn-to-ride and basic bike mechanics.

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Three smiling women holding their bikes


“Riding a bike has made me believe in myself” This was how one of our members described the feeling that comes from using your body to get around independently and seeing your strength and confidence grow.

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People with bikes smiling looking at a clown shooting confetti


From group rides, city-exploring excursions and impromptu meet-ups to the Tour de Thorncliffe, a bike-a-thon fundraiser, we create opportunities for everyone to get out and ride, practice their skills and build confidence.

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Women sharing bike through BikeMatch program

By connecting people who have a bike they don’t need to a woman who needs a bike to ride, we give more women “wheels of empowerment”. Since 2020, we have made it possible for more than 300 women to cycle to work, to run errands and for fun and fitness. The program has expanded across the city and now helps women, men, children and youth register for a donated bike to ride.

Click here to see 2023 results.

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Supporters and Partners