Cycle Salvation: A 15-Year Legacy
Since its inception, Cycle Salvation, nestled in the heart of Ottawa at 473 Bronson, has transcended the conventional notion of a bike shop.
This social enterprise, operating under the umbrella of Causeway Work Centre, has consistently pursued a triple-bottom-line approach, prioritizing people, planet, and profit. By offering training and employment opportunities in the field of bike mechanics to individuals facing economic disadvantages, Cycle Salvation has not only transformed lives but also played a pivotal role in rescuing bikes from the grim fate of scrap yards and landfills.
As they approach their final days of operation, it is only fitting to celebrate their enduring legacy and the profound impact they’ve had on their community.
In the past year alone, Cycle Salvation diverted 881 bikes from landfills, breathing new life into these two-wheel wonders. Additionally, the social enterprise employed 8 people facing challenges such as mental health issues, disabilities and other barriers to employment, equipping them with valuable bike mechanic and customer service skills in a supportive work environment.
Cycle Salvation has also fostered partnerships with numerous community organizations, facilitating access to healthy and active transportation options.
In 2022, thanks to the fundraising campaign “Spokes for Folks,” Cycle Salvation managed to breathe new life into 18 bicycles that would have otherwise been deemed too costly to repair. These refurbished bicycles were then donated to members of the community in collaboration with the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO).
Offering a set of wheels to new immigrants in our community not only made cycling an easily accessible and enjoyable mode of transportation but also created meaningful employment opportunities for the dedicated staff at Cycle Salvation. Manager Rob Robitaille expressed the team’s satisfaction, saying “The Cycle Salvation team were really happy to see the bikes going to a good cause, and pleased to know the bikes would be distributed to children and youth who really needed them.”
More recently, Cycle Salvation partnered with the Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) Foundation for their Hop on Bikes program. Cycle Salvation meticulously safety-checked 50 children’s bicycles and donated them to this initiative, resulting in 50 delighted children in the Strathcona OCH community.
These collective efforts have not only made cycling more accessible and enjoyable for countless community members but have also underscored Cycle Salvation’s unwavering commitment to its mission.
As Cycle Salvation enters its final days of operation, it is essential to reflect on its extraordinary legacy. Over the span of 15 years, the organization has revitalized over 8,000 bicycles, preventing more than 400,000 pounds of bikes and parts from ending up in landfills. They have also provided employment opportunities to 46 individuals grappling with barriers to traditional work and served over 75,000 customers in the community.
Cycle Salvation’s impact is indisputable. They’ve not only saved bicycles but have also raised awareness about Causeway’s employment programs and services. Their active participation in various projects has enabled access to healthy and active transportation for countless individuals. Most importantly, they have provided invaluable employment opportunities and helped 46 people work, regardless.
Cycle Salvation stands as a shining example of what social enterprises can achieve when they wholeheartedly commit to the idea that profits should never come at the expense of people or the planet. As they conclude their operations, they leave behind a legacy of sustainability, inclusivity, and community empowerment that will resonate for years to come. Thank you, Cycle Salvation, for making a difference that will continue to ripple through our community.
Until the end of September, you can still support Cycle Salvation by visiting their shop at 473 Bronson where they offer great quality inventory for 50% off or more.
Causeway’s other social enterprises, Krackers Katering, Causeway Commercial Cleaning, and Good Nature Groundskeeping continue to operate and make a meaningful impact in the community. You can learn more about their services by going to https://www.causewayworkcentre.org/social-enterprise/.