We are a retail and service-focused bicycle shop in Toronto's east end in Riverside. We opened our doors in June 2013 with a repair-focused set-up. Since then, we have diversified our space offering bicycle repair service and sales of bicycles and accessories from leading brands!
Switchback is a non-profit Employment Social Enterprise with it's origins in Sanctuary Toronto, a Christian charitable organization that welcomes and employs people who have known mostly rejection and abuse. We offer relationships and a chance to rediscover the joy and dignity that comes from having a meaningful and purposeful occupation.
What we do for our crew:
- Long term employment
- Training courses (e.g. Winterbourne Bicycle Institute)
- One-on-one mentoring and support for finding stable housing, banking and budgeting, accessing medical treatments and developing strategies for personal growth and development
- Dignity, self-esteem, hope and meaningful relationships
We call it “propelling community” and it’s our way of giving back to this wonderfully stimulating and diverse neighbourhood that we are fortunate to serve. We’ve discovered that our lives become so much richer when we move into the slow lane and get to know and work with some of the people who make our city unique.
We are privileged to be your local bike shop. We are grateful to the Toronto Enterprise Fund for their support. And we are deeply thankful to the broader Sanctuary community for their unwavering enthusiasm and encouragement.
If you would like to support the team directly here at Switchback, please click here to donate.
What is an "Employment Social Enterprise"?
Employment social enterprises (ESEs) are businesses that create training and employment opportunities for people facing barriers to entry into the mainstream labour market. ESEs provide supported training, employment and wraparound supports to employees, enabling them to obtain and maintain employment. ESEs have demonstrated success in increasing employee’s income, increasing attachment to the labour market, improving health, increasing housing security, and keeping people out of the criminal justice system. ESEs are active in virtually every industry, including: recycling, retail, food services, and more – and serve a variety of people facing barriers to the labour market, including: people with disabilities, people with criminal records, newcomers, and more (TEF, 2018).