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More than 3,500 riders left Exhibition Place in Toronto on June 10 for The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's 16th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer, Canada's largest athletic fundraiser.
During the epic event, riders cycled 200-plus-kilometres over two days, taking in the sights as they rode from Toronto to Niagara Falls. This year's event raised $17.3 million for life-saving cancer research and care at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top five cancer research centres in the world.
As part of the "Riderless bike ceremony," in honour of someone who lost their life to cancer, Tim Martin – a 12-year rider and the captain of team
Ryley's Riders – and his wife Shannon, walked a toddler bike across the Exhibition Place start line to kick off the event in honour of their son, Ryley, who passed away from leukemia when he was two-and-a-half years old.
"Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada – two in five Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime," says Dr. Miyo Yamashita, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. “At The Princess Margaret, we have the power to change these statistics and the time to do it is now.
"We have learned more about cancer in the past decade than we have in the previous 50 years. Thanks to the effort and commitment of our riders, researchers at the Princess Margaret can build on this momentum and generate research breakthroughs that will revolutionize cancer treatment and patient care both here and around the world."
Riders cycled to Hamilton, where they camped overnight Saturday at McMaster University, before embarking on the ride to the Niagara Falls' finish line Sunday morning.
The event's oldest participant,
Bill Wall – a blind 95-year-old rider on a tandem bike – rode his 11th and last ride.
"The Ride to Conquer Cancer has raised an astounding $267.3 million since its inception," says Steve Merker, Vice President of Corporate and Community Partnerships and Co-Founder of the Ride. “While each rider has their own reason for riding, we are all heading towards the same goal.
"Every dollar raised will leave a lasting impact. We are grateful to our proud community of riders, donors and supporters."
Janet Bannister is a competitive triathlete, cyclist and is one of the Ride's 2023 Honourary Chairs.
"It's truly inspiring to cross the start line with thousands of other riders, not only from across Canada but joining us from countries around the world," she said. "We are all working towards the same goal, and I love the camaraderie and support that you feel from start to finish."
Read more about this year's event and how to register for the 2024 Ride to Conquer Cancer at