Toronto Ontario--September 24 2010--Two massive pieces of art were constructed from retired vehicles and good old-fashioned human power yesterday in the middle of Metro Hall as Retire Your Ride used Car Free Day to highlight the benefits of sustainable transportation and to call attention to the program.

The event was also a reminder that there are only six months left to participate in Retire Your Ride as March 31 2011 marks the last day that Ontarians can be rewarded for retiring their 1995 model year or older vehicles.

In addition to local artists creating art out of old cars the event also showcased BMX stunt riders strongmen pulling retired cars across the Square event attendees decorating a retired vehicle and a charitable donation by the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association presented to Pollution Probe's Clean Air Commute CultureLink and Toronto Cyclists Union's Integration and Sustainable Transportation Partnership and Green Communities Canada's Ontario Walkolution.

On top of that a disc jockey entertained the crowd with car-themed music and attendees were treated to a free lunch.

"Retire Your Ride has seen tremendous success to date responsibly recycling over 38000 vehicles in Ontario alone" said Rebecca Spring program manager at Summerhill Impact Ontario delivery agent for Retire Your Ride. "With only six months left in the program Ontarians with 1995 model year and older vehicles need to act now in order to take advantage of the program and be rewarded for responsibly retiring their vehicles."

Retire Your Ride ending on March 31 2011 aims to reduce smog-forming emissions ensure vehicles are responsibly recycled and encourage the use of sustainable transportation. Since its launch in January 2009 Retire Your Ride has taken more than 94000 vehicles off the road nationally reducing smog-forming emissions by over 5000 tonnes.

Ontarians who own a 1995 model year or older vehicle and choose to take part in Retire Your Ride can be rewarded with one of a number of rewards available to program participants including:

  • Bicycles: A discount of $350 to $490 off of a high-end commuter bicycle as well as up to 15 per cent off parts and services
  • Transit Passes: Free transit passes in select municipalities
  • Car Share: Discounts off car share rates and memberships in select municipalities
  • Electric Transportation: A discount of $450 on the purchase of an ebike or a complete conversion kit
  • Manufacturer-supported rebates are also available from Chrysler Hyundai Ford and GM
  • Cash: $300 cash

"The time is now for Ontarians to make the switch to more sustainable modes of transportation" continued Spring. "Until March 31 2011 Canadians will be offered incentives for retiring their 1995 model year and older vehicles and can ensure their cars are responsibly recycled."

If not handled properly scrapped vehicles can damage the environment. Through the Retire Your Ride program vehicle materials are removed re-used or responsibly disposed of. Retire Your Ride's participating auto recyclers follow a national code of practice and ensure that materials such as oil gasoline refrigerants mercury switches wheels and tires are removed from vehicles prior to scrappage in order to protect our air water and land.

In June 2008 the Government of Canada committed up to $92 million over four years to the Retire Your Ride program to help Canadians recycle their older higher polluting vehicles and make sustainable transportation choices leading to reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Take a look at some of the sights from the day: